Usually, when people head to Vegas, they go for the nightlife. I guess you can say that was the same for me, but not really? Look, if you’re going for the ~experience~, this guide is for you. Here’s my no-frills review of places that were recommended and/or highly rated. Pass or go? Here’s all you need to know.
WYNN (@ on the strip)
The Wynn was my #1 choice of hotel which we luckily booked through Hotwire! Pro-tip: you know how it won’t tell you which hotel you’ll get until AFTER you book? Keep refreshing the booking page. Whatever hotel stays on the most is likely the hotel you’re going to get.
Also, don’t forget being kind doesn’t cost anything, so don’t forget to keep that in mind while checking in. We were able to get an upgrade for an extra $45 a night! Worth it.
VIRGIN HOTEL (@ off the strip)
I stayed here for 4 hours during the Southwest fiasco (please hold for that post), but I had this on my list solely for Kassi Beach. This one is off the strip, but I enjoyed my short stay and the absolute aesthetic vibes.
BACCHANAL BUFFET (@ Cesars Palace)
Everyone and their best friend will tell you about this place. Come hungry because there’s food for days. Pro-tip: book a reservation through OpenTable! Not sure how long the wait would be if you didn’t.
SECRET PIZZA (@ Cosmopolitan)
The only reason it’s called “Secret Pizza” is that there’s no sign of where this is. Look for it on the second floor of the Cosmopolitan and follow the record album covers along the wall. It’s open late at night, so when the drunchies are calling…
THE CEREAL KILLERZ KITCHEN (@ The Miracle Mile Shop)
Full disclosure, I did not actually order anything from here, but I did stop right in front of the shop. Suitable for a quick breakfast on the go while you’re walking the strip and if you’re a fan of cereal, obviously.
TEKKA BAR (@ Cosmopolitan)
OOOOoooOooooh. If you love sushi and you order hand rolls, this is your SPOT. I was expecting this to be a restaurant, but it’s a literal sushi bar, and you have to circle the bar for a seat. I ordered the combo platter and split it with Andrew. Then naturally, we followed up with Momofuku because who doesn’t love Momofuku?
BEAUTY & ESSEX (@ Cosmopolitan)
Get ready to get dressed up and sit down for this one. The front is staged as a pawn shop (but I think you can purchase items), and just to the left is a secret door that leads to the restaurant. Vegas loves their speakeasies. It is dark in here, but the whole vibes and service were A-1.
OYSTER BAR (@ Palace Station Hotel)
Another highly recommended spot but fair warning, apparently there’s one of these in Reno (?) Someone fact-check me. This one is way off the strip, and you will need to Uber/Lyft to your destination since it’s near Area 15. I hear they also do $1 oysters, but I wasn’t able to score some.
This might ruffle feathers, but this wasn’t that amazing as I thought. It was way overhyped, and I’m genuinely not sure if it’s worth the long wait. Don’t get me wrong, the plates were fantastic, but nothing super wowed me that I can’t find in a similar restaurant. — Thank you, Atown!
PRIME (@ Bellagio)
OOOOOH. I still think about the food I couldn’t finish… We came here for my birthday dinner, and this place did not miss. I got the filet mignon with a few sides: mushrooms, spinach, and something else. This steak spot was THE ONE. High up there on one of my lists of top steak restaurants.
Verdict: Yes! And try to score a seat in front or near the water show!
EATALY (@ Park MGM)
Eat at wannabe Italy in Eataly! I came here for a quick bite before the Raiders game, and it’s best if you’re looking for a heavy meal to hold you over. I did love the Italian soda, too!
BEST FRIEND (@ Park MGM)
I will go to bat for this restaurant for the rest of my life. Another highly recommended restaurant by Roy Choi, and it did NOT disappoint. I loved everything about it, from the vibes, the decor, the playlist, the service, and the food! The street corn and street tacos were true chef’s kiss.
Verdict: RUN DON’T WALK
BOUCHON (@ The Venetian)
NGL, this was a trek to find, but I love the Italian vibes this place gave off. Perfect for brunch! This was a last-minute add, but I’m so glad I went. I tried escargot for the first time, and I still dream about it. Luckily, we walked in, and we were able to snag a table from a last-minute cancellation, but I’d recommend booking a reservation. — Thank you, Cece!
Verdict: Book for brunch!
I LOVE SUGAR
There’s multiple I Love Sugar bars around the area but if you like candy as much as I do, try it out! If you don’t, it’s not a make or break.
Verdict: it’s OK if you don’t
minus5 ICE BAR (@ The Linq)
This isn’t just a bar; it’s an experience. I would mostly recommend if it’s a super hot day outside and you need to cool off. This bar is covered entirely in ice and cold; that’s why they give you parkas before stepping inside. The drinks are alright, and better yet, once you’re done with your stay, you can smash your glass cup in the recycling bin—what a way to release your pent-up anger.
Verdict: Worth going and checking out
VANDERPUMP COCKTAILS (@ Cesars Palace)
I didn’t go inside, but the exterior? Beautiful. Interior? Dark as hell. I know nothing about the Vanderpumps, but I hear the drinks are good (expensive, but… aren’t most drinks in Vegas expensive?)
Verdict: Fan of Vanderpumps should def go
THE CHANDELIER (@ Cosmpoloitan)
Quite literally the centerpiece of Cosmopolitan. Anyone can spot The Chandelier on all three floors, with the entrance being on the second. I went here for a drink, but it’s like any regular bar except with pleasant surroundings. You’re not missing much.
Verdict: It’s hard not to miss and good for a quick drink
GHOST DONKEY (@ Cosmopolitan)
OK, this place closes early, so try to go earlier in the day, if you can. This one is tucked away in the food court area on the second floor of Cosmopolitan. It is super tiny, but the ~vibes~ are there. The drinks are refreshing too!
Verdict: Yes! Please find it and go!
FAT TUESDAY (@ Multiple Areas)
Did you even go to Vegas if you didn’t get a Fat Tuesday? Save that cup to get a discount refill. Or don’t, it’s your life. If you missed one on the way, chances are there is a bar 5 steps away.
THE LAUNDRY ROOM (Near Fremont Street / The Commonwealth)
This is a TRUE speakeasy. I really couldn’t find this one at night until I approached a bouncer in front of The Commonwealth on the corner of the street, and they led me inside. This one, you need a reservation, so book ahead! Also, know what flavors you like, and they’ll build you a customized drink based on all the things you want.
For example, I love sugar, cake, candy, fruit, etc. go into as much or as little detail you want, but whatever you say, they’ll craft something special. Do note: It’s a two-drink minimum, and you must keep your voice level to a hush-hush.
HERE KITTY KITTY VICE DEN (@ Resort World)
Another speakeasy! My trip was finding all the speakeasies, and I almost did. This one is nested in the food court of the new hotel Resorts World inside Ms. Meow’s Mamak Stall. It’s precisely to the right of the food court, and you’ll know you’re there when you see a super clean convenience store with those classic waving cats. Right behind that shelf holds Here Kitty Kitty Vice Den.
Just like The Laundry Room, know the flavors you like, and they’ll build you a customized drink. I had a bomb matcha tequila drink that sounded disgusting but was delicious. Two drink minimum is also required, but reservations aren’t!
Verdict: YES, GO.
SKY BAR (@ Astoria Waldorf)
Perfect for a nightcap or just for the ~views~ the Sky Bar is located at the Astoria Waldorf. I kid you not; looking for this one was a bit eerie because nothing happens at this hotel except this bar. Their drinks are worth paying for, and it’s super classy, so do not come trashy.
PARASOL DOWN (@ The Wynn)
Saw this on TikTok and knew we had to hit this up. Luckily it was located right where we were staying. People commented, saying, you have to dress up, but I rolled up with my clothes straight off the plane. I guess it’s more for later in the day but having a drink right by a beautiful waterfall is not a bad look! Service can be a bit slow, but it’s an excellent spot to chill.
HIGH ROLLER (@ The Linq)
Someone asked me about this, and just a week before we went, the High Roller had an incident where one of the pods went haywire. We contemplated but eventually rode it at night. Look, it’s no space needle, but you do get to see all of Vegas… I would not ride more than once, but I wouldn’t say you HAVE to go on this even then.
Great thing? You can drink on it. Another great thing? You can pass some time hopping on it. But again, it’s not a MUST.
Verdict: Go if you want to pass some time
SHARK REEF AQUARIUM (@ Mandalay Bay)
Andrew loves aquariums, and we like going for the funsies, so why not. Lol, this is no Monterey Bay. Deceiving right? If you have kids, a great place to pass the time. If you’re an adult, not worth it. I swear I saw some statues versus real animals, too, in some of the exhibits. BAMBOOZLED.
The VR part was cool, though, but again, meh.
COCA-COLA STORE (on the strip)
I know Walt Disney World has this, but if you’re a true #fan of Coca-Cola, sure, check this out? At the top level, they have a tasting of different Coca Colas around the world. That’s a perk! Just trust me when I say you will NOT like the Beverly flavor from Paris. Why?????
Verdict: Eh. OK, to pass.
DOWNTOWN CONTAINER PARK (Near Fremont Street)
This one is near Fremont Street, and unless you’re staying in Circus Circus or Circa Resort & Casino, you’ll need to Uber out here. If you’re not into day clubs but still wanna a chill place to drink, this spot is for you. If you’re familiar with the Bay and know of Spark SF, it’s this! Food, drinks, a stage for some performances.
Verdict: Sure, if you need a place to chill
FREMONT STREET EXPERIENCE (@ Fremont Street)
I love this place at night because it’s full of nightlife. This is also near where Life Is Beautiful takes place every year. I love the energy walking through here, and you never know who or what you’ll see! Don’t be like me and order a glass of champagne at the outdoor bar lol—my mistake.
Verdict: Go, go, go!!!
OMEGA MART/MEOWOLF (@ AREA 15)
Carve about 3-4 hours for this place because this art exhibit is quite literally a maze! I had no idea what to expect, but this interactive experience takes you for a loop of hidden doors, a deep dive on consumerism, and a murder mystery? I still don’t know what it is, and I still need to watch a YouTube explaining what it all means.
CLASSIC LAS VEGAS SIGN
This is a classic ~insta-worthy/picture-perfect~ sign. There is a line to take a photo, and a person will be there to take a picture. I’m sure you have to or should tip. But if you aren’t about the lines and don’t care about getting an image right in the middle, hop to the side and grab a side angle. You’ll eventually get a shot with no one in the background! It saves your time. Oh, and it’s just a few blocks away from Mandalay Bay.
Verdict: Go at least one of your visits
GONDOLA RIDES (@ The Venetian)
HAHAHAHAHA. YES, I KNOW YOU CAN DO THIS IN ITALY, BUT I WAS SOLD OK. I’M A TRUE TOURIST. The person who was doing the actual ride was great, and she sang for us three times! I felt so bad for not having cash to tip, so just FYI! I did the inside route, and it just goes back and forth down the Venetian shops. hahahahahaha.
Verdict: OK to pass unless you’re an absolute tourist like me
MIRACLE MILE SHOPS
HARD. PASS. IT’S JUST A SHOPPING MALL and not a great one at that… But Cerela Killerz is in here?
Verdict: Hard pass
STADIUM SWIM (@ Circa)
We had this on our list but opted out because it’s $40 to enter. I’m not even sure if that guarantees a spot but if you’re going to spend the afternoon there to watch the big screens, go for it. If you’re going at night… I’m not sure what’s the point is. You have to buy drinks in there, so it’s $40 to go to a pool to watch TV. That’s a no for me.
THE NEON MUSEUM
Another thing we had on our list, but we didn’t get to go! I hear that the 9 pm Neon show is SO good. I’ll be coming back.
KASSI BEACH HOUSE (@ VIRGIN HOTEL)
I mentioned this earlier, but if you head to their Instagram, it’s very influencer-esque. So if you’re about that, it’s for you. It’s giving Marianna Hewitt.
SEVEN MAGIC MOUNTAINS
GREAT if you have a car. This is about 30 minutes away from the strip and like a $40 Lyft/Uber ride to take a 5-minute photo.
MON AMI GABI (@ Paris Hotel)
Located inside the Paris Hotel, I wish I could go here for brunch, and I heard nothing but great things! — Thank you, Alex!
SKYFALL LOUNGE (@ Mandalay Bay)
L O L this bar opens after 5 pm and is closed like Monday – Wednesday. I had no idea, so we missed out on this one!
SADELLE’S CAFE (@ Bellagio)
I just found out about this from Tinx on her IG story, and after a quick Google search, I wish I had known about it earlier. The interior aesthetics, muah.
YELLOWTAIL (@ Bellagio)
My work wife told me about this one and I always trust her recommendations. Plus the view she posted was SO nice! From what I’m told, you get a 7 course meal, all chef recommendations. — Thank you, Mavy!
And that wraps up Viva Las Vegas! I hope this guide, with my honest reviews, helped you in some way. Additionally, here’s my handy Google Map that lists out all the places above. This Google Map helped me plan out each of my days.
What can I say? I love being organized!