This may be the most extensive page of the guide as it’s clearly my favourite thing. Having been involved in the business for many years as an employee, owner and customer, I know what I like.

I enjoy a bar that’s real. It can be the most classy venue in town or the dirtiest dive bar but it needs that certain something that you can’t just buy and install. It’s a combination of good drinks, decent prices and staff that care that combine to bring in great customers… and they create the atmosphere.

These are not necessarily the bars you’ll find in all the guide books or the ones that consistently make the Top 10 on websites compiled by people that have never been there. They’re the ones that I’ve been to, enjoyed and would have no hesitation recommending to anyone.

Downtown Cocktail Room

111 S Las Vegas Blvd

You’d easily miss it… but don’t.

In a city where everything is brash, bright and overstated, DCR manages to blend into the background and you’d certainly be forgiven for walking straight past the door. Even those who know about it and are deliberately going to it can completely miss the door. Yes, I’m one of them.

if you make the effort, and find the door, you’ll discover a bar that’s part old-school lounge, part classy cocktail joint and part secluded speakeasy. Its a cool, laidback vibe with cosy sofas and hidden corners and one of the few bars that play great house music. I particularly recommend hitting it up on a Saturday night to catch resident DJ Douglas Gibbs.

This bar’s strongest selling point is its cocktail list. Reinvented every 3 months, the menu is an ever evolving delight of classic recipes and home made creations utilising a wide range of strange ingredients. Perch yourself on a stool at the bar and watch these alchemists do their magic. 5-7pm every day is ‘Halfy Hour’ when all these stunning libations are half price. You will not find a better deal for drinks of this quality anywhere in town.

Dino’s Lounge

1516 S Las Vegas Blvd

It’s still standing. You, on the other hand, may not be.

Dino’s, in the nicest possible way, is a relic. As they proudly point out, they’ve been “Getting Vegas Drunk For 50 Years”… and what a great job they’re still doing! The last neighbourhood bar still standing on Las Vegas Boulevard sits just behind The Strat and the Welcome To Downtown sign.

It’s a dive bar, full of locals and feels just like your home town local pub… assuming your local has a shrine for celebrating the Drunk Of The Month! If it does, let me know and I’ll be there.

Drink is cheap, pours are long, the locals are friendly and there’s a couple of pool tables to keep you entertained alongside karaoke 4 nights a week. You really don’t have to be any good to get up and sing here… really!

There’s a reason that a bar lasts as long as this in a town that’s constantly changing. Their list of famous, and infamous, customers continues to grow and you should make an effort to include yourself.

The Mint Tavern

322 W Sahara Avenue

Elegant and classy… the bar, not you.

Although it’s a relatively new venue, it’s absolutely dripping in “old Vegas” vibes. The name and stunning design of the signage is a throwback to a hotel and casino that opened in 1957 on Fremont Street where Binions stands today. That original venue was the sponsor of the Mint 400 off-road race, the sporting event made famous as the assignment that brought Hunter S. Thompson to Las Vegas and resulted in his writing Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Look for a typewriter sitting quietly in the corner of the Mint Tavern with the first few words of the book on the manuscript.

The bar is clean, classy and features strikingly designed lights and other ornaments. Theres a red telephone box in the corner, I’m not entirely sure why.

The drinks are great quality, very reasonably priced and their cocktail list is exquisite. They have a small bar food menu but I’ve not tried it. Eating is cheating and all that.

There’s a side room that hosts all manner of diversion from live jazz concerts to swing dance lessons. All in all, it’s a little oasis just a few steps away from the madness and an ideal place to spend a few hours chilling out on a hot afternoon.

Stage Door Casino

4000 Linq Lane

Its like Marmite… you’ll love it or hate it.

This bar is disgusting. Honestly. It smells of grease, stale tobacco, old onions, dead hookers (possibly) and booze. Its smoky, loud and has a seriously limited-genre jukebox.

I love it.

This is one of a very few bars I have visited every time I’ve been to Vegas. It’s a throwback to the old days and the antithesis of literally everything you imagined this city might be. And yet, it draws you back time after time, whispering in your ear about $1 Budweisers and 1/4 pound hot dogs made from something that no-one dares ask about. The bartenders are cool, the locals are fun and there’s a good, honest, genuine atmosphere about the place.

If you wanted to know what the American definition of ‘dive bar’ is, look no further. With shots of Jägermeister and Patron at a quarter of the price you’d pay just yards away, you’ll soon forget the smell and succumb to the charms of this Vegas relic.

Note: They age check everyone on entry regardless of appearance. Don’t forget your ID.

107 Sky Lounge


2000 S Las Vegas Blvd

Don’t overdo it… it’s a long way down!

Enter The Strat, turn right and head for the elevators that take you up the tower. Tell the check-in staff that you’re going to the bar and in 60 seconds you’ll be whisked up 107 floors to the bar with the best view in Las Vegas. In fact, you can literally see the whole town from up here.

The selling point is the view, of course, but don’t let that distract you from a menu of beautiful cocktails and the huge range of spirits behind the bar. The staff are professional and friendly and you can sit at the bar or along yourself in a comfy seat whilst taking in the stunning vista.

Now here’s the bonus. Jump in the lift again to go one floor up and you’re at the observation decks (indoor and outdoor) that the general public around you have just paid $25 to come up to. Feel like a winner? You should do.

McMullan’s Irish Pub

4650 W Tropicana Ave

A bold statement indeed, but I’ve no complaints.

There’s a bunch of Irish bars in Vegas, some better than others, but this is my favourite of the 3 that are featured in this guide.

Located next door to the Orleans casino, this little slice of the Emerald isle is open 24/7 serving an outstanding pint of Guinness. And if that’s not your tipple, there’s a huge range of foreign and domestic brews, wines, spirits and more bottles of Irish whiskey than you could shake your sail éille at. There’s also a raft of daily specials on both their food and drink to keep your strength up.

Mcmullan’s have a huge commitment to sport and you’ll find every big game from American sports, UK football, Aussie Rules and the GAA showing on the big screens. More, you say? There’s live music at the weekends, a pub quiz and an Irish whiskey club too. In fact, book a room at the Orleans and just drift between there and the pub.

A good atmosphere and the perfect pint are guaranteed at this local, community focussed boozer. Pull up a seat and enjoy the craic.

Double Down Saloon

4640 Paradise Rd

This picture isn’t selling it, I know that. You’re gonna have to trust me here.

OK, so this isn’t what you expected when you looked at the brochures and saw the beautiful resorts, glistening pools and swanky bars, but this is real life baby.

A New York punk bar whose signature drinks are Bacon Martini and Ass Juice points you in the direction we’re going here. It’s brash and in your face but its all genuine good fun and the smiles on the faces of the mostly local crowd reassure you that you’ll come to no harm. Then you see the toilet.

Still, if you hand over $20 at the start of the night you’ll be the proud owner of Puke Insurance, enabling you to quaff Leprechauns piss to your hearts content, safe in the knowledge that you won’t have to clean any resultant spillage.

There’s live music almost every night starting late and finishing even later. They’re fully committed to the local scene, but bands and DJ’s come from across the USA to play here. During the day there’s pool tables and slot machines to keep you entertained.

Don’t come in expecting a quiet corner to sit and chat. As they say, ‘Shut Up And Drink’!

Frankie’s Tiki Room

1712 W Charleston Blvd


I won’t lie, when the taxi drops you off in the parking lot here, it kinda feels like one of those movies where everybody dies. But you won’t, hopefully.

As your eyes adjust to this dimly lit lounge, it feels like you’ve been transported to a paradise somewhere in the South Pacific. It’s filled with all manner of tiki culture artefacts and a little sprinkling of Las Vegas kitsch. The surf rock music, the gentle glowing lights and the modern lowbrow art will have you all chilled out and almost feeling the sea spray on your brow.

Then the drinks come and slap you in the face!

Every cocktail on this extensive menu is awarded a grade of up to 5 ‘skulls’. Do yourself a favour and maybe work your way up to the top ones. The measures are huge and the 160 proof rum certainly packs a punch despite being hidden beautifully behind innocent tropical juices and fruity decorations.

An ideal spot to retire from the madness of The Strip and lose yourself for a few hours, day or night. Above the door it says “The Greatest Place On Earth” and who are we to argue.

Frankie’s has the same owner as the Double Down Saloon. Set your expectations accordingly.

Atomic Liquors

917 Fremont St

Oh, oh your hair is beautiful… ah… tonight...

Still just the right side of hipster to be on the list, Atomic was the first free-standing bar in the city of Las Vegas and proudly displays the Liquor Licence No. 00001 behind the bar.

Operating continuously since 1952, Atomic was named for the fact that many patrons came to sit on the roof to view the atomic bomb tests that were taking place out in the desert. And there was me thinking I’ve done some daft stuff after a drink.

Nowadays the action take place inside, or on the street side patio, with a huge focus on craft beers. There’s a small but beautiful cocktail list and a food menu should you get peckish. The friendly crowd edges toward a youthful, university demographic and cultivated moustaches are becoming more prevalent.

That said, it’s still a great venue to stroll to after a hefty dinner in the Fremont Street area and a great starting point for a pub crawl back up toward the bright lights of the canopy.

Ghost Donkey

3708 S Las Vegas Blvd

Seek and ye shall find.

This bar isn’t easy to find, they don’t even advertise it, but it’s well worth the effort to look for. Go up the escalator to Level 2 of the Cosmopolitan and head into the Block 16 food court, a decent venue in it’s own right. At the back of this area, toward the left hand side, you’ll find the somewhat unremarkable door pictured above. You’ve arrived.

This neon clad speakeasy is a delight for those feeling the need for a little salsa, tortilla and, por supuesto, tequila in their lives. It’s quite a small space, but perfectly formed and the intimate space only serves to increase the atmosphere.

The menu features more tequila and mezcal than you ever imagine existed. If you’re not a connoisseur of the cactus, simply ask the amazing bartenders to guide you through the prickly potions or simply order the one with the bell on the top so you can ring it.

Looking back, I’ve no idea now which of the cocktails I tried except for the Mezcal Old Fashioned, a Texmex twist on one of my favourite drinks and a totally unique taste. They also have a small selection of bar snacks on their menu but I’ve not got round to trying them.

The size of the venue, the clandestine locations and the friendly party crowd that it draws make this a hidden gem that’s really worth the effort to discover.


300 Stewart Avenue

If your name’s not down, you’re not coming in!

Entrance to this speakeasy is included as part of the Mob Museum tour but, if you’re thirsty and want to save $30, there’s a secret entrance. As you approach the building, which has served as both a Post Office and a Courthouse, head round to the right side and look for a wooden barrel near the rear corner. Go down the steps and you’ll encounter a closed door. Ring the bell, wait for the hatch to open and deliver the password. The magic word changes weekly and is posted on the bar’s Instagram story. Alternatively, you can ask the doorman at the front of the museum… he’s a snitch!

Inside you’ll find a stunning space with a long bar and plenty of casual seating. There’s also a further hidden room, if you can find it, which can be hired for private events.

The cocktail menu here is definitely unique. Drinks are prohibition-themed and many of them come disguised as everyday beverages or even completely hidden. Try an Old Fashioned with some light reading material or sample one of the four different moonshines that are produced in the on-site distillery.

The music is electro-swing focussed and they host regular live music nights for you to release you inner flapper!

A great bar to start your night off in style with a happy hour from 5-7pm, it’s a few steps away from Fremont Street but a world apart.

Nine Fine Irishmen

3790 S Las vegas Bvd

Nine Fine Irishmen pub in New York New York Casino, Las Vegas.

A very fine attempt at an Irish themed bar, NFI has a more touristy feel than McMullens, for example, but still has all the key ingeredients for a great party.

There’s the extensive beer list featuring Guinness, Smithwick’s, Harp, Magners amongst others and a decent cocktail offering too. The food menu is traditional pub grub made with fresh ingredients and well presented.

The highlight of NFI, in my opinion, is the house band Sin E Ri Ra. They serve up a selection of traditional Irish music from sing-a-longs to ballads and are accompanied by the award-winning Irish Dance Champion, Tara Reid.

Besides the spacious interior, there’s an extensive outdoor patio, facing onto the strip and ideal for people watching, making this a bar equally suitable for a daytime or night visit.

Ri Ra

3930 S Las Vegas Blvd

Ri Ra at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas.

Located in a shopping centre and with an interior shipped from a restored pub in County Wicklow, Ireland, this is certainly a fairly unique venue. The Shoppes at Mandalay Bay sits beween that resort and Luxor and can be accessed from both and the pub is on the upper floor.

With a name derived from the Irish language and translating roughly as devilment or good fun, this boozer serves up an extensive range of food and drink at all hours. Their whiskey selection would make your eyes water, and possibly you wallet, if you fancy a shot of Glenfiddich 40 year old at $450. There are more financially friendly alternatives.

There’s live music most nights and a bunch of big screens to catch sport, both foreign and domestic.

Finally, theres a happy hour from 3-6pm every day, ideally timed for a refreshment after a shopping trip.

Whiskey Licker Up

128 Fremont St

Whiskey Licker Up Bar, Fremont Street, Las Vegas

Looking for a bar that ticks all the boxes? You may well have just found it.

The centerpiece of Whiskey Licker Up is its open-air, rotating bar and floor to ceiling retractable windows that bring the excitement of the Fremont Street Experience to you. This one of a kind rotating bar allows guests to sit at the bar while enjoying the entertainment on the street and the atmosphere of the saloon around them.

There’s a decent bar food menu and an even better drinks menu which is heavily populated with refreshing cocktails, craft beers an, of course, whiskey.

If you love a bit of people watching alongside your Pina Colada this is the place for you. There’s a load of ground level bars on Fremont Street but the elevated viewpoint here really makes it stand out.

As an added bonus, if you feel a bit dizzy as you leave, you can blame it on the rotating bar!


515 Fremont Street

Corduroy Las Vegas

A relative newcomer on Fremont Street, Corduroy is cultivating a loyal following throught it’s social atmosphere, retro vibe and location at the heart of the burgeoning Fremot East District.

A convivial bar, with more than a nod towards art gallery, Corduroy proudly sports it’s rock ‘n’ roll roots and effortly blends live music with “Insta-ready” rooms designed for conversation.

A happy hour frpm 4-7pm every day kicks off a lively evening fuelled by Moscow Mules containing their very own home made Ginger Beer.

Grab a sofa or hang at the bar, either option is a great idea and this bar is an ideal spot to include on a Fremont East pub crawl.

Bird Bar


3555 S Las Vegas Blvd

bird bar las vegas

Previously known as “5 O’Clock Somewhere”, this bar inside the Flamingo resort still retins a very good reason to visit at the real 5pm… beers are only 50 cents!

Seriously, on a stretch of road renowned for exorbitant pricing, this surely has to be the best deal in town. The price remains steady till 6pm when it goes up to a whole $1. Don’t forget to tip your barman. Speaking of which, he often straps a camera to his head and live streams his happy hour antics.

There’s beer pong, a DJ playing party tunes during the busy times and I’ve no idea if there’s a food menu, I’ve never seen anyone eating, just drinking.

Ideally located centre strip, its the perfect spot to break your sight seeing trek. Whilst here, make sure to check out the Flamingo Habitat out back.

Fireside Lounge

2985 S Las Vegas Blvd

Nestled between the newly extended Convention Center and Wynn lies a real Las Vegas institution. Peppermill diner and it’s cosy Fireside Lounge has sat here since 1972 and been a haunt of celebrities and mere mortals seeking a low-key escape from the glitz of The Strip.

That’s not to say it’s not glitzy in it’s own right. Fireside is a kischy wonderland that somehow contrives to be over the top and understated at the same time. Glowing neon tube lighting that wouldn’t look out of place in an 80’s pop video and a bubbling firepit contrast against the classy full length cocktail dresses of the waitresses. It manages to look retro-seedy, yet upscale at teh same time.

A menu of classic cocktails is available but the experienced bartenders are more than happy to mix up anything that takes your fancy. There’s also a happy hour from 3-6pm daily.

It’s an absolute must-do for every Vegas trip and it’s multiple appearences in movies and music videos stand testament to the longevity of this iconic bar.

Vice Versa

2600 W Harmon Ave

The lobby bar at the excellent Vdara resort deserves a mention for many reasons. The exquisite cocktails, the ambience, the friendly bartenders but the star of the show here is the popcorn!

The venue itself is mostly inside the hotel but it has a lovely patio area, heated by firepits if the weather turns cool. There’s plenty seating at the bar and a host of other open areas and cosy corners.

There’s an outstanding menu of food and drink with their carefully craftd cocktails being a particular highlight. The Maple Old Fashioned served here is possibly my favourite drink in town. Oh, and the popcorn. Think pickled onion Monster Munch and you’re not far off.

The knowledgeable bar staff will mix up anything you ask for and I’d particularly recommend the Espresso Martini for an early morning curer whilst people watching from the bar.

Front Yard

4178 Koval Lane

The Front Yard is a two-story indoor/outdoor venue with a casual brewpub atmosphere with a premium bar featuring their home brewed beers and full-service restaurant showcasing Ellis family favorite recipes.

This is an absolute haven for sports lovers who enjoy a craft beer. Ellis Island has rightly won awards for it’s brews and, with a substantial selection to choose from, there’s bound to be something you like.

There’s an 18 foot big screen and plenty TV’s to ensure you don’t miss the action but, if sport’s not your thing, there’s unobstructed views of the strip from the second floor atrium.

Situated right behind Bally’s, this “hidden” gem is only steps away from the action but has a real local feel.

Hogs & Heifers

201 N 3rd Street

This bar isn’t for everyone… if you’re of a nervous disposition, skip to the next one.

The original NYC venue of this bar was the inspiration for the Coyote Ugly movie, except they toned it down from real life. Except to be bawled at through a megaphone and cajoled into drinking shots alongside your beers. Should you forget to buy one for your bartender, you’ll be bawled at again!

The bar staff dance on the bar regularly and the uptempo Country and Rock playlist keeps the energy levels high from opening till closing.

One small warning, this is a cash only bar (ATM on site) and it’s advisable to check your change when ordering… this is less down to dishonesty and more down to the tipsy drunken state of the staff. It’s loud, boisterous, good clean fun, but equally intimidating if you weren’t expecting it.

You have been warned.

Parasol Up/Down


3131 S Las Vegas Blvd

Parasol Up

2 for the price of one here at Wynn. Though not on the drinks, sadly. These bars are amongst the classiest in town, so smart casual attire is recommended.

Parasol Up is on the casino floor and is a great spot for people watching whilst working through the cocktail menu. The Lavender Lemondrop is a particularly unique highlight.

Travel down the curved escalator to visit Parasol Down. Another classy joint with a terrace that faces out onto a small lake. There’s a light show on the lake at night, every half hour from dusk. Classy.

The Chandelier

3708 S Las Vegas Blvd

Chandelier Bar

Back to Cosmopolitan for another swanky venue. This purple-hued bar is a multi level venue encased in hundreds of thousands of glass beads comprising the world’s largest chandelier.

Each of the three levels has it’s own particular cocktail menu and every drink is hand crafted and perfectly presented. I’d recommend asking for the off-menu Verbena… a very interesting experience.

The middle level is my favourite as its the perfect vantage for people watching whilst chilling in the plush seating.

The Piano Bar @ Harrahs

3475 A Las Vegas Blvd

Piano Bar at Harrah’s

The Piano Bar has it all. A great location, reasonable drink prices and amazing free entertainment.

Situated in centre-strip in Harrah’s, this bar is right in the middle of the action. There’s daily entertainment from the likes of Sax Duo and Rusty’s All-Star Karaoke Show.

Big Elvis performs here in the afternoons and is as good as The King himself… some say better. You’ll feel like you’ve been whisked back a few decades as he belts out the classics for an hour or two.

The evening stars of the show are identical twins, Kim & Tamara, with their Deulling Pianos show. They compete for your applause, and tips, covering every genre of music in an attempt to outdo the other. Audience participation is expected.

Coming Soon

Bars that have been recommended to me. I’ll check them out and add them here after my next trip.

  • Saddle ‘n’ Spurs
  • Rusty Spur Saloon
  • Mc Faddens
  • Laundry Room
  • Tailgate Social
  • Hofbrauhaus
  • HUDL Brewery
  • Tenaya Creek Brewery
  • Able Baker
  • Mas Por Favor
  • Vanderpump Cocktail Garden
  • Here Kitty Kitty
  • 1923 Prohibition Bar