It’s not difficult to find a drink in Las Vegas. Whether you favor a distinctively crafted cocktail or a pint of beer, Sin City has a fabulous bar to quench your thirst. From themed watering holes to sophisticated wine haunts, here are 10 of the most unique places on the Strip and in downtown to imbibe.
1.) minus5° Ice Bar in The Shoppes at Mandalay Place inside Mandalay Bay and at Monte Carlo
If the high temperatures of the desert have got you sweating uncomfortably this summer, cool down at the minus5° Ice Bar, which is ensconced in two of Vegas’ most popular resorts. For those not versed in “degrees Celsius,” minus 5 actually equates to 23 degrees Fahrenheit. Guests are given insulated jackets, gloves and boots to enter this winter wonderland. Once inside, you’ll see a bar as well as walls, sculptures and seating that are all fashioned from ice. The chilly cocktails – many of which are vodka-based – come served in glasses made of ice. And a beer ordered in here is guaranteed to stay cold!
2.) Ghostbar at the Palms
This breathtaking bar/nightclub recently reopened after a major makeover that is part of the Palms’ $50 million property-wide renovation. Situated on the 55th floor, Ghostbar boasts a stunning skydeck framed by boxwood hedges. The vibe here has always been classy, but now it’s uber sophisticated. Inside, the décor features Murano-style chandeliers, porcelain tile flooring, plush banquettes with ornate wood-carved legs and a fireplace filled with flameless candles. Techophiles will be mesmerized by the 47-inch TVs located behind the long bar that showcase Ghostbar’s live social media feed and create an interactive experience. If you have refined tastes, you’ll adore the exclusive menu of rosé Champagne handcrafted cocktails. Those who are watching their wallets should come during the nightly happy hour (from 8 – 10 p.m.), when drinks are 50 percent off. Later in the evenings, a powerhouse team of DJs spin Top 40, pop and hip-hop hits.
3.) The Chandelier at The Cosmopolitan
The flowing beaded curtains that form The Chandelier’s three-story structure are a visual feast for the eyes. On each level, you’ll discover a different experience. The bottom, which forms the casino bar, is a high-energy area of sophistication with elegant red leather booths and wood floors. If adventurous cocktails are your thing, head up to the middle where bartenders shake up cool handcrafted concoctions. The top is something of a hideaway – perfect for a tryst! The Chandelier offers wraparound views of the resort, while its cocktail list showcases innovation as well as a deep-seated respect for the classics.
4.) Gold Spike
This downtown Las Vegas landmark that originally opened in 1976 is situated near the former city hall building, which will become Zappos’ corporate headquarters in fall. Entrepreneur Tony Hsieh and his Downtown Project acquired the Gold Spike in early 2013. Following a three-week renovation, the smoky casino atmosphere was shed, and it reopened as a college-style bar and grill. Wireless internet access is fast and free here, so laptop-using guests are a common sight. Thanks to the overhaul, the Gold Spike also boasts hip, lounge-like décor – including bean bags and even a bed. Large, hardcover books on topics like art and photography can be found on the coffee tables. The coolest things, hands down, are the large-format games. In addition to corn hole and shuffleboard, you can play an enormous Connect Four, which is like vertical tic-tac-toe. There’s a wonderful outdoor area called “The Backyard” with an Airstream trailer and a giant Jenga game. Bartenders dole out affordable beers and well drinks inside from a large circular bar that’s surrounded by flat-screen TVs for sports fans. On weekends, the Gold Spike often has live music and DJs.
5.) Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas
Are you an international voyeur? A great place to go for a German-style night of drinking is Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas, a faithful reproduction of a centuries-old beer hall in Munich. Located just east of the Strip across from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, it was built in 2004 as the first of four Hofbräuhauses now in the U.S. The refreshing classic beer is imported from Germany, where it’s been brewed from original recipes handed down by the Duke of Bavaria more than 400 years ago. While you’re drinking, indulge yourself with the city’s best pretzels and enjoy traditional Bavarian music. When Oktoberfest gets in gear, you can also partake in beer stein holding contests.
Located in downtown’s burgeoning Fremont East Entertainment District, Commonwealth is a swanky cocktail bar inspired by pre-Prohibition era design and libations. Spanning two stories and 6,000 square feet, it truly feels like hanging out in a speakeasy here. The cocktail menu is split into different sections called “Common” (with drinks like The Son of Man) and “Wealth” (with classier creations like the Sidecar and The Liberal Lady). Punch bowls – i.e., Pillow Talk and The Beautiful Buzz – are meant to be shared by friends. In addition, there’s a charming rooftop patio that boasts great 360-degree views of downtown and regularly plays host to live DJs and bands.
7.) The Beatles Revolution Lounge at The Mirage
Fan of The Beatles? You don’t have to be to have a good time here. You’ll actually be able to connect with the band and era in different ways. A nightlife experience created by Cirque du Soleil, The Beatles Revolution Lounge takes guests on a musical journey in a psychedelic sensory environment. Not only does it blend cutting-edge interactive design and art, but the sounds make for a celebration of music that transcends the Fab Four. DJs spin rock-centric mixes with hip-hop and house beats as well as ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and contemporary dance mash-ups. Special weekly events are held as well, including Lipstick Thursday, a ladies night with DJs Franzen and G-Minor, and RevoSunday, an LGBT party.
8.) Rí Rá in The Shoppes at Mandalay Place inside Mandalay Bay
Rí Rá excels at bestowing an authentic Irish pub experience. Owners David Kelly and Ciaran Sheehan, who grew up on the south side of Dublin and spent their time in many of the city’s esteemed pubs, have gone to great lengths to re-create the rich traditions of Ireland in Las Vegas. Rí Rá spans 7,000 square feet but is broken up into intimate areas, and each one features painstakingly restored items that were shipped here from the Emerald Isle. For example, the bar was originally built in the 1880s and a 500-pound statue of St. Patrick dates back to 1850. Of course, Rí Rá’s millwork and mortar are only part of the equation. The quality of the food (nobody does fish and chips better!) and drinks, along with the hospitality of the staff, many of whom are Irish nationals, is beyond compare. What’s more, guests at Rí Rá can listen to live music nightly – including up-and-coming bands flown in directly from Ireland.
9.) Señor Frog’s at Treasure Island
This day and night party spot overlooks Sirens Cove on the Strip. A longtime favorite among spring breakers in Mexico, the chain opened an outpost at Treasure Island in 2012. Señor Frog’s is known for its casual atmosphere. Full of bright colors, there are also humorous décor items in the bar – like the “butt” stools and irreverent signs that hang from the walls and ceiling. You can join conga lines as well as dance on tables in this playful establishment. There’s an eclectic mix of nightly entertainment that runs until the wee hours. Light up your Wednesday nights at Señor Frog’s Glow Party, where you’ll get glow sticks and don body paint while drinking discounted house shots and well drinks. Or every Saturday, there’s a Latin Night party from 10 p.m. – 3:30 a.m. with cumbia, salsa, meringue and Spanish-language rock music.
10.) Rockhouse in The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian
You’ll find this “ultra dive bar” is among the hottest spots in town. Rockhouse spans 9,000 square feet and boasts direct access to Las Vegas Boulevard. At the main entrance, there’s a giant cage, where girls can dance or just have their photos snapped. You’ll discover a labyrinth with two rooms and three separate bars inside Rockhouse. There’s an elevated DJ booth that overlooks the main room, and guests will enjoy two “bad ass” beer pong tables and a mechanical bull. The smaller side room at the Rockhouse contains a leopard-print billiards table, a foosball game and a square-shaped bar. Sexy servers frequently strut around on its countertop. The whole place is laden with large flat-screen TVs – 83 of them to be exact – which are perfect for viewing sports. You’ll also find plenty of things to wet your whistle. In addition to the slushy spirits at the walk-up frozen daiquiri bar, you can order one of 10 signature drinks on the Rockhouse’s amusing “Tales of Cock” menu — including the Dreamsicle, Black Cherry Citrus and Vegas Shore.