There are plenty of foodie events in Las Vegas throughout the year. However, none quite match the convenience of Las Vegas Restaurant Week. Now in its 12th installment, Las Vegas Restaurant Week gives restaurants in Las Vegas and their customers the opportunity to give back through the culinary arts.
There was a burger boom in Las Vegas about five years ago. It seemed as if burger joints were the only kind of restaurants opening. It’s probably not a coincidence that the burger explosion came around the same time as high-end steakhouses were also booming in Las Vegas.
The burger restaurants offer a less expensive option for beef eaters. At the same time, the burger restaurants allow restaurant owners a chance to fancy up the burgers and charge more money. Hopping on a trend is nothing new in Las Vegas.
We recently tipped you off on a few different food events in Las Vegas this spring and summer. Well, now we have some details on one of those events. The 12th annual Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit will take place from May 10-13.
To Eat Or Not To Eat?! That is the question. Not really, Las Vegas has become a destination for people who love to eat!
Las Vegas has evolved to become one of the dining capitals of America. There’s food for people on a budget and food for people looking for the most fabulous meal of their lives. Of course, there’s every kind of dining in between those extremes too.
Las Vegas dining is all about trends. When it comes to dining, whatever kind of restaurant is popular around the country always ends up in Las Vegas. This is why so many restaurants change every year. There’s always room for traditional food and restaurants but you’ll always find the latest and greatest dining concepts in Las Vegas.
The Cosmopolitan is one of the best casino-resorts in Las Vegas. It falls into the luxury resort category alongside The Venetian and Wynn Las Vegas. The experience at The Cosmopolitan is top notch all around. Dining is a prime example of this. In fact, this casino has one of the best restaurant collections in Las Vegas.
Restaurant Business Online has been releasing a list of the Top 100 Independent Restaurants in America since 2014. This is a twist on the normal restaurant lists you often see. This is an industry trade magazine and not entirely intended for consumers. The list isn’t based on the food or anyone’s particular experience at the restaurants. The data used does show how popular these restaurants are.
The Venetian and The Palazzo are marketed as separate properties but treated as one by operator, Las Vegas Sands. Together the hotel has more than 7,000 suites and approximately 35 restaurants. Restaurants change often at The Venetian, so there may be a more or less open when you read this.
MGM Resorts International recently announced that Samba Brazilian Steakhouse at The Mirage will close on Aug. 31. Samba has been a unique restaurant to be inside of a Las Vegas casino. You’ll find a traditional steakhouse in almost every casino today. However, Samba was one of a kind restaurant only at The Mirage. You will not find an all-you-can-eat Churrascaria rodizio restaurant in on any other casino floor.
The price was right for Samba. It was only $40 for a meal with all the meat you could eat and a salad bar. What made the experience special at Samba was that all of the meats were prepared throughout the night. Unlike a traditional buffet, you would never have to settle for old food that may have been sitting around.
Casino food courts and quick serve restaurants can be a savior when visiting Las Vegas. Not only do these venues offer a variety of food but they’re often the least expensive dining option in and around a casino. Las Vegas food courts aren’t necessarily filled with fast food that’s sitting and waiting for you.
Today, you’ll find plenty of fast casual and quick-serve dining options in food courts all over the Las Vegas valley. This kind of restaurant is faster than a traditional sit-down restaurant but slower than the restaurant you’ll typically find with a drive through.
Finding good and unique food in Las Vegas on the cheap can be a challenge. While they might offer great food, some of the restaurants on the Vegas Strip can be pricey. Finding a delicious and interesting meal for under $15 is nearly impossible. Sure you can grab a quick bite a food court or get a sandwich for under $10, but you can do that anywhere.
T-Mobile Arena behind New York-New York has been open for over a year and seems to be booking more concerts and sporting events every month. When the Vegas Golden Knights begin their first season in the NHL this September there will be more events at the arena each month than ever before. This will continue to increase as Las Vegas continues to offer large “only in Vegas” style events.
In 2015, the Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally’s replaced the beautiful greenery and an iconic moving walkway that lead visitors from the Vegas Strip into the casino. Those trees and bushes weren’t generating any revenue and had to go! The new shops may have taken awhile for some Las Vegas visitors to get used to but the Grand Bazaar Shops seem to be coming into their own.
Since first opening, the shops have undergone many changes and additions. In fact, the changes are continuing. Eater Vegas recently reported that Vegas Exp will be taking over space previously used by numerous stores. They say to “expect a similar inventory of souvenirs, apparel, beer, wine, liquor and snacks found at the original Grand Canyon Experience.”
Las Vegas has become one of the most popular culinary destinations in America. There are award winning chefs and restaurants everywhere you look. Beyond the awards there are simply a lot of great restaurants to all over Las Vegas.
Unfortunately, some of the best restaurants in Las Vegas can beyond the budget of some people. Restaurant Week in Las Vegas not only helps Three Square fight hunger in Southern Nevada but it also offers some of the best dining deals of the year.
It seems as though the spring in Las Vegas only lasts for a few weeks. It’s my favorite time of the year but it’s the beginning of a great time of year. The next few months will be the best time of the year to enjoy the sun and warmth of the desert. Let’s get ready to eat and drink outside starting with the most important meal of the day – breakfast!
There may not be a better start to the day that a delicious cup of coffee with a nice meal in the sun. Actually, there is something better – enjoying that cup of coffee outside in Las Vegas! The weather in the morning during the spring is beautiful. During the summer the weather in the morning often feels like the only time we should be eating outside. Those 100+ degree temperatures can be a bit much for dining sometimes.
Breakfast is an early meal for me. Brunch and lunch are often too late for the first meal of the day for an early riser. There are a good number of restaurants open during the day but not everyone is ready to deliver a really good cup of coffee and satisfying breakfast. A great breakfast is more than just the first meal of the day.
All of these restaurants are located at casinos on the Vegas Strip. For better or worse not every good restaurant to eat breakfast outside has a view of the Vegas Strip. I’ll note the strip views because that can make the Las Vegas experience much more Vegasy. Sometimes you want that kind of start to the day and other times you simply need to breath fresh air while drinking that first cup of coffee or Bloody Mary.
Mon Ami Gabi (Las Vegas Strip view at Paris Las Vegas)
This is one of the best breakfast restaurants on the Vegas Strip whether you’re indoors, outdoors or in the atrium in between the two. The coffee is spectacular and the glazed bacon will melt in your mouth. The view of the Vegas Strip and Bellagio are unmatched. There is usually a wait for patio seating but everything about breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi is worth the wait.
Tom’s Urban (Las Vegas Strip view at New York-New York)
Tom’s Urban isn’t known as being a breakfast restaurant but it should be. The entire restaurant isn’t always open for breakfast so you’ll typically end up sitting outside. You’re far away enough from the traffic so you don’t smell any fumes, yet you’re close enough where you can do a little people watching. Coffee drinkers will love that they serve Peet’s coffee.
Country Club & Tableau (Wynn Las Vegas)
Country Club is located just off the golf course at Wynn. This is one of the most serene settings for a beautiful breakfast outside. The food and service at Wynn are typically among the best in Las Vegas. The settings are so relaxing that you almost forget you’re in Las Vegas once you sit down at either restaurant. Sometimes we all need a break from the action.
Bouchon (The Venetian)
Bouchon is one of the most popular breakfast restaurants on the Vegas Strip. Their fresh baked goods are to die for. When you think of a fabulous French breakfast this is the experience you’re expecting. The restaurant is sort of hidden from the madness of the massive casino. Just walk over to the elevators for the Venezia Tower and head upstairs for a pool deck view and fresh air.
Veranda (Four Seasons at Mandalay Bay) – The quality and service you’d expect at Four Seasons
Stripside Cafe (Las Vegas Strip view at Caesars Palace) – It’s outside and on the Vegas Strip. Can be a bit pricey for some.
Sambalatte (Las Vegas Strip with a limited view at Monte Carlo) – Not a restaurant but great coffee with outdoor seating on the Vegas Strip.
The Linq promenade has come a long way from its days as an alley for Imperial Palace, O’Sheas, and Flamingo to leave their trash. Since opening in 2014 the reformed alley has become a destination on the Vegas Strip for indoor and outdoor drinking, dining, and shopping.
Many people seem to be familiar with The Linq as “the place with the big ferris wheel.” The High Roller, at the farthest point from the Vegas Strip at The Linq, is the world’s tallest observation wheel. This is an attraction in its own right. Even if you avoid heights, it’s still easy to see the awe of such a tall ride.
Over the years The Linq has changed tenants but some of these new restaurants seem destined to become a fixture on the Vegas Strip. In the past few months, The Linq has welcomed a nice variety of places to grab a bite including a new quick serve restaurant from Gordon Ramsay, the first Vegas Strip location of one of the most popular west coast burger joints, and an import from New York City.
Amorino is one of the most popular names in gelato in Europe. There are 24 regular gelato flavors as well as seasonal selections. In addition to desserts, the small restaurant also offers crepes, macaroons, and other breakfast pastries.
Gordon Ramsay Fish n Chips
This is chefGordon Ramsay’s fourth Las Vegas restaurant in Las Vegas. GRFC is a quick-serve restaurant intended with dishes intended to eat on the go. The reason you’re visiting this restaurant is for fresh fish and chips like you might find in England and that’s about all you’ll find on the menu. The small restaurant has seating for fewer than 20 people.
In N Out Burger
There is no longer a need to leave the Vegas Strip for one of the most popular fast food burgers in the country. This In N Out burger location serves up the same fresh food that many have come to love. As you’d expect the prices here are a little higher than they are away from the Vegas Strip. Don’t worry the prices aren’t insane, just enough to cover the higher rent and probably close to what you’d spend on a taxi to the nearby locations.
Jabburito brings one of the hottest trends in dining to the Vegas Strip. Sushi served in burrito form has been growing in popularity on the west coast for the past year. This is the only place on the Vegas Strip where you’ll find this unique combination.
Virgil’s Real BBQ
This import from New York City is the largest of the new restaurants at The Linq. The 14,000 square foot restaurant occupies two floors and has enough room for bands to perform every night with plenty of room for dining. The BBQ served at Virgil’s is from a variety of regions so you’ll have more than just one flavor profile.
Urban Turban Express
This quick-serve Indian food stand isn’t a restaurant but does offer food to eat on the go. Actually, you’ll probably want to grab a seat at the nearby fountains for most dishes. The Linq is probably the only place on the Vegas Strip where you’ll be able to find Indian favorites such as curry bowls.
Salute at Red Rock casino recently welcomed a new chef, Luke Palladino, to the restaurant. I was lucky enough to be invited to a tasting of the new menu. Since I’m in this casino almost every day (I’m actually typing this at Red Rock casino), I figured that I would check it out.
Media tastings come in different shapes and sizes so I wasn’t sure what to expect. This tasting was a fixed family-style menu. Each dish for the tasting was chosen by the restaurant. We were treated to 6 courses and 20 dishes. YOWZA! Now, this is a tasting!
We tried everything from a caciocavallo scaloppine to a delicious veal chop made with roasted sunchokes, wild mushroom-prosciutto and sage cream. The signature pasta was finished tableside on a wheel of cheese and was probably my favorite item on the menu.
My table at Salute was made up of mostly strangers who all got to know each other by sharing the family-style dishes. This tasting was a blast and reminded me how much I love to share meals with friends. It’s not only fun to share food but it’s often enjoyable to have a meal with a variety of different foods.
Not every restaurant offers this kind of a 20 dish tasting menu but in many restaurants in Las Vegas you can order so that you can sample and taste different foods during a meal. I’ve done this often throughout the year. Here are some examples of shared meals I’ve had with friends in Las Vegas over the years.
Cleo – SLS Las Vegas
The dishes here are perfect for sharing. There are many small dishes and shareable main courses. We ordered a couple different mezzes, meats, and flatbreads for the table. Not only was the food excellent but everyone was able to sample a few different flavors and dishes that might not have had the chance to if we ordered individually. The server was happy to help us order the correct portions to satisfy everyone who wanted to try certain dishes.
Rao’s – Caesars Palace
It helps to have a friend who speaks the language when visiting a true ethnic restaurant. My Italian-speaking friend ordered shareable portions for pasta, chicken and more for the table. Rao’s wasn’t offering a tasting menu when I visited. We all wanted to try different items on the menu. The restaurant was able to portion out dishes differently. They didn’t have to do much work and they made this table very happy.
Beauty & Essex – Cosmopolitan
The dishes here are intended to be shared so it was easy to try a lot of different food. A recent dinner with 5 here with friends bought seven or eight different dishes. Not only did we have a wide variety of flavors but we had a ton of food. This meal was much better and more fun than the traditional appetizer/main course meal I had on a previous visit.
Bazaar Meat – SLS Las Vegas
Bazaar Meat is billed as a steakhouse but it’s so much more. The menu is about 2 feet long and has way more dishes than you’ll find in most steakhouses. We stared and stared at the menu and couldn’t make a choice on what to eat. The server saw our lost eyes and offered to help. She asked for our budget and asked if there were any restrictions. We had a fantastic meal with about eight different dishes and included several different types of meat with a massive rib eye as the final main course.
Every meal included different people in each party trying dishes that they might not have ordered by themselves. I’m not adventuresome when ordering a single dish. However, I’ll almost always try something in a small portion.
Las Vegas restaurants often save their tasting menu for special nights. Recently Sushisamba at The Palazzo introduced their Japanese whiskey collection with a special pairing menu. Last year I visited Yardbird for their National Bourbon Month menu.
Everyone visits Las Vegas for a fun time. Sharing great meals with friends is just one way to start a great night out.
Over the years Las Vegas has transformed from a city of cheap buffets to a city filled with the some of the best chefs and restaurants. Las Vegas is home to restaurants by just about every celebrity chef you can think of. Many of the people who do the cooking at the celebrity chef restaurants are famous and carry awards of their own. Las Vegas is now a destination for those seeking the best food in the country.
Las Vegas is home to many foodie festivals over the year, but there’s one that annually stands out because of the big name chefs and unique culinary experiences. Vegas Uncork’d returns to Las Vegas from April 27 – 30.
Chefs appearing at Vegas Uncork’d this year include Alain Ducasse, Bobby Flay, Buddy Valastro, Charlie Palmer, Giada De Laurentiis, Gordon Ramsay, Guy Savoy, José Andrés, Julian Serrano, Shawn McClain, Michael Chow, Nobu Matsuhisa and Wolfgang Puck to name a few.
Once again you’ll enjoy the one-of-a-kind experiences and a world-class lineup of renowned celebrity chefs, master sommeliers and cutting-edge mixologists from Caesars Palace, The Cromwell, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, MGM Resorts International, The Palazzo and The Venetian Las Vegas.
You’ll get to enjoy some of the most famous chefs preparing food in casinos and restaurants all over Las Vegas. Here are some of the new and notable experiences at Vegas Uncork’d this year:
- Quickfire Happy Hour with Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger (Caesars Palace), Thursday, April 27: Ever wondered what it takes to win a quickfire challenge like you see on Top Chef? Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to feel like a contestant on a cooking competition show. Put your culinary chops to the test and become part of the action! Guests will divide into teams and compete in a series of quickfire challenges all while enjoying free-flowing cocktails, cool craft beers, and signature Border Grill bites. Celebrity chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger will be on hand to coach the teams and provide participants with top-notch advice before they face the panel of judges.
- Master Series: Rao’s 10th Anniversary Dinner (Caesars Palace), Thursday, April 27: (The original) Rao’s is widely regarded as the hardest reservation to land in the country, if not the world. Guests will have the opportunity to grab a seat at Rao’s in Las Vegas as the Rao’s family celebrates its 10th Anniversary on the Strip and their newest cookbook, “Rao’s Classics,” written by Rao’s owners Frank Pellegrino Sr. and Frank Pellegrino Jr. From time-honored Italian staples to classics that are uniquely Rao’s, like their famous lemon chicken, don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate this milestone with a multi-course meal at an Italian-American dining institution.
- Lunch like a Spaniard with José Andrés at Jaleo (The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas), Friday, April 28: Experience a taste of Spain with internationally acclaimed culinary pioneer and innovator, Chef José Andrés. Join José as he prepares lobster paella over their renowned live fire pit in a dish-and-tell session, and shares his favorite stories behind the unique restaurant’s menu items, like José’s Taco, a slice of jamón ibérico de bellota topped with osetra caviar and gold flakes; Coca con Erizas del Mar, crusty Spanish cristal bread topped with sea urchin, ibérico bacon and butter; their renowned Gin and Tonic program, and more.
- The Hog in the Hen House: Yardbird Presents A Pot Belly Brunch (The Venetian), Friday, April 28: From the fried green tomato BLT with house-smoked pork belly to maple-glazed bacon doughnuts, Yardbird’s exclusive Pot Belly Brunch will be hog heaven for lovers of all things bacon and pork belly. Enjoy a range of Yardbird’s inventive Southern comfort dishes while sipping on a bloody mary with bacon infused vodka.
Some other Vegas Uncork’d experiences include:
- Master Series: The Ultimate Throwback with MR CHOW (Caesars Palace)
- Master Series: Rich Tradition with a New Twist with Old Homestead’s Greg & Marc Sherry (Caesars Palace)
- Master Series: The World’s Best, An Epicurean Affair With Guy Savoy (Caesars Palace)
- Three-Kitchen Tasting at SUGARCANE raw bar grill with Chef Timon Balloo (The Venetian)
- Celebrate Spago: 25th Anniversary Lunch with Wolfgang Puck (Caesars Palace)
- Lunch like a Spaniard with José Andrés at Jaleo (Cosmopolitan)
- A Movers & Shakers Mixology Journey with Mariena Mercer (Cosmopolitan)
- Brunch with Bobby Flay at Mesa Grill (Caesars Palace)
- Montecristo Cigar Bar—Up in Smoke (Caesars Palace)
- Picnic in The Park with Alain Ducasse, Charlie Palmer, Michael Mina, Julian Serrano, Shawn McClain, Roy Ellamar, Akira Back, the Voltaggio Brothers & More (The Park, located between Monte Carlo and New York-New York)
- #FoodPorn Cooking Demo & Luncheon with the Too Hot Tamales (Caesars Palace)
- Sweet Escape: An Evening of Buddy, Beignets, Bon Bons & Booze (The Palazzo)
- The Ultimate Big Cake & Craft Cocktail After-Party (The Venetian)
There are even more experiences that seemingly take place all day and night. You can see a full list of Vegas Uncork’d events here. Ticket information and prices are available for individual events here. This isn’t an event if you’re traveling on a small budget. Prices start at $79.99 for an after party with Buddy V. and go as high as $595 for a Master’s experience with Nobu Matsuhisa. Visit vegasuncorked.com for more information.
If there’s one thing in Las Vegas that changes more than anything else, it’s the restaurants. Dining trends and customer preferences are evolve so quickly that the restaurant industry has a act quickly. When I first moved to Las Vegas, every casino was rushing to add two kinds of restaurant. It seemed as though every casino was looking to offer a high-end steakhouse and a fancy burger restaurant.
The trend of more beef on the strip has slowed in the past 5 years. Last year there was an influx of fine dining on the Vegas Strip with restaurants like Carbone at Aria and Harvest at Bellagio opening to rave reviews. The new year is off to a busy start with a slew of new restaurants already opening on the Vegas Strip.
Giordano’s (Bally’s Grand Bazaar)
This restaurant chain was born in Chicago and now has locations all over the country. This small chain of restaurants is famous for their deep dish pizza. Beyond “pizza,” (this New Yorker says deep dish isn’t pizza) they serve other traditional Italian dishes. Prices are moderate for the Vegas Strip.
In N Out Burger (The Linq Promenade)
Everyone’s favorite California-based fast food burger chain finally has a location on the Vegas Strip. The prices are a bit more than you’d pay if away from the Vegas Strip but the markup isn’t too bad. It’s almost as if they just added the taxi or rideshare prices into each item on the menu.
David Chang is one of the more popular young restaurateurs in America today. With Momofuku, he brings his unique take on Asian dining to Las Vegas. This is one of the few restaurants on the Vegas Strip where you can find ramen.
Milk Bar (Cosmopolitan)
This is another David Chang restaurant and it’s located next to Momofuku at the Cosmopolitan. Milk Bar is a dessert bar that features cakes, cookies, ice cream and boozy milkshakes. This is more of a walk up stand than an actual restaurant. If ice cream after ramen sounds tasty, you can order dessert while dining at Momofuku.
Stripside Cafe (Caesars Palace)
This restaurant take over the space of Serendipity 3 outside of Caesars Palace. The Stripside Cafe has traditional American cafe food with a view of the Vegas Strip. I just want to give a word of caution with this restaurant. There’s usually a price increase when dining on the Vegas Strip but this restaurant takes it to another level. Take a look at the menu before visiting.
Honorable Mention: Redneck Riviera (Bally’s Grand Bazaar)
Redneck Riviera is a new country music bar brought to you by John Rich of Big and Rich fame. In addition to playing country music all day, this bar features live band performances. It’s not a restaurant but they do serve food from another Grand Bazaar tenant, Wahlburger’s.
Coming soon: Zuma (Cosmopolitan)
This high end Japanese restaurant has three kitchens and will offer a unique level of Asian dining not found in most casinos in Las Vegas. Zuma opens on January 28
There are a lot of great restaurants all around Las Vegas. However, not all of these restaurants cater to an upscale clientele. Fine dining isn’t for everyone. These restaurants aren’t cheap and rarely offer sales or discounts. However, the food is delicious and many of the best are packed every night.
The best of the best restaurants are often worth the extra money. When I used to visit Las Vegas, I’d make sure that I set aside money for one meal that was better than I’d normally eat. I wasn’t a high roller, but for a few hours I could live the life. I live here now and budget myself accordingly.
There are really just a handful of casinos that offer the best of the best for diners. Here’s a look at 5 of the best casinos if you’re looking to splurge on one of the best meals of your life.
Aria is positioned as an upper mid-tier casino but their restaurants are almost all high end. You’ll be able to find some lower priced restaurants but Bardot Brasserie, Blossom, Carbone, Herringbone, Javier’s, Jean Georges Steakhouse, Lemongrass, and Sage are all fine dining for their category.
There’s a good chance you’ll have one of the best meals in Las Vegas if you’re sitting outside of Bellagio on the lake. The best restaurants at Bellagio cover this prime real estate with a view of the Bellagio Fountain Shows and the Vegas Strip. Lago, Olives, Picasso and Prime offer patio seating and delicious food. Jasmine has lake views without the patio seating.
Caesars Palace has so many restaurants that it’s difficult to keep track. They have ample dining for all budgets. However, thanks to the Forum Shops there are more fine dining options than you’ll find inside the casino alone. Mr. Chow, Nobu, Old Homestead, Rao’s all offer fine dining but Caesars Palace takes it to another level. With Restaurant Guy Savoy, the Michelin-star chef goes beyond basic luxury to offer the finest dining you’ll find anywhere in the world.
The Venetian and The Palazzo
It almost feels like cheating to combine the restaurants from two hotels that are connected by a mall as an example here. If the owner, Las Vegas Sands, counts it as one then so will I. You can probably eat every meal at a high-end restaurant for two weeks between the two properties. They also balance out the options with plenty of affordable dining options. You can view all of the restaurants here.
Wynn and Encore
This is a luxury hotel with restaurants that fill that need. There aren’t many “budget” dining options at either Wynn or Encore. SW Steakhouse at Wynn is one of the best steakhouses in Las Vegas. Likewise, Sinatra at Encore is one of the best Italian restaurants you’ll find in Las Vegas. There are fine dining options for everyone between the two hotels. You’ll even find vegan options on every menu. You can see more information here.
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