When people visit Las Vegas, they often go to the strip and never leave. But the original gambling district (sometimes known as Old Las Vegas) is downtown Las Vegas and it’s located a couple miles north and centered around Fremont Street. This area was the heart of Vegas until Steve Wynn opened the Mirage in 1989, which spurred the development of many more casinos there. After this, the downtown area went thru a period of decline, until it was revitalized through the Fremont Street Experience which features outdoor concerts, street performers, and an overhead zipline. And now this has become a big destination for tourists again.
Here are some fun bars, restaurants, and other places to go in downtown Las Vegas that are featured in this video.
7th & Carson
One of the better breakfast and brunch options in downtown Vegas is 7th & Carson. It’s just one block off of Fremont Street and open for breakfast 7 days a week. the menu includes an eggs benedict with salmon, fried chicken on a kimchi waffle, and a stuffed French toast. But my go to is the breakfast pizza with eggs, bacon, and cheese. And I know it may seem trivial to some, but I really like how they offer a French press coffee.
7th & Carson is open for lunch and dinner as well and is a great option to get out of the casino restaurants.
Heart Attack Grill
Every place in Las Vegas seems to have a theme. But Heart Attack Grill is the only hospital themed burger joint that I know of. Guests are referred to as patients and must put on a hospital gown before being seated. The waitresses are dressed as nurses and wine is served in an IV that they roll out to your table.
The menu includes the Single Bypass Burger® (one half pound patty) all the way up to the Octuple Bypass Burger® (4 pounds). This largest burger is estimated to be around 16,000 calories. If you don’t finish your burger, you are subject to three “spankies” from your nurse.
Heart Attack Grill has seemingly courted controversy as a marketing tool. Patrons who weigh over 350 pounds, per a scale outside the restaurant are allowed to eat for free. The restaurant’s 575 pound spokesperson died of pneumonia at age 29. And another customer suffered a heart attack while dining there and customers were taking photos, thinking it was a stunt. The restaurants Instagram account has zero posts.
From me: Please eat in moderation here. I love delicious unhealthy food as much as anyone, but the Double Bypass Burger is plenty®.
Golden Nugget Casino
In a city full of amazing pools, the one at the Golden Nugget is one of the most unique. A shark tank lies in the center of the pool, and a 30-foot waterslide goes right thru the middle of it. But if you’d like something a little more private, their 3rd floor known as the Hideout features an infinity pool, daybeds, and cabanas.
The hotel features several bars, including an ice bar. And their restaurant Vic & Anthony’s is a top tier steak house. The golden Nugget is easily my favorite hotel to stay downtown.
Downtown Container Park
The downtown Container Park is an open aired shopping center with boutique shops, restaurants, and live entertainment. As the name suggests, its built from shipping containers. To find it, walk a few blocks east down Fremont Street towards the 40-foot-tall fire breathing praying mantis.
Some of the excellent food and drink options in the Container Park are:
- Downtown Terrace: A casual eatery overlooking the entertainment area from the 2nd floor. Although I like it for brunch (with bottomless mimosas!), it’s a great place to sit on the balcony and enjoy some of the entertainment or live music from above.
- Oak & Ivy: American craft whiskey cocktail bar. Although they have a great selection of whiskey, they also offer some fantastic cocktails made with other spirits as well as beer & wine for those that prefer. Their mules are made with house-made ginger beer.
- Bin 702: Charcuterie cheese, and wine. Need I say more? They also have a selection of montaditos (small Spanish style sandwiches).
- Pinches Tacos: Small local Mexican chain serving tacos, burritos, and tortas.
- Las Vegas Chocolate Bar: Specialty chocolate and coffee bar
Siegel's 1941 in the El Cortez
Several downtown casino’s offer prime rib specials, but often only during a specific window of time. However, Siegel’s 1941 offers their prime rib special 24 hours a day (currently $16.95 as of August 2022 and served with vegetable and potato). It’s tucked away in the El Cortez hotel and casino, and named after the notorious mobster, Bugsy Siegel, who bought the hotel in 1945. This was downtown Las Vegas’ first major resort. Siegel was gunned down just 2 years later.
It feels old school. It’s not fancy. Its open 24/7, but it’s not a diner. It’s hard to explain what this place is like. But I love strolling in after a night at the bars for the prime rib special. But they do have a large menu that’s really all over the place – from several burger options to a Rueben, and even a pot roast. Or you can order breakfast anytime you want.
Bonus: If you need a haircut, try the speakeasy barbershop up an unmarked staircase off the casino floor.
Atomic Liquors is the oldest freestanding bar in Las Vegas, and was issued the first ever “Tavern License” #00001 in 1952. That alone is probably cool enough to make this a spot to try, but its actually a really cool bar.
Atomic Liquors was a local’s bar through and through and was a popular place for casino workers when they finished their shift. And this made it a spot that celebrities liked to stop by to avoid attention that they encountered on the strip. And it’s since been featured in movies such as Casino and The Hangover. And although now it’s now a mix of locals and tourists who are willing to make the several block walk from the Fremont Street Experience, it’s still one of my favorite bars in Vegas.