Insider Las Vegas: A Guide to Sin City’s Off-the-Beaten Path Spots

You’ve watched the fountains, you’ve hit the slots, you’ve Cirque du Soleil-ed. Want to shake things up at this year’s JCK show? Check out these off-the-beaten-path spots.


Check out the whole map!


1. Level Up
Consider Level Up an arcade for grown-ups. Located right near the entrance to Hakkasan at the MGM Grand, this bar on steroids has beer pong, Pop-A-Shot, foosball, pool, Pac-Man, and a variety of other games. There’s also a virtual reality golf experience—and, of course, gambling, including an old-school Sigma Derby. (

2. Secret Pizza
Technically, the pizza place next to Blue Ribbon in the Cosmopolitan hotel doesn’t have a name. But because it churns out incredible New York–style pizza (including slices of white!) and because it’s not exactly easy to find, most people call it Secret Pizza. If you go after midnight on weekends, expect a line. (

3. Inferno
Pyrotechnics, stunts, and magic tricks highlight the newest show in Vegas (it opened Jan. 24), a 90-minute spectacle that even jaded locals are excited to see. The show is the brainchild of European illusionist Joe Labero and the Fuel Girls, a fire, pyro, and aerial group from England. (

4. Delmonico Steakhouse bar
The bar at Emeril Lagasse’s steakhouse inside the Venetian is famous for its selection of whiskeys, bourbons, and scotch—there are more than 700 options in all. Ask to try Lagasse’s private-label Weller bourbon; it’s mash from the same distillery that bottles Pappy Van Winkle. (

5. Chada Street
Thai street food is the star of the show at this new Chinatown eatery from Chada Thai & Wine’s Bank Atcharawan. Like all good Chinatown establishments, the place is inside a busy strip mall. Don’t miss the fish curry in banana leaves, garlic pork skewers, or the lemongrass peanuts. (

6. Peppermill Restaurant and Fireside Lounge
Neon lights, fire-pit booths, and 64-ounce Scorpion bowls are par for the course at this circa-1972 restaurant and lounge, which is, to be blunt, a Vegas icon. Grab a seat in the lounge area to chase cocktails with 1980s music videos. Burgers on the restaurant side are surprisingly good. (

7. Luv-It Frozen Custard
Dessert is a delicacy at this circa-1973 hole-in-the-wall sweet shop, where customers line up around the corner for waffle cones full of frozen custard. Flavors always include vanilla and chocolate; other options change every week and are listed on the website. If you’re down to really splurge, try a shake. (

8. Atomic Liquor
Las Vegas’ oldest freestanding bar gets its name from the 1960s, when people used to pay to bring their beers to the roof to watch mushroom clouds billow from nuclear testing sites in the distance. In recent years Atomic has added a huge outdoor patio and a restaurant for light bites. (

9. Hugo’s Cellar
Tucked below the casino in the Four Queens downtown, this old-school steakhouse hearkens back to an era when servers wore tuxedos and the most elaborate dishes were prepared tableside. At dessert, the bananas Foster is quite a show. (

10. Neon Museum
The history of Las Vegas is told through neon at this one-of-a-kind museum downtown. More than 200 neon signs sit in a lot called the Boneyard, which visitors can explore and experience only on an hourlong guided tour. Tours are best at night, when 11 signs light up. (

11. NuWu Cannabis Marketplace
Recreational cannabis is now legal in Nevada, so naturally there are open-to-the-public dispensaries all over Vegas. The NuWu’s claim to fame is that it boasts the only 24-hour drive-thru, which most taxis and Ubers are happy to hit. It also is two blocks from the Fremont Street Experience downtown. (

Illustration by Kerry Hyndman

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