Sure, the lights of Las Vegas from the balcony of some sky-high lounge or restaurant can be otherworldly, but sometimes it’s nice to float back down to earth and take in a different kind of scenery: people on the street. From the right patio in Las Vegas, it seems like just about anyone could stroll by. From showgirls decked out in feathers to Elvis impersonators on their way to work, people watching on the Strip or Downtown is proof that Las Vegas really is the city of entertainment.
As is the case with most activities in Las Vegas, people watching is best with the right cocktail and the right meal. Here are five prime people watching spots where diners can drink, dine, and take in the action.
A Parisian experience in Vegas
For Vegas outdoor dining fanatics, it should come as no surprise that Mon Ami Gabi earns a place here. The chic mint green and red patio is the ideal sidewalk spot for crepes and champagne in the morning or steak frites in the evening. The sunny space offers an unmatched view of the passing crowds set against the backdrop of the dancing Bellagio fountains.
Mon Ami Gabi, Paris Las Vegas, 3655 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-944-4224
Along the promenade
It’s hard to remember what the Strip was like before the Linq Promenade opened in 2014. The pedestrian-only space features a slew of restaurants and bars tailor-made for people watching in the shadow of the world’s largest observation wheel. One excellent option is the patio at Flour & Barley. True to its name, the casual eatery serves craft beers and gourmet pizzas along with sandwiches, salads, and monster meatballs with spaghetti.
Flour & Barley, The Linq Promenade, 3545 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-430-4430
A taste of Fremont
For those who prefer the walkability — and vastly cheaper beer — of Downtown to the decadence of the Las Vegas Strip, Hennessey’s Tavern is a great place to watch the daytime Fremont Street foot traffic transform into full-on madness after sunset. Located in the largest pint in the world, the Irish bar and restaurant serves potato nachos with applewood smoked bacon, Guinness fish ‘n’ chips, Jameson barbecue ribs, and a whole lot of Irish whiskey.
Hennessey’s Tavern, 425 Fremont St.; 702-382-4421
Center-Strip action 24-hours a day
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner or late-night, Hexx Kitchen & Bar features prime real estate for people watching along with an indulgent menu that includes everything from carrot cake pancakes with cream cheese frosting to braised short ribs served with Brussels sprouts. A spiked chocolate milkshake made with vanilla cake and Licor 43 invites diners to linger.
Hexx, Paris Las Vegas, 3655 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-331-5100
The view from the north
Diners who venture to the north end of Las Vegas Boulevard can kick back beneath the tree-shaded patio at El Segundo Sol. Situated outside of the Fashion Show mall, this Strip-facing restaurant serves up fine views along with scratch-made tortillas, Mahi Mahi tacos, chile relleno enchiladas and desert-inspired prickly pear margaritas. A popular happy hour from 4 TO 7 p.m. makes the perfect excuse to drop in for a round of drinks and tacos.
El Segundo Sol, Fashion Show. 3200 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-258-1211