Get social during Vegas’ happy hours
Hi. My name is Nina, and I’m happy. Here’s why: Vegas has a happening happy hour scene. Often thought of as a way to kill time, happy hour has practically become a meal of its own. Most happy hour menus feature a few signature drinks, beers, appetizers and smaller portions—at a fabulous price. And it’s not all onion rings and sliders, although who could fault those excellent things?
How to navigate Vegas’ extensive happy hour scene? Well, I have a few rules for happiness: A) I need to get a drink for under $6; B) Something has to be half-price (please); C) What’s that? Sparkling wine? Now that’s happy; D) Is the chef doing right by us? Oh, so happy.
And there’s plenty of places to apply those rules. Tom’s Urban at New York-New York has Beat the Clock happy hour, where prices on drinks and bites start at $4 at 4 p.m. Mon.-Fri. Prices rise a dollar an hour until it ends at 7 p.m. At The Park, Beerhaus’ featured brews are $4, 4-6 p.m. daily.
At The Palazzo, the Grand Lux Café offers $5.50 cocktails and “Things to Share” from 4-6:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri. One of those things is the Asian nachos. They come with chicken, but these crispy wonton wrappers drizzled with peanut sauce are delish without. The Venetian’s Public House offers $4 pints Mon.-Fri. on the social hour menu, and down-home, upscale dishes like lobster mac and cheese with prosciutto for $6.
Rao’s at Caesars Palace rocks with a fried green tomato caprese—gad, it’s good—and $4-$5 beers Sun.-Wed. from 5-6:30 p.m. Other dishes fold in great flavors off the restaurant menu. Speaking of the chef treating you right, Searsucker (also at Caesars Palace) offers apps like fries with duck fat and prosciutto dust for $9; cocktails start at $8 from 5-7 p.m. daily. Get okra fries and grilled peas at Table 10 in The Grand Canal Shoppes from 3-6 p.m. daily (plus other creative offerings; they go fast, so get in early).
Palms’ N9NE Steakhouse has some foodie fun during its happy hour from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri. with dishes like prime rib ravioli with summer truffles (can’t wait to see what happens with the fall truffles).
Wednesdays in Vegas brings out the wine lovers. Kona Grill at Fashion Show offers half-off bottles during Wine Down Wednesdays and a delicious sake sangria for $6. Plus, the crispy tuna could not be better (from reliable, slightly inebriated sources). For its UnWined Wednesdays, Hyde Bellagio’s bar and lounge also offers half-off glasses and bottles from a specially selected menu. For August, the theme was Italian, and the prosecco was divine (only $6 for the glass). Get apps here created by Lago next door. You’ll get a fountain show, too, making for a mellow retreat.
And at BLT Steak in Bally’s, find half-off cocktails in the bar and lounge, 4-6 p.m. daily. (Ariel Malone of Hell’s Kitchen fame is currently chef here).
Some places don’t abide by my rules. So let’s break them: At Lavo in The Palazzo and Tao in The Grand Canal Shoppes, these drinks aren’t half off—they’re free (well, almost free). Buy an appetizer, 5-6:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri., and get a complimentary drink.
At PBR Rock Bar at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort, it’s two-for-one draft beer and well cocktails from 2-6 p.m. Sun.-Thurs. It’s the same two-for-one deal at Biscayne Steak Sea and Wine in Tropicana from 5-7 p.m. daily.
Alder and Birch Steakhouse’s social hour, 4-6 p.m. daily, at The Orleans features a bunch of cool cocktails, not necessarily half off, but so nice. The Modernista Colada is like no other piña colada I’ve had; it’s freaky good. This isn’t happy hour, but it’s a deal: Nove at Palms offers $9 dishes from 5:30-11 p.m. daily.
And that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. So, do remember: There are no rules when it comes to enjoying happy hour.