Food & Drink

7 hidden Vegas gems you'd never think to hit... until now

Published On 09/30/2013 Published On 09/30/2013

Vegas pretty much hits you square in the jaw with all of its party-fury, and some people don't even leave their hotel, let alone the Strip, during their visit. Don't be one of those people. Instead, check out this collection of can't-miss off-Strip gems that ranges from tiki bars, to Philly cheesesteak huts, with a Rat Pack-frequented steakhouse thrown in for good measure.

Frankie's Tiki Room

Frankie's Tiki Room
Located downtown, this amazingly authentic tiki bar has been designed by the "foremost tiki bar designer in all of the world" (according to Frankie's website!), Bamboo Ben. Drinks like the Lava Letch and the Polynesian Pile Driver are equally authentic, with potency measured from 1 to 5... skulls.

Velveteen Rabbit
The recently opened downtown bar is about "creating experiences" through an ever-changing list of craft beers, curious cocktails that include stenciled rabbits, flaming lemon peels with peppercorn bacon bitters, and two sisters who experienced growing up in Las Vegas, which is an experience on its own.

Double Down Saloon

Double Down Saloon
A hidden staple (if that's possible) since the early '90s, Double Down is as far from a Vegas nightclub as you can get, thanks to psychedelic murals/videos on the walls, billiards, pinball, live music, and their specialty "Ass Juice". It's classy.

Golden Steer Steakhouse

Golden Steer Steakhouse
You'll feel like you've been transported back to 1958 (the year it opened) when you enter this downtown steakhouse, which was frequented by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and those other guys from the Rat Pack whose names nobody cares about, and still features some of the best prime aged beef in town. It also seems like the guy making their famous Bananas Foster was the inspiration to The Hangover's Mr. Chow.

Mob Bar Las Vegas

Mob Bar
Sitting across the street from the Mob Museum, this Prohibition-styled cocktail lounge specializes in whiskey and wood grain, amidst which you can "hit the flask" with their rotating list of infused shots served by decked-out flappers.

Bootlegger Bistro

The Bootlegger Bistro
Bootlegger has been around since 1949 and is still owned by the original Italian family that brought it to Vegas, and who will still fill you up with 24/7 Italian dishes like osso buco and seafood diavolo while you listen to live music on the weekends.

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Pop's Philly Steaks
Sometimes after yet another boring night in Vegas, you need something to excite your stomach. 24/7 Pop's provides just that: authentic Philly cheesesteaks that can be made with your choice of cheeses, from American to other things that don't matter, because you better get the Whiz. Nobody beats it!

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1. Frankie's Tiki Room 1712 W. Charleston, Las Vegas, NV 89101 (Strip)

Open 24-7, this off-the-Strip lounge is brimming with the possibly Polynesian, from blowfish lighting to idols, decor, and seating hand-carved by a cadre of seventeen artists, including Crazy Al Evans, Tiki Bosko, Tiki Ray, Billy the Crud, Tom "Big Toe" Laura, and the real Sgt. Hulka of the group, Bamboo Ben.

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2. Velveteen Rabbit 1218 S Main St, Las Vegas, NV 89104 (Downtown)

Opened by two sisters who wanted a fun place to kick back, this buzzy cocktail hangout is pouring boutique spirits in a space decked out with local artwork and vintage furniture, and adjoined by an outdoor patio with a stage for up-and-coming musicians. Velveteen Rabbit has mastered the art of the craft cocktail, slinging creative drinks that change with the seasons, like autumn's Something Wicked (bourbon, apple butter, meringue, bitters, angostura), and has developed a killer craft beer list, too.

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3. Double Down Saloon 4640 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89169 (Off Strip)

Home of the famed Ass Juice cocktail, DD's the anti-Vegas & grunge bar that's "a clubhouse for the lunatic fringe"(!). You'll find live music, pinball, pool, and all kinds of folk visiting this psychedelically painted joint.

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4. Golden Steer Steakhouse 308 W Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89102 (Off Strip)

Opened in 1958, GS's served some greats -- like Nat "King" Cole, Joe DiMaggio & Elvis Presley -- over the years, and's home to "The Best Steaks on Earth". ON EARTH!! So, twist your arm, guess you'll just have to go and see if that trademark's really true.

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5. Mob Bar 201 N 3rd St, Las Vegas, NV 89101 (Off Strip)

Styled like a 1920s speakeasy/supper club, MB's pouring craft 'tails in downtown Vegas.

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6. Pop's Philly Steaks 501 S Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89107 (Off Strip)

POP's (Pride of Philly Steaks) has been plating authentic Philly cheesesteaks since 2002 so yous guys can get your Philly fix all the way in Vegas.

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7. The Bootlegger Bistro 7700 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89123 (Off Strip)

This award-winning off-Strip spot's been serving classic Italian eats to locals and celebs alike since 1949.

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