Planning a vacation is one of the easiest and most overlooked ways to save money in Las Vegas. While it’s easy to make an early macro plan for your trip to Las Vegas (airfare, hotels) we shouldn’t forget the micro planning (meals, activities) of your days while on vacation. That’s what we’re going to do today.
Planning what you’re going to eat in Las Vegas is a great way to save money. Spontaneity is part of what makes visiting Las Vegas fun. Not every plan is rigid and set in stone. What I’m going to discuss doesn’t involve specific locations. What I’m going to discuss is more of a ideology based dining plan.
The later in the day you visit a buffet the more expensive they are. Breakfast is the least expensive and most cost effective buffet of the day. If you’re not big on breakfast you can head over to the buffet as it gets closer to lunch time. You’ll be able to eat a wider variety of food as the the assortment changes over.
If you’re a heavy coffee drinker like I am a breakfast buffet is great. You can get pots on pots on pots of coffee for your table. Compare this to $3-$5 per cup at a quick serve coffee stand in the casino and you’re probably saving money already.
Depending on which buffet you visit for breakfast you may have an omelet station to make a fresh dish as if you were at a traditional restaurant. Combine the coffee copious amounts of coffee with an inexpensive meal and you have a full stomach to power you through a day in Las Vegas.
Free drinks in Las Vegas are kind of a tradition. Most people know that the casinos offer complimentary drinks when you are gambling. The drinks entice you to stay at the tables and machines or they inhibit your good decision making or both. Either way the casino has a motivation to keep feeding you drinks.
Let’s turn the tables on the casinos and bars in Las Vegas and make these complimentary drinks more valuable than ever. Generally when you order a drink in the casino you’ll receive a low priced well drink or one of the less expensive beer. You can ask for better quality spirits or beer but you may not be able to get them in most casinos. Casinos generally only serve a few specific brands of spirits or beer to gamblers on the casino floor.
If you’re just looking for a complimentary drink you can head to a casino bar and play video poker or other games they may have on the machines. Most bars will serve you the same well drinks you get on the casino floor. However, more and more bars are offering premium drinks to gamblers. Let’s take a look at a few.
Las Vegas hotels are try to create an environment so inviting that you’ll never leave. They offer shows, gaming, spas, pools and more to keep you on their property. One of the best varieties that the hotels in Las Vegas offer is in dining. There’s fine dining if you’re in the mood for the best meal of your life. There’s casual dining for those of us looking for a good sit down meal. Lastly many of the hotels have a food court for the event in which we want a quick and inexpensive bite to eat. Food courts offer the flexibility to eat on site or grab a bite and head to your hotel room. This flexibility is great but the low price point is even better.
Food courts will often have name brand restaurants restaurants that offer familiar food that won’t break the bank but you have to know where to go. In the same manner hotels are not created the same, all food courts aren’t created the same. You’d be hard pressed to find a meal under $15 at some while you’ll probably never exceed $10 at others. Here are some of the best food courts in Las Vegas based on selection, atmosphere and price.
Summer is here and it’s time to head outside and enjoy Las Vegas! One of the best things with all of the recent renovations and construction on the Vegas Strip is that many of the hotels are adding outdoor components to their restaurants and bars. Sure the air conditioning inside of the hotels and casinos is great if it’s 115 degrees but it’s not the only way to beat the heat. If you’re hot but don’t want to cool down inside with air there are more options for you than ever before.
Last week we looked at restaurants to eat outside on the Vegas Strip. Today we want to look at places where we can enjoy the warm temperatures and still cool down. Drinks can be nice but a nice sweet scoop or five of ice cream can really cool things down.
Serendipity 3 at Caesars Palace – Serendipity 3 may be the most famous place to grab some ice cream outside on the Vegas Strip. You’re actually a few steps above the action on the Vegas Strip. Not only does this traditional ice cream parlor allow you to enjoy a beautiful icy cold snack but you can even get a meal if you want. Serendipity 3 is famous for their frozen hot chocolate which tastes exactly as it sounds.
Sugar Factory Bar & Grill at Paris Las Vegas – Sugar Factory is most famous for their popular celebrity endorsed couture lollipops but the bar and grill at Paris offers so much more. Sugar Factory Bar & Grill offers food and drink but is really focused on keeping things sweet. The dessert selections here are abundant. In fact, you probably want to skip the real food and just have dessert. The patio at Sugar Factory Bar & Grill features the great views of the Bellagio fountains. Note, patio seating is limited so there may be a wait.
Summer kicks off with Memorial Day Weekend in just a few day. That means that it’s time to get in the spirit of enjoying the beautiful summer weather. Sure a little air conditioning comes in handy when it’s 115 degrees in the shade but a nice cold beverage and a bite to eat in the warm desert air is always something to look forward to.
There have been a lot of changes to the Vegas Strip over the past year with a lot more coming in the next couple of years. Many of the hotel renovations have been to bring the property closer to the people. Extending many restaurants and bars out to the Vegas Strip makes it easier for us to walk into a hotel-casino. These renovations speak to many people that are visiting Las Vegas to relax and enjoy the warm weather.
Let’s eat, drink, be merry and do some people watching! People watching is one of the most fun things to do in Las Vegas as you have people from many different cultures all over the world. The Vegas Strip is a melting – both pot literally and figuratively. While just about every bit of construction has some kind of outdoor element not everywhere is opened to the Vegas Strip.
For example, while Guy Fieri’s Kitchen and Bar lets you sit to on the same level as pedestrians just off to the side of the Vegas Strip. You people watch here and enjoy it in a way you can’t do that around the corner at Chayo or Yard House inside The Linq. Inside The Linq you’ll only see mall shoppers and ferris wheel riders. The Linq is a little more family oriented that the chaotic fun that you’ll see on the Vegas Strip.
Below is a list of great strip-side dining where you can eat a complete meal, drink adult beverages and people watch outside at all of these restaurants. How you choose to enjoy your time at these restaurants is up to you.
Mon Ami Gabi – Paris – Amazing view of both the Vegas Strip and Bellagio fountains. You’re raised a few feet above the ground so you’ll never be bothered. Note, be careful of the time when you eat here, when the sun sets behind the Bellagio and it can be bothersome and HOT.
Cabo Wabo & PBR Rock Bar – Planet Hollywood – You’re about 10 feet above the pedestrians on the Vegas Strip but have a view of everything going on. Both restaurants can get rowdy as they’re probably bars first and restaurants second.
Tacos are some of the least expensive foods that you’ll find in Las Vegas, or anywhere for that matter. Coming from the east coast I never really understood how great a couple of tacos could be. If I wanted a quick, cheap bite to eat I could find a hot dog cart on just about every street. A few minutes after purchase I’d have a full stomach for just a few bucks. Since moving west I’ve come to appreciate the taco in a similar way. A couple of tacos and a drink usually don’t set me back much money but sate any hunger pains I may have.
Tacos are originally Mexican food but have become so popular over the years that they’ve become Americanized. That’s not to say that a fast food taco doesn’t do the trick in a pinch but there are so many small taco businesses out west that you can find quality tacos without breaking the bank. Tacos have become one of my favorite low dough dishes in Las Vegas. There are a lot of places to get great tacos but here are some of the best legit places to find a taco without breaking the bank.
Tacos El Gordo – 3049 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Tacos El Gordo is on the Vegas Strip and one of the most popular taco stands you’ll find in Vegas. Tourists and locals alike flock here for fresh, authentic tacos. Whether you want lunch, dinner or a late night snack Tacos El Gordo will be open for you. $2 for pork, chicken or beef tacos is a pretty great bargain on the Vegas Strip.
Nacho Daddy – 4th Street just off Fremont Street Downtown Vegas
Nacho Daddy is more than just a fun name for a restaurant. This location is the second for the suburban Las Vegas Mexican restaurant and bar. Some of the dishes here can be hit and miss but there is never a miss when ordering the street tacos appetizer. 3 small tacos for $6 hits the spot morning, noon, night and late night. Since Nacho Daddy has a full bar you can grab a drink and have a complete meal for under $10.
Some of the best chefs in the world have restaurants in Las Vegas. You can easily have the best and most fancy meal of your life in Las Vegas. This kind of fine dining is amazing and the kind of meal that makes memories. Believe it or not eating extravagant meals can get boring if you do it often enough.
Variety is the spice of life and dining in Las Vegas has both variety and spice. Great chefs in Las Vegas don’t only reside in restaurants where you’ll have to pay 3 or 4 figures for a great meal. Last year we told you about some of the great, cheap, Asian dining just off the Vegas Strip. Today we want to look deeper into off-strip dining foodie hot spots. These aren’t fancy restaurants but their chefs can cook their butts off! These are restaurants that only the cool people know about. Most importantly, you cannot find food like this anywhere on the Vegas Strip.
Naked City Pizza – Naked City Pizza may be the most famous yet still infamous restaurant in Las Vegas. The original location is located inside of Moondoggies Bar just off of Desert Inn on Arville and about a 5 minute cab ride from Wynn. It became so popular that it was featured on Food Network and then opened a second location on Paradise near the Hard Rock. This isn’t fine dining but it’s delicious dining. Naked City Pizza brings east coast Italian food to the west and does it with innovation and love. Order anything from their famous specialty pizzas to poutine and you’ll feel like a new person.
Fat Choy – I dare you to follow Fat Choy on Facebook or Twitter and not feel 10 pounds heavier. Pictures of their unique American diner/Asian comfort food will make you weak in the knees and make you hungrier than you’ve been in ages. You can get grilled cheese anywhere but at Fat Choy your grilled cheese will come with freshly made short rib and other Asian ingredients. The menu is filled with unique dishes that you won’t find elsewhere in Las Vegas. Fat Choy is located inside the only Asian-American owned and operated casino in Vegas. Eureka Casino is just off the strip on Sahara.
The Vegas Strip is always changing. We try to keep up with newcomers as they’re announced but they sometimes get forgotten over time. With that in mind we think it’s a good time to look at many of the new restaurants open on the Vegas Strip. Besides the world’s tallest observation wheel The Linq brings a slew of places to eat. Flour & Barley offers pizza, Yard House offers American classics and over 500 beers, Chayo offers Mexican cuisine, Brooklyn Bowl has food from Blue Ribbon (including their world famous fried chicken) and Sprinkles brings cupcakes and ice cream to the outdoor mall. That’s a lot of new places to eat and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen and Bar just opened outside of The Linq at The Quad. The restaurant will offer kicked up variations of traditional American cuisine. For example, instead of a normal bacon cheeseburger you’ll have the chance to order a bacon, mac & cheese burger. These innovative dishes aren’t for the faint of heart. Speaking of not for the faint of heart, the newest Hash House A Go Go just opened at Rio, taking place of the old cafe. If you’re not familiar with Hash House, they serve “twisted farm food” in the biggest portions you’ve ever seen.
Back on the Strip 800 Degrees Pizza and Double Barrel Roadhouse have both opened at Monte Carlo. 800 Degrees Pizza comes to Las Vegas from Los Angeles where they have a handful of restaurants that focus on brick oven pizza. You may have noticed that pizza is the newest restaurant trend in Vegas with pizza shops opening at just about every hotel. This isn’t your $3 quick bite – this is a full serve, sit down restaurant.
While New York City may hold the title of dining capital of the east. Las Vegas has certainly become the dining capital of the west. You can find any kind of dining experience in Las Vegas from the world famous $1.99 shrimp cocktail at Dupar’s inside Golden Gate casino to the one of the most luxurious meals of your life at Le Cirque at Bellagio or Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand.
When I’m going out for dinner with friends I often prefer dining somewhere above the middle. You know, the kind of restaurant where you have to wear pants. No shorts, no flip flops. This type of dining is more commonly referred to as fine dining. A good steak is what I find to be the best kind of fine dining but not all of my friends are meat eaters. My alternate dinner recommendation is Italian food. Fine Italian dining usually isn’t spaghetti and meatballs (although it can be) but rather one of the delicious Italian delicacies that take a little finesse to cook.
Besides having interesting and refined dishes fine Italian dining is a great way to eat well on a budget. If you do want the best pasta and sauce dish you won’t be paying $50 for your dish. There’s just no way to justify that price point. That’s the case when you go to Sinatra at Encore. The restaurant is a tribute to Frank Sinatra with all of his favorite dishes on the menu. Franks favorite Osso Bucco, which is delicious, is appropriately priced at $48. At the same time you can get another of Frank’s favorites, Spaghetti and Clams, for under $30. No matter which way you go here you will be enjoying classic Italian food with premium and fresh ingredients.
Vegas is all about excess, and when it comes to dinner, it’s hard to get more indulgent than a thick, juicy steak. Plenty of lists will guide you to the better steakhouses, but this list goes one better: guiding you to the best steak at the best steakhouse. While you can always order your favorite cut, read on to find out which specific steak specialties qualify as the ones not to miss.
5. Dry-Aged Roasted Porterhouse at Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak Restaurant
Tom Colicchio has gone on record as saying that grilling is the worst way to cook a steak. “Those grill marks you get?” he says. “That’s burnt.” While you may still enjoy a steak from the grill, you owe it to yourself to try a steak the way Colicchio prefers: roasted. The 32 oz. porterhouse is roasted until it’s a beautiful crusty brown, without a grill-mark in sight. Many of the sides at Craftsteak are simple, allowing you to really focus on the steak, such as Baby Spinach with Garlic Oil. For dessert, fresh fruit selections are unadorned, but exotic: finger limes, tiger figs, passionfruit. If you’d rather go all-out, though, there are plenty of dishes with potatoes and cream, plus a Lobster Bisque that’s world-class.
4. Nebraska Rib Eye at Wolfgang Puck’s CUT
Wolfgang Puck trained in France, so the menu at CUT reflects gourmet skill and elegance: Whole Roasted Loup de Mer, Rotisserie Poussin with Chanterelles and Thyme, Potato Tarte Tatin. Don’t forget, though, that Puck’s father was a butcher. He’s no slouch when it comes to meat. Puck’s eye for excellence shines through when it comes to his restaurant’s Nebraska Rib Eye, corn fed, dry aged, and pure Americana. The 35-day aged steak is grilled over hard wood and charcoal, then finished under a 1200 degree broiler. You won’t find a steak so true to the cowboy ethos in a more refined setting, making it a perfect place to take a date when you want some real food just as much as you want atmosphere.
The latest trend in Las Vegas dining is possibly its most budget friendly. PIZZA! It’s pizza everywhere for everyone. A few bucks and you have a slice of pizza for lunch, dinner or a late night snack. One of the best ways to save money in Las Vegas is to make a slice of pizza a part of your daily dining routine. It doesn’t matter what meal you choose but a $3 or $4 slice of pizza is one of the least expensive options you’ll have to eat at any time of the day. If you have a large party a whole pie will cost you even less money per slice.
This dining trend began a few years ago when Cosmopolitan opened its “secret” pizza shop. Pizza has always been around Las Vegas hotels but mostly relegated to hotels with food courts. Secret pizza at Cosmo showed that there was demand for a stand alone pizza shop. It’s not too surprising that many hotels in Las Vegas didn’t offer pizza as a major restaurant option. The profit margins were slim. There was only so much profit that could be made when the market for a slice of pizza was $1. Now that $3 – $4 (and up) for a slice of pizza is acceptable there’s a decent profit margin for restaurateurs.
When the weather is cold, you need something to warm your body as well as your soul. When it comes to hot drinks, don’t settle for a crowded stool at a cookie-cutter coffee shop or a green-and-white cup of the same old bland thing you drink on your way to work every day. In Las Vegas, there are plenty of places that offer a unique experience as well as something hot to drink. Choose one of these spots for a cup of something that will melt away even the chilliest of chills.
Hot Chocolate at Jean Philippe Patisserie
3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Jean-Phillipe Maury has been called a “modern-day Willy Wonka,” so it stands to reason that the famed chocolatier makes a darn good cup of hot chocolate. It’s the real stuff–pure chocolate that makes those powdered mixes seem like kid’s stuff. While you’re there, get a look at the world’s largest chocolate fountain, with cascading streams of white, milk, and dark chocolate.
Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate at Max Brenner
3500 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Max Brenner’s hot chocolate is made from single-origin cocoa beans, so even the simple version is excellent, but you’ll definitely want to try one of the more exotic concoctions. The Salted Caramel is a standout, as is the spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate for those with fiery tastes. Best of all: each of the hot drinks are served in a “hug mug,” shaped to the contours of your fingers so you can hold it with both hands as it warms you.
Café au Lait at Café Belle Madeleine
3655 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Where better to enjoy French coffee than in a cafe setting at Paris, Las Vegas? Café Belle Madeleine brews up excellent coffee, but they’re also a patisserie, so it’s the perfect place to pair a pastry with your hot drink. Keep it French with a raspberry beignet or one of the decadent cream puffs or éclairs. If you’re more in a savory mood, munch on a cheese plate or a slice of quiche.
Managing your budget in Las Vegas isn’t as difficult as you might think. Earlier this year Tripadvisor.com named Las Vegas as one of the least expensive vacation destinations in America. If you pay the listed price for everything you’ll surely end up with an expensive vacation in Las Vegas. With a little work and time you can get discounted hotel rooms, show tickets, activities and meals.
One of the best ways to save money on dining is by going to Happy Hour at restaurants instead of having traditional dinner. Not only is this a great way to save money on the most expensive meal of the day but it’s also a way to try food that might normally be above your budget.
Las Vegas is one of the best places for vacation in America because of its diversity. You can do Vegas on a budget (almost $20 a day) or you can flip the script and go big with a variety of luxury spas, restaurants and so forth. If you’re feeling really fancy you can go bigger than big and have the meal of your life at a 5 Diamond restaurant. Las Vegas has more AAA 5 Diamond restaurants than any city in the country besides New York City.
Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand, Le Cirque at Bellagio, Picasso at Bellagio and Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace are a notch above any restaurant that considers itself fine dining. These are expensive restaurants – the kind of restaurant if you have to ask how much dinner will cost than it’s too expensive. That said, each restaurant will provide a dinner experience of a lifetime for most people.
Before looking deeper into each restaurant you may notice that each of these restaurants are tied together with their French inspiration. That inspiration can be felt in the food and environment of each restaurant.
Vegas wants everyone to have a good time, and that includes non-meat eaters. These days, more and more people are opting for a vegetarian or vegan diet (about 15 million Americans, in fact), and they don’t want to be left munching on a dull salad or yet another microwaved veggie burger. Luckily, several Vegas restaurants are not only vegetarian friendly, but offer inventive meat-free dishes that will please anyone’s palate. From casual meals to fine dining, here are some of the city’s best bets for vegetarians.
Luckily for vegans and vegetarians, when Wynn and Encore head honcho Steve Wynn adopted a meat-free diet, he collaborated with vegan Chef Tal Ronnen to add appropriate menu items at all of his hotel restaurants–even on the in-room dining menu. The result is a stunning selection of options that diners don’t have to dig for. Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, for example, keeps it authentically Italian with dishes like Porcini Mushroom Ravioli and a tofu-based interpretation of the famous Caprese salad. Wazuzu offers inventive vegan sushi options and savory Asian entrees. Even Wynn’s steakhouses include more than a few meat-free options, including a must-try meatless meatloaf at Switch.
(3900 Paradise Rd.)
The decor and the bellydancers are enough reason to visit Marrakech, but for vegetarians, the real draw is the food. The famous six-course feast comes in a vegetarian option, and the almost-endless parade of food truly is a feast. Start with a zesty Lentil Soup and a Mushroom Saute, then nibble on Hummus and Zaaluk with plenty of bread for dipping. Grilled Kabob and a veggie-studded Couscous entree will make you plenty full, but there’s still more. A decadent Moroccan dessert and a cozy pot of mint tea top off the meal.
(953 E Sahara Ave.)
Vegans will be spoiled for choice at this Thai restaurant close to the Strip. Choices include several options that aren’t usually made dairy-free, such as a creamy Coconut Ice Cream. Start with a Vegetarian Shumai made with edamame or crisp Fried Sweet Potato, then choose your spice level with an entree like Chili Mint Tofu, or Stir-Fried Pumpkin with Basil Leaves. Komol offers their famous Thai teas and coffees in a cream-free version.
Room service is an expected amenity at any hotel: even a Holiday Inn can get you a burger with a simple phone call. But this is Vegas, baby. You can dial up just about anything you want. While you’ll find a lot of tried-and-true meal staples on in-suite menus, some Vegas hotels have gone out of their way to provide unique offerings, from late-night snacks to dinners that rival some of the best restaurants. There are plenty of reasons to stay in, whether you’re honeymooning or working on a business project, but these delicious dining options give you one more reason to enjoy the comfort of your room instead of going out.
Japanese Breakfast at the Venetian
Breakfast sets the tone for the whole day, so starting with the typical room-service offerings (bacon and eggs, pastries, pancakes) only prepares you for the ordinary. The Venetian’s Japanese Breakfast is a Zen experience on a platter, and it’s especially perfect if you have a stressful meeting or just want to have a relaxing morning, followed by a swim or some yoga. Served with hot, calming green tea, the breakfast includes steamed rice, a salmon filet, a fresh poached egg, and miso soup, plus pickled Japanese vegetables and nori.
3 Tower Burger at the MGM Grand
Every room service menu has a standard burger, and almost every guest complains about the price. (Let’s face it: room service is a luxury, and the prices are higher than at your neighborhood burger joint.) If there’s a room service burger that’s worth the price, though, it’s at the MGM Grand. The 3 Tower Burger is a whopping 8 oz. beef burger served with choice of cheese and toppings. Health conscious diners can choose a turkey or even a vegetarian version of the huge patty. Add on an order of the Mesquite Fries, which the Grand serves with a signature spicy ketchup. Go all-out Americana with one of their hand-scooped milkshakes, and you’ll be full for a week.
It’s increasingly more difficult to find bargain dining in Las Vegas. The $1.99 all you can eat buffet is long gone. Most dining that has been introduced in the past few years either comes with a celebrity chef’s name attached or a hefty brand name. Even fine dining has seen price increases. A gourmet burger will now set you back about $20. Stepping it up a notch the expensive $50 steak from two years ago now costs $60 or $70 for the same quality meat. That said, if you search hard enough there are dining bargains to be found. Here are some of the best and most famous.
Cosmopolitan – $22.13 Lunch Special at Estiatorio Milo’s. This has quickly become the best deal in Las Vegas dining. For reference, dinner at Milo’s will cost about $100 per person. You choose an appetizer, main course and dessert. This is possibly the best discounted fine dining you’ll have anywhere in the country. Besides previewing dining options the menu allows you to make reservations for lunch or dinner.
Hard Rock – $7.77 Surf & Turf is one of the most famous dining deals in Las Vegas and it isn’t even on the menu. Just ask your waitress for details and you’ll get an 8 ounce ribeye, skewer of shrimp, vegetables and potato. The quality of this meal is a little better than you’d expect for a meal at this price. If you don’t have a Backstage Pass players club card this will cost you $9.95. Sign up now for free.
If you’ve ever dreamed about dining in the great cities of the world, consider a trip to Las Vegas. For the price of one trip, you can experience the dining pleasures of just about every world cuisine. Choose from elegant dishes prepared by renowned chefs or simple, flavorful homestyle meals. Vegas has such a rich selection of ethnic eateries that you can try a different nation’s food every day without repeating. Whether you have one food style in mind or want to sample your way through the city, use this guide to hone in on the best international restaurants Vegas has to offer.
Short of actually going to France, Las Vegas is the next-best city for world-class French cuisine. Iconic French Chef Joel Robuchon (voted “Chef of the Century” by the Gault Millau guide) has two restaurants at the MGM Grand. The five-star Joel Robuchon is ranked among the top restaurants in the country, while at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, the food is prepared while you watch. Chef Guy Savoy also provides upscale French cuisine in Vegas. If you have something simpler in mind, head to Bouchon Bakery for macarons that are out of this world.
Italian restaurants are all over Vegas, but some go the extra mile. Casa di Amore provides free limo service right to the door, making it perfect for a romantic date night. The place is distinctly old-school Vegas, and the food is traditional: Veal Parmigiana, Shrimp Scampi and the restaurant’s famous Garlic Loaf are menu staples. For more upscale dining, try Wolfgang Puck’s Trattoria del Lupo, or Carnevino at the Palazzo, with its gorgeous 16-foot ceilings.
Before living in Las Vegas a major part of planning every trip was around dinner. Actually, this was the only planning. We just needed an hour a day to see each other. It’s Vegas…overplanning is the number one problem I can see to any trip. To this day every visit from that specific group of friends is similar. We choose a new steakhouse on the Vegas strip and search for an off the strip restaurant that tourists don’t really know about. There is a lot to explore in Vegas and that’s part of the fun.
There have always been new steakhouses opening regularly so that has never been too difficult. The more difficult and more fun part of Vegas vacation planning was searching high and low for something that only the locals knew about. There are really two cuisines that Las Vegas does well – Asian and Italian. You’ve already seen the guide to great off strip Asian dining but one of my favorite Italian restaurants needs its own spotlight.
One of the greatest locals finds I made as a tourist and I continue to enjoy as a local is Casa di Amore. Casa di Amore is located on Tropicana just passed the campus of UNLV. Like some of the best off-strip restaurants Casa di Amore is located in a strip mall. Casa di Amore is a classic Italian restaurant that features live entertainment every night. The restaurant isn’t quite retro as it’s not trying to be old school. It is old school. Casa di Amore looks and feels as if it was lifted out of 1973 Las Vegas and transported to today. The walls are decorated with plenty of images of the Las Vegas of yesteryear. The music and the rest of the decor match this.
In my opinion, chocolate can solve everything. Sunburned? Hot? Hung-over? Tired? Hungry? Eat some chocolate; it should be considered a food group. During a recent trip, I was lucky enough to come across some incredible chocolate finds. Check them out!
If you have a car, you cannot miss the opportunity to tour Ethel M’s Chocolate Factory. It is a short distance from the strip and well worth the trip! The entrance winds you through an M&M store with every color M&M’s imaginable along with cute souvenirs for kids of all ages. After passing through the M&M portion, you past a glass wall of the chocolate factory and get an up close and personal view of how the chocolates are made. At the end of this hallway, you can chose between a free sample of either milk or dark chocolate. Then around the corner you will walk into the chocolate addicts dream, their chocolate store. They have a display case full of chocolates that look as good as they taste, tables upon tables of every possible combination of chocolate/flavors and even homemade ice cream for those hot days. Check out the brittle (my personal favorite), they even dunk that in chocolate! Even if you can’t make it to the actual factory, make sure to check out their retail store located inside the Las Vegas airport. You might miss out on the experience, but you won’t miss out on the taste!
Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace
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