The Best Bars in Las Vegas Right Now

From locals-driven dives to fancy hotel bars, there are plenty of places to raise a glass in Sin City.

Some say Las Vegas was built on gambling, but it was really built on drinking. Between cocktail lounges, dive bars, wine bars, speakeasies, and brewpubs, the options are endless for good booze in Sin City. However, much like the Las Vegas dining scene, it's hard not to notice a recent, dramatic jump in prices. For a while, $18 seemed like a high price for a cocktail. Then it became standard. Now, a few places on the Strip are trying hard to make $24 the new normal. Whether that's fair or not, just remember to tip your bartender. And keep in mind—there's a lot of variety in this town, and you can still find a good value drink if you know where to look. So consider the following list a starting point for the best bars you need to know about, including some intriguing newcomers who recently opened their doors.

The Cabinet Of Curiosities
Photo courtesy of Cabinet of Curiosities

Cocktail lounges on the Strip tend to be stiff, stagnant, and overpriced. So it's about time that something fun and loose came along. The Cabinet of Curiosities is a bar and attraction in one, tucked away in the back of Bally's (soon to be the Horseshoe), where nobody will notice the prices aren't quite as high as other bars and restaurants on property or in the adjacent Paris casino. The Cabinet of Curiosities has its share of signature cocktails, including a funky mix of vanilla, coffee, and cinnamon in the Flea Market Martini, but does a great job with the classics too. The main wall is lined with cabinets and drawers of oddball knick knacks. Use your phone to scan a code and unlock the stories behind each one. A large, vault-like door leads to The Lock, a speakeasy in the back that doesn't go overboard with a Prohibition theme. The stylish, but understated tone is a welcome change of pace for the Strip. Just hang out and pick the brain of your bartender for a custom cocktail.
How to book: Email or call 833-855-2888 with any questions. Pick up the telephone on the back wall for directions on accessing the speakeasy in the back.

Nightmare Cafe
Nightmare Cafe | Photo by Rob Kachelriess

Nightmare Cafe

Downtown Arts District
$$$$

Nightmare Toys is a great spot for holiday shopping in the Arts District, especially if you're into retro and horror-themed collectibles. The owners recently took the concept a step further with the Nightmare Cafe, a next-door bar with a sinister side and eye-catching, hand-painted murals. You may see a few scary movies or Addams Family reruns on the TVs above the bar, along with the latest game, but the real show is on the menu. Try one of three Mourge-aritas or an Invisible Man-hattan. Cocktails based on the seven deadly sins are in the works, along with some exclusive beers from local breweries. For now, you can't go wrong with the Purple People Eater, which makes good use of naturally purple Empress Gin. The food, which skews toward Southern favorites, is nearly as creative, especially the Blair Waffle Project, made with black squid-ink waffles, plump fried chicken, and blood-red hot honey sauce. The space was formerly an auto garage and the roll-up doors welcome a lot of natural light during the day to balance out all that spookiness.
How to book: Just walk in.

Ghostbar Podium
Photo courtesy of Ghostbar

Ghostbar

The Palms
$$$$

Ghostbar has seen its share of changes over the years—owners, menus, remodels, and more. It was even known as Apex Social Club at one point, but is now back to its original name while remaining a uniquely endearing and resilient fixture in the Las Vegas nightlife scene. The panoramic Strip views from the 55th floor of the Palms hotel don't hurt either, especially if you're sipping down a drink on the open-air terrace. The latest version of the ultralounge, first unveiled more than 20 years ago during the golden age of cranberry vodkas, leans heavier into craft cocktails, although you can't shake the club-life feel with plastic cups. Otherwise, have fun with a shareable Witches Brew or a Ghost Flight of spirits. Skye Dee Miles provides rousing live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights at 10 pm.
How to book: Reservations for tables have spending minimums and can be made online.

S Bar

Mandalay Bay
$$$$

The Las Vegas version of S Bar is the first one that isn't attached to a restaurant. That allows the venue, which took over the old Red Square space, to focus on its own identity as a stylish cocktail lounge with art deco furnishings. The bar itself is a bright statement piece that pops against the darkness of its surroundings. Yael Vengroff's drink menu doesn't bother with classics (modified or otherwise), preferring to showcase inventive recipes with interesting glassware and garnishes. Your cocktail might show up in an illuminated glass or topped with a flaming lime. S Bar also puts a fresh spin on bottle service, offering "tableside sips" of spirits with house-made mixers (like blackberry, mint, and ginger beer; or jalapeno, lemon, lime, and agave) for groups to pour themselves. The food menu of elevated bar bites is exceptional and roaming House of Leaves performers appear during the "Late Affair," well after midnight on Saturdays.
How to book: Make a reservation online.

Available for Reservations

Garagiste Wine Room | Merchant

Downtown Arts District
$$$$

Great wine shouldn't have to be expensive. That's the idea behind Garagiste, a neighborhood wine bar in the Arts District by Eric Prato, a sommelier who formerly worked on the Strip at Bouchon. The list is extensive, featuring a variety of styles, countries, regions, and prices. Garagiste makes a point to champion the natural or low-intervention wine movement and small producers that aren't easy to track down. It's an industrial, modern space of brick and glass without a single television in sight. No kitchen either, but charcuterie plates are available, and you're always welcome to bring in outside food from nearby restaurants like Esther's Kitchen or Yu-Or-Mi. Garagiste doubles as a boutique wine shop and bottles are available to go with a 50% off retail discount. But if you plan to hang out for a while, there are more than 20 wines by the glass to keep things interesting. Happy hour is Monday-Friday 3-6 pm.
How to book: Walk-ins welcome. Garagiste recently launched an online store to order bottles in advance for quick pickup.

Ada’s

Tivoli Village
$$$$

James Trees' wine bar has a vino selection that's compelling, affordable, and chosen with the input of the entire service team, led by sommelier Kat Thomas. There's a heavy emphasis on small producers and with nearly 100 bottles and more than 20 options by the glass, there's something for everyone. Even beer, if that's your preference. Best of all—Ada's is free from pretentiousness. It's just a fun, loose place to hang out. The tapas menu by chef de cuisine Jackson Stamper includes imported cheese and charcuterie, a variety of Spanish-inspired bites, and an Argentinian-style skirt steak. Guest sommeliers are invited for special event tastings and happy hour runs 2-5 pm daily with deals on bottles and boards.
How to book: Walk-ins welcome.

Red Dwarf
Red Dwarf | Photo by Rob Kachelriess

Red Dwarf

Eastside
$$$$

Red Dwarf follows the vision of Russell Gardner, a Vegas native who let his business organically take shape as a tiki bar based on the vibe, shape, and design of the space. There's a certain restraint that works to its advantage. No over-the-top kitsch, gaming, or smoking—although you're welcome to get in a few puffs on the outdoor patio. Much of Red Dwarf's character is based on a punk rock mentality, reflected in a wall of vintage concert posters and an elevated stage that hosts live music—everything from blues and ska to soul and garage rock—and doubles as a makeshift living room with a couch and mismatched chairs. A large wraparound bartop is full of angles to encourage conversation, and there's a lot to discuss with a collection of about a hundred rums and funky cocktails, including a few mashups on traditional tiki classics. The craft beer list rotates regularly. The one constant is the Dwarf Piss, a $4 house lager brewed in partnership with Astronomy Aleworks. It pairs well with the bar's excellent Detroit-style pizza, made with an airy, chewy dough that's pan-proofed and fermented in-house for up to 72 hours.
How to book: Just show up and sit down. You can always place a pizza delivery order online.

Misterio Mezcal Bar
Misterio Mezcal Bar | Photo by Rob Kachelriess

Misterio Mezcal Bar

Downtown Arts District
$$$$

Misterio isn't messing around. The intimate bar, located on the ground floor of the shareDOWNTOWN apartment complex in the Arts District, has more than 80 bottles of mezcal on its drink list, plus a few worthy tequilas too. Enjoy the smoky agave spirit to the fullest, whether part of a flight or in one of 14 house cocktails, prepared with house-made juices, purees, and syrups. The Chupacabra is a well-balanced recipe, made with tamarind puree and rosemary syrup. It goes nice with an Avocado Boat, split open and topped with a choice of beef, chicken, or tuna. Happy hour runs generously from 4 to 8 pm Monday-Thursday with discounts on select cocktails, tacos, nachos, empanadas, and ceviche. A regular $10 special pairs a select mezcal with Revision beer (produced in Northern Nevada).
How to book: Just walk in and take a seat.

Alle Lounge On 66
Photo courtesy of Allē Lounge

Allē Lounge on 66

Resorts World
$$$$

Allē Lounge used to have a better name (Starlight on 66), but still has a fantastic perch on the 66th floor of the Conrad hotel tower at Resorts World. Whether facing north (the Strip) or south (the Strat and Downtown), the scenery is ridiculous—especially at night through floor-to-ceiling windows. Walks-ins may get lucky with bar seats, but reservations are highly recommended. The whole room has the feel of a private study or library with comfortable furniture, refined decor, and a menu presented as a thick novel. A vintage telescope is pointed at the Strip. Five different takes on an Old Fashioned are prepared on a tableside cart. Any option pairs well with full-service Golden Russian Osteria caviar.
How to book: Call 702-676-7766 to book a reservation.

The Tangier
Photo courtesy of The Tangier

The Tangier

The Sahara
$$$$

The Tangier sets itself apart by focusing on brown spirits. Not just whiskey, but anything aged—including rum or tequila. Even Tito's Vodka is aged on site for at least 30 days in charred barrels, producing an amber color well suited for an Old Fashioned. Overall, the cocktail menu is split between inventive specialty drinks and classic recipes, with three different variations on a Boulevardier. If you just want to sip on the good stuff, there are about 160 varieties of bourbon, scotch, or cognac available with a few rare bottles hidden out of view. No list. The idea is for things to be conversational between the guest and bartender. Grab a seat. You'll find something you like.
How to book: The bar is geared toward walk-ins 3 pm–2 am daily.

The Silver Stamp
Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

Silver Stamp

Gateway District
$$$$

If you're looking for a place to drink beer without one of our great local breweries attached to it, the Silver Stamp might be your joint. Located in the Gateway District (which is increasingly blurring together with the Arts District), the bar is a total throwback with wood paneling, mounted taxidermy, and quirky, vintage decor. Is it a den from the '70s? A basement from the '80s? Hard to say, but the beer selection is exceptional, including occasional one-and-done-kegs that are hard to find elsewhere. At least half the tap list is European. There's always a rauchbier (German smoked beer) and Kolsch served in wheels (pay for 10, get 11) for large groups, an idea inspired by the owners' visit to a Cologne festival. Hot dogs and pickled eggs are on standby if you get hungry.
How to book: Walk on in.

The Laundry Room
Photo courtesy of The Laundry Room

The Laundry Room

Fremont East
$$$$

The Laundry Room, a hidden speakeasy inside Commonwealth, is one of the most rewarding bar experiences in Las Vegas. The drink list is an impressive mix of sophisticated classics and inventive creations, but things work out even better when you let the bartender come up with a custom cocktail based on moods and words—like "smoky," "aggressive," or "Brad Pitt in Fight Club." Keep the ground rules in mind: no PDA and no cellphones (although texting is okay) and due to limited space, this is really one of those joints that requires a reservation. How do you score one? Or find the hidden door to the Laundry Room? Just hang out for a while and ask a few questions in the main Commonwealth space, which experimented with different formats during the pandemic and now has a piano lounge vibe and a greater focus on cocktails as well, including shareable punch bowls. Don't worry. The rooftop patio is still there.
How to book: via Seven Rooms.

Atomic Liquors
Photo courtesy of Atomic Liquors

Atomic Liquors

Downtown
$$$$

The oldest free-standing bar in Las Vegas used to be a place where people would grab drinks, sit on the roof, and watch nuclear test explosions go off in the desert (since Nevada was into that kind of stuff in the '50s). Atomic Liquors eventually closed down but returned as a craft cocktail destination in 2012. It's been a huge hit ever since, and much of Nevada's radioactive history is documented with artifacts on the walls. In the wake of at-home bartending during the pandemic, Atomic Liquors noticed a renewed interest in well-crafted libations and responded with limited-edition specials that rotate throughout the season. Signature cocktails are updated twice a year, but don't worry—the bourbon-fueled Hunter S. Mash isn't going anywhere. Atomic Tavern is a sister menu-free dive bar in the Gateway District.
How to book: Walk-ins welcome.

Back when Las Vegas was all about sugary libations and bottle service, the Downtown Cocktail Room came along with something different—inventive, complicated cocktails inspired by other cities ahead of the curve. The team works in a mixology "lab" to create clever drinks that rotate on and off the menu four or five times a year. Nothing is off limits, from absinthe and mezcals to anything and everything as garnish (including on at least one occasion, house-made chips and salsa). Drinks are half-off Tuesday-Saturday from 5 to 7 pm. Mike Morey's Sip'n'Tip is a hidden bar-within-a-bar with a looser vibe, its own menu, and a side alley entrance. 
How to book: Walk-ins welcome or RSVP online.

Herbs & Rye
Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

Herbs & Rye

Off-Strip
$$$$

We once asked top bartenders in Vegas where they got drinks on their downtime. All of them said Herbs & Rye. The cocktail bar by which all others are judged is frequently singled out as not only one of the best bars in Vegas, but the entire country. That's because every bartender here appreciates and understands both the art and history of classic cocktails. The menu itself is divided into different American eras, from 1776 through today (touching on prohibition, tiki, and Rat Pack periods for example). The back bar alone is worth your attention—with liqueurs, spirits, and mixers you won't easily find elsewhere. Feel free to challenge the staff, who are always eager to make something new and different with the resources at their disposal. The food includes pasta and steaks (with the latter half-off during the recently extended happy hour—one of the best in Las Vegas). Sister steakhouse Cleaver has a similar but smaller cocktail menu and is easier for scoring a last-minute reservation.
How to book: via their website.

Velveteen Rabbit
Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

Velveteen Rabbit

Downtown Arts District
$$$$

Opened by two sisters who just wanted a good place to hang out, Velveteen Rabbit is a social drinking spot that understands the art of the craft cocktail and the value of an expansive beer list. The collection of antique furniture doesn't quite match, but seems to fit the quirky spirit of the place just fine. With local artwork hanging on the walls and a history of hosting up-and-coming musicians, it's hard to find a bar that is so supportive of the Arts District community while making some of the most unique and creative drinks anywhere in Las Vegas. The daily 5–7 pm happy hour has discounted house cocktails for $12 and Montucky lager with a shot of rye for $8. 
How to book: Walk-ins welcome.

Rosina
Photo courtesy of Rosina

Rosina

Venetian
$$$$

Rosina is one of three sister bars in the Venetian Cocktail Collective. Each one is great, but while The Dorsey and Electra have a high-energy atmosphere to match their inventive cocktails, Rosina is an intimate, stylish art-deco spot that focuses on classics—with ice and glassware to match. If you want a Dark 'n Stormy or an Airmail done right, this is the place. A traditional Mai Tai served in a skull is especially fun. Ask about the latest secret menu, serving modified takes on old favorites like a Mint Julep, Old Fashioned, Manhattan, and Champagne cocktails. Another menu on the sly—titled "Shh"—is offered to night owls 11 pm–2 am.
How to book: online.

Available for Reservations
Legacy Club
Photo courtesy of Legacy Club

Legacy Club

Circa
$$$$

Great drinks with great views. The Legacy Club is perched on the 60th floor of the Circa resort on Fremont Street. With a strong whiskey selection, artwork honoring Vegas casino magnates, and an exhibit of gold bars, this penthouse venue goes heavy on macho swagger. Yet in reality, the Legacy Club is one of the best places to bring a date in Vegas. The servers are knowledgeable about the menu (a nice change of pace from other cocktail bars on the Strip), so don't take suggestions lightly. The Nevadan lives up to its name, using Frey Ranch rye distilled on an upstate farm. Enjoy one in the indoor lounge or on the outdoor patio.
How to book: via their website.

Rob Kachelriess has been writing about Las Vegas in Thrillist for more than eight years. His work has also appeared in Travel + Leisure, Trivago Magazine, Sophisticated Living, Modern Luxury, Leafly, Las Vegas Magazine, and other publications. He's a shot of sweet vermouth balanced by a few dashes of bitters. Follow him on Twitter @rkachelriess.