The Best Bars in Las Vegas Right Now
Admit it. You could use a stiff drink right now.
Summer is a season for drinking in Las Vegas. Actually, any season is good for drinking in Las Vegas. Between cocktail lounges, dive bars, speakeasies, and brewpubs, the options are endless for good booze. So consider the following list a starting point for the best Sin City best bars you need to know about, including some intriguing newcomers who recently opened their doors. Just remember—times are tight and a lot of bartenders and servers are struggling right now, so don't skimp on the tip. With that in mind, there's just one question left. Where to go first?
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.
F The Bar
No, this bar isn't inspired by vulgarity. The "F" in F The Bar stands for Fergusons Downtown, an old Vegas motel that's now a shopping, art, and event space. It's about time it had a fully realized bar. While the clever cocktails and build-your-own Old Fashioned program are pretty awesome, guests can also appreciate the selection of local beer and low-intervention wines (on display atop the bar counter, making it easy to choose by labels or color). F The Bar is the kind of place where you can bring your laptop during the day or come with your friends at night when the lights dim and the energy picks up. The mint green paint job and faux foliage are welcome retro touches, but if you just want to hang on the lawn, blankets and wine carafes are available to make it easy and comfortable.
How to book: Walk-ins only.
This cocktail lounge (or "cocktail deck") is part of the Wynn's recent bar revamp, which turned Parasol Up into Overlook Lounge and Parasol Down into Bar Parasol. Aft is an all-new creation, perched outdoors on the Lake of Dreams between SW Steakhouse and Lakeside. It follows something of a nautical theme, with drinks named after enviable destinations like Turks & Caicos, Monaco, and Ibiza. The third is a refreshing mix of Kahlua, cold-brew espresso, and Absolut Elyx infused with vanilla. However, the more spirit-forward cocktails complement the sophistication of the environment— like a smoky rum Old Fashioned, rich in tobacco flavors, or a spicy Margarita brightened with pineapple and mango. And if you really want to get fancy, order the Caviar Fries on the side.
How to book: Walk-ins only. Even with a half-dozen large umbrellas providing shade, Aft is a hot place during summer, so pay a visit after the sun goes down.
Misterio Mezcal Bar
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.
If you long for the days of pet rocks, disco, and early Martin Scorsese, you'll appreciate the '70s-theme of Square Bar, a new anchor tenant in Commercial Center's Orleans Square, which itself doesn't feel like it's changed much over the past few decades. Whether in the gaming lounge or the main dining room, the retro charm is in full effect with vintage color schemes and old-school light fixtures. Even the bathrooms are fun, decorated with colorful murals hand-painted by local artists. A photo booth and Ms. Pac Man video consoles are only slightly more contemporary. The cocktails, like the bar itself, are a little offbeat. The Tennessee Banshee almost tastes like a banana milkshake—the kind of thing you'd spike with a shot of whiskey at the roller rink while Peter Frampton plays in the background. However, Square Bar's secret weapon is the 24/7 kitchen, led by executive chef Francisco Alvarez, formerly of Downtown's sorely missed Madero Street Tacos. Want Bacon-Wrapped Spam or a Filet and Lobster at three in the morning? This is your place.
How to book: Square Bar never really closes. Come by for the twice-daily happy hour (3-6 pm and 1-4 am).
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.
Allē Lounge on 66
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 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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Downtown Cocktail Room
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
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.
The Sand Dollar Lounge
There are two ways to experience this lively, locals-friendly concept. The original Sand Dollar Lounge is a Chinatown staple—a legit piece of Vegas history with a legacy of live music that dates back to 1976. The cocktail menu changes with the season, heavy on inventive modifications that taste great with pizzas made in-house with a custom dough by Chris Decker of Metro Pizza. A new version of the concept, Sand Dollar Downtown, recently opened at the Plaza near Fremont Street with a larger music stage, an illuminated side entrance, even more cocktails, and bites from Pop-Up Pizza.
How to book: Walk-ins welcome.
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 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.
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.
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.