A Ravers Guide to Las Vegas
Las Vegas is known as Sin City for a reason; it's a hub of excess, glitz, and benders. And for the last 20 years, Vegas has been a hub for dance music, world-renowned clubs, and since 2011 home to the massive Electric Daisy Carnival.
Whether you're headed to Vegas for EDC, the afterparties, to catch your favorite DJ's (or pop star's) residency or just party with the homies, we've got you covered for where to dance, eat and explore in the neon desert madness.
XS Nightclub / Encore Beach Club
XS, located at the Wynn Las Vegas, has been popping off since 2008, making it one of the first of the still-operating mega-clubs Vegas has become synonymous with. The massive, opulent club books many main-line DJs (both EDM and non) like Dillon Francis, Marshmello, David Guetta, and The Chainsmokers for its residencies and club nights, which run Friday through Sunday. Many of the same acts also DJ pool parties at their Encore Beach Club during the day and their moon-lit Sunday Night Swim parties.
Drai's Nightclub / Beachclub
Drai's is the spot for hip-hop in Sin City, with bars being thrown down at the popular nightclub Thursday through Sunday by rappers like Lil Baby, Rick Ross, Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz, and more. Drai's is located on the roof of The Cromwell hotel, offering stellar views of the Strip and over 7,000 square feet of LED screens inside the club. The Beachclub also shares the 65,000-plus square foot roof space, serving up rap-centric pool parties while the sun is shining.
OMNIA Las Vegas
OMNIA is one of Vegas mega-clubs run by the massive TAO Group, which is also home to Hakkasan, TAO, and Marquee clubs on the Strip and around the world, among other venues. Since 2015, OMNIA has served up big-name DJ residencies and luxurious parties at Caesar's Palace. It was voted the 21st best club in the world by DJ Mag in 2021, the highest-ranking Vegas spot on the list. It's a three-tiered extravaganza, complete with an open-air roof terrace section and a very-extra rotating 22,000-pound LED chandelier. The club does go up on a Tuesday at OMNIA, which is also open Thursday through Sunday. You can catch big DJs like Steve Aoki, Martin Garrix, Armin van Buuren, Above & Beyond, and their DESEO Latin music nights.
Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub
The Marquee at The Cosmopolitan is one of the other TAO Group mega-clubs that share in their big-name DJ bookings. Yet the Marquee Nightclub, since it reopened in 2021, also offers more intimate deep house and tech house-focused shows for their Low-Key Wednesdays parties held in their lounge space known as The Library. The club, which opened in 2010 and has been a mainstay in the Vegas rave scene, also boasts a mix of dance and hip-hop acts, including Alan Walker, Afrojack, Dom Dolla, Mustard, and Lil John. It ranked No. 40 on DJ Mag's 2021 Top 100 Clubs list. The Dayclub serves up Vegas pool party debauchery and got a makeover during the shutdown, so even more revelers can splash around.
Bars & Coffee Shops
Ski Lodge at Superfrico
Superfrico is a trippy Italian restaurant experience where wacky impromptu performances ranging from a sexy sax man playing Beyoncé to a ballerina eating chips happen throughout the meal. Superfrico, located inside the Cosmopolitan, offers multiple spaces, including the aforementioned dining room, the ticketed "#vegashitshow" OPIUM, and the Ski Lodge bar.
From 5:00 p.m. until late, the cozy, speakeasy-style winter-themed bar, complete with an active stone fireplace, offers unique cocktails, Superfrico pizza, and the ability to order from the adjacent restaurant's full menu, including its late-night dinner options. Eater named it one of 2022's Best Vegas Bars and Lounges and said, "the cocktail program is distinct, with drinks designed by Leo Robitschek and Mauro Villalobos. Try a take on an espresso martini, made with cold brew, coconut cream, and cardamom."
Bar Zazu Las Vegas
Bar Zazu, a Spanish tapas restaurant by chef Nicole Brisson, is a great place to grab a cocktail or glass of wine, some yummy bites, or a full meal. Located in Resorts World, the vibey space glows with custom digital art, which all of the cocktails are named after! Eater, who counts Bar Zazu one of this year's Best Vegas Bars and Lounges, recommends sipping on "the Highlander, inspired by Spanish gin and tonics, with Botanist gin, green chartreuse, lime, tarragon, and tonic."
If you need a high-quality cup of coffee to pep you up, PublicUs in Downtown Vegas is ready to brew you a fragrant pour-over with single-origin beans from around the world. The chill, inviting, tree-filled space also offers pastries and farm-to-table breakfast and lunch.
Bazaar Meat by José Andrés
If you want to experience the gastronomic opulence of Vegas, Spanish celebrity chef and activist José Andrés and head chef Candance Ochoa have you covered at Bazaar Meat, located in the SAHARA hotel. There're inventive, globally inspired dishes with plenty for non-meat (the beefsteak tomato tartare is a special creation by the veggie-loving José) and meat-eaters alike, which you can enjoy by the "José's Way Tasting Menu" or ala-carte. Bazaar Meat has the honor as one of the 38 Essential Restaurants in Las Vegas.
If you want a Vegas experience, how about slurping down oysters and beer any time of day in the middle of a casino? That's exactly what The Oyster Bar inside Palace Station offers, with a cozy, first-come, first-served bar surrounding a miracle-making kitchen, where you can order fresh seafood and cold drinks 24/7. The Oyster Bar also sits on Eater's Essential 38, which explains: "The pan roasts are a must-order, and don’t miss the late-night opportunity to gulp down $1 oysters."
If you want a hearty, classic diner meal in a kitschy setting to fuel your raving, Peppermill has got you covered. Open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and until 2 a.m. Thursday through Sunday, this family-owned, neon-lit Strip mainstay serves up 14-pages worth of options ranging from omelets to steak. Eater also recommends Peppermill as one of its 38 Essential Restaurants and implores its diners to visit its Fireside Lounge bar "with its kitschy fire pit, enormous cocktails with equally ginormous straws and electric pink, blue and purple décor."
The Buffet at Wynn
Buffets have always been a part of the Sin City experience, and even after the pandemic changed the way we eat, some have come back strong. The Buffet at Wynn is not only a pleasing space to sit in, with its red-and-white striped Parisian café aesthetic, and offers over 90 dishes and 16(!) live-action cooking stations serving up rotisserie meats, seafood, eggs Benedict, and more for breakfast, brunch, and dinner.
Tacos El Gordo
If you want full flavor and a full belly on a budget, Tacos El Gordo, with several Vegas locations, has you covered with their line-attracting, meaty Tijuana-style street tacos. Two hand-made corn tortillas hold everything together for what Eater not only names an Essential Restaurant but a "must-order experience in Las Vegas."
Record Stores, Museums & Other Attractions
11th Street Records
11th Street Records is a welcoming, friendly space for new and used vinyl in Downtown Las Vegas. The space hosts the National Southwestern Recording studio in the back, part of their mission to "help sell records for independent labels and bands, and help independent bands make records." They also host vinyl listening parties, in-store performances, and other community events.
The Neon Museum
Since 1996, the Neon Museum has been a home for discarded glowing signage from the shuttered and remodeled casinos, hotels, and clubs of yesteryear. Two outdoor spaces and a visitor center are located in the stunning arched former La Concha lobby, which was rescued and relocated by the museum. As the website explains, a visit to the space is eye-catching and photo-worthy but educational: "The Neon Museum collection chronicles changes and trends in sign design and technology through pieces ranging from the 1930s to the present day."
Meow Wolf Omega Mart
Meow Wolf is beloved for its trippy, interactive art spaces and experiences, and its second permanent space, Omega Mart in Vegas' new, lively AREA15 immersive playground, is a whole adventure. The wild grocery store-themed space "that bursts into surreal worlds and unexpected landscapes" will have you frolicking around like a kid at Chuck E Cheese again. This all-ages wacky desert wonderland is open from 10:00 a.m. to midnight daily.
Cirque Du Soleil
The jaw-dropping acrobatics and joyful theater of Cirque Du Soleil is a staple of the Vegas experience. If you want to sit and be wowed after a long night of raving, pick one of the six currently running Cirque spectacles at various hotels, including The Beatles LOVE, the aquatic romance O, and the New York-themed Mad Apple at the New York New York Hotel & Casino, of course.