The word “historic” doesn’t mean the same thing in Las Vegas that it does in other cities. You won’t find brick-laden streets leading to pre-war buildings, or statues commemorating events that happened in the 1800s here. Instead, you’ll find shiny new casinos rising up from the ruins of slightly older casinos that have recently been imploded. Still, if you want history in Las Vegas, you can find it at a handful of restaurants and bars spread across the city. Again, keep in mind that “historic” in Las Vegas might actually refer to a year that you were in fact, alive for, but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy the vintage charm of these places.
Bob Taylor’s Ranch House
You’ll have to travel over 15 miles away from the Strip to reach the oldest restaurant in the city, but if you like old western flair that harkens back to the days before neon, it’ll be worth the journey. Bob Taylor’s Ranch House has been in business since 1955. Here, you’ll find steaks, seafood and pasta served in a rustic dining room outfitted in wood paneling.
Atomic Liquors is the oldest freestanding bar in Las Vegas. Opened in 1952, the Downtown Las Vegas watering hole gets its name from the days when patrons used to hoist themselves up onto the roof to watch atomic bombs go off in the nearby desert. If you’re on Fremont Street, make the journey here and enjoy a cocktail on the open air patio beneath the bar’s iconic neon sign.
Golden Steer Steakhouse
If you drive a few blocks west of the Strip on Sahara Avenue, you’ll notice a gold statue of a cow in an otherwise nondescript parking lot. That means you’re at the Golden Steer Steakhouse, one of the most classic venues for fine dining that evokes the Las Vegas Rat Pack era. Founded in 1958, the Golden Steer Steakhouse is the kind of place where you’ll find dim lighting, plush leather booths, white tablecloths and waiters who have been there for decades. Order the chateaubriand and a Manhattan.
This intimate, romantic restaurant has been serving Las Vegas since 1976 – long before the (arguably, equally amazing) La Croix flavor by the same name was invented. Tucked away on East Sahara Avenue just minutes from the Strip, Pamplemousse is ideal for a lingering multi-course meal. Opt for the prix fixe menu and savor escargots, chicken cordon bleu and other French favorites.
Luv-It Frozen Custard
Luv-It Frozen Custard is a locally loved dessert spot that still feels like a neighborhood hangout in spite of the hotels and casinos that have risen up around it. Located close to the Stratosphere in a quiet, residential area, Luv-It has been around since 1973. On a hot summer night in Las Vegas, treat yourself to a sundae made with homemade vanilla or chocolate custard.
When it’s 4 a.m. and you want steak and eggs, fettuccine alfredo or, heck, another cocktail, there’s no place quite like The Peppermill. Since its 1972 debut, this 24-hour restaurant, which was featured in the film Casino, has been a go-to late night hotspot for casino workers, mobsters and visitors in-the-know. The neon-tinged ‘70s vibes remain even decades later. Have a giant plate of french toast and a strawberry daiquiri, because why not.