We know you come here for the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown, but there’s a lot more to see in Las Vegas. Did you know there’s an actual city here? That’s right, all those people who work in the casinos dealing you suited pairs and enough drinks to forget all the terrible hands in between actually live here. And we’ve got some fantastic bars that you might not get to if you never stray beyond walking distance from your hotel room. We don’t always get to write about these spots, but we love them nonetheless. So call for a Lyft and get going to some Las Vegas bars worth driving to.
Best way to get there: In a beer barrel hurdling over a waterfall.
Beer is integral to the life of any Las Vegan. And yes, that’s how you write that word. It has nothing to do with tofu aficionados. We’ve enjoyed some delightful criticism in the past for excluding Aces and Ales from beer lists. Perhaps we were being selfish by hording all that delicious beer just for ourselves. But like our teachers told us, “Sharing is caring so toss me one of those beers before I come at you like a hurricane.” We had awesome teachers. And you’ll have an awesome, beer-soaked time at Aces and Ales.
Best way to get there: In a pirate ship destined for adventure and only a little bit of scurvy.
We were so excited when this place opened. The Chinatown area of Las Vegas is one our favorite spots for food, though we weren’t quite expecting a tiki bar to pop up there. But Golden Tiki is more than just a tiki bar. It’s an experience in drinking, story-telling and animatronics. There’s a skeleton that comes to life and talks about his adventures, as well as a tour guide who walks you through the legend of the golden tiki. This is a spot that everyone should check out at least once and maybe pick up a souvenir skull mug. They even have Carrot Top’s shrunken head. We don’t even know what to do with that.
Best way to get there: Riding a giant champagne cork shot from an even more giant bottle.
Wine is best in a location that truly appreciates the inherent ambiance of a nice glass. You can get wine pretty much everywhere in this city, but it takes a place like Hostile Grape to make you truly appreciate how the desert can add to the experience of wine tasting. Located in the beautiful M Resort, Hostile Grape has a wide selection as well as taps which allow you to sample a variety. This is the place to go when you want a true wine experience and you don’t mind heading south down Las Vegas Boulevard to get it.
Best way to get there: With a stiff upper lip.
Oi. Tossers get back. Crown and Anchor is a British pub that won’t keep calm. The place to go for football (that’s actually football not what you yanks call football), this pub is bloody marvelous. Of course, you don’t have to be British or like football (soccer) to enjoy Crown and Anchor. They have a wonderful selection of beer and great bar food to keep you stuffed. But if you are a bit of a hooligan, this is the place to be whenever the pitch is full. They show the best matches and you can cheer for your team. Just try not to get into a fight.
Best way to get there: In a car you didn’t pay for because it might be the longest drive on the list.
On the far west side of Las Vegas you’ll find the beautiful Parkway Tavern. Since opening, this space has become a favorite among locals and has received superb reviews from everyone who’s been there. It’s a bit more of a local’s spot, so you won’t see the over-the-top elements you get from bars in major casinos. But if you’re here to appreciate the city of Las Vegas and not just the neon, Parkway Tavern is a wonderful spot to hit up before starting an outdoor adventure or exploring the city around you.
Best way to get there: Baked inside some warm falafel.
Paymon’s Mediterranean Café is an absolute favorite among locals. It has a long history in Las Vegas, but what it really comes down to is the food is just perfection. Attached to the restaurant is the Hookah Lounge, a gorgeous lounge and bar with comfortable seating and hookah for your pleasure. Obviously it gets smoky in there, so keep that in mind. But the scents are soothing enough to make you forget all your worries. Go there after or before dinner, or get some appetizers while you smoke. If you want one place to tell people about when you get home that will make you feel like a real Vegas local, it’s here. The Sahara Avenue location can be found here.
Best way to get there: In a magic photograph that transports you through space and time.
South of Las Vegas lies Henderson. In Henderson there’s the District, a beautiful outdoor shopping center full of quaint shops and big name stores. While you’re strolling about, enjoying the atmosphere and the chance to spend even more money, stop into Due and Proper. Created by the same people who brought you Park on Fremont and Commonwealth, Due and Proper is a sly contrast from the modern shopping space around it with dark tones and quirky décor. It’s also very near the Vegas.com offices, so you could stop by and say hello. But don’t actually do that. We have very tight security and we’re not afraid to release our small army of guard ferrets. You have been warned.
Best way to get there: In a time machine fueled by gin.
Ask any Vegas local where to go for cocktails off the Strip and they’ll say, “Who are you and how did you get in my house?!” But after they calm down they’ll tell you about Herbs and Rye. The cocktail menu is a trip through time hitting all the important points in the history of drinking. For some reason they left out the moment we invented a cocktail of vodka and Pez, but whatevs. Herbs and Rye has amazing bartenders who will craft you something unforgettable. They also have a full food menu.
Best way to get there: With all the same rights and freedoms as anyone else.
Las Vegas has many fantastic bars for the LGBTQ community. One of the best of which is the Phoenix. In fact, it’s consistently voted the best gay bar in town. They host awesome events, have a wide variety of crowds and have a friendly staff. Play video games or pool, enjoy some food or just hang out with people who won’t judge you for who you are. The Phoenix has it all. And if you need help finding the place, just look for the big Statue of Liberty on Sahara Avenue. Seems pretty fitting.
Best way to get there: Riding a big dog. Duh.
If you know anything about the Las Vegas beer scene then you’ve probably heard of Big Dog’s. Their Red Hydrant Ale is a personal favorite among some of our staff. You can get Big Dog’s in bottles and on tap at various spots around the city, but for the true experience you have to hit up the Big Dog’s Draft House. It’s a casual place where beer is king, queen, jack and like four of the number cards. If you want to get away from the Strip for some beer, this is where to go. Come for the beer, stay for the more beer.