Food & Drink

Your Complete Guide to Celebrating New Year's Eve in Las Vegas

vegas nye
Hakkasan/Joe Torrance

In a town buried in hyperbole, it's safe to say that New Year's Eve is the busiest time of the year in Las Vegas -- at least when it comes to partying. It's a night where the Bellagio alone will serve more than 900 bottles of Champagne at the stroke of midnight. There's a lot going on and you need to plan in advance -- to party right and not blow it. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with all the best options for how to ring in the new year in LV.

Las Vegas Monorail
Las Vegas Monorail

If you want to get wild on the Strip...

Las Vegas Blvd will be shut down to traffic from Russell to Sahara -- which means the Strip will be overloaded with pedestrians watching the fireworks shoot from the rooftops of seven casinos. If you plan to drive (and you probably shouldn't), you'll have to take the side streets and arrive early to score a parking space at one of the casinos. Keep in mind, MGM Resorts properties will now be charging locals for parking as part of its new policy. Uber and Lyft are good alternatives although the flexible pricing rates will be through the roof. The RTC on the other hand will be offering free rides for the new year (yes, free) 6pm-9am so check the holiday routes.

Treasure Island
Treasure Island

If you want to see the fireworks...

If you're anywhere on or near the Strip, it will be hard to miss the show as the fireworks go off at midnight. But some places have better views than others.

Avoid the madness of the Strip by heading to the Palms where Ghostbar will offer a view of the action from its outdoor patio on the 55th floor. General admission is $100 and a hosted bar is $200 10pm-1am. The Hard Rock Cafe Las Vegas Strip is a good alternative with open bar, food stations, and Champagne toast for $175. Then there’s the The Skyfall Lounge at Delano, which offers an impressive view of all the action from the south end of the Strip at 64 stories high. General admission is $195 in advance and a few grand if you want to reserve tables on the patio. The highest view, however is at the 1,149ft tall Stratosphere. There are a few different options available but the "Party in the Stars" is a pretty good value -- including three hour open bar, martini luge, food stations, and after-party -- on the observation deck for $250.

Even if you stay on the ground, you'll get a good show and an awesome party. New York-New York will host a Bridge Bash in the shadow of its replica Brooklyn Bridge with DJs, an open bar 8pm-midnight, and a spot on the Strip all to yourself for $135... Gilley's at Treasure Island will throw a party ($119.95) with an open bar 9pm-midnight and $5 mechanical bull rides. Order some barbecue while you're at it.

For the first time ever, the Las Vegas Monorail will turn one of its stations into a New Year's Eve party. The Third Rail Lounge will open in front of the Convention Center 8pm-1am. For $175 per person (or $300 per couple) you'll get unlimited food and drink with an elevated view from floor-to-ceiling windows. Even better, the price of admission includes free rides on the monorail all night.  

Trevi
Trevi

If you want an awesome dinner...

Before midnight rolls around, you need to eat -- you know, to absorb all that alcohol in your system. Pretty much every big restaurant on the Strip will have some sort of special menu and special dishes to celebrate the holiday.

The Palm Restaurant at the Forum Shops is serving a three-course dinner featuring a sharable Surf 'n' Turf for two, including a 4lb Nova Scotia lobster and choice of New York Strip or filet, for $220 per couple. SW Steakhouse at the Wynn is specializing in indulgence for NYE with a five-course prix-fixe meal for $450 per person. Options include caviar, Alaskan king crab and Snake River Farms ribeye with braised beef and foie gras tart. The Louis XIII Golden Box for dessert is described as a "sumptuous chocolate surprise" that we're pretty sure has something to do with cognac.

Sugarcane has a few special creations inside the Venetian like a Land & Sea Open Wood Fire plate for $225 that features A5 Kagoshima wagyu strip loin, black winter truffles, Australian rock lobster, and artichoke hearts. Katsuya at the SLS is serving a five-course meal, featuring a chef's choice of sashimi, grilled King crab, Chilean sea bate is the short rib and lobster ravioli as a one-night-only Italian twist on a surf n' turf, with pork belly, and A5 wagyu beef with foie gras along with dessert which is a good deal for $175. Then Trevi is mixing up its menu at the Forum Shops for the holidays. Our favorite is the short rib and lobster ravioli as a one-night-only Italian twist on a surf n' turf...

La Cave
La Cave

La Cave is serving up an elegant twist on an Australian wagyu skirt steak with miso hollandaise and winter truffles as part of a five-course dinner at the Wynn ($150 per person and wine pairings for an extra $75). Denver sole, dry-aged ribeye, filet, organic truffle chicken, salmon, or a veal chop "Oscar-style" are your main course options at N9NE Steakhouse inside the Palms. The prix-fixe menu is $125 for each guest but we suggest adding on the Japanese Kobe tenderloin for $28 an ounce. Heritage Steak at the Mirage will add black truffle to any menu item for $30 or white truffle for $39 -- and what's a New Year's Eve without truffles? The House of Blues Restaurant & Bar at Mandalay Bay is throwing a Prohibition-era style party and upgrades include an all-you-can-eat dessert buffet. Hmmm... unlimited dessert you say?

Rockhouse
Rockhouse

If you want to hang out at a bar...

A visit to Rockhouse at the Venetian is $50 for open bar, $75 for VIP premium open bar, $250 for a VIP open bar and table seat, or if you're among four friends -- $1,000 for a VIP bottle service at a table facing the Strip. Also at the Venetian, the brand new Dorsey will be open for its first New Year's Eve, offering possibly the best craft cocktail menu on the Strip. Clique at the Cosmopolitan is promising a party on the posh side, with a minimum of $250 per seat. The Still on the other hand, is a more affordable option at the Mirage with open bar packages 8pm-midnight starting at $75.

drake
Hakkasan/Denise Truscello

If you want to see big stars...

The best selling artist of the year not named Mozart is Drake. He'll be the special guest at Hakkasan nightclub. Chances are good you'll hear "Hotline Bling." Bruno Mars will help break in the fancy new sound system at the Park Theater to ring in the new year. Sting will play a more intimate venue than usual -- the Chelsea inside the Cosmopolitan. Ludacris takes a break from Fast & Furious movies to perform "Roll Out" at Light nightclub. Maroon 5 continues its run at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, playing the arena on NYE for the fifth year in a row. Kendrick Lamar will blow what's left of the roof off Drai's to give the nightclub an even better view of the Strip from the top floor of the Cromwell hotel.

DJs at the club
Omnia/Conor McDonnell

If you want to party with big DJs at the club...

Calvin Harris continues his weekly residency inside Omnia at Caesars Palace. You'll probably hear at least one track dedicated to Taylor Swift. Steve Aoki will likely keep his reputation of throwing a cake into the crowd fully intact by celebrating NYE at Aria's Jewel nightclub. The EDM trio of Major Lazer will be pumping up a crowded dance floor inside XS at Wynn Encore. At the Venetian, French Montana and DJ Khaled will team up for a show at Tao. Your ticket is also good for admission at Lavo inside the Palazzo.

The Foundry
The Foundry

If you want to rock out...

Last year, Mötley Crüe played its final show ever on New Year's Eve in LA. This time around, Vince Neil is going solo at the Eastside Cannery to shout at the devil and ring in 2017. Cheap Trick will stick to the Strip, playing at the Foundry at the SLS. How about this deal? If you book a hotel room there for two nights, you get free tickets to the show. (Check with the SLS on details.) Open bar included 8pm-midnight.

Fremont Street Experience
Fremont Street Experience

If you want to party Downtown...

The Fremont Street Experience will turn into a massive block party with 25,000 people ringing in 2017 underneath the world's largest video screen. Local music acts will play on a number of different stages throughout the evening and admission is only 35-40 bucks. The Gold Spike hosts an Escape Masquerade party with admission just $10 and an open bar $70 8pm-midnight. There's also a Sugar Shack tiny home in the outdoor yard that can be booked if you need a place to stay. (Think twice before doing this). Gold Diggers at the Golden Nugget has an option for every size of wallet. $100 for open bar 7pm-midnight ($20 per hour? Awesome deal!), $500 for table of four with bottle of Grey Goose and Moët, or $800 for the same table deal for eight people.

Standard and Pour
Courtesy of Standard and Pour

If you don't want to be anywhere near the Strip...

You can still celebrate New Year's Eve away from the chaos (and lousy parking) of the Strip and Downtown. There will be fireworks all over the valley, not to mention restaurants and bars offering a holiday celebration for a lot less money.

Borracha Mexican Cantina will throw a NYE party at Green Valley Ranch with a $50 all-you-can-drink tequila bar and appetizer package starting at 8pm. Salute at the Red Rock Resort will offer a $95 prix-fixe menu (don't miss the lobster and roe gnocchi) and a Champagne tower at midnight. The Angry Butcher Steakhouse at Sam's Town will have a three-course meal that's a steal for $50, especially when choosing the bone-in filet mignon. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill at Downtown Summerlin will a have a few special menu items. It will be hard to choose between the pan seared scallops or prime beef tenderloin, but either one can be washed down with the eggnog martini made with dark rum and Hennessy VS. Standard & Pour will have passed bites, open bar, and live DJ 9pm-1am with an awesome view of the Strip fireworks from Henderson for $150 ($125 in advance). The team behind Remedy, Elixir, and Distill is offering free admission, drink deals, and a midnight Champagne toast at its neighborhood bars throughout the valley.

Surrender
Surrender

If money's no object...

Have $60,000 lying around? You can spend it on the Ultimate VIP package at the Wynn Encore. You get a multi-course dinner of Asian cuisine at Andrea's, followed by a private escort to your own table next to DJ Snake at Surrender nightclub. Your party will have a 6L bottle of Perrier-Jouët, two bottles of Absolut ELYX, two bottles of Avión tequila, and plenty of mixers. One person will get to visit the booth to count down the new year with DJ Snake. This is probably the best way to hit on girls in Las Vegas on NYE.

DW Bistro
DW Bistro

If you need to recover the next day...

You may wake up on January 1st with a hangover -- or you might not have gone to bed at all. Either way, you'll be hungry.

Pub 1842 will host a Hangover Brunch 10am-5pm on New Year's Day. Sink your teeth into the Pig & Waffle while ordering bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys for $26. Still craving Champagne? Della's Kitchen at the Delano is offering a complimentary glass of Champagne to go along with a special herb-crusted prime rib roast with vegetables for $38. DW Bistro has a Pajama Brunch 10am-4pm at its new location at the Gramercy where you can enjoy jerk pork hash, chicken & waffles, and other favorites in (pretty much) whatever you slept in the night before.

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Rob Kachelriess is a former television news producer who has been writing about Las Vegas in Thrillist for more than three years. He was Managing Editor for Vegas2LA Magazine and his work has recently appeared in Vegas Seven and Vegas Magazine. He is counting his pennies so he can ring in the new year with DJ Snake. Follow him on Twitter @rkachelriess.