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Forget the Strip: These dive bars embody the real Las Vegas

May 30, 2017 (Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Why pay $15 for a beer when you can pay $4? We’re sharing the best dive bars in Las Vegas, from a tiny hole-in-the-wall where you can sidle up next to low-key locals, to hidden gems complete with colorful characters, live music and some of the best drinks in town.

Remember: You won’t find all of the cool spots on the Strip. We’ve gathered Las Vegas’ best kept (until now) secret dive bars that only those in the know frequent. Assemble your must-visit list now; you won’t want to miss these Las Vegas haunts.

Champagne’s

The television show "Bar Rescue" may have updated the name of this dive bar (formerly known as Champagne’s Cafe) and its famous sign beckoning people on Maryland Parkway, but Champagne’s still remains one of the favorite and oldest dive bars in town. Thanks to its dark, moody, vintage Vegas feel complete with original velvet wallpaper and carpet pulled from a casino, the bar has a steady group of regulars, along with cheap booze. Like many of the dive bars on our list, it also features karaoke.

Atomic Liquors

A quick walk from the LED canopy that is Fremont Street Experience is Atomic Liquors. Opened in 1952, it’s the city’s oldest free-standing bar and known for its rooftop views of the atomic blast sites from the 1940s and '50s. In 2012, the venue got a refresh, but didn’t stop attracting downtown residents and locals from around the Valley. With an extensive craft beer list, a massive patio, special events and old-time feel (after all, the Rat Pack did party here), Atomic is our top pick for favorite Las Vegas dive bar.

Double Down Saloon

It’s dirty. It’s dark. It’s got a popular shot called Ass Juice made from leftover remnants of shots and drinks that have been combined into the new “juice.” Double Down Saloon is the dive bar punk rock dreams are made of. Dubbed the “Happiest Place on Earth,” its walls are covered in murals and people from all walks of life make the journey here for the drinks, the vibe and the live music. Germaphobes — don’t go to the bathroom. It’s dirty; but in the best possible dive-bar way.

More from Marriott Traveler:
Dino’s Lounge

Located south of Atomic, Dino’s Lounge caters to a colorful cast of locals and visitors. This gritty bar is as hip as it is divey, winning awards for both it’s character and karaoke. In fact, karaoke is one of its big draws, attracting some major talent to compliment the cheap booze every Thursday – Saturday starting at 10 p.m.

Dive Bar

Of course, with a name like Dive Bar, we have to include this on our top Las Vegas dive bars, right? Welcome to a world where Pabst Blue Ribbon tall boys are the drink of choice, live punk music rules and the staff are decidedly rockabilly (and friendly). Located in a shady strip mall near the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Dive Bar draws in the cool and hip and everything in between. Come here to meet and mingle, or simply check out the locals who call this place their favorite watering hole.

This article was first published by Marriott Traveler.
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