Food & Drink

The Most Essential Outdoor Drinking Spots in Las Vegas

You could use some fresh air right now. And a drink.

During these crazy times, it’s a lot safer for us to be spread out in the fresh air. As the weather begins to cool down from the peak of summer, Las Vegas outdoor bars are in high demand. Nevada regulations are still sorting themselves out and some of our favorite rooftop spots -- like Commonwealth, Inspire, and Skyfall Lounge -- remain closed. However, many al fresco courtyards, patios, and lounges are staying open by enforcing safety guidelines, not allowing direct ordering from the bar, and providing food on the menu. With that in mind, check out the best bars for enjoying a drink outside in Las Vegas.

Beer Park
Beer Park/Anthony Mair

Beer Park

Paris Las Vegas
Games like pool and giant Jenga may be on hold for now, but the real fun at Beer Park comes from the crazy views of the Bellagio fountains directly across the street. The selection of more than 100 beers is relatively mainstream, 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.

 Foundation Room
Foundation Room

Foundation Room

Mandalay Bay
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. The food menu follows a tapas format, making good use of grass-fed, dry-aged beef. Meanwhile, the cocktail program takes full advantage of esoteric touches, including sage and herbal infusions. Despite a few changes over the years, the Foundation Room has resisted the urge to go modern and stays true to its seductive, romantic atmosphere. The lounge and dining room are currently open Wednesday through Sunday.

Carson Kitchen
Carson Kitchen

Carson Kitchen

Downtown
Carson Kitchen is so popular, it’s often tough to get a table without a 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 is 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 -- or returning summer favorites like the everything bagel flatbread with salmon or pork tenderloin with peach chutney.

Public School
Public School

Public School 702

Summerlin
One of the best bets in the West Valley 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 also has its own metal straws -- on sale to help environmental causes -- which could be a good lesson for a student of any age. Fair warning: You won’t be able to stop popping tater tots.

Spritz
Spritz

Spritz

Venetian
One of the best things about lounging by the pool at the Venetian’s recently renovated rooftop deck is the addition of Spritz. The cafe has a great view of the new infinity pools and features food by the same team behind Chica and Yardbird (which could help explain why the chicken wings are so good). Go healthy with fresh fruit juice blends and an egg-white frittata or relish in indulgence with coconut whipped-cream pancakes and a sangria tower with enough booze on tap for the entire table.

 Kona Grill Boca Park
Kona Grill Boca Park

Kona Grill

Summerlin
Yeah, it’s a nationwide chain, but Kona Grill endeared itself to Summerlin locals long ago. The big difference is the second level bar and partially covered terrace with a view that looks over the Boca Park shopping complex and east toward the Strip. Between that and the ground floor patio, there’s rarely a shortage of outdoor seating. Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 2-6pm, Monday through Saturday from 9pm-close, and all day Sunday -- giving you plenty of time for $3 sake shots, $6 wines, $9 Old Fashioneds, and $11 Casamigo margaritas.

Pkwy Tavern Henderson
Pkwy Tavern Henderson

PKWY Tavern

Multiple locations
All four PKWY Tavern locations are open -- two in Henderson, one in the southwest, and another at Tivoli Village. Each has an outdoor patio with a backyard clubhouse feel. Choose from a massive selection of more than 250 beers -- and if you prefer them to-go, order a growler or a mix-and-match six pack. Happy hour runs from 4-7pm during the week (and midnight-3am weekends) with $3 domestic drafts, wine, and house cocktails, plus half-off pizzas and appetizers.   

El Dorado Cantina

Tivoli Village
Big things are happening at El Dorado Cantina. The focus on organic Mexican food is still firmly in place, but the location at Tivoli Village is ready to up its game as a thriving social spot. Ownership recently took over the former Hamptons space next door with plans to reopen as The Lounge with a private balcony view of the courtyard in between. Expect stiff cocktails and a tapas menu by a yet-to-be-announced executive chef with a Strip fine dining background. El Dorado also has a smaller patio in front of the restaurant. Stop by on Tuesdays for one of the best happy hours in Vegas: $7 shots of Don Julio 1942 all day long. Meanwhile, the original El Dorado Cantina is back open near the Strip, sharing a building with Sapphire Gentlemen’s Club, which remains closed.

Distill Summerlin
Distill Summerlin

Distill

Summerlin
Distill is a local chain of taverns all over Vegas, but there’s something special about the one in Summerlin. Chalk it up to the spacious outdoor patio, where heat lamps and fire pits warm things up during winter and misters cool things down during summer. Check out the mountain views while wolfing down the decadent Pot Roast Egg Rolls or the spicy Nashville Hot sliders.  

Located across the street from the Red Rock Resort, the bar is open 24 hours, making it a popular late-night meeting place long after the sun goes down.

Topgolf Las Vegas
Topgolf Las Vegas

Topgolf

Off the Strip
Although the main bar remains closed on the top floor of the three-level Topgolf, you can still grab a table to order food and drinks while soaking in the awesome Strip views. Wash down boneless chicken wings and donut holes (with injectable sauces) with beer buckets, sangria, or a powerful Topgolf Tea (a play on a traditional Long Island Iced Tea). As always, you can drive golf balls from bays on three different levels -- with new dividers between them. Unfortunately, the pool is closed for now.

Hop Nuts Brewing
Hop Nuts Brewing | Rob Kachelriess

Hop Nuts Brewing

Downtown and Tivoli Village
After establishing itself as an Arts District favorite, Hop Nuts Brewing now has an additional taproom at Tivoli Village, making it easier to share its beers with the Summerlin crowd. Currently open Wednesday through Sunday, both locations have plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, even if you’re no longer allowed to pull up by the bar. There’s always 15 Hop Nuts beers on draft in 6, 12, and 18-ounce pours. (The six-ouncers are as low as $2, making it easy to customize your own flight.) A 16th tap is dedicated to a guest brewer. As the name suggests, hoppy recipes are the specialty, so ask about the latest Double IPA on tap.

Downtown Terrace
Downtown Terrace

Downtown Terrace

Downtown
While the sorely missed Oak & Ivy remains closed at the Downtown Container Park, you can still get your rooftop cocktail fix at Downtown Terrace. A new drink menu just debuted with the smoky and spicy Jal-Up Your Mezcal being the top choice. Happy hour runs Monday through Friday (4-7pm) with half-off drafts, wine, and specialty cocktails, along with $5 steak nachos, chicken tinga fries, bruschetta, or monkey bread. Bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys are all day, every day for $16. 

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Rob Kachelriess has been writing about Las Vegas in Thrillist for more than six years. His work has also appeared in Travel + Leisure, Trivago Magazine, Sophisticated Living, Modern Luxury, Leafly, Las Vegas Magazine, and other publications. He can handle the Vegas sun with a drink in hand. Follow him on Twitter @rkachelriess.