Where to Drink Like a Local in Las Vegas

Written By: Jessica Gomes 8 Las Vegas Bars We Love to End the Day With

Las Vegas is known for the glitter, nightclubs and shows. However, when it comes to the locals, they have a different idea when it comes to partying in Vegas.  Here are the go-to spots for those watching all your bad decisions until 4:00 a.m. and fixing your hangover with that bloody mary by the pool when you wake up.

Herbs & Rye

A dark and moody American-Italian joint, Herbs & Rye is loved for its perfectly timed happy hours. Every day from 5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m.- 3:00 a.m. amazing share plates and perfectly handcrafted cocktails are available for your consumption. Some would even say they are the “world’s greatest” drinks. Herbs & Rye’s menu puts their classic cocktails in order by the years they were created. The list starts off with the Gothic Age, Golden Age, Old School Age, Prohibition Era, Years Of Reform, Dark Age and ending with the Revival Age.  Start off with their Ward Eight cocktail from the “Golden Age” made with rye whiskey, lemon, orange, and homemade grenadine. Or try their Diablo from the “Years Of Reform” made with tequila, crème de cassis, lime and ginger ale. If you don’t know what you want, let them choose for you, with their educated staff and perfected technique they will whip you up something you won’t be able to forget.  After you down a couple of cocktails, take a peek at their menu, which offers everything from wings to pasta and steak.  Must try items include their Truffle Mac and Cheese, Garlicky Spinach, and their Calamari served with banana peppers, prosciutto and cherry pepper aioli.

Native Knowledge: They serve their perfectly timed happy hours every day from 5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m.- 3:00 a.m.

3713 West Sahara Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89102
702.982.8036 | www.herbsandrye.com

 

The Griffin

“With cheap Hamms on tap, a jukebox stocked with the latest indie bands and no cover charge, it’s no surprise The Griffin is known as a magnet for hipsters. But don’t let that stop you from checking out this Fremont East bar. Its great ambiance, low lighting and comfy booths give this place an old Vegas feel without having to try too hard.” – Fremont Street Bars

This dark, downtown bar boasts real fireplaces, an electric jukebox and DJ’s featured on the weekends in their dark backroom. They say they stay open, “Until you stop drinking.” Their late night happy hour is Sunday-Thursday, 10:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. serving $3 well drinks and $1 beers. This happy house is unbelievably inexpensive compared to most Las Vegas bars. The interior is saturated with rich colors, filled with comfortable booths and seats around their fireplaces. You can sit in the communal areas with your drink of choice and hangout, listening to whatever is playing on the jukebox. This is a local spot you would only know about if you happen to stumble upon it or were brought here by somebody who already knew about it. If you are a local you will most likely see somebody you know, and if not you will definitely see someone you want to know.

511 Fremont St
Las Vegas, NV 89101
702.382.0577

 

Bunkhouse Saloon

“Established in 1953, The Bunkhouse Saloon has earned a reputation as one of Vegas’ best places to see both established and emerging bands.”

The Bunkhouse Saloon draws mixed crowds for its cowboy-themed setting. They offer live music, local bands, and bar food “taken to a whole new level.” Check out their “Sloppy Section” where you can get a Sloppy Wiener, Sloppy Joe or Sloppy Sliders all served with a side of Wagon Wheels. Save room for their killer Ice Cream Sandwich to fix your sweet tooth.  Even though it is on the busy Fremont Street, once you are inside and encompassed by its dark, intimate vibe, you forget you are in the city that never sleeps. One of the cool features this place provides is their “Tree Of Life” where they dangle headphones you can use to listen to music of all genres.

Native Knowledge: 

  • This is one of the best venues to check out local and emerging artists
  • They offer throwback beers on draft and in the can
  • Check out the list of upcoming shows on their website

124 S. 11th St
Las Vegas, NV 89101
702.854.1414 | www.bunkhousedowntown.com

 

Atomic Liquors

Atomic Liquors is the oldest freestanding bar in Las Vegas. This bar served its first drink in 1952 where patrons would sit on the roof and watch atomic blasts from the Nevada Atomic Test Site, enjoying a cocktail made by one of the owners, Joe Sobchik.  Joe and his wife, Stella, originally named their location Virginia’s Café in 1945. However, Joe enjoyed making his “Secret Ingredient Atomic Cocktails” rather than cooking in the kitchen, so they revamped the venue, naming it Atomic Liquors. In 2012 a group of investors purchased the building from the Sobchik’s son, Ron, and restored it to keep its classic feel and 1950s charm. This bar has been the watering hole for celebrities from every era, including The Rat Pack, Anthony Bourdain, and Barbra Streisand, who had her personal seat at the bar. With its history, vibrant atmosphere, free parking, trivia nights, cocktail specials and beer selection, this place is a must visit when it comes to feeding your drinking habits.

Fun Fact:
Atomic Liquors is the oldest freestanding bar in Las Vegas

Native Knowledge: They have Pub Trivia Nights every Thursday from 7:00-9:00 p.m. where you can win bar tabs and prizes!

917 Fremont St
Las Vegas, NV 89101
702.982.3000 | www.atomiclasvegas.com

Commonwealth

A meeting place for drinkers featuring a pre-Prohibition era design with art and architectural influences and libations, this 6, 000 square foot bar is bringing a whole new type of scene to Downtown Vegas.  Commonwealth features three different bars; the first being on the main level, the second in the rooftop garden bar and the third members-only “secret” bar. The rooftop bar gives you a panoramic view of the Vegas Skyline and bustling Fremont Street. Inside you will find yourself memorized by the details applied while designing the place such as custom bar taps and unique furnishings like the artsy chandeliers.

Native Knowledge: 
They offer a members-only “secret” bar called, The Laundry Room, accessible only to guests with a reservation.

Happy Hour:
Wednesday-Friday 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Well Drinks: $3
Ketel One and Crown Royal cocktails: $5
Craft Beers: $5
Domestic Draft Beers: $3

525 E. Fremont St
Las Vegas, NV 89101
702.445.6400 | www.commonwealthlv.com

 

Downtown Cocktail Room

“It is a great place to hang out after work, take a date, or bring your friends if you want to relax, chill, and have a good time. The scenery isn’t bad either…” – Michael Cornthwaite, Owner of Downtown Cocktail Room

As Vegas’ most respected cocktail bar, the Downtown Cocktail Room Speakeasy provides a bohemian chic getaway in a 3, 000 square foot space, serving the sophisticated working locals and visitors alike.  Their menus consist of seasonal and ever-changing handcrafted cocktails and bites that are also served late night for the night owls.  For handcrafted drinks, give their Nutso Nymph a try, made with vermouth, absinthe, walnut and cookie. Or try their Fairest of Them All made with apple, bubbles and citrus.  If you want to get real crazy, go for the absinthe. There are nine to choose from, and they have all three styles of preparation: traditional, panache and scorched.

Fun Fact:
They have a wide variety of absinthe to choose from

Native Knowledge: 
Happy Hour is Monday-Friday from 4:00pm-8:00pm with a wide selection of drinks (including $100 bottle service) and eats.

Their Decorum:
1. All attire must be tasteful in nature, but individualism is encouraged.

2. No outside food or beverages will be allowed.

3. Please do not rearrange or mistreat the furniture. Staff will handle all adjustments of furnishings.

4. Talk of religion and politics is strongly discouraged unless you are a priest, rabbi or politician. In that case, it is probably past your bedtime.

5. You are responsible for all of the guests in your party. No shouting or other raucous behavior will be tolerated.

6. Gentlemen must use manners and common courtesy at all times. Ladies can do as they please.

7. Please refrain from asking guests or staff inappropriate questions. If you don’t know what constitutes an inappropriate question, please go elsewhere.

8. All guests are expected to buy beverages. Non-alcoholic options are available. Tap water will only be served when accompanied by a cocktail.

9. Members will always have priority. You may sit anywhere you like, but may be asked to move if table is needed. In that case, please do so expeditiously.

111 South Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89101
702.880.3696 | www.thedowntownlv.com

 

The Velveteen Rabbit

Located in the Art District, The Velveteen Rabbit gives off a hipster and “artsy” vibe with its mixed crowd of bearded and tattooed, eclectic free birds.  There’s a possibility this bar is named after your favorite children’s novel … and you will get that vibe from the whimsical interior. When you walk into this place, you instantly forget you are minutes away from the big name casinos and clubs pumping out deafening music by big name DJs. Here you will find a bar which provides, “beer, crafted cocktails, music, art, dance and love.”  The bar taps are topped by mannequin hands (don’t get freaked out) and the drink list contains “Elixirs” with names like the Resurrection and Green Bitch.  Your beer options will range from the malts like Schlitz to unique brews such as Le Freak Belgian IPA.  If you are sick of the cigarette smoke that seems to be looming in and around the strip, The Velveteen Rabbit is a non-smoking bar. Don’t worry, they also have a designated area for those who need to take that smoke break.  Don’t visit this bar hungry, as there are no food options here—just enjoy your liquid diet while listening to local musicians and DJ’s that play on the weekend.

1218 South Main St
Las Vegas, NV 89104
702.685.9645 | www.velveteenrabbitlasvegas.blogspot.com

 

Double Down Saloon

“Known the world over as the Happiest Place on Earth, the Double Down Saloon has been bringing a much needed sophistication to Las Vegas since 1992.  Interplanetary abstract.  Urban decay.  The Anti-Vegas.  Double Down is indeed a clubhouse for the lunatic fringe.”

Last but not least, we couldn’t forget the infamous Double Down Saloon!  This mural-covered bar features live punk bands and an electric jukebox, which they say, is “the pulse of the Double Down.”  24 hours a day this jukebox will be playing punk, garage, rock, ska, surf, lo-fi, psychobilly and cowpunk for your listening pleasure. The only time the jukebox won’t be playing is when local and national bands are on the stage performing for you, never costing you a penny. So you can grab your cocktail (try their Bacon Martini) and rock out to whatever beats are playing. Double Down also has a casino for your convenience, this way you don’t have to head to the strip to win big.  So whether it’s the music, pool table, pinball, hot chicks, bums, touring bands or Hollywood types that draw you in, “always expect the unexpected.”

Native Knowledge: Double Down is open 24 hours a day

4640 Paradise Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89169
702.791.5775 | www.doubledownsaloon.com