The Best Bars in Las Vegas Right Now

From downtown to the Strip, the best cocktail bars, dives, and more.

Allē Lounge
Photo courtesy of Allē Lounge

Is there a city better known for drinking than Las Vegas? Fortunately, it’s a reputation that’s well-earned and Sin City is loaded with great bars. Between cocktail lounges, dive bars, speakeasies, and brewpubs, there are endless options for a stiff drink out there. So consider this list a starting point for the best watering holes in Las Vegas you need to know about, including some intriguing newcomers who recently opened their doors. Mask mandates were recently dropped in Nevada, but play it cool and respect the policies of each individual business. Now the tough part: Where to go first?

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. But you'll be even more intrigued by the aromatics of the Moonage Daydream, a sweet-and-salty combination of brandy, peanut, honeydew, and tarragon. 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. Don't overlook the menu of elevated bar bites from Chef Thanawat Bates.
How to book: Make a reservation online.

Available for Reservations
Bar Zazu
Photo by Sabin Orr, courtesy of Bar Zazu

Bar Zazu

Resorts World
$$$$

Chef Nicole Brisson already helms Brezza, one of the best Italian restaurants in Las Vegas, and now has Bar Zazu as a next-door companion piece at Resorts World. The food takes inspiration from Spanish tapas with eight varieties of Pan con Tomate (grilled cristal bread with tomato and other toppings) and charcuterie plates of imported cheeses and fresh-sliced meats. Added wow factor is seen in an extra-large bone marrow presentation (brought to life with pickled mustard seed and trumpet mushrooms) and shrimp ceviche with a long squid-ink cracker. The plates are designed to share with a choice of wine and a fun lineup of cocktails, including The Heathers (basically a Manhattan with maple, clove, and other flavors) and Seed of Sakura (similar to a gin-and-tonic, but with the bite of grapefruit and Campari). The playful nature of the lounge is reflected in the rotating digital art pieces that quietly come to life with subtle animated touches.
How to book: Make a reservation online via Seven Rooms.

Liftoff
Photo courtesy of Liftoff

In Las Vegas, everything is a spectacle–and that includes cocktail bars. AREA15 (one of the coolest things to do in Las Vegas) recently debuted Liftoff, a new attraction that allows guests to take flight with a drink in hand. Order up your choice of libation from a full-service bar before strapping into a 16-seat gondola that lifts 130 feet in the air (nice and easy, similar to a hot air balloon) within a surrounding steel tower. The gondola rotates like a carousel at the top, allowing everyone to get a full view of the surrounding Las Vegas Valley. Enjoy the scenery without worrying about pics. Phones are stored in a pouch. The drinks aren't going to compete with the hand-crafted variety you'd find at a great speakeasy, but the margarita has a nice spicy kick.
How to book: Reserve tickets online. They're $18 for adults ($26 with beverage included) and $12 for kids at least 42 inches tall. Otherwise, drinks are priced individually.

Allē 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.

Star Piano Cocktail Lounge
Star Piano Cocktail Lounge

Star Piano Cocktail Lounge

Industrial Corridor
$$$$

Star Piano Cocktail Lounge feels like a throwback to a time when drinks and entertainment weren't so mutually exclusive. Renovated from Sonny's Saloon, an old dive bar west of the Strip, Star almost feels like a speakeasy at times with brick walls, plush velvet banquets, and a vintage chandelier among rows of string lights. A corner stage for regular live music makes an immediate impression with a bold red baby grand piano, although an illuminated hallway near the front door may be your best photo spot. Prices for a drink generally run between $12 and $16, a great deal considering the atmosphere and the bar's short one-block distance from major hotels on the Strip. Try Pear Magic, a recipe made with real pear juice, prosecco, and Absolut Elyx. If you get hungry, guests are welcome to order a bite from neighboring Berserker Burgers, which now has a connecting door.
How to book: Book a reservation online.

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.

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.

Garagiste Wine Room | Merchant
Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

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 a pair of sommeliers with a long history on the Strip. The already extensive list is growing by the day, 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—although the record player near the bar is a nice touch. (Ask to pick out an album.) There isn't a kitchen, but charcuterie plates are available, and you can always bring in outside food, especially from Esther's Kitchen across the street. 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. 
How to book: Walk-ins welcome.

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.

Delmonico Steakhouse

The Venetian
$$$$

Emeril Lagasse's Delmonico Steakhouse has been around more than 20 years (a lifetime for a Vegas Strip restaurant) with a recent renovation brightening the space. The Creole-seasoned steaks are as good as ever. But what about the drinks? The restaurant has one of the best whiskey and spirits lists in not only Las Vegas, but the entire country—with more than 700 options from nine countries and an impressive focus on verticals. This is the stuff that's hard to find anywhere else. If dinner's not required, grab a seat in the lounge and pick the brain of your bartender. Not into brown spirits? Delmonico has 2,400 choices of wine as well.
How to book: online.

Available for Reservations
Downtown Cocktail Room
Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

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.

Golden Tiki
Photo courtesy of Golden Tiki

Golden Tiki

Chinatown
$$$$

The music heard at the front door suggests you're either about to take a ride on the Pirates of the Caribbean or enter the most indulgent tiki bar in Las Vegas. Golden Tiki counts a dancing skeleton, conch shell chair, and overstuffed treasure chest among its kitschy decorations. It's also hard to overlook the shrunken head collection and a pair of animatronic birds who exchange dirty jokes. The cocktails go well beyond the expected rum-and-fruit-juice staples with complex, well-balanced creations heavy on carefully chosen spirits. Some come topped with Dole Whip—a frozen pineapple treat dispensed from a machine that first became popular at Disneyland. Like all good tiki bars, the drinks are rated on the menu by strength-level. 
How to book: Reservations are recommended and can be booked online.

Available for Reservations
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.

Oak & Ivy: An American Whiskey Den
Photo courtesy of Oak & Ivy

Located inside the Downtown Container Park, Oak & Ivy makes the most of a small bar with just a handful of seats, although hanging out on the rooftop at sunset isn't bad either. The whiskey selection is strong and put to good use in plenty of great cocktails, including a Whiskey Smash made with fruit-infused water that changes with the season. The Moscow Mule is made with house-brewed ginger beer. New recipes come and go throughout the year, but the Apple Harvest is here to stay—an apple whiskey sour with a torched apple pie garnish that tastes better than dessert.
How to book: online.

Available for Reservations
The Sand Dollar Lounge
Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

A legit piece of Vegas history, the Sand Dollar Lounge has a legacy of live music that dates back to 1976. Yet the drink menu is the best reason to visit. The Lupita features flash-infused basil tequila and house-made orgeat, and the Thai Tea Trippin' is a combination of rum, spiced tea, milk, and sugar with the dairy component filtered out. However, the bar will spend the beginning of winter as Miracle on Spring Mountain, a holiday pop-up with themed cocktails. The pizzas (with a custom dough by Chris Decker of Metro Pizza) compete with the best in town, with creative recipes and crisp, fresh ingredients on top. A second version of the Sand Dollar is scheduled to open in 2022 at the Plaza hotel near Fremont Street.
How to book: Walk-ins welcome.

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.

Ada’s
Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

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-inspired skirt steak.
How to book: Walk-ins welcome.

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.