The Strip is overrated and inundated with very cookie cutter music, shopping and prices. My advice is only go for the pool parties and if clubs are your thing. Head a bit further north to the “Old Vegas” neighborhood where the likes of Dino, Sinatra, and the Mob started their desert playground.
After some exploration and numerous visits, or romps, my little guide to DTLV is near complete. From a boozy manicures to underground shows, here are a few of MY favorites spots for sips and bites.
Good Morning! Start off your day with either, a generous Bloody Mary at Hennessy’s because unfortunately, nothing north of Fremont East (Old Vegas Strip) or downtown proper, is open early for the thirsty. If coffee is more your fix, keep walking to PublicUs, a canteen style cafe. Sit under a leafy tree at one of their communal styles tables; observe stylish Zappos clientele, overhear political whining, while enjoying a dark roast and bourbon banana bread.
For brunch, either stay at PublicUs for one of their breakfast bruschetta dishes. Or head up the block to Downtown Container Park, which houses numerous little eateries and watering hole-in-the-walls. Check out Perch, upstairs near their main stage. Get a boozy iced coffee and their veggie burger, or step it up with steak frites. Oh, and sit outside in the sun and get a tan. Boom, two birds with one stone.
Downstairs, sip on a glass of pumpkin cider (if in season!) or a hefty local IPA from Bin 702, a teeny tiny boxcar tasting room with charcuterie, wine, craft beer and fancy lobster grilled cheese.
One of our growing traditions is after my boyfriend and I get haircuts at our neighborhood barbershop Hi Rollers Barbershop, we grab some super spicy barbecue at Rick’s Rollin BBQ in Pawn Plaza. For none vintage/antique/memorbilia nerds, these are the guys of Pawn Stars. Head to the upstairs bar, order brisket sliders with home-made spicy bbq sauce, wash down with PBR… dear god stay away from their mystery shots. If your lucky, Rick could be the bartender and you can pick his brain on conspiracy heirlooms… (as shown below).
BEST DIVES & TOKEN CRAFT BAR
1) Beauty Bar
Known to us as the best spot for day drinking and getting a manicure. We know the day bartenders and there is never a wait to get a quick coat of polish done with a few shots.
We always say, “what makes a great bar, is a little taxidermy” and Park delivers on all the hippest levels of pretentious taste. Bloody Mary’s, garbage fries and a great late night happy hour. Order a gin mule or their margaritas and sit at their outside bar among the flora and fauna. Or get lit at a table for two under their, ahem.. Fucking Beautiful neon. [pictured above]
3) The Griffin
This is usually our last stop. We’ve made friends with a group of hipster New Zealander’s, bummed hand rolled cigarettes (unfortunately) and drink cheap Hamm’s (fortunately, finally something familiar!) This is a cozy spot; with their stone front entrance, brick interior awnings and fireplaces, looks more like the Hog’s Head, where I would nestle in to read The Cursed Child.
You’ve reached the border between downtown and ghetto arts district housing. Be advised, don’t walk alone. This place get’s PACKED, get in their early for a spot at the bar or on the patio rail, see above. We finally discovered this gem on our way to a Rooney show at the Bunkhouse Saloon, which is hard to beat, as the downtown mainstay for live music. Cocktails boast a little uppity, but they have several brews for the easy to please crowd like us.
Above: mural within the Airstream park.
With this little road map, you should have pleasant days ahead, humans!