Sometimes a good drink tastes better with a little elevation. That's especially true in Las Vegas, where alcohol and atmosphere are everything. The best rooftop bars in town combine great views with great booze, whether you prefer cocktails, beer, wine -- or all of the above. Between lavish nightclubs, neighborhood hangouts, or even an old shipping container, there's plenty of options to choose from. Some of these happen to be the best bars and restaurants in town, period. Read on to discover which ones are calling your name.
Rooftop party upstairs, hidden speakeasy downstairs
Commonwealth is one of those places that seems to equally attract both locals and tourists. The two-story bar is easy to spot, thanks to its dramatic brick exterior, and hard to leave, thanks to free-flowing beer and a rooftop patio with Downtown views in the Fremont East district. Commonwealth is full of neighborhood charm, but has been gradually increasing its reputation as a party spot over the years. The recent addition of a Void Acoustics sound system is helping attract national and international DJs for Nickel Beer Tuesdays (until the keg runs dry) and Club Soda Wednesdays, which is all about classic house. Yet as cool as the rooftop deck is, the best reason to visit Commonwealth is the Laundry Room -- a hidden speakeasy that requires a reservation to enter and serves personalized custom cocktails for intimate parties.
High-energy nightclub offers a break from the action with a rooftop patio
As far as nightclubs go, Omnia has a lot to offer. Most of the attention is reserved for resident headliners like Calvin Harris and the massive high-tech chandelier that hovers above the dance floor. But step outside for a breather and you'll find an expansive rooftop terrace with crazy mid-level views of the Strip. The music is more chill than what you'll hear pumping in the main room -- and at a volume that actually makes a conversation possible. The terrace is usually open from March through October with its own dedicated nights on Thursday and Sunday. The drinks aren't cheap and you'll need a VIP bottle service reservation to guarantee a seat, but the scenery is hard to beat.
More than a hundred beers and perfect Bellagio fountain views
Despite having pool and giant jenga, the real fun at Beer Park comes from the crazy views of the Bellagio fountains directly across the street. The selection of more than a hundred beers is relatively mainstream (understandable, since Beer Park is presented "by Budweiser") but you'll also find a few local and regional craft favorites. If beer's not your thing, stay focused on the cocktails and wine on tap, plus the underrated food by the same team who handles Hexx downstairs. A new weekend brunch mixes funky live music with French toast sticks and a fried chicken, egg, and bacon sandwich billed as the ultimate hangover cure. It's a good excuse to set aside the beer for bottomless mimosas -- at least for a little while.
Former private club near the top of Mandalay Bay with Strip views
Originally an exclusive private club for members only, the Foundation Room sits on the 63rd floor of Mandalay Bay, offering up staggering views of the Strip to the north and airport to the east. In recent years, the venue has expanded its patio areas and opened up a few of the private rooms with balconies added to overlook the main lounge. Executive Chef Corey Miller was brought into to overhaul the food menu, which now follows a tapas format and makes good use of grass-fed, dry-aged beef. Meanwhile the cocktail program takes full advantage of esoteric touches, including sage and herbal infusions. Despite the changes, the Foundation Room has resisted the urge to go modern and stays true to its seductive, romantic atmosphere and subtle Asian decor. The action shifts into nightclub-mode around 10pm with a DJ seven nights a week.
Used cargo shipping container has a bar inside
Yeah, we know the Downtown Container Park is a tourist trap, but it's got an incredible bar. Just like every other vendor on property, Oak & Ivy was designed from an old shipping container. That leaves limited space inside, but if the patio is full, just head upstairs where seating is available on top. The bar is known for a killer whiskey selection, barrel-aged cocktails, and nine different takes on a Moscow Mule, all prepared with housemade ginger beer.
Crazy views, lounge-vibe, and craft cocktails 64 floors above the Strip
With clear, unobstructed views of the Strip from the 64th floor of the Delano resort, Skyfall Lounge could get by on atmosphere alone. Yet the bartenders reign over a strong, elevated cocktail program with a drink menu that changes frequently with the season. Reservations are suggested to score a table, but the lounge is large enough in soak in the views with little crowd interference -- especially on the open-air patio. It's almost shocking this place doesn't charge admission. Here's a tip for Delano hotel guests -- stop by with your room key between 7:30-8:30pm and receive a free glass of champagne.
Downtown's favorite restaurant has an open-air option
Carson Kitchen is so popular, it can be pretty tough to get a table without reservation. To add extra room, the restaurant took over the space next store, built a new bar, and added some tables. If that's not enough, even more seating can be found upstairs on the rooftop patio -- at least when the weather allows it. Carson Kitchen carries on the vision of founder Kerry Simon and remains in good hands with the celebrity chef's brother Scott Simon in charge of the kitchen team. Ask about the crispy chicken skins, bacon jam, and butter burger -- all staples that have remained on the ever-changing menu since day one.
Multi-level bar, lounge, and nightclub is a rooftop party on Fremont Street
Inspire brings a taste of Strip-style nightlife to a multi-level venue on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Fremont Street. Most of the energy is on the third-floor rooftop deck with a rotating lineup of local DJs. Offering ladies an open bar from 10pm to midnight on both Wednesdays and Thursdays appears to be an effective strategy to attract eye candy, keep the dance floor full, and make everyone jealous who happens to be looking up from the sidewalk below. The second floor has a wraparound terrace, hookah service, and tends to stick with Latin dance music.
Dance party dominating the entire Cromwell rooftop
If there's one place that defines "rooftop party" in Las Vegas, it's Drai's. The nightclub and beach club combo occupies the entire top level of the Cromwell resort with sweeping Vegas views from 11 stories above the Strip. The music is heavy on rap and R&B headliners alternating between an indoor stage at night and poolside party by day. Even without the views, the outdoor deck is a photogenic sight all by itself, with towering palm trees, plush cabanas, and multiple swimming pools.
Steakhouse and nightclub with spacious two-level patio
VooDoo Steak is a classic Vegas steakhouse on the 50th floor of the Rio hotel. Place an order, pick up your drink, and step outside to a surprisingly spacious outdoor patio for an incredible panoramic view of the Strip and near-360-degree sightlines of the entire valley. VooDoo Nightclub & Lounge is just one level up (and free for those coming from the restaurant). It's known for flair bartenders and the Witch Doctor -- a rum cocktail served with dry ice in a fishbowl. Share that one with a couple friends.
Casual dining and a strong beer selection
The west valley's best bet for rooftop drinks and dining is Public School 702, which has a long patio overlooking the water features, restaurants, and shops of Downtown Summerlin. The place follows a schoolhouse theme, with a solar system mobile hanging from the ceiling and menus that look like notebooks. However, there's a very adult focus on beer -- by bottle, can, or draft. Public School recently introduced metal straws -- on sale to help environmental causes -- which could be a good lesson for a student of any age.
Shiny new lounge with Strip views from the 55th floor of the Palms
Apex Social Club is among the wave of changes brought on by the $690 million renovation of the Palms resort. Formerly known as Ghostbar, the stylish lounge features lifesize human sculptures by Damien Hirst and sweeping panoramic views of the Strip from the 55th floor of the Ivory Tower. The open-air patio is dominated by VIP tables and bottle service. The check will add up, but you couldn't ask for a better backdrop for lounging to atmospheric beats by local DJs.
Indian restaurant with a rooftop deck for drinks, tapas, and hookah
An Indian restaurant with a rooftop deck? Sure, why not? The upstairs patio at Turmeric is designed to be a versatile space that shifts between sunset dining, hookah smoking, and even a nightclub after 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Views include the classic marquees of Fremont Street and the Downtown Container Park across the street. The upstairs tapas menu serves approachable twists on Indian cuisine, including shrimp masala tacos and tandoori-roasted chicken wings. Wash it down with the house Gin & Tonic on draft. It's made with tonic water, brewed from scratch with saffron, curry leaf and turmeric (which makes sense, since in addition to Turmeric, the owners also operate restaurants named Saffron and Curry Leaf).
Second-floor nightclub has a French theme and colorful Strip views
There's a nightclub for everyone in Vegas. Instead of focusing on big-name DJs, Chateau is all about atmosphere. Take an elevator to the second level where the rooftop patio sits directly underneath the Paris resort's half-size replica of the Eiffel Tower. Look beyond the string lights, and soak in the glow of Las Vegas Boulevard with the Bellagio fountains across the street.
Intimate party spot with a terrace in the heart of the Fremont Street Experience
This intimate upstairs lounge is the closest thing to a nightclub on the Fremont Street Experience. Located on the second floor of the Golden Nugget, it has a comfortable outdoor terrace that sits under the overhead Viva Vision digital canopy and overlooks the tourists below. With Vegas Vic puffing on a cigarette just a few feet away, patrons can grab a drink and some fresh air before returning indoors, where DJs perform in front of a video wall. Ladies can enjoy an open bar of vodka drinks on Wednesdays 9-10pm.
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