The Las Vegas Strip is longer than you think it is – much, much longer. To hop from bar to bar along all 4.2 miles of it is certainly a noble quest, but it’s ultimately a fool’s errand, especially if you attempt to do it on a 110-degree day in July. Downtown Las Vegas, on the other hand, is much more doable. The dining, drinking and entertainment center of Fremont Street stretches for just under a mile from the trendy East Fremont District all the way west to the end of the Fremont Street Experience.
Whether you’re looking to plan a Downtown bar crawl or just trying to find the best bars on Fremont Street, here are the stops to hit from east to west:
Start at the Bunkhouse Saloon on Fremont and 11th Street. This indoor/outdoor space is one of the coolest places to catch indie bands before they make it big. Stop in for a live show or grab a beer and chill out in the bed of the rusted truck that’s parked near the entrance.
Next, make your way to Atomic Liquors. The oldest freestanding bar in Las Vegas got its name from the days when patrons used to climb onto the roof to watch atomic bomb tests in the nearby desert. Order a specialty cocktail or a draft beer from the rotating tap list and take a seat outside beneath the bar’s iconic neon sign.
Oak & Ivy
Over on Fremont and 8th Street, you’ll find the bustling Downtown Container Park, an open-air shopping and dining district. Settle in at Oak & Ivy and have a barrel-aged cocktail or a Mint Julep. Bourbon is the key to summoning the courage to make your way down the twisty, 33-foot tall slide at the center of Downtown Container Park.
Few bars embody the spirit of East Fremont Street like The Griffin. This effortlessly hip mainstay offers a revamped cocktail list and an aesthetic that can only be described as haunted castle chic. Just trust us.
Park on Fremont
The lush, whimsical back patio at Park on Fremont (and the secret back back patio which features a seesaw) was made for Instagram. Fortunately, the drinks and food are pretty good, too. If you’re hungry by now, order the garbage fries with tater tots. And if you’re the sharing type, ask for Park’s giant Moscow mule, which serves six people.
Patio Bar Four Queens
A lot of Downtown hipsters are afraid to cross over from East Fremont into the chaotic, touristy and debaucherous land of the Fremont Experience, but to forgo the neon canopy with ziplines racing overhead is to forgo Vegas itself. Settle in at the Patio Bar at The Four Queens and watch Elvis impersonators, showgirls and musicians vie for attention.
Cadillac Mexican Kitchen at Golden Nugget
At this point, you probably need some tequila. You can find it, along with mezcal, beer and enchiladas at Cadillac Mexican Kitchen at Golden Nugget. The barrel-aged hibiscus margarita, which is available in limited qualities, is the thing to order here. On your way out of the hotel, stop by and see the pool, which is famous for its glass slide that goes through a shark tank.
The D Bar
If you are still alive, the last stop on the trip is D Bar. It’s one of those classic, walk-up bars where you can order a big frozen cocktail and then carry it around. Whether that means dancing to free live music at the nearby outdoor stage, taking a stroll below the iconic twinkling lights outside of The Plaza or retracing your steps with a margarita in hand, the night is yours.