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Gary Trask

Gary  Trask
Gary serves as Casino City's managing editor and has worked as a writer and editor more than 20 years. The Boston native was a member of the Poker Hall of Fame's inaugural Media Committee and a current member of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame voting panel.

Contact Gary at and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityGT.

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Top 10 Las Vegas happy hours

14 May 2018

By Gary Trask
Yes, it's a tough gig, but someone had to do it.

A few weeks back, while spending six days in Las Vegas, your dedicated (and thirsty) gambling correspondent took it upon himself to hit up as many Happy Hours as possible. And at the risk of tooting my own proverbial horn, the tour went quite well, thank you.

Here are 10 Happy Hours we strongly suggest you give a shot the next time you're in Sin City – not just because they will go easy on your wallet and reserve your bankroll for the tables, but also for the quality of both the food and drink and the venues themselves.

The good news? There are literally hundreds of Happy Hour specials offered 24/7 in Las Vegas, so we barely scratched the surface with this list. So, stay tuned for Part II (and, quite possibly, III, IV, V and beyond).

10. Herbs and Rye
We start our Las Vegas Happy Hour Tour by going off the beaten path on West Sahara Avenue, about two miles west of Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower.

After hearing about Herbs and Rye from a number of Las Vegas experts over the years, we finally decided to give it a try, and it did not disappoint. This is a venue with a classic "old school" feel; the kind of place you walk in and immediately want to order a scotch and light up a cigar.

As for the Happy Hour, it's geared more toward food rather than drink, and it's safe to say the secret is out: It was jam-packed on the Thursday night we were there, and it appeared to be mostly locals, always a great sign. On Monday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and midnight to 3 a.m., all well drinks are half price, as are all steaks and other selected items on the menu. So, for instance, the 18-ounce ribeye could be had for just $30, and if you go that route, I highly recommend adding the brandy peppercorn sauce for $3.75.

9. The Blind Pig
This is another off-Strip locale that was recommended by the good folks that appear on the annual Las Vegas Lifestyle edition of the always-entertaining "Beating the Book" podcast, an absolute must-listen each year. Tucked away on Dean Martin Drive behind Aria Resort & Casino, The Blind Pig has plenty of TVs, so it's a great spot for a big game atmosphere. I was lucky enough to be there for a Vegas Golden Knights playoff game, and the joint was jumping.

From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. to close (listed on the menu as "whenever"), the "Social Hour" features $4 shots and imported beers, $3 domestic beers and, during the earlier hours, half-price appetizers. Our recommendations for apps are the fried calamari and seared Ahi tuna. Yum.

8. The Parlour at El Cortez

We stayed at the inimitable El Cortez Hotel & Casino back in 2016 when the Downtown Las Vegas property was celebrating its 75th anniversary, and since that time we always try to make it back to The Parlour Bar & Lounge for Happy Hour.

From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., this classy venue offers $5 appetizers, half-price draft beer and 2-for-1 cocktails. The bar has a great ambience and also features monthly $5 margarita specials. I suggest you time your visit during stone crab season and enjoy these succulent creatures next door at the property's signature restaurant Siegel's 1941, before or after (or both) hitting The Parlour.

We'll get back downtown later on in the list, but for now, we head due south to the far end of the Strip . . .

7. Foundation Room at House of Blues
Late-night, this is one of the hippest and most popular nightclub scenes in the city. But if cover charges, loud music and outrageously priced bottle service isn't your thing, you should check out the swanky Foundation Room, if only for the amazing views of the Las Vegas Strip.

Located high atop Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Foundation Room celebrates Happy Hour, Sunday through Thursday, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with $10 appetizers and $5 drink specials.

6. Beerhaus
The Park — an outdoor dining and entertainment district that opened in 2016 — runs directly from the Strip to the T-Mobile Arena. One of the better venues is Beerhaus, and the Happy Hour here screams "value."

Every day from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., select beers are $4 with discounted appetizers. The "reverse" Happy Hour special from 10 p.m. to close offers the same, but plan ahead, since on "select dates" this special is not available, which means whenever there is a big event going on at T-Mobile.

5. Nine Fine Irishmen
Maybe it's the "Boston" in me, but I love Irish pubs and Guinness on tap, and any time I'm in Las Vegas and can escape the casinos for some "al fresco" drinks and dining, I'm all for it. Nine Fine Irishmen at New York-New York Hotel & Casino checks all of the above boxes and, predictably, has become a favorite spot on the Strip.

Every Monday through Friday, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., you can take advantage of $5 pints and cocktails, and appetizers such as fried sausages, Irish nachos (yes, potatoes and corned beef are involved) and beer n' cheese dip, priced at $6.

4. Cabo Wabo Cantina

Across the street, just outside the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, one of four Cabo Wabo locations — the others are in Lake Tahoe, Hollywood and, of course, Cabo San Lucas — offers outdoor seating and views of the Strip. Every Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. the restaurant chain inspired by rocker Sammy Hagar has half-priced appetizers, draft beers, house margaritas (try the spicy Mango Picante, made with fresh jalapenos and mango), sangria and Cabo shots.

3. Interlude at The Cromwell

Last summer, we laid out plenty of reasons why The Cromwell is one of the most underrated resort-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, and now we can add a killer Happy Hour special to this list.

Set smack-dab in the middle of the casino, Interlude has the can't-beat-this price of $1 on Ketel One Vodka and Ciroc Vodka martinis or cocktails, every day of the week from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Then, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., there's a $5 draft beer special on Coors Light, Miller Lite, Blue Moon and Modelo and $3 New Amsterdam vodka drinks. Adding to the allure is the live music playing for the entire two hours.

Simply put, there's no better — or more economical — place to start your night off if you are on the Strip.

2. It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar at Flamingo Las Vegas

5 cent beers.

Not much else we have to say to entice you here. From 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily, this open-air bar attached to Margaritaville Casino (think palm trees, corny tropical décor and a heavy dose of Buffet music) brings you back to your college days with nickel Miller drafts. As you can imagine, the place gets crowded pretty quickly and the lines can be long, so don’t be shy when you place your order.

Conveniently, Flamingo Las Vegas is right next door to The Cromwell, so if you time it right, you can drink on the cheap for three hours straight every day, without having to venture very far. Case in point: I witnessed a bold bachelorette party of about a dozen gals hit the 5-cent happy hour at Flamingo. Around 5:30, they grabbed two draft beers apiece and strolled double-fisted over to Interlude to grab a prime table. By the time they were done gulping down their nickel beers, it was top of the hour and $1 martinis all around.

Well played, ladies. Well played.

1. Oscar's Steakhouse at Plaza Hotel & Casino

Of all the above specials, Oscar's Steakhouse provided the best quality and value for both food and drink.

Oscar's is named after the city's uber-popular former mayor and notorious Mob lawyer Oscar Goodman, who is a frequent guest at this namesake restaurant that is littered with his personal artifacts, photographs with celebrities and politicians (we counted four U.S. Presidents), and news clips. The stylish venue is inside the iconic dome at the Plaza Hotel and Casino and provides a perfect view of Fremont Street and Downtown Las Vegas.

Every day from 4 to 7 p.m., Happy Hour in Oscar’s lounge offers guests half off all beers, glasses of house wine, and well drinks as well as half off a selection of appetizers. Our group didn't hold back when ordering and absolutely loved Johnny Quinn's Crab Cakes, Sal's Shrimp Cocktail and the Mob Meatballs.

Superb value, first-rate food and service, and bartenders who consider their mixology an art, all with a nice view of DTLV. Oh yes, we will be back.
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