Can You Keep a Secret? The Best Secret Spots in Vegas!
You wouldn’t think a city with so many tourists would be able to keep many secrets, especially in the era of Instagram. But, like even the most well-known magicians, Vegas still has a few surprises up its sleeve. Some secrets are a little better-kept than others (Secret Pizza inside the Cosmopolitan is really anything but at this point), but for many of these hot spots, the joy is in the discovery! Let Destination Fabulous be your guide to the best “secret” spots in Vegas, and find out how we can get your group some insider access!
Secret Pizza, The Cosmopolitan
The secret is out on Secret Pizza, but that certainly doesn’t take away the fun. This is a New York-style slice joint with limited seating, but great for a grab-and-go meal and just for the fun of finding it (it’s located down a record-lined hallway next to Blue Ribbon on the third floor). It’s also open REAL late—4 a.m. on weekdays, 5 a.m. on weekends—to capture the club crowd for those who need some sustenance after a night of maybe too much fun at Marquee.
Sara’s inside Mabel’s BBQ, The Palms
If you haven’t explored the newly revamped Palms Casino yet, you really must. The new restaurants and absolutely insane art collection are well worth exploring on their own. One of these new restaurants is Mabel’s BBQ from celebrity chef Michael Symon, a casual barbecue joint with house-smoked meats served by the half pound and in a number of different American regional barbecue styles alongside an extensive selection of craft beer. But hidden within Mabel’s is Sara’s, an ultra-fine-dining “meateasy” concept with tableside preparations of classic French-American fine dining cuisine that pays tribute to the “heyday” of elevated hospitality—the servers wear tuxedos; that sort of thing. But Symon is not without a sense of humor, so for the late-night crowd, Sara’s serves a double cheeseburger with bone marrow, a shot of Dickel Rye, and a Miller High Life.
é by José Andrés, The Cosmopolitan
While é from world-renowned chef José Andrés isn’t exactly “secret,” most people still don’t know about it despite it being attached to the always-busy and bustling dining room at the chef’s popular Jaleo. It is hyper-exclusive by virtue of the fact that it only seats nine diners at a time with only two seatings nightly with reservations made up to three months in advance, and also because it is decidedly not cheap. The two-hour meal is comprised of an exquisite 20-course tasting menu—picky eaters and those with a laundry list of dietary restrictions should probably spend their $275 elsewhere. Yes, $275…per person. (Wine pairings start at an additional $130 per person.) This kind of exclusivity comes at a premium, to be certain, but é is considered one of the best restaurants in the country, so for those who can afford it, it is certainly a worthwhile experience.
Mike Morey’s Sip’n’Tip inside the Downtown Cocktail Room
The Downtown Cocktail Room isn’t really “hidden” like many other would-be speakeasy cocktail bars—there is a sign outside and everything. But finding the entrance to Mike Morey’s Sip’n’Tip, technically located in the back of the Downtown Cocktail Room, requires a little more effort. A short walk down the alley between Las Vegas Boulevard and Sixth Street gets you there, and inside you’ll find an intimate, lively locals’ bar with the same level of excellent drinks you’ve come to expect from D.C.R.
The Vinyl Parlor inside On the Record, Park MGM
Follow the cassette-tape-lined hallway (which leads to the bathrooms) and about halfway down you will find a random security guard or two looking extremely out of place and a line of somewhat confused-looking people clearly waiting for something that is not the bathroom. That is the entrance to the Vinyl Parlor, a speakeasy-style cocktail bar hidden within the Park MGM’s new club. This is a music lover’s and cocktail lover’s paradise, forsaking the usual EDM club fare for music by actual bands that people over the age of 25 actually want to listen to and featuring “startenders” from around the world demonstrating their mad mixology skills. For some local flavor, Industry Wednesdays are where it’s at.
Le Monde de Joël Roubuchon, MGM Grand
Look, most of us will never in our lives realistically be able to afford to eat here, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have #goals. Le Monde de Joël Roubuchon, an Art Deco townhouse tucked away inside the already-hidden MGM Mansion, is home to one of the most extravagant restaurants in the world. Fitting, then, that “Le Monde” actually translates to “The World.” This restaurant rocks three Michelin stars, Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond awards, and Wine Spectator’s Grand Award. The tasting menus start at $127 (but ordering one of the “express” tasting menus is akin to going to the most expensive restaurant in town and ordering the cheapest bottle of wine) and go up to $445 before tax, tip, and drinks, but MAN if this isn’t a hell of a way to spend a mortgage payment!
Ghost Donkey, The Cosmopolitan
It’s not hard to find the tequila and mezcal bar Ghost Donkey at the Block 16 Urban Food Hall inside the Cosmopolitan, if you know where to look for it. Hint: Find the “exit” door in the back of the food hall with a picture of a donkey on it. Inside is a delightful cocktail bar with excellent drinks and shareable plates of gourmet nachos. Get the Mole Negroni with the Mole Chicken Nachos for a nice food and drink pairing!
Akhob at Louis Vuitton, The Shops at Crystals
In an Instagram world, it seems almost impossible that this total color immersion art installation by James Turrell, in a hidden space on the top floor of the Louis Vuitton store at Crystals, should remain something of a secret, and yet here we are. This experience, which lasts 24 minutes, is absolutely free on top of it—you just have to call (usually a few weeks in advance) to make reservations.
Bocce Court at Rao’s Las Vegas, Caesars Palace
The famed New York red sauce Italian joint has a location in Las Vegas, complete with a “New York replica” room as well as…a bocce court! This isn’t so much a secret, but it’s something you wouldn’t otherwise know about without going to Rao’s and even then you might miss it. It’s on the patio too, making it the only outdoor bocce court in Vegas! (Actually, it might just be the only bocce court in Vegas.)
The Lounge at the Peppermill Restaurant
This place has been featured in countless many movies and TV shows, so it is neither secret nor is it particularly hidden, but it’s worth noting that the lounge is separate from the restaurant and is only accessible from the main restaurant—just take a left when you enter the restaurant and go through the doors to the lounge in the back, where it is always pitch-dark and time ceases to exist. In more ways than one, since this place looks like the ’70s are alive and well! This is the place you go to order tiki drinks, sit by one of the “fire pits” (a neon-blue pool of water with a flame spewing out of the center), and let the evening slip into the morning. Word of warning: the sun is VERY bright after a night spent inside the Peppermill Lounge! And since you’re already there, you might as well get breakfast in the dining room at that point, which has more of a retro diner feel (and windows to the outside world, including the sun).
The Laundry Room at Commonwealth, Downtown Las Vegas
Commonwealth is a very popular spot with the fashionable, youthful downtown crowd, and on weekends it can certainly get rowdy as it morphs into downtown’s de facto trendy nightclub. This can get…loud. If you need some reprieve, find the hidden door behind the back wall beneath the stairs and enter the Laundry Room, a much quieter, more intimate space (no cell phones and therefore no selfies; no PDA; no rowdy behavior) done up in the same Prohibition-era style as the gorgeous main space, but minus the riff raff. You will, however, need reservations in advance, and only four parties are allowed in at a time. The inventive craft cocktails also befit the space and theme.
The Underground at the Mob Museum, Downtown Las Vegas
This is hardly a “secret” space since tours of the Mob Museum intentionally funnel crowds through this fairly new basement bar, but people might not realize you can gain entry without having to go through the museum itself: just head around the back to the loading dock and give the guard the password. “I have money and would like to spend it here” seems to work just fine. The Underground is another Prohibition era-themed cocktail bar, which is fitting since Prohibition was big business for the mob in America and that’s a large part of what the museum is all about. So, basically, drinking here is educational! They also have their own on-site distillery where they make their own moonshine and vodka. Be sure to order the Underground Old Fashioned—the presentation is worth seeing!
Paiza Club, The Venetian
The only way to get into the Paiza Club on the 36th floor of the Venetian is to buy your way in as a high roller, and even then it’s by invitation only. This is the secret club of all secret clubs in Vegas, and the most exclusive dining spot in town—you can fork over the $500+ per person to eat at Joël Roubuchon no matter who you are, but you will only get invited into the Paiza Club if you have a million dollar credit line with the casino. If you should be so fortunate to ever have dinner here, expect high-end Asian fusion and literally anything else you could possibly ask for, including a helicopter to take you home. The club also has private high-stakes gambling rooms—think blackjack at $200,000 a hand.
The Study at Rose.Rabbit.Lie., The Cosmopolitan
Admittedly, The Cosmopolitan pops up a lot on this list, but that’s because they’ve nailed the whole “secret Vegas” appeal! Tucked behind the walls of the main dining room of the “modern supper club” Rose.Rabbit.Lie. is The Study, a “bespoke cocktail bar” with its own exclusive cocktail list, a record player and vinyl collection for guests to play, a collection of vintage books for reading, and the occasional unexpected live performance. This is one of the trendiest bars and restaurants in one of the trendiest hotels on the Las Vegas Strip, so expect an experience that is as over-the-top as it is refined. And do try to catch the show Opium while you’re there, one of the wildest, raunchiest shows in Vegas!
The Lounge at CATCH, The ARIA Resort & Casino
CATCH is one of the hottest restaurants on the Strip right now, and a lot of that has to do with its infinite Instagramability. It gets VERY busy, which means it also gets very loud. To escape the crowd a bit, sneak off to the Lounge, located just off the main dining room (it’s open to everyone, but there is also a private VIP entrance too). This space feels more like a private club, with tufted leather seats, velvet banquettes, dark walnut wood paneling, and a five-foot crystal chandelier.
The Champagne Room at Bavette’s, The Park MGM
Like everything else that has recently opened in the newly-revamped Park MGM, Bavette’s is one of the most exciting new restaurants on the Strip—it’s dark and sexy, a classic American steakhouse in the Belle Epoque. Even though the space is massive, it still feels very intimate, but if you want to take that feeling to the next level, head to the back of the dining room to find the hidden Champagne Lounge, an even cozier space with plush leather and velvet lounge seating and the same dramatic Art Deco style.