The date is January 17, 1920. The Volstead Act has officially gone into effect, starting the American era of Prohibition.
Things will not go as planned.
Instead of going dry, Americans will take their pleasures in Canadian and Irish whiskey, Cuban rum, moonshine, and the infamous bathtub gin.
Those especially determined to whet their whistles will become regulars at hidden bars that are hard to find and require a password to enter. The speakeasy is born.
Although it’s almost been 100 years since the Volstead Act was repealed, the spirit of the speakeasy lives on, especially in Las Vegas.
Prohibition might be a thing of the past, but the allure of the speakeasy is alive and well. While there are no laws about open intoxicants in Las Vegas, plenty of people still love the idea of secreting away to a cozy bar to enjoy drinks over some quiet conversation.
So, while they’re callbacks to a time when drinking was a secretive affair, these are 14 speakeasies in Las Vegas that everyone is talking about.
Ghost Donkey has the distinction of not just being a great speakeasy in Las Vegas but one of the city’s best tequila bars, too. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that this beautiful bar is also located in the very swanky Cosmopolitan. Speakeasy patrons of the 1920s could only dream of enjoying a good drink in a bar this luxurious, not to mention its famous nachos dressed in summer truffles.
In true speakeasy fashion, there’s very little to advertise this incredible spot. Find it on the casino’s second floor, behind an isolated door adorned with a cartoon donkey. Block 16 Urban Food Hall.
The Cosmopolitan is actually full of hidden gems. Another one is The Barbershop Cuts and Cocktails, a Las Vegas speakeasy with an appropriately vague name just like the ones people frequented back when it wasn’t safe to talk about them in mixed company.
But here’s the thing: it’s an actual barbershop.
On the other side of the secret entrance, you can choose from a list of rare whiskeys, cocktails, and draft beers while you get a straight razor shave – very vintage – and a haircut.
Yes, there’s a third speakeasy in the beautiful Cosmopolitan Hotel.
Okay, it’s not strictly a speakeasy. Secret Pizza isn’t known – by those who do know about it – for its drinks. It’s known for serving incredible New-York-style pizza at the end of a long hallway lined with album covers on the third floor.
Still, we’re including on our list of the best speakeasies in Las Vegas because Secret Pizza is so secretive that, unlike the others in The Cosmopolitan, it’s not even mentioned on the hotel’s website.
At this point, it’s almost easier to find a speakeasy in The Cosmopolitan than an actual bar out in the open.
Its fourth contribution to this list is hiding behind the perfect front for a speakeasy, especially one as glamorous as Beauty and Essex: a pawn shop. Walk past the jewelry counter, through the secret door, and all the way to the back to find high ceilings, opulent booths, and flowing drapes. Despite the surroundings, this speakeasy doesn’t enforce any library-style rules about volume levels. It’s lively behind the secret door, making it a great choice for a larger group looking to have a good time.
Another great Las Vegas speakeasy that emphasizes its secretive style right in its name is The Laundry Room. Located in the Fremont East district’s Commonwealth, this spot gets its name because it used to be the laundry room for the Famous El Cortez Casino across the street.
Once inside Commonwealth, you’ll find a wall beneath the stairs that protects this hidden gem from the masses.
You’ll need reservations, though. The Laundry Room maintains its cozy, speakeasy feel by limiting parties to just four per hour. No cell phones, loud behavior, or PDAs are allowed, either. These kinds of rules really make you feel like you’re enjoying a drink while the police may be lurking just outside.
If you want to make a reservation, just text your request to 702- 701-1466.
Mike Morey’s Sip & Tip is one of the few on our list that sits alone down an alley off of a main drag, Las Vegas Boulevard. Instead of walking through The Cosmopolitan, you get the speakeasy vibe from the moment you depart the boulevard for your destination.
This Las Vegas speakeasy doesn’t disappoint, either. Mike Morey’s Sip & Tip is small, dark, and full of wines, beers, and classic cocktails. If Prohibition ever returns, this is the perfect place for enjoying a drink far from the prying eyes of the Las Vegas police.
For a lot of people, half the fun of seeking out a speakeasy in Las Vegas is getting away from the opulence and glamour the city is famous for. They want somewhere that has a few rough edges, the type of place where old-school gangsters would have felt right at home.
However, others love the idea of finding a Las Vegas hidden gem that shines just as brightly as some of the best-reviewed restaurants in town, even though it’s not out in the open. If you fall into this camp, you’ll love Sara’s. Famed chef and restaurateur, Michael Symon, spared no expense when it came to décor and the French-American menu. It’s located inside Mabel’s BBQ at Palms Casino and Resort, so the cuisine includes plenty of incredible cuts of meat.
Imagine claiming to run a mob museum and not having a speakeasy on the premises. After all, it was the wise guys who owned and operated prohibition’s secret bars.
So, it should come as no surprise that one of the best speakeasies in Las Vegas is right beneath the Mob Museum. Fittingly named, The Underground, you can access it through a side door, and no password is necessary, despite what the doorman might say.
Another break from speakeasy norms: The Underground regularly hosts bands, giving it a much livelier feel than some of the other speakeasies on this list.
Greene St. Kitchen is no secret. When the artsy restaurant first opened, The Palms put up a number of billboards all over Las Vegas to make sure everyone knew all about it. Plus, its poolside brunch has proven to be a huge hit.
Even so, the popular Las Vegas restaurant is a hidden speakeasy. When you first enter, you’ll find yourself inside a retro arcade. It’s pretty cool but you haven’t seen anything yet. Get ready for street meets chic, a clandestine SoHo-inspired sanctuary that sports an original Banksy on the wall.
To find that incredible space, you’ll need to open the Coca-Cola machine, which functions as a hidden door. On the other side, take in some incredible examples of modern street art while you sip inspired cocktails and enjoy menu options like its popular butter-poached king crab.
Speaking of throwback fun, those who aren’t in the know may wonder why the very modern MGM Grand has a record store located just off of its main casino floor. The answer is that it’s a front for On the Record, a speakeasy that was designed to feel like an old-school record store. It includes indoor and outdoor spaces, plenty of tables for sipping its world-class cocktails with friends, and a large dance floor for enjoying the music. This is another great example of a Las Vegas speakeasy that feels like it’s a world away from the building its located in.
Bavette’s Steakhouse & Bar embodies the Las Vegas of yesteryear when the Strip was regularly visited by celebrities and gangsters alike. With leather seats, a wraparound bar, and lots of soft lighting –- thanks in large part to an array of Tiffany lamps –- it’s a great restaurant for an intimate meal. Its corkage policy is unique: If you share your wine with another table, there’s no corkage fee. So, expect to make some new friends while you’re there. This incredible dining experience is located behind a nondescript wood door at MGM Park.
However, if you came for a speakeasy, you’ll have to wander past the main dining room to find the beautiful Parlour Lounge. This secret area is even darker, emphasizing the ambiance you’d expect if you were drinking under Prohibition in the 1920s. The same goes for the old-fashioned photos and framed paintings that adorn the walls. Fortunately, the menu is still exactly what you’d expect from a modern Las Vegas steakhouse.
One of the newer Las Vegas speakeasies on the list, Mr. Coco, is nestled away in Palm’s Fantasy Tower. The bar’s décor is very modern, but the live piano music lends it a very traditional feel. Mr. Coco has a cocktail menu made largely from speakeasy-era favorites like whiskey, gin, vermouth, and rum, though most of the recipes are brand new.
Before we conclude our list of the best speakeasies in Las Vegas, why not mention one more located inside the world-famous Cosmopolitan?
A reservation at é by José Andrés may be one of the most sought-after in all of Las Vegas, too. Even though most foodies might not be able to tell you where it is – it’s hidden inside Jaleo – everyone familiar with the Las Vegas dining scene knows all about it. The avant-garde tasting menu has been the driving force behind the restaurant’s rise to fame. It costs 5 per diner but offers more than 20 different courses.
Last but not least is Herbs & Rye and though it’s not technically a speakeasy –- the standalone building has a sign right above the door -– it definitely embraces a lot of the hallmarks of these Prohibition-era bars.
The décor is a perfect fit, from the oak to the low lighting to the old-fashioned uniforms. There’s also the menu of award-winning cocktails. It’s worth the trip just to sample some of the best drinks in all of Las Vegas. In fact, it’s worth numerous trips, as Herbs & Rye is constantly updating its menu in an effort to constantly outdo itself.
Take a Tour of the Best Speakeasies in Las Vegas
Even though it’s been almost 100 years since the heyday of speakeasies, Las Vegas is proof that these unique bars still attract a passionate following.
If you’re among this crowd, you’ll love our Las Vegas speakeasy tours. We’ll take you to multiple speakeasies in one night, right past the long lines, so you can enjoy some of the best drinks in the city at some of its most exclusive locations.