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Craft Cocktails, Dives & Unique Decor: Las Vegas' 10 Best Downtown Bars



In Downtown Las Vegas, the bar scene covers a lot of ground. Trendy hipster bars and dives are sometimes one in the same, especially in this area, where the grittiness is part of the charm. An impressive number of bars are serving innovative craft cocktails--but cheap drinks are still plentiful. For a evening full of choices for adult libations, it’s hard to go wrong in Downtown Las Vegas.

The Downtown Cocktail Room, just east of the Fremont Street Experience, is known for its amazing hand-crafted cocktails and classic atmosphere. Its menu changes frequently but always features fresh ingredients and top-shelf spirits. It also has a secret bar to add a touch of mystique.

In the Fremont East District, many of the bars are within easy walking distance of each other. For those in the mood for a pub crawl, this is an ideal place to do it.

If you’re more interested in deals than fancy creations, you’ll also find plenty of bars in Downtown Las Vegas serving inexpensive drinks. Covers, when they apply, are very reasonable and happy hours make already inexpensive drink prices even more budget-friendly. At ReBar in the Arts District, not only can you get seriously cheap beer, you can also do some shopping since they’re also a vintage store.

Scroll down to read more about our picks for the 10 best bars in downtown Las Vegas.


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LONGBAR opened inside the D Las Vegas in 2012 and holds the unique distinction of being the longest bar in Nevada. Stretching over one thousand square feet, it's the perfect place to grab a drink, watch the game, place a bet or simply hang out with some friends. Offering nine beers on tap, 15 60-inch TVs and more than 30 seats with personal multi-game playing machines, it's a good thing the bar is as long as it is, as people never seem to want to leave. You'll have no problem bringing the whole gang along, plus a few extras, for a few drinks at LONGBAR.

Recommended for Downtown Las Vegas' Best Bars because: LONGBAR is the longest bar in Nevada and is fully stocked with every kind of drink, plus it has gaming machines as well.

Terrisa's expert tip: After you've had a drink at LONGBAR, you might want to head upstairs to check out the Vue Bar. It has a great view of Fremont Street.

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The Vanguard is located in the Fremont East District in Downtown Las Vegas, which puts it in the heart of one of the city's most trendy areas. The small lounge has a little sidewalk patio, a seating area with a comfortable couch and a bar area at the back, all designed in a comfortable modern industrial style. The Vanguard has a menu of its own creations, like That's Not A Snowflake, made with Crown Royal Vanilla Whisky, Luxardo Maraschino, fresh lime juice, house-made syrup, soda water and cherries. Their selection of classic cocktails all have the Vanguard's twist, like the Vanguard Mule, which adds rosemary, simple syrup and muddled cucumber to the classic recipe for a Moscow Mule. If you're feeling daring, try The Copperfield--you come up with the base spirit, and the bartender gets to be creative.

Recommended for Downtown Las Vegas' Best Bars because: A sleek design and top-shelf drink lineup make Vanguard one of Downtown Las Vegas' best bars.

Terrisa's expert tip: Vanguard frequently also has entertainment, including DJs Monday through Saturday from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Most events are no cover or a low cover.

Read more about Vanguard Lounge →




At one time, people could sit on the roof of Atomic Liquors and watch the mushroom clouds from the atomic blasts at the Nevada Test Site. Those days are long gone, but the bar remains and it still offers patrons the chance to watch something interesting from the patio: the crowd passing by on Fremont Street. 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. Atomic Liquors is the oldest freestanding bar in Las Vegas and got its name because of those famous viewing parties on the roof. The bar was renovated not long ago, 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 Downtown Las Vegas' Best Bars because: The classic dive bar lives on at Atomic Liquors, Las Vegas' oldest freestanding bar.

Terrisa's expert tip: The Kitchen at Atomic is adjacent to Atomic Liquors and serves a full dinner menu from Wednesday through Sunday, plus a brunch menu on Saturday and Sunday.

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When you see the murals on the walls around The Velveteen Rabbit, you start to get the idea that this is a hip place for a cocktail. Located in the Arts District along Main Street, this intimate bar offers well-crafted drinks and a welcoming ambiance. Step inside to its "shabby chic" interior and you'll find a tempting drink menu. Menus change seasonally here, but all of them offer guests innovative, slightly eccentric craft drinks. Look for memorable creations like Other Husband, on the Winter menu from 2018/2019, a creation of plum-infused brandy, Pasubio Amaro, cinnamon orange juice and lemon meringue. Velveteen Rabbit also offers plenty of beers, from the 12 rotating on tap to 18 or more bottled beer. Entertainment includes DJs on Friday and Saturday nights.

Recommended for Downtown Las Vegas' Best Bars because: The craft beer and cocktails at Velveteen Rabbit are a perfect match to its Arts District vibe.

Terrisa's expert tip: The area around Velveteen Rabbit gets very busy during the monthly arts festival, First Friday, which happens during the evening of the first Friday of every month. Parking can be difficult to find.

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ReBar brings two seemingly unrelated ideas together: vintage items for sale, along with a bar. Draft beers start at $3, draft wine at $4 and well drinks and cocktails from $4. The concept makes sense in this downtown bar, which is located right along the Main Street corridor that features antique and vintage shops of all kinds. Everything's for sale at ReBar, so you can browse while you drink. If you get tired of checking out the merchandise, you can play a board game. Customers can also choose to drink for a good cause: a portion of each drink ordered from the Charitable Cocktails menu goes to a Las Vegas charity.

Recommended for Downtown Las Vegas' Best Bars because: ReBar fits right in with the other vintage stores on Main Street, only it also has cheap drinks and food.

Terrisa's expert tip: The food menu at ReBar is inexpensive (everything is under $10) and includes hot links and brat links from John Mull's, one of Las Vegas' best barbeque restaurants.

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Oak & Ivy is all about the whiskey and hand-crafted cocktails. High quality ingredients keep the tastes strong and flavorful. Fresh, seasonal ingredients combine with homemade garnishes and mixers to deliver a refreshingly great drink every time. Barrel-aged cocktails, rare beers and spirits are featured, guaranteeing that you'll savor every last sip of your drink. The Blood and Clovers, for instance, features Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey, Luxardo Sangue Morlacco and Vittone Rosso. There's also plenty of classics, like the Mint Julep, made with fresh mint and Bulleit Bourbon, and an extensive selection of American Whiskeys will give connoisseurs many more reasons to keep coming back.

Recommended for Downtown Las Vegas' Best Bars because: At Oak & Ivy, it's all about the whiskey, served in delicious cocktails or on its own.

Terrisa's expert tip: The house-made ginger beer is one of the key ingredients in Oak & Ivy's Kickin' Mules menu, which gives the traditional Moscow Mule a few new twists.

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This Bohemian bar's location in downtown Las Vegas makes it a beloved Strip-alternative hangout for hipsters and locals seeking a low-key evening. The relaxed setting offers guests the perfect place to simply hang out and enjoy a cool cocktail or reasonably priced beer without having to worry about a dress code. Rich, charismatic decor, including barrel-vaulted brick ceilings, cozy banquet seating, dim lighting and inviting fire pits, creates a warm, mellow environment perfect for a night of drinking and socializing. The jukebox, live acts and DJs offer a unique mix of entertainment, while the well-stocked bar and generous pourings promise to please.

Recommended for Downtown Las Vegas' Best Bars because: The Griffin offers an unpretentious atmosphere, inexpensive drinks and entertainment.

Terrisa's expert tip: On the last Thursday of every month, the Griffin hosts a comedy line-up; cover is only $10. The third Saturday the music theme is a Touch of Disco, and every Wednesday you can catch a magic act.

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With a claim as the world's only 24-hour tiki bar, Frankie's Tiki Room is a must for rum fanatics, as it houses more than 150 premium rums. A unique South Seas theme with more than a touch 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, 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--the more skulls, the stronger the drink--some of these flavorful creations aren't intended for lightweights!

Recommended for Downtown Las Vegas' Best Bars because: One of Las Vegas' truly unique bars, Frankie's Tiki Room has earned its reputation as a place for strong drinks and decor worth talking about.

Terrisa's expert tip: All drinks are $10, and if you get a souvenir mug, it's $25. Some notable artists designed Frankie's mugs, so be sure to check them out.

Read more about Frankie's Tiki Room →


Commonwealth
Photo courtesy of Anthony Mair


The 6,000-square-foot Commonwealth cocktail bar was inspired by pre-Prohibition era design and drinks, and even has its very own speakeasy, plus a 2,000-square-foot rooftop patio with spectacular views of downtown. The drink menu features a collection of the finest spirits and libations, each expertly crafted by one of the top mixologists in the city and executed by Commonwealth's experienced bartenders. Warm, incandescent light sets an intimate tone, washing over the dark, grainy wood and exposed brick on the walls and floor. Booths are tucked away in alcoves for private conversations, while a communal 20-foot-long bar encourages getting to know your neighbor. To check out Commonwealth's backroom speakeasy, The Laundry Room, check the website for a number to text for reservations.

Recommended for Downtown Las Vegas' Best Bars because: Commonwealth's vintage style, rooftop patio and creative cocktails make it one of Downtown Las Vegas' most popular bars.

Terrisa's expert tip: The popular rooftop patio opens at 10 p.m., while the main area at Commonwealth opens at 7 p.m. Go online to reserve tables in the main room and on the rooftop.

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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 drink menu features delectable punch bowls and creative cocktails with distinctive flavor profiles that consistently impress. Return guests will always find something new and special since the menu change seasonally. A live DJ plays nightly Tuesday through Saturday, so you can enjoy music with your delicious cocktail. One of the bar's most-mentioned features is the front door, which some people have a hard time finding. It's a large bronze door, but there are no handles--just push to get in.

Recommended for Downtown Las Vegas' Best Bars because: With its inventive and regularly changing cocktail menu and a speakeasy-like ambiance, the Downtown Cocktail Room is inarguably one of the city's best bars.

Terrisa's expert tip: Back by popular demand, the DCR recently started "Halfy Hour," its version of happy hour, from 4 - 7 p.m., Monday thru Saturday, when everything is half off.

Read more about Downtown Cocktail Room →


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Meet Terrisa Meeks

Terrisa Meeks is a native born, life-long resident of Las Vegas. She's watched Las Vegas grow and change over the years, especially the ever-evolving Las Vegas Strip. She still enjoys hanging...  More About Terrisa

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