If you prefer handcrafted cocktails to buckets of beer and shops stocked with local gifts to designer boutiques, it’s time to check out Fremont East. Located just steps from the canopy of lights that defines the Fremont Street Experience, this trendy Las Vegas neighborhood is where locals—and in-the-know visitors—hang out. Cross the Las Vegas Boulevard and Fremont Street intersection and you’ll be greeted by a cursive sign (and a glittering neon high heel in the distance) that shows you’ve arrived.
Now that you’re there, what to do? Here are a few ideas:
You’re not dreaming; that really is an upside-down 42-foot truck in the center of a motel courtyard. Once you’ve spotted the art piece in question, the Big Rig Jig, you’ve landed at Fergusons Downtown, a vintage (and formerly abandoned) motel turned into a shopping, dining, and community destination. Grab a coffee at the Art Deco-inspired Mothership Coffee, find your next houseplant at LV Plant Collective, and stick around for events like Pour in the Alley, an education-driven event with local spirits and cuisine.
Drink mezcal beneath the stars—okay, a ceiling outfitted with 15,000 twinkling LED lights—at this intimate Fremont East watering hole. Lucky Day is a recent and already beloved addition to the area’s roster of bars. Admire the decor while enjoying pineapple guacamole, mezcal cocktails, and small-batch tequila.
Pro tip: Get the most out of your experience with a tequila or mezcal flight.
Family-friendly in Vegas? You better believe it. With its whimsical playground and selection of bars, restaurants, and shops, Downtown Container Park offers something for every member of your family. This open-air destination is both the perfect place for a treehouse adventure with the kids or a sun-soaked brunch on the patio at Downtown Terrace. Night owls will want to head over at 9 p.m. when Downtown Container Park turns into a 21+ hangout.
The Downtowner is a remodeled hotel with some serious Palm Springs vibes. Situated just steps away from the Fremont East action on quiet 8th Street, The Downtowner is a mecca for fans of mid-century style. Book a surprisingly cheap hotel room or have a cocktail at the lobby bar, where you’ll find a delightful surprise: a 6-hole indoor golf course that’s open to the public.
Las Vegas is filled with secrets. One such example is The Laundry Room. This secret speakeasy inside Commonwealth (a Fremont Street bar with a rooftop lounge that’s a worthwhile destination in its own rite) is reservation-only from Wednesday through Sunday. Get on the exclusive list and enjoy handcrafted cocktails in the hidden, retro space that only has room for 22 guests.
If you’re craving another speakeasy experience after visiting the Laundry Room, make your way to The Mob Museum on Stewart Avenue and find the door to the basement. Once you’re there, you’ll need the password to get in (updated weekly and announced on social media). Inside, you’ll find The Underground, a dimly-lit, Prohibition-era bar where the moonshine is distilled on-site. The menu features classic 1920’s cocktails with a Vegas spin, like the Bathtub Fizz, a gin, Aperol, and egg white concoction served in a little ceramic bathtub.
P.S. Don’t forget to check out the Mob Museum upstairs, which is filled with artifacts and information on organized crime.
Venture all the way down Fremont Street to where it meets the Maryland Parkway and you’ll be rewarded with this gem of a restaurant/coffee shop. PublicUs (that’s Latin for “For The People”), is an airy, sun-shiny spot outfitted with minimalist artwork, indoor trees, and community-style wooden tables where you can savor thoughtfully-prepared food. From avocado toast with guajillo pepper spread to a coffee-rubbed roast beef sandwich drizzled with truffle aioli, any menu item you choose may well end up being one of the best meals you have in Las Vegas.
Tucked away on Las Vegas Boulevard in the shadow of the Fremont Street casinos, Downtown Cocktail Room is an unassuming bar known for its rotating cocktail list, impressive absinthe selection, and effortlessly cool atmosphere. Look for the neon martini and the red lettering spelling out the word “Downtown” and then slip inside for a round of drinks. For something even more under-the-radar, head down an adjacent alleyway and find the entrance to Downtown Cocktail Room’s secret-ish lounge, Mike Morey’s Sip’n’Tip.
No visit to East Fremont is complete without a drink at Atomic Liquors, Las Vegas’ oldest freestanding bar. Atomic is more than just a piece of the city’s history (Fun fact: The name refers to the era when patrons used to watch bombs go off on the nearby horizon), it’s a true neighborhood spot where locals come to drink craft beer and bask in the neon of the bar’s iconic sign. Best of all, if you’re hungry after a few rounds, the bar’s associated restaurant, The Kitchen at Atomic, is right next door.