Las Vegas is a town with no last call and no shortage of places to grab a drink. Whether you seek a boisterous sports tavern, elegant mixology lounge, hipster-patronized club or secluded dive bar, you can find it here. But even in a town of hundreds of bars, some stand out.
Unsurprisingly, the city where you can sleep in a pyramid, dine while watching a medieval joust and knock a golf ball into Gene Simmons’ giant open mouth is home to more than one unusual watering hole.
Bar, American, $$$
A three-story bar nestled inside a three-story Swarovski crystal chandelier, The Chandelier is among the city’s most glamorous watering holes. Each level offers a different, dazzling menu of meticulously crafted cocktails. For example, the Cherry Smoked Coke includes “leather-infused Maker’s Mark,” cherrywood smoked ice cubes, and Mexican Coke, while the Kaffir the Reaper mixes coconut vodka, yuzu sour, and coconut-ginger tea. On the first level, you can people-watch the Cosmopolitan casino traffic; the second and third floors, on the other hand, offer more intimate experiences.
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Jamaican, Cuban, $$$
One of the best places in town to get away from it all, Frankie’s Tiki Room is a dark little bar with dim lights, strong rum drinks, and hula girls hypnotically swaying on a grainy black-and-white TV. You can get classic tiki drinks such as the Mai Tai and Scorpion, or try house-created cocktails such as the Five Rum Scum and the Dr. No. Not sure which is right for you? The number of skulls beneath each drink on the menu indicates how strong your drink is, from the mellow, three-skull Tiki Bandit to the off-your-stool, five-skull Fink Bomb.
Bar, Restaurant, Nightclub, American, Pub Grub, $$$
Where Las Vegas lets its hair (metal) down, Count’s Vamp’d is owned by custom car creator and occasional reality TV star Danny “Count” Koker. The bar offers live entertainment most nights, with tribute acts honoring AC/DC or Black Sabbath alternating with authentic ’80s and ’90s metal acts. There’s a rock n’ roll atmosphere (spiderwebs, leather), tasty bar food, and naturally, the occasional car show.
Bar, American, $$$
The Double Down Saloon has been a Las Vegas law unto itself for 25 years. The beloved dive bar has been pouring strong drinks and hosting free shows for a devoted crew of regulars—both locals and tourists. On any given night, you can see a band doing punk covers of Rat Pack tunes or a Japanese psych-rock outfit, a burlesque show or a movie screening. You can also meet anyone from French-Canadian construction workers to British rock stars to the drag queen from down the street.
Bar, Restaurant, American, BBQ
A mini road trip from Las Vegas, the Mountain Springs Saloon is a welcome escape from the city. The low-slung, rambling cabin is wallpapered in wrinkled dollar bills and specializes in beers, shots, and barbecue—plenty of ways to while away an afternoon. Live bands on the weekend and a monthly pig roast offer two more reasons to make the drive.
Bar, Craft Ale Bar, Restaurant, German, $$$
An enormous and unlikely slice of Munich plopped into the middle of the neon desert—the Las Vegas Hofbrauhaus is a replica of the German original. From the peaked roof to the hefty glass beer mugs, it’s all designed to evoke Deutschland in the classic Vegas theme fashion. Schnitzel, potato pancakes, and seven kinds of sausage are on the menu; local celebrities turn up regularly to tap kegs of beer imported from Munich. Bands, dancing, beer-chugging contests, and more keep die Party going.
Bar, American, $$$
With its shrunken heads, “talking” pirate skeletons, and ceiling covered with twinkly stars, the Golden Tiki is a little like a drinky Disneyland for adults. Nightly entertainment includes jazz bands and old-school vinyl DJs, as well as Elvis and Don Ho impersonators, while an afternoon happy hour offers $5 drink specials.
Bar, Nightclub, American, $$$
Because cosplay isn’t just for comic cons—Millennium Fandom draws Star Wars geeks, Star Trek nuts, Marvel aficionados, D.C. followers, Disney nerds, pirates, princesses, and all manner of folks who are unafraid to let their freak flags fly. A daily 5–7 pm happy hour and weekly trivia nights are standard, and special events include movie screenings, TV show watch parties, benefits, and other special events.
History Museum, Curiosity Museum
Located in the basement of the Mob Museum, the Underground is an interactive exhibit on Prohibition that includes both a speakeasy and an in-house brewery/distillery. You can see moonshine and beer being made and sample the results on the distillery side. On the speakeasy side, you can have historic cocktails like the Clover Club or Bee’s Knees, served with a backstory. A secret side entrance lets you skip the museum if you like—check the website and social media for the daily password.
Restaurant, American, $$$
Located at the top of the Stratosphere hotel tower, 107 Sky Lounge offers dazzling views of the entire Vegas Valley, from Anthem to Summerlin, Speedway to Blue Diamond. Along with a menu of specialty cocktails, there’s a menu of appetizers from the Top of the World Restaurant, as well as live bands and DJs. They also offer two happy hours with half-price appetizers and two-for-one cocktails.