Food & Drink

The Best Dive Bars in Las Vegas

Published On 01/26/2016 Published On 01/26/2016
Dive Bar | Rob Kachelriess (Edited)

Vegas is the perfect place to blow your money on strippers, bottle service, and blackjack. But if you want to leave the tuxedo at home, save a few bucks, and mingle with the locals, you’ll want to check out the best dive bars that Sin City has to offer.

Rob Kachelriess/Thrillist

Hard Hat Lounge

Off the Strip

If you’re driving around on Industrial Rd, you’re either looking for a strip club or the Hard Hat Lounge. It’s been around since the '50s but is now run by the former owners of the Bunkhouse Saloon. They’re drawing a loyal crowd with everything you can think of... including open-mic comedy, a Hawaiian night every other week, and food from the “Smokillicious” BBQ counter. There’s also a ton of bands who sometimes get to play in the parking lot on a stage that folds out from a modified black school bus. It doesn’t get much cooler than that.

Rob Kachelriess/Thrillist

Huntridge Tavern

Downtown

The Huntridge attracts a diverse crowd that somehow merges together into one, from young men and women getting off work to old timers having a drink while waiting for their prescriptions at the pharmacy next door. It’s been open 24/7 since the early '60s and has only closed for one day since then due to some minor construction. The bar probably sells more Hamm’s beer than anyone else in Vegas, offering them for $1.50 each and going through an average of 40 cases a week.  

Rob Kachelriess/Thrillist

The Dive Bar

Off the Strip

Kind of like In-N-Out Burger, Dive Bar has a name that says exactly what it is, without any pretense. It does, however, have a very interesting history. It used to be part of a pizza joint run by mobsters who needed to launder money (and later inspired the movie Casino). These days, Dive Bar is best known for serving tallboy PBRs and hosting all sorts of local and national bands, featuring everything from punk to country. Also, all money collected at the door goes to the musicians. And a quick heads-up, don’t ask if the Elvis lamp is for sale. It’s not.

Dino’s Lounge

Dino’s Lounge

Downtown

Besides marking the virtual border between the Strip and Downtown, Dino’s has the long-earned reputation as the go-to spot for karaoke in Las Vegas. Try to ignore the old-school black and white porn that plays on the video monitors and please pick out something a little more creative than “Don’t Stop Believin’” as your song of choice.

Rusty Spur Saloon

Rusty Spur Saloon

Southwest Valley

Just off Dean Martin Drive near the Silverton casino, you find this tiny drinking spot in front of the Highland Inn motel. It’s so small, it has to share real estate with the office and check-in counter. If you still have trouble finding it... look for the silver unicorn statue with the Pabst Blue Ribbon logo on its rear. It's the perfect spot if all you want to do is drink and escape from the neon glow of Vegas.

Double Down Saloon

Double Down Saloon

East of the Strip

The artwork painted on the walls definitely draws in a more alternative crowd... or maybe it's their signature bacon martini. Either way, it's also home to something called “Ass Juice”... made from a mysterious collection of liquors that may or may not include a knockoff of Jägermeister. Basically, this place is either for you, or not.   

Hogs & Heifers

Hogs & Heifers

Downtown

This place has a strict “no ties” policy, which means the biker dude checking IDs at the door will make sure you don’t step one foot inside if you look like you came straight from the office. You also might want to lose the loafers and pleated chinos.  

Rob Kachelriess/Thrillist

Dispensary Lounge

East of the Strip

It may look like a furnished living room, but that’s part of the charm. The cozy spot has been around since the '70s but only began featuring jazz acts in recent years -- attracting some of the best musicians in Vegas. Greats like Wynton Marsalis are even known to show up on random nights. And despite the name, the places doesn’t have anything to do with marijuana (as far as we know).

Beauty Bar

Beauty Bar

Downtown

In addition to seats that actually come with old-school hair dryers, Beauty Bar also has an outdoor stage where you can sip on your drink and check out a few bands. It's a great spot to catch acts on the way up. Imagine Dragons used to play here before their album went top-ten and you got sick of hearing Radioactive all the time.

Rob Kachelriess/Thrillist

Stage Door

Off the Strip

This place used to be so proud of its valuable real estate, it would display the number of years left on its lease on the sign out front. Nowadays, it’s virtually connected to The LINQ and steps away from Bally’s and The Cromwell. It’s the quickest way to escape the glitz of the Strip and even has a convenience store attached to it. Perfect for those who prefer their booze to go.

Atomic Liquors

Atomic Liquors

Downtown

It's the oldest freestanding bar in Las Vegas, and they first opened as a restaurant in 1945, but was renamed Atomic Liquors when the cocktails became popular for those watching the nuclear blasts from the nearby Atomic Test Site. The Rat Pack hangout (it's true!) has been restored over the years and features a vintage sign that’s still in use -- and won’t be collecting dust at the Neon Boneyard anytime soon.

Flickr/Ryan Ng

Four Kegs

West Valley

This joint takes its role as a top sports bar seriously by sponsoring a handful of local soccer and softball teams. It’s also a great place to watch a game while enjoying some of the best bar food around, including a Sicilian-style pizza and the infamous stromboli, once featured on the Food Network.

Rob Kachelriess/Thrillist

Champagne’s Cafe

East of the Strip

Champagne's is better known for beer and raucous karaoke than champagne, but it’s also one of the best places to throw a birthday party. Book a booth in advance and they’ll decorate it for you and bring out some cupcakes and a shot -- on the house.

Moon Doggie’s Bar & Grill

Moon Doggie’s Bar & Grill

West Valley

This bar is loyal to the Buffalo Bills but is the perfect place to watch any NFL game while chugging down plenty of beer and grabbing a slice from the adjacent Naked City Pizza. Go ahead and try the notorious Guinea’s Pie -- a white-topped pizza that skips the red sauce and goes heavy on the meatballs, spinach, and ricotta. Carbo-load on the mega-spicy Suicide Fries while you’re at it.

Flickr/soupstance

Frankie’s Tiki Room

Off the Strip

One of the most iconic watering holes in Las Vegas has an earned reputation for cheap drinks, low lighting, and tropical island dĂ©cor that includes wood carvings, palm trees, and kitschy artwork covering the walls. It’s a throwback to a design that was once a staple at the classic casinos on the Strip. Whatever your first drink is... make sure it’s made with rum.  

Sign up here for our daily Vegas email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.

Rob Kachelriess is switching from coffee to Hamm's beer when he writes articles from now on. Follow him on Twitter @rkachelriess.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Hard Hat Lounge 1675 Industrial Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89102 (Off Strip)

While Industrial Road is known mostly for its strip clubs, Hard Hat Lounge has all the makings of a great dive bar, sans dancing girls. Plus they offer bonuses like open-mic comedy, a Hawaiian night every other week, and food from the “Smokillicious” BBQ counter.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Huntridge Tavern 1122 E Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89104 (Downtown)

Situated in that special part of downtown that's nowhere near the touristy Fremont Street Experience, this iconic dive bar has been open 24/7 since the early 1960s, offerings its loyal fans Hamm beer for $1.50, specialty shots, and decent bar food. Fans flock to this longtime favorite for the prices that verge on free, the friendly staff who ensure your glass is never empty, and the unpretentious crowd -- from young professionals getting off work to old timers having a drink while waiting for their prescriptions at the pharmacy next door.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. The Dive Bar 4110 S Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89119 (Off Strip)

Not only does The Dive Bar serve up tallboy PBR's in a no-frills setting, but it also served as inspiration for the movie Casino, as it used to be part of a pizza joint run by mobsters who needed to launder money. Today, all the money collected at the door goes to the bands the bar brought in to play.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. Dino's Lounge 1516 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89104

Dino’s has been known as the go-to karaoke spot in Vegas for some time now. It's located right off the Strip and Downtown.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. Rusty Spur 8025 Dean Martin, Clark County, NV

If you're looking to escape the Las Vegas chaos, The Rusty Spur is the perfect spot to do so. It's a pretty small spot and can be hard to find, so just look for the giant silver horse with the PBR logo on its ass and you've got it. The friendly, neighborhood vibe will make you feel right at home even if you area an out-of-towner.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. 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.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. Hogs & Heifers 201 N 3rd St, Las Vegas, NV 89101 (Downtown)

At Hogs & Heifers there's a strict "not tie" policy, which means this isn't a place for your net happy hour with co-workers. The biker dudes checking IDs at the door will enforce this too.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. Dispensary Lounge 2451 E Tropicana Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89121 (Off Strip)

This cozy spot has been around since the 1970s, but only started featuring jazz recently. Some of the best musicians in Vegas like Wynton Marsalis are known to show up on random nights.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Beauty Bar 517 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101 (Downtown)

With its old-school hair-drying chairs and an ultimate 'Beauty School Dropout' vibe, Beauty Bar looks and sounds like it might be an actual beauty parlor from the 1950s or '60s (you can actually get your nails done here in the daytime). However, a peek inside will reveal its true self — an alternative concert venue and bar with up-and-coming rock, indie and hip-hop acts who perform on the elevated stage in the backyard.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. Stage Door 4000 Audrie St, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Off Strip)

This place is connected to The LINQ and just steps away from Bally’s and the brand new Cromwell. It's perfect to escape the glitz of the Strip and even has a convenience store attached to it. Perfect for those who prefer their booze to go.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
11. Atomic Liquors 917 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101 (Downtown)

If you're looking to escape Vegas' glitzy, dramatic theatrics, Atomic Liquors is just what you need. Opened in 1945 as a Rat Pack hangout, this restored Downtown dive is the oldest freestanding bar in the city. Let its massive (and original) neon signage guide you indoors to its unpretentiously vintage interior with brown leather seating and antique decorations adorning the bare brick walls. The fast and friendly staff can concoct any cocktail you can dream up, or pull a draft beer from their handful of local crafts.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. Four Kegs Sports Pub 276 N Jones Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89107

This sports bar sponsors some local soccer and softball teams. It's the perfect place to casually watch the game with friends.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
13. Champagne’s Cafe 3557 S Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89169 (Off Strip)

Oddly enough, this place is better known for beer and karaoke than Champagne… it’s also one of the best places to throw a birthday party. Book a booth in advance and they’ll decorate it for you and bring out some cupcakes and a shot -- on the house!

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
14. Moon Doggies Bar & Grill 4300 W Desert Inn Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89102

This place is perfect for watching any NFL game while chugging down plenty of beer and pizza. The best bet could be the Guinea’s Pie -- a white-topped pizza that goes heavy on the meatball, spinach, and ricotta.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
15. 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.

Clickbait