The Best Cocktail Bars in Las Vegas
Skip the booze slushies in favor of these top-notch cocktail programs.
Drinking is a way of life in Las Vegas, but sometimes you need more than cranberry vodkas, bottle service, and boozy slushies. While the party scene is based on flash, convenience, and high price tags, the best Sin City cocktail bars serve well-crafted drinks with quality spirits and expertise in stylish environments. Whether you want a classic like a Manhattan, Negroni, or Dry Martini…or something new and unique, Las Vegas is loaded with great lounges to serve you an awesome drink. So pull a seat up to the bar when visiting the following top picks.
The Laundry Room
Commonwealth is a great bar in its own right, but if you really want to take your cocktails up to next-level status, pay a visit to the Laundry Room, an intimate speakeasy that usually requires a text or online reservation to get in. The place was once an actual facility for a nearby hotel, but now has a throwback Prohibition-style vibe with vintage furniture and decor. There are a few drinks listed on the menu, but it's best to let the bartenders take their time and stir up a custom cocktail based on your mood, preferences, and personality. The more offbeat, the better.
The adventurous spirit of Superfrico carries over to the Ski Lodge, the restaurant's semi-secret side lounge with an après-ski theme and image. The wall of toy penguins and digital screens of snowy landscapes are a fun touch, but you're really here for the cocktails, which are exceptionally weird and creative. No classics. Half the menu falls under an "Izakaya" category (since Japan has skiing… right?) with a focus on Asian spirits and flavor profiles. Inventive touches include a green tea syrup infused with Greek yogurt in the Sakura Maru and demerara house-washed with almonds in the Yakuza. If you get hungry, order one of four different personal pizzas; thick and square with crispy cheese along the edges.
Henderson has plenty of slot parlors, but a short supply of cocktail lounges. That's changed with the recent opening of Gambit, which is actually three concepts in four different rooms. The Bank is the signature cocktail lounge with loaded fries, ahi tartare, and other small bites. Meanwhile, Gatsby's Supper Club serves dinner with live music five nights a week. There's also the Venom Room for VIP members and private parties–plus a speakeasy for agave spirits in the works. For now, ask for It Had To Be You, which mixes tequila with fresh juices and ginger beer.
Màs Por Favor Taqueria y Tequila
Mas Por Favor is "businesses in the front" (a taco shop with nachos, burritos and other south-of-the-border bites) and "party in the back" (a speakeasy and lounge with an emphasis on tequila and mezcal). The two are separated by a "tunnel" to represent crossing the border. The bar could get by on atmosphere alone, but the cocktails are exceptional, especially the margaritas (made from on-tap Casamigos) and Sweet Melons Dude, which mizes mezcal with honeydew melon juice. Specialty cocktails and tacos are half-off on Mondays, beginning at 8pm for Ladies Night.
Here's the truth about booze in Las Vegas: Everything tastes better with a little altitude. The Legacy Club sits on the 60th floor of the Circa resort–a rare perch where you can have sweeping views of both the Strip and Downtown. Choose between an outdoor patio with fire pits or an indoor lounge with large floor-to-ceiling windows. Either way, you can still enjoy a menu of expertly curated craft cocktails. Start the evening off nice and easy with the signature Legacy Club cocktail, which adds a touch of prickly pear to Absolut Elyx.
The Shag Room
The Shag Room is an intimate, secluded cocktail lounge (hidden behind the neighboring Bar at Common Club) on the Virgin Hotels casino floor. It's geared toward reservations, although it's relatively easy to grab a seat early in the evening. The lounge feels like an old-school private club with thick carpeting and VIP tables inside Moroccan-style tents. Large parties may prefer bottle service, but The Chai is a nice smooth cocktail, mixing tequila with cardamom and masala tea. To keep things fun and playful, the Shag Room also has an Upside Down Tea Party 12–3 pm on Sundays. Guests can enjoy a teapot of a specialty cocktail (served cold, don't be surprised) and a tiered tray of sweet and savory bites—all for $40 per person.
Eight Cigar Lounge
For at least two years now, we've been more concerned about where we exhale instead of how we exhale, so it's somewhat reassuring to see a new cigar lounge on the Strip. It's one of the latest additions to Resorts World, where it feels like there's something new every week. But Eight is a stylish, seductive hangout, whether sampling a stogie or checking out the equally impressive cocktail and spirits selection—best enjoyed on the outdoor patio facing the Strip. Choose from one of five Old Fashioneds, including a mezcal variation and another using smoked Macallan 12. The Boulevardier is aged for 30 days in charred oak, easing the bitterness while enhancing the flavor. The interior includes private rooms for large groups to hang out and watch TV and private lockers for celebrities and VIPs to store cigar collections.
Petrossian Bar & Lounge
Petrossian Bar is the first place to go when you need a quick escape from the chaos of the Bellagio check-in lobby. The refined, upscale lounge enjoyed a long-awaited renovation last year and is better than ever with strong cocktails, caviar (because caviar is everywhere these days) and other small bites to go along with a luxe atmosphere and live piano music. Try the best of both worlds with "Poof!"—a libation of rye, brandy, and sweet vermouth, served next to duck confit croquettes in the same smoky glass presentation. Afternoon tea service is available on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Dorsey is an upscale lounge decked out in oak, brass, leather, and marble with long, comfortable couches and a "library" in the back with a fireplace. The concept was launched by famed New York mixologist Sam Ross, whose signature creation, the Penicillin (a smoky libation with Scotch and a bite of ginger) is on the menu. Overall, the drinks are crafted with imaginative recipes, although a few classics (a Mojito and Paper Plane) come in sizes large enough to share. A selection of elevated shots are a nice touch too. The Dorsey is one of three bars in the Venetian Cocktail Collective, which also includes Rosina (which is all about classics) and the more modern Electra.
Formerly known as Parasol Up, Overlook Lounge carries a noticeable sense of seclusion and privacy for a hotel lobby bar, surrounded by heavy drapes that keep the chaos of the casino at bay. The tone is further set by vintage furniture, light fixtures, and artwork, but the cocktails are the real draw. Much of the recipes are about the aroma as much as the taste. Five different Spritz variations are topped off with perfume-like scents inspired by exotic destinations like Morocco and Milan. Other enhancements, like the sparkling dust and dragon fruit garnish on the Cleo (pink margarita), are more visual. The Harlow is bright and engaging with house-made rose syrup and strawberry rhubarb flavors. Chipotle-seasoned cashews are on standby if you get hungry.
The Golden Tiki is proof you can have an over-the-top kitschy tiki bar with an inspired craft cocktail menu. In traditional tiki fashion, most of the signature drinks are loaded with tropical flavors and skulls on the menu to notate the strength level of the booze. However, feel free to quiz your bartender on putting together a custom creation. The decorations include animatronic parrots, an oversized conch shell, and a collection of "shrunken heads" that resemble local celebrities. If you prefer a more traditional dark-and-moody dive bar version of the concept, try Frankie's Tiki Room in Downtown.
The Underground at Mob Museum
The Mob Museum is dedicated to the history and influence of organized crime in the United States with an emphasis on the old days of mafia-run Las Vegas. And no history of the mob is complete without a deep dive into Prohibition, so it only makes sense to have an old-school speakeasy in the basement. The Underground at the Mob Museum is a full-service cocktail bar that also doubles as a bootlegger exhibit and even has its own distillery where moonshine is made. Try the versions with ginger and cinnamon. The menu of Prohibition-era craft cocktails are true to form and often come with fun presentations (like the Underground Old Fashioned flask served inside a hollowed-out book).
NoMad Las Vegas
The NoMad Library may be one of the most romantic restaurants in Las Vegas right now, but don't overlook the NoMad Bar across the hallway in this hotel-within-a-hotel at the Park MGM. It's a sophisticated spot with classic New York City style, live piano music, and an elevated take on bar food with a dry-aged beef burger, black truffle chicken pot pie, and an overloaded hot fudge sundae. Meanwhile, the cocktail list offers fresh takes on old favorites (like a coffee and chocolate Manhattan or an Old Fashioned with tropical Tiki touches). The NoMad Bar is also bringing back its weekend brunch in time for spring, giving you a fresh chance to wash down your short rib hash or lobster benedict with a "cocktail explosion" large enough for up to eight people to share or bottomless bubbles with fresh-pressed juices.
If you're looking to impress a date over drinks, it's hard to beat this place. SkyBar sits on the 23rd floor of the Waldorf Astoria, sporting neon-soaked views of the Strip through floor-to-ceiling windows. The cocktail menu also pays homage to Las Vegas culture and history, ranging from Block 16 (a fruity mix of vodka and vanilla syrup named after our city's old red-light district) to the Golden Knight (honoring our favorite hockey team with ginger liqueur, aperol, and Japanese whiskey–'cause why not?). If you're looking to stay up late, SkyBar has "sippers" (an Old Fashioned, Julep, or Martini) caffeinated with espresso.
The Sand Dollar Lounge
The legendary blues bar is known for live music seven days a week, but has gained growing attention in recent years for a top-notch cocktail program. It also outdoes almost everybody else with seasonal pop-ups during Halloween and Christmas. No matter when you visit, cocktails on the regular menu are just $12 each, divided between modified classics and inventive recipes with turmeric, beet juice, Earl Gray tea, and other weird stuff working its way into the mix. A shot-and-a-beer is $11 and the in-house pizza counter serves pies that go far beyond dive bar status. A second version, the Sand Dollar Downtown, is set to open soon at the Plaza hotel.
Oak & Ivy
Located inside a renovated shipping container, Oak & Ivy is just large enough for the bar itself and a few stools, but there are plenty of seats out on the patio and upstairs on the rooftop deck. This place has a boss whiskey selection that's perfect for drinks like the Apple Harvest (which tastes like dessert) or the Whiskey Smash, made with Buffalo Trace bourbon and fruit-infused water that changes with the season. Oak & Ivy also offers a choice of nine different mules on the menu, all made with house-made ginger beer.
Herbs & Rye
Extremely popular with the service industry crowd, Herbs & Rye truly stands out from the pack with a team that's mastered the art of handcrafting a drink. There are 45 cocktails on the menu, representing different eras through history, but the bartenders welcome challenging requests and have 500 spirits on hand to play with, including some that are extremely hard to find. There's a personal touch here, too: the belief mixology isn't only about the drink, but also how a bartender mixes with his customer. The happy hour is the best in Vegas (with half-off steaks to go with deals on drinks). Sister restaurant Cleaver is one of the best steakhouses in Vegas and has a similar, but smaller cocktail menu.
The most visually impressive lobby bar on the Strip passes through three levels at the Cosmopolitan with a curtain of lights and crystals dangling around it. Things are busiest on the ground floor, where trade show attendees linger and play video poker at the bar. The middle level is more secluded and ideal for a date while the top floor goes for an easy lounge vibe. Inspiration from Alice in Wonderland is seen in some of the decor and a few of the drinks, including We're All Mad Here (made with purple Empress gin) and Queen of Hearts (a fruity mix of vodka and cream). However, the best known cocktail at The Chandelier (or "Chandelier Bar" as locals tend to call it) is actually the off-menu "secret" Verbena, similar to a ginger-infused margarita but with an edible flower that alters the taste.
Downtown Cocktail Room
Part of the Fremont Street bar scene long before the area's recent resurgence, the Downtown Cocktail Room often enjoys "best-kept secret'' status, thanks in part to a trick door that's hard to open on the first try. The team of mixologists here are more like mad scientists, coming up with a rotating list of 10 drinks that change with each season. A few classic drinks stay on the menu year-round, and the deep selection of absinthe is served in two-ounce pours. Be sure to check them out during "Halfy Hour,” when everything is half-off. For a more intimate experience (read: the bar is very small and the crowd very local), seek out the even-more-secret Mike Morey's Sip 'N Tip, located in the back of the bar.
Opened by a pair of sisters who were inspired by the arts scene in places like Portland, San Diego, and Tokyo, Velveteen Rabbit offers a constantly rotating menu of cocktails based on seasonal ingredients. The bar takes its spot in the arts district seriously: it's decorated with stylish, Victorian-inspired furniture, guest musicians play frequently on the back patio, and local artists are featured on the small booklets that replaced the old wood board menus. Cordials, liqueurs, and bitters are made in-house.