Just a short drive west of the Las Vegas Strip, Herbs & Rye attracts bar aficionados from all over the city. Its dark, speakeasy-like atmosphere sets exactly the right tone for a menu full of delicious creations that go down a little too smoothly. The menu is arranged by era, so if you'd like some liquid history, check out the offerings from the Gothic Age (1776-1865) and try the famous Pimms Cup, made from a recipe that's still a secret to this day. Other eras include the Golden Age and Old School Age, Prohibition, Years of Reform, Rat Pack Era and the Tiki Boom. If you can't find a cocktail you like here, you might have to stop drinking.
Recommended for Bars because: Herbs & Rye is a throw-back to an earlier era, with a dark speakeasy atmosphere and a collection of vintage cocktails.
Terrisa's expert tip: Herbs & Rye also has a restaurant that's well known for its outstanding steaks, as well as other tasty items like flatbreads, pasta and appetizers, plus more.
If you're bored with Sin City's oh-so-trendy lounges and bars, you'll enjoy the comfy, retro feel of the Fireside Lounge. Sink into a cozy booth and nurse a mai tai or some 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, sure to inspire romance. 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 is definitely a place where you can set the mood. Even if you're not on a date, you'll still appreciate the groovy vibe at the Fireside, which comes complete with one of the coolest fire pits in town.
Recommended for Bars because: The Fireside has retained its classic Old Vegas vibe, complete with neon décor and very strong drinks.
Terrisa's expert tip: One of the Fireside's best-known drinks is its Bloody Mary, which is still made from scratch--although the drink menu is full of other classic choices, like the Scorpion, Blue Hawaiian, Strawberry Daiquiri or Tequila Sunrise.
This hip, intimate Las Vegas lounge is one of the city's best-kept secrets. Dim lighting, cozy leather seating, minimalist art and eclectic music create a seductively mysterious ambiance, and the diverse clientele are mostly locals seeking a laid-back evening away from the Vegas "scene." The seasonal menu features delectable punch bowls and creative cocktails with distinctive flavor profiles that have customers raving. In addition to the specialty cocktails, the menu also includes Absinthe, in case you'd like to try the today's version of the famous drink. Live DJs supply the entertainment nightly from Tuesday through Saturday, and a small selection of food will give you something to nibble on.
Recommended for Bars because: The Downtown Cocktail Room's craft drinks and low-key, classy atmosphere have made it one of the city's best bars.
Terrisa's expert tip: The latest addition at the Downtown Cocktail Room is a speakeasy-type space called Mike Morey's Sip'n'Tip, which has its entrance in the alley south of the DCR.
Frankie's Tiki Room is a must for rum fanatics, as it houses more than 150 premium rums and offers a host of original drink creations. A unique combination of South Seas exotica and modern primitivism with a hint of Vegas kitsch, the bar's interior was built by Bamboo Ben, the world's foremost tiki bar designer and the grandson of Eli Hedley (who created the decor at Disneyland's Enchanted Tiki Room). While the atmosphere is fun (especially for the desert), Frankie's Original Tiki Drinks are what truly keep guests coming back for more. Each drink is clearly labeled so people know how strong they are. Be sure to pay attention to how many skulls a concoction has--some of these flavorful creations aren't intended for lightweights.
Recommended for Bars because: The legendary Frankie's Tiki attracts locals and tourists with its kitschy design and strong drinks.
Terrisa's expert tip: Frankie's has a drink in honor of Las Vegas' informal status as the "Ninth Island" of Hawaii, owing to the city's popularity with Hawaiians. This pineapple and rum creation gets five skulls, so drink with caution.
The Gold Spike was once a small casino hotel, but the casino is gone now. It was replaced with a "Living Room" full of comfortable seating, games like giant Connect Four and Cornhole, plus a Backyard that comes complete with a travel trailer (and more games). The bar is still there, however, and it features reasonably priced drinks that include beer, wine, and mixed drinks. A cafe is also available, if you're hungry after all that game playing. Open 24/7, Gold Spike is a new kind of Vegas bar: no smoking, free WiFi and live entertainment on the weekends. Its appearance on MTV's "Real World" brought it national attention, and it continues to be a popular spot.
Recommended for Bars because: Stop in at the Gold Spike for an easy-going atmosphere full of fun games, community areas and a full bar.
Terrisa's expert tip: If you work up an appetite while playing cornhole or darts, Gold Spike's café, Fiddlestix, offers inexpensive eats like breakfast foods, salads, burgers and sandwiches, as well as adult milkshakes, beer and wine.
Not surprisingly, one of the city's most striking bars is found in one of the city's most talked about resorts. Conceived by renowned design and architecture firm the Rockwell Group, The Chandelier is an architectural wonder that combines more than 2 million crystal beads (the largest quantity of beads used in one installation in North America), three luxurious bars and exclusive music all within one three-story space inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. 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; the heart of The Chandelier offers a more swank and sophisticated experience; and the top of The Chandelier gives guests a view of all that's going on below.
Recommended for Bars because: The Chandelier offers guests the unique opportunity to enjoy cocktails inside a massive chandelier.
Terrisa's expert tip: The cocktail menus at The Chandelier are different for each level, but no matter what level you're on, the expertly mixed drinks are all dangerously tasty.
Offering an experience unlike any other bar or lounge in town, 107 Skylounge is the perfect place to go when you want to impress someone special. Located on the 107th floor of the Stratosphere Tower, it boasts expansive city views that are complemented nicely by an extensive appetizer, dessert and cocktail menu. Feast on the surroundings as you dig in to appetizers from the Top of the World Restaurant or sip on one (or two) of the lounge's signature cocktails. On a budget? Not to worry. Level 107 Lounge has a daily happy hour from 4-7 p.m. featuring appetizers, sandwiches and other food for under $10 each, plus deals on drinks.
Recommended for Bars because: 107 SkyLounge offers an unequalled view of Las Vegas to go along with its signature cocktails.
Terrisa's expert tip: 107 Skylounge doesn't charge a cover, making it a great value among Las Vegas bars. You can even enjoy music from DJs, Wednesday through Sunday, from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Atomic Liquors has a fascinating history, but that's not the only reason to stop in for a drink. Inexpensive and no-frills, this is the place for a large selection of craft beers along with a well-stocked bar helmed by knowledgeable bartenders. A patio gives guests front-row seating to what's happening on Fremont Street and the addition of the Atomic Kitchen has added food options. Atomic Liquors is the oldest freestanding bar in Las Vegas and got its name because at one time patrons could sit on the roof and watch the atomic blasts at the Test Site. The bar was closed for about a year between 2011 and 2012, and was renovated prior to opening, but only to give things a face-lift, not a complete re-do. The "dive" vibe is very much alive here, and that's on purpose.
Recommended for Bars because: Atomic Liquors is one of the city's most enduring bars and it works hard at living up to its dive bar reputation.
Terrisa's expert tip: A new addition at Atomic Liquors is The Kitchen, located next door to the bar. Menu offerings include small plates and full entrees, as well as cocktails, beer and wine.
If you think museums are boring, The Underground at the The Mob Museum will change your mind. Part bar, part history exhibit and part distillery, The Underground will probably teach you a thing or two. Located in the basement of The Mob Museum (officially known as the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement), The Underground takes you back in time to the days of Prohibition. In addition to enjoying cocktails from the era, you can also tour the onsite distillery. You'll have to stop in The Speakeasy for some moonshine (distilled in house) or a craft cocktail. Giggle Water, once a nickname for illegal alcohol, is one of the drinks available: seasonal fruit-infused vodka, Lillet, bitters and sparkling water.
Recommended for Bars because: The Underground combines history and craft cocktails, with drinks in The Speakeasy and tours of the onsite distillery.
Terrisa's expert tip: Visitors who are skipping the museum and going right to The Speakeasy will need to find the side door…and give the password. Visit the museum's website to hunt down the password to get in.
Oak & Ivy's menu is dedicated to craft whiskey and classic mixology, with handcrafted drinks that use the best in fresh, seasonal ingredients. This downtown bar is located in Downtown Container Park, and its distinctive drinks have garnered attention from locals, visitors and critics. The extensive drink menu includes a selection of barrel aged craft cocktails. You'll find a few familiar standards like the Manhattan, but any of this bar's delicious creations are worth a try. Crafted specialty cocktails, whiskey cocktails and a large selection of American whiskeys guarantee you'll find something aged and wonderful to sip on. The small space also includes a patio, where you can enjoy one of their finely crafted cocktails and indulge in some people watching.
Recommended for Bars because: For the finest whiskey, spirits and craft cocktails, stop at Oak & Ivy for a delicious drink on the patio.
Terrisa's expert tip: Oak & Ivy is in Downtown Container Park, which is an easy walk from the Fremont Street Experience. If you want to drive, you'll find an abundance of on-the-street parking nearby.