It's known as "Vintage Vegas," but Downtown Las Vegas is also the center of revitalization with a booming entertainment and dining scene. Downtown Las Vegas might be the place for you if you're looking for urban excitement and a hip, casual nightlife scene.
The Fremont East District has a happening nightlife, culture and unique vibe you won't find on the Strip. Start the night right with a few drinks at some of Fremont Street's hot spots, The Griffin, the Downtown Cocktail Lounge and the Commonwealth, featuring a spectacular rooftop lounge with views of the action below. On the same block, you'll find Don't Tell Mama, an open-mic piano bar where Las Vegas entertainers go to be entertained, and Beauty Bar, where you can catch the latest indie band and/or get your nails done. If you're ready to rock, check out Backstage Bar & Billiards, filled with classic memorabilia and live music most nights, and its adjacent concert venue, Fremont Country Club.
Get your shop on at the new Downtown Container Park, featuring a variety of boutique shops and food outlets. Most nights you can enjoy a concert at the outdoor amphitheater of this unique park, which is made completely of stacked shipping containers. Grab a bite at Triple George Grill, an old-school bar and restaurant on Third Street, where they're keeping it real; or enjoy a cocktail at The Artifice Bar in the Arts Factory. You could walk (with swagger, of course) down to East Fremont Street and enjoy Le Thai, Park on Fremont, Radio City Pizza, La Comida, or any of the dining destinations for hipsters and artsy types.
Don't forget to look up and catch one of the Viva Vision shows from anywhere on Fremont Street Experience. It's 12.5 million lights and 550,000 watts of sound you'll only see in Las Vegas.
At some point, you'll have to wander back. Check out the creative collection of artists, writers, photographers, clothing designers and more at the Emergency Arts building in the Downtown entertainment district. Might as well stop off at the Vanguard Lounge, where they're handcrafting some of downtown's finest cocktails, such as the Spicy Evangelist and the Sherman Tank made with fresh apricots and black pepper bitters.
There's so much new to see downtown, you should stay a night or two and check it out. The new Downtown Grand has 629 rooms and suites right in the heart of Downtown. With a spectacular location overlooking Fremont Street, enjoy dinner at Oscar's, the steak house named for our legendary former mayor. Located inside the newly renovated Plaza Hotel, this hot spot is a sure bet for pre-show dining or after-hours drinks. Grab a cocktail at the Mob Bar, just steps from the Mob Museum, another must-see attraction. And you can't say you've experienced downtown until you take a picture with a million bucks at Binion's.
Gordie Brown delivers a night of impressionable entertainment at Golden Nugget, and afterward, you can always find some tasty libations with the five varieties of beer brewed on site at the Triple 7 Restaurant and Brewery at Main Street Station.
There's nothing to be bitter about at Du-par's Restaurant and Bakery inside the Golden Gate Hotel. The pancakes are just as good as the ones they've been serving for 70 years and make for a good way to end the night. Every downtown hipster knows that when it comes to Italian food, you have to grab a seat at Chicago Joe's. They've been dishing out amazing Italian fare in a cozy atmosphere for 30 years.
If you are visiting on the first weekend of the month, check out the First Friday Art Celebration, Las Vegas' monthly art experience showing off artwork, music and more. Only then will you be a true Downtown Hipster.