There’s really nothing better than visiting a local dive bar especially when you’re out of town. Entering into an unknown jaunt with no windows (to easily lose track of time drunkenly), dark interiors, a haze of cigarette smoke floating overhead, cheap drinks and a bartender who becomes your best friend after you buy them that first shot. Of course, you can make friends easily by buying the whole bar shots – even without breaking the bank.
Dive bars are just the greatest, really, they are. And Vegas has no shortage of them, but when you’re in Sin City, you need to hit up the following dive bars because your life just isn’t complete without these divey hotspots. Well, not really, but the following dive bars are amazing and you’ll have the time of your life or at least enjoy getting quite buzzed for under $20, which is often rare when in Vegas.
This dive bar is very much off the beaten path and about 15 minutes east of The Strip on Desert Inn. Mapquest will tell you you’ve passed it, but Mapquest will be wrong, making this an even more unique find when you actually get there. When you head inside you’ll have your choice of seats at the horseshoe-shaped bar. Anywhere you sit you’ll have full view of the colorful attire of the bartenders, let’s just say they don’t call it ‘bottoms up’ for no reason.
Shots of Jameson are extremely cheap and most of the time a local is buying shots for the whole bar. It can get crowded on a weekend night, but why not do some day drinking here. You’ve got pool, a jukebox and some gaming or you can just banter with the locals. The gaming isn’t that hot, but I recall getting pretty hazy with my friends all for a tab under $30 – pretty amazing. They also have a Bottoms Up beer special accompanied by a shot. Just make sure you put your shades on before you head outside if you are day drinking, that Vegas sun will knock you sober the second you leave the bar.
More of a classy dive (if there is such a thing), Huntridge can be found in Downtown Vegas marked by a bright neon sign out front. Choose to saddle up at the bar or pick one of the few tables on the left. Drinks are slightly more expensive than Bottoms Up, but still cheap as can be. Here, you’ll find some good-looking hipsters mixed with the locals of Downtown. Everyone stays pretty mild mannered, but it’s absolutely easy to start chatting up anyone next to you or the barkeep if you’ve gone alone. A surefire way to entice conversation: ask about the whiskey club. Usually some solid tunes emanate from this bar and it’s a great place to play darts, just don’t get too drunk to throw, that’s a surefire way to get kicked out and/or start a bar brawl in the parking lot (not that this ever happens of course).
Saddles ‘N’ Spurs Saloon
This is a good ‘ole country dive bar where you’ll find locals in 10 gallon hats with pure chivalry by their side. There’s also a vibrant array of folks of all walks of life in this place, which has a stage, dance floor and tons of tables and chairs. If you’d rather just set up at the bar and people watch, there’s plenty to see here especially on a weekend night when things get raring. There’s never any cover and most nights of the week you’ve got something fun happening like Bike Night, Blues Night, country line dancing lessons, live music and so on. If you want to be like a local, a Bud Light bottle will do the trick here.
Double Down Saloon
This is one of my favorite dive bars and while I’ve written about it before, I just have to include this bad boy every time. Sometimes as dive bars garner more fame and word of mouth love, they lose their dive bar essence. That is not the case with Double Down Saloon. Still as much of a dive bar today as it was when it opened – it’s just an epic place to spend a Friday night or a Tuesday afternoon for that matter. Leather clad punk rockers and motorcycle enthusiasts alike hang at this bar and regardless of how intimidating it is walking in, it always has a warm and welcoming vibe after you’ve grabbed a drink from the bar. One of my most memorable nights there was meeting local celebrity Scorch the clown who shared an Ass Juice with us. They often have live bands, punk rock bingo nights, karaoke and other happenings going on. Definitely try the Ass Juice in the commemorative toilet shot glass, but do follow with a water back – it’s not the best shot in the world, it is, after all called Ass Juice.