Usually when you are a local, you avoid the touristy areas of town as much as possible. Us “Vegas Locals” avoid touristy sites like The Strip, Hoover Dam, and Grand Canyon, but Downtown is different. Every time my friends want to go out or celebrate a birthday, Downtown is where we go time and time again.
I have been to every single bar in the downtown area (many times) and I can attest that these are by far the BEST bars in downtown Las Vegas! All of these are trendy, lively, affordable and will make you leave wanting to come back and explore some more! Before we dive into the bars, I want to share some local tips to know before going out, where downtown is, my top hotel recommendations for the area, and arguably the most important… what to wear! 🙂
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LOCAL TIPS to know before going to Downtown Las Vegas Bars:
- Don’t even think about going on a weekday or before 10pm. The bars will be deserted!
- Go bar hopping! There are too many great bars to choose from and it’s so easy to walk to/from them.
- Ladies get free entry on most nights, excluding holiday weekends!
- Get drunk food at the restaurant inside Goldspike called Fiddlestix!
- If it’s your first time in Vegas, make sure you stroll through Fremont Street to see the LED dome!
- If you are in town on the first Friday of the month, grab dinner at the First Friday festival from one of the many food trucks.
- What is Considered downtown Las Vegas
- Best Hotels in Downtown Las Vegas
- What to wear when bar hopping in Downtown Vegas
- BEST BARS IN DOWNTOWN VEGAS
- Common questions about Fremont Street + Downtown!
What is considered Downtown Las Vegas?
Downtown is a fairly large area, but the best part to stay in is on or near Fremont Street. This is the main street where the neon signs, fun bars, show girls, LED canopy, and zip line will be located! If you are Ubering from the Las Vegas Strip, I would just plug in the address to one of the bars listed below or just ask them to drop you off near Fremont Street & they will know exactly where to take you.
Recommended Read: 40 FREE things to do in Las Vegas!
Best Hotels in Downtown Las Vegas
If you are trying to save some money, it’s a great idea to stay in Downtown Las Vegas versus the luxurious strip! Downtown has far less traffic, affordable prices, trendy bars, and the best art murals in town! Most people who travel from out of town are surprised by how much they love downtown, especially in comparison to the Strip area. Here are my favorite hotels in Downtown broken down by budget:
$$$: Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino – Home to the famous Shark tank slide!
To browse all Downtown Las Vegas hotels, click here!
What to wear when bar hopping in Downtown Vegas
The #1 question I always get asked from my readers is… “what the heck do I pack for Las Vegas?” And my simple answer usually is, “what do you plan to do while you are here?”
If you plan to spend the night bar hopping in Downtown Las Vegas, you will want to make sure you dress appropriately! Most of these bars double as night clubs and will enforce a dress code, more strict on boys of course. The typical dress code for a female is to look presentable / cute and… well, that’s pretty much it. They obviously don’t want you wearing a bathing suit, but the dress code in most of Las Vegas is very lenient with girls! To be specific, I would NOT wear club dresses & heels, but casual wear. Jeans, tank tops, body suits, skirts, maxi dresses and similar items are more common!
For boys, you will want to make sure you are wearing shirts (NOT tank-tops), nice shorts (not basketball shorts), and closed toe shoes (no sandals). Some bars will be strict if you are wearing a hat, so I would avoid it just to be safe. The dress code will not be as strict as the night clubs, but you will want to make sure you are still looking presentable.
As for miscellaneous things to bring, here are my top recommendations on what to bring downtown:
- CASH: I would highly recommend bringing small bills to pay for drinks. At times, the bars will be very crowded and it will be difficult to get a drink. You will want to be able to split bills with friends and speed up the paying process!
- Government ID: The bars in Las Vegas are very strict with ID’s and will not even let you into the bar/club without one. I would also bring a credit card with your name on it in case they have any doubts that your ID is real.
- Hangover Cure: If you are bar hopping, you will likely be getting a drink at each bar (that’s what the local’s do at least!). And Las Vegas does not poor crappy drinks, especially for how expensive they can be! Make sure you drink this life-saving hangover cure before bed so you can rally the next day! 🙂
- Celebrating a special occasion? It is extremely common to wear matching Bachelorette party t-shirts, birthday sashes, etc.! Which, if you are celebrating a special occasion, make sure you check out my How to spend your Birthday in Las Vegas!
- If you are a female, be sure to check out my EXTREMELY detailed Packing List for Vegas Guide!
Best Bars in Downtown Las Vegas
Common Wealth is the bar you always want to end with because after you go to this one, all of the other bars won’t seem as fun! I am not sure if it’s the rooftop bar line with twinkly lights, live DJ or lively crowd that makes me love it most, but Common Wealth should definitely be added to your bar hopping itinerary!
If you are coming with a group or celebrating a special occasion, you are able to rent tables so your group has a designated area to hang out in! You have the option to rent tables either indoors on the first floor or on their rooftop bar near the live DJ (Definitely choose the rooftop!). Table prices will vary depending on the location you pick, size of the table, weeknight and if there are any events / holidays that weekend. Click here to inquire about table reservations!
Corduroy is one that I always recommend you start your night with because of their fun photo booth in the back! It’s the perfect opportunity to get a “before” shot of you and your friends while your makeup and hair still look fresh! There might be a short wait for the photo booth, but just grab a drink first so you can drink it while you wait.
This bar also has a live DJ most nights that will accept song requests, affordable drinks, and Boozy Bingo every Thursday!
Oddfellows is a bar in the front, disco club in the back! Most people don’t even realize that there’s another world in the back of this bar, which makes its discovery all the more fun! They have music themes every night of the week, so be sure to check here to see what you are getting yourself into, ha 🙂
Since it’s a disco club, it is only fun if this place is packed with people. This is a classic hit/miss bar because some nights it will be the best bar in downtown Vegas and other nights can be quite boring.
The most unique bar in downtown Las Vegas and by far the largest. Connected to the Oasis Hotel, the “Backyard bar” is filled with food trucks, live music, and the best part… GIANT YARD GAMES! You could easily spend hours in here playing giant bowling, shuffleboard, Jenga, beer pong and more! And if the weather isn’t great, they still have a huge area inside with a live DJ and dance floor.
If you are a solo traveler or out with friends and want to mingle, this is such a great place because everyone is playing games and socializing together.
TIP: I would end your night here (or at least come back after bar hopping) to get the best drunk food in the UNIVERSE at Fiddlestix. Get one of their loaded fries, trust me on this one.
Have you seen the movie Coyote Ugly? Well, that movie came to life at Hogs & Heifers! The trashiest, raunchiest, most “Old School Vegas” bar in town where you can expect the bartenders half-dressed, dancing on the bar, forcing you to take one more tequila shot!
You can definitely see the saying, “What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas,” come to life since no one is allowed to take pictures / videos inside the bar, so people get as crazy as they want.
P.S. See those bras hanging on the bar in the photo below haha!?
Not a wild or crazy bar, but perfect for friends who want to get together for a drink and catch up. The music isn’t blasting in your ears, there’s actually places to sit, and you can order one of their many craft cocktails! If you do want more of a “party vibe,” head to the back room with the DJ and dance floor.
The bar is also centered with a massive fireplace, making it the coziest bar in town!
There are too many amazing bars to check out, which means a lot of drinking! You will want to fuel up before your night out and make sure your belly has something in it to soak up some of that alcohol. Park on Fremont is the perfect spot to have dinner at before you start exploring all the best bars in Downtown Las Vegas.
If the weather is nice (which it is most of the year), I would opt in for eating at their ADORABLE patio! It is lined with twinkly-lit trees, pastel colored furniture and craft cocktail – YUM!
TIP: Get the fried pickles and a flight of beer, YUM!
A little off the path from the other bars on this list, but if you have a dare-devil in your group, you will need to bring them here to challenge them to a scorpion shot! Yes, that is exactly what that sounds like.. a shot of Tequila with a dead scorpion in the shot.
If you actually do the entire shot, scorpion and all, you will win a prize! Don’t ask me what the prize is because, well, I have never attempted this ha!
If you’re like me and there’s no way in hell you are drinking a scorpion, you can still stop here for nachos. They have an entire page of their menu dedicated to different types of world-class Nachos. You can see those here!
Downtown Las Vegas Q&A’s:
Is Fremont Street Safe at night?
YES, I would definitely say Fremont Street is safe at night because it is extremely busy. With any downtown area, there will be minor crime like pick pocketing, drunk violence, etc. But as long as you are aware of your surroundings, you will be completely safe!
Is Fremont Street Cheaper than the strip?
It is absolutely cheaper than the Las Vegas Strip, but take that with a grain of salt because everything is cheap in comparison to “The Strip.” Men will have to pay to enter almost every bar / club and women will have to pay during peak nights (holiday weekends, large events in town, etc.). Drinks will be a little above average, around $10.00 per drink.
Can you walk to Fremont Street from the Strip?
It is not advised to walk from The Strip to Fremont Street because it could take over 2 hours and it is not a safe walk. I would recommend catching an Uber, Lyft, Taxi or shuttle to visit Fremont Street.
What do you wear to the bars in downtown Vegas?
I have a full section at the top of this guide that outlines what I recommend wearing to downtown Las Vegas, but for more details, I would recommend checking out my Packing List for Vegas!
How much time should you spend in downtown Las Vegas?
Downtown can be dangerously fun on nights where the bars are busy, but if you end up going on an empty night, you might not want to stay for too long. I would budget at least 3-4 hours to be able to see Fremont street and visit a few bars on the list.
Okay, that’s a wrap! I hope you love my recommendations for best bars in downtown Las Vegas! I have been to the bars on this list countless times and feel like the crowds are fun, drinks are good and atmosphere is topnotch. I am always scouting for new bars in the area, so if you have any bars that you love that didn’t make the list, comment them below so I can check them out!
If you are traveling to Las Vegas soon, here are some other guide you would love:
- Vegas Packing List
- 40 FREE things to do in Las Vegas
- Best Day Trips from Las Vegas
- Celebrating your 21st Birthday in Las Vegas
- One Day in Death Valley – Easy Day Trip From Las Vegas!
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