Food & Drink

The Best Dive Bars in Las Vegas

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

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.