Raise a Glass: The Las Vegas Strip's 10 Best Bars

10. PRESS
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas
Photo courtesy of RHUMBAR
Photo courtesy of Peppermill
Photo courtesy of Minus5 Ice Bar
By Terrisa Meeks, Las Vegas Local Expert

The Las Vegas bar scene on the Strip offers a multitude of choices, but the best bars stand out with inventive drink menus and memorable settings. These bars aren’t the local corner bar, by far.

For an experience that gives a new meaning to the idea of doing something cool, Minus5 Ice Bar is literally one of the coolest spots in town. Guests can enjoy a selection of ice-cold vodka cocktails in its -5-degrees Celsius ice environment where everything is made of ice.

If you’re more in the mood to enjoy a evening under the stars, you have a few choices. Las Vegas bars are offering more patios to take advantage of the desert’s mostly temperate climate. RHUMBAR at the Mirage has a patio with a cool, beach-vacation ambiance, plus a selection of tasty tropical drinks to complete that vibe.

Incredible views of the Strip can be found at many bars, but the Mandarin Bar is known for its sophistication and panoramic views of the Las Vegas Strip. To go along with that amazing view, Mandarin Bar offers a selection of unique cocktail creations. At bars like this, the idea is to forget about your usual drink order and make a daring, different choice. The ingredients are top shelf and the bartenders are mixologists at many bars on the Strip, so come prepared to splurge.

Check out our list of the Strip's 10 best bars for ideas on where to enjoy truly distinctive drinks in unforgettable settings.

10. PRESS
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas

Named for the process of pressing coffee for the perfect cup, the hot pressed Panini sandwich and the production of wine by pressing grapes, PRESS serves up fun food and drink offerings morning through late night. Guests can mingle bar-side or on the patio, which features a sleek, neutral color palate, two gas fire pits and comfortable sofa seating. Additional outdoor design highlights include a trellis system with misters, customized lighting, ceiling fans and heaters. In addition to draft beer, hand-crafted speakeasy cocktails and 20 wines by the glass, guests can indulge in a tasty array of small plates inspired by seasonal American favorites and a variety of yummy desserts.

9. RHUMBAR
Photo courtesy of RHUMBAR

Consistently cited as one of Las Vegas' most popular patios, RHUMBAR is a highly stylized cocktail and cigar lounge inspired by the cool mood of the Caribbean. The plush outdoor patio, which is able to accommodate up to 300 guests, is reminiscent of a tropical retreat offering a picturesque location for guests to mingle, sip cocktails and smoke cigars and hookah. The intimate interior is predominantly white with touches of cool greens accentuating the sleek d├ęcor. Must-try libations include the classic Zombie from Don the Beachcomber, with pineapple juice, lime juice, grenadine, brandy and bitters mixed with Cruzan, Bacardi 8 and Denizen White Rum; or another favorite, the Pina Colada with Mt. Gray XO, Coco Lopez, fresh pineapple and lime juice and coconut syrup.

8. Skyfall Lounge
Photo courtesy of Skyfall Lounge at the Delano

Skyfall was created through the renovation of an existing space, but the spectacular 180-degree views of Las Vegas remain the same. A warm, inviting decor offers plentiful seating, and the expertly crafted drinks are sure to please (even if you like your martini shaken, not stirred--yes, there's a slight Bond theme). The lounge evolves throughout the night, beginning the evening as a more relaxed space and getting its nightclub on later in the evening when the DJ starts the music. Inside and outdoor areas are available, and the upscale restaurant, Rivea, is just next door. But while the drinks and music are certainly worth coming to Skyfall for, it just may be the terrific view that keeps you around.

7. The Dorsey
Photo courtesy of The Dorsey at The Venetian

The sleek, elegant interior design of The Dorsey tells a story all its own, but the drink menu is what's truly captivating. Wine and Champagne are served by the glass or bottle, and you'll find a selection of beer as well. It's the cocktails that attract attention here, however, with drinks organized under sections with names like Light and Bright, Conversation Pieces, Shorties and Bubbly. The Penicillin's blend of Scotch, lemon, ginger, honey and Islay float is popular, but the variety of cocktails makes it hard to pick just one. The Punch Bowls are also a hit, intended for sharing between four and six people. With all the choices here, you may have to make a few trips to try all of the drinks that catch your eye.

6. Ri Ra Irish Pub and Bar
Photo courtesy of Ri Ra Irish Pub

Offering an authentic Irish experience, Ri Ra Irish Pub features a multitude of artifacts that were carefully restored in Wicklow, Ireland, and shipped to Las Vegas. For instance, the Shop Bar began its life in Ireland in the 1880's as a pub in West Cork, Ireland, and has now been restored so patrons can once again enjoy a pint here. You'll find a healthy selection of cider, beers (naturally including Guinness) and a rotation of local and imported brews, plus cocktails and wine. Four whiskey menus cover Irish, American and world whiskies plus Scotch. At night Ri Ra features live entertainment, and the restaurant serves a full range of pub favorites like Fish and Chips, Shepherds Pie, Guinness Stew or House Brined Corned Beef.

5. Bound
Photo courtesy of Cromwell/Erik Kabik

Bound isn't your average hotel lobby bar, which has earned it praise as a hidden gem. The circular bar is the heart of the room, which is full of subtle tones, mood lighting and plush seating. The drink menu here has a distinctive pedigree. Noted mixologist Salvatore Calabrese, considered one of the world's most respected bartenders, created the specialty drinks. Guests can enjoy creations like espresso cocktails and signature creations like The Breakfast Martini, gin mixed with the finest orange marmalade, or The Cromwell Fizz, with Macallan Fine Oak Whiskey, lemon juice, orange bitters and a topping of Moet & Chandon Imperial champagne. Drop in after 9pm to enjoy a cocktail and live music.

4. The Chandelier
Photo courtesy of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

The Chandelier's striking design makes stopping for a drink feel mandatory. Located in the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, this marvel of design combines more than 2 million crystal beads and three luxurious bars in a three-story space. Each floor houses its own unique bar experience where guests can enjoy interactive light shows along with their signature cocktails. The bottom floor offers a high-energy atmosphere that merges seamlessly with the surrounding casino floor, while the heart of The Chandelier provides a more swank and sophisticated experience and the top of The Chandelier overlooks the casino below. Look for signature drinks like The Forbidden Fruit, an concoction full of apple flavor, and The Chandelier's take on the Old Fashioned, The Infinite Playlist, which uses aged rum as its base.

3. The Fireside Lounge at the Peppermill
Photo courtesy of Peppermill

If you'd like a taste of the mythical "Old Vegas," you'll enjoy the comfy, retro feel of the Fireside Lounge. This bar has been around for decades and delivers a piece of Las Vegas' past--which is one of the reasons it's been popular with movie makers. Sink into a cozy booth and nurse a mai tai or other nostalgic beverage served to you by a waitress in a 70s-style dress slit to mid-thigh. Mirrors lining the walls reflect the glow of the bubbling fire pit in a setting that's popular with couples. Performances from Vegas legends are replayed on flat-screens dotted around the room, enhancing the yesteryear ambiance. Consistently voted one of the best date spots in Vegas, this lounge's atmosphere is both nostalgic and sexy.

2. Minus5 Ice Bar
Photo courtesy of Minus5 Ice Bar

The perfect place to chill (especially during those scorching summer months), Minus5 Ice Bar is a unique ice-themed experience where guests can enjoy a variety of ice-cold vodka cocktails in a -5-degrees Celsius (23 degrees Fahrenheit) ice environment. For a nominal entry fee, guests are given use of Minus5 parkas, gloves and boots to help keep them warm, or they can upgrade to a faux fur coat package for a little added luxury. Once inside, they'll be greeted by an assortment of ice sculptures, as well as ice tables, ice seating (covered with faux fur pelts) and an ice bar. Even the glasses the drinks are served in are made of pure ice. A state-of-the-art sound and LED show rounds out the frigid but fun experience.

1. Mandarin Bar
Photo courtesy of Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

Located on the 23rd floor of the non-gaming Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, Mandarin Bar is one of the city's most sleek and sophisticated nightlife venues. Guests can drink up the stunning Strip views courtesy of the bar's floor-to-ceiling windows while imbibing one of its expertly crafted cocktails. In addition to a menu of creative alcoholic concoctions, the bar offers a variety of fine wines and delicious light bites, making it the perfect place to kick back and relax before or after dinner. Be sure to try the Tea-Tini, one of Mandarin Bar's specialty cocktails. A refreshing mix of Bulleit Bourbon, chilled Jasmine Pearl tea, apple juice, agave nectar and lemon juice, the tasty cocktail is one of the best in town.