Vegas: every time you walk out of your hotel room, you spend $100. That goes triple when you’re in town for conferences and meetings. Lots of shiny toys, dubious panel talks, crowded aisles, and long waits. If you’re looking for a break (with libations) it’s all too easy to find yourself stuck in a bland hotel bar.

Or is it? These are some of our favorite spots, brand new and old as dirt, and of greatly-varying hipness. But they all capture the town in their own particular way, and they add flavor to the typical room-taxi-conference floor loop.

On The Strip

The Peppermill Fireside Lounge

The blue and pink neon temple has been a staple on the Strip for years, but the restaurant up front is what most people think of (rightly so, the portions are huge the service is fast). The plush seating, circular fire pits, and friendly service in the Lounge are are maximum Vegas, and just a short walk from the LVCC, Wynn/Encore, and Resorts World. 2985 S Las Vegas Blvd

Chandelier Bar

The centerpiece of The Cosmopolitan is ridiculous and overpriced and touristy. And amazing. Three Liberace-fused floors of fun await, and happy hour seating is plentiful. But don’t take our word for it. Listen to Cosmo’s marketing team: “The Chandelier is a living, breathing architectural wonder created by shimmering, beaded curtains of light.” The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Ski Lounge at Superfrico

If you’re dining at Superfrico (highly recommended) at the Cosmopolitan, you’d almost miss this cozy bar adjacent to it, which is maybe by design. (Directions here) It can be a scene later at night, to be sure, since the room can only fit about 25 or so. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Allē Lounge on 66

Every time a new skyscraper hotel goes up in Las Vegas, there’s an attempt to do something big with the top floor, often trying to give you the “I own this town” feeling when looking out over the ridiculous, unsustainable city of lights. Resorts World goes for it with this 66th floor lounge, excellent for date nights and sweeping conversations. Reservations recommended. Resorts World Las Vegas

Bar Zazu

Downstairs at Resorts World is a new(ish) tapas bar with a beautiful design. A great pre-dinner situation for classy cocktails and superb tapas. If you’re checking out the casino for the first time this is definitely a recommended stop. The wine list is quite reputable, but the oft-reviewed Highlander cocktail is a signature for a reason: gin, green chartreuse, lime, tarragon, and aromatic tonic. Resorts World Las Vegas

Fremont Street

Vegas Vickie’s

Technically speaking, the atmosphere at Circa’s main casino floor bar isn’t all too different from what most other hotels offer, with two exceptions. First, the service is friendly and attentive. Second, the photo ops of the famous Vegas Vickie sign overlooking the bar are well worth a stop if you’re on Fremont Street and need a break from the unrelenting hustle. Circa

The Parlour Bar and Lounge

Here’s the pitch: The El Cortez is one of the last old-school casinos still standing on Fremont Street, and the place has leaned into its history big time. There’s a come-as-you-are mahogany vibe at The Parlour that’s a welcome respite from the VC-backed bars across the street. The El Cortez Hotel and Casino


Strong, well-made cocktails. Plenty of space and good for small groups. It’s well-designed but not precious, and if you luck out weather-wise, the roof deck will be open. You’re near the burgeoning East Fremont food scene, so it’s a perfect stop before and after. Bonus: check out the speakeasy adjunct bar Laundry Room too. 525 E Fremont Street

The Griffin

The first thought when you walk into The Griffin is, ”This feels like a Brooklyn/Silver Lake bar.” That can be good or bad based on your proclivities. But the fireplace is a nice touch, the beer and cocktail selection is up to par, and it’s a great place to hang while you’re waiting for a table at Le Thai. 511 E Fremont Street

Photo courtesy of Visit Las Vegas

Atomic Liquors

Is it the fanciest place? Nope. Ambiance? Eh. But it is nice to check off arguably the most historic bar in town (Atomic turned 70 last year.) It’s the city’s oldest freestanding bar, plus you can pick up a cool t-shirt that says you were there. Even though Elvis and Barbra Streisand (!) have hung out there it still retains the dive, and that means something! 917 E Fremont Street


Starboard Tack

Ever since its 2017 resurrection, Starboard Tack regularly makes the top 20 off-strip dive bar list, with good reason. The former Tom Jones haunt offers original 1970s interior, vaguely nautical theme, strong yet affordable cocktails, dedicated regulars, and superb tater tots. It was open 24/7 back then, open 24/7 now (with an inspired round-the-clock menu). 2601 Atlantic Street

The Golden Tiki

Las Vegas’ Chinatown is now a regular stop in travel features on the city’s culinary scene. Only a short taxi ride from the Strip, the neighborhood offers a ton of restaurant options, and The Golden Tiki is a perfect pregame, after-hours, or all-night stop. Are the drinks sugary? Yes. Is this essentially a theme bar? Yes. Is spectacle occasionally good for us in measured doses? Yes. 3939 Spring Mountain Rd

Piero’s Italian Cuisine

If you’re stuck at the LVCC you have a problem: you’re isolated. Sure, the Westgate (and Benihana) is next door, and you’re a short 15-minute walk from the Strip, but you pretty much have to bus/car/train to get anywhere else. Except for the Piano Bar at Piero’s, which is essentially across the street. It’s been there forever, it’s classic Vegas, and you can join the ranks of Sammy, Frank, Tark, DeNiro, and countless other one-name luminaries who’ve visited. 355 Convention Center Dr

Herbs and Rye

Don’t let the unassuming exterior fool you. Get cozy, settle in. The bar has won a ton of awards and shows up in a ton of Best of Vegas lists, and it is all completely deserved. Do not order beer or wine, order one of their world-famous rye-based cocktails. And, it’s where other bartenders go to drink, so case closed. 3713 W Sahara Avenue

The Silver Stamp

This Arts District bar is pretty new to the Vegas scene, but it’s been written up a ton. The vibe is straight-up Midwest throwback “old guy” bar (looking at you, High Life Lounge in Des Moines) with commensurate mirrored signs and wood paneling. The retro-chic works, though, it’s comfortable, not too precious, the beer selection is inspired, and the crowd is a nice mix of locals and tolerable tourists. 222 E Imperial Ave

Photo courtesy Las Vegas Sun
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