Las Vegas buffets are back! Well, sorta. Not all Las Vegas buffets have reopened but many on the Vegas Strip are back. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of all Las Vegas buffets last year. Casino operators have had time to evaluate if the self-serve all-you-can-eat dining concepts are worth reopening.
I was recently speaking with some friends considering a trip to Las Vegas in 2021. They’re generally a little cautious about spending a lot of time inside public places. With that in mind, I’m going to look at some things they, or someone like them, can enjoy in Las Vegas.
The Block 16 Food Hall at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas continues to evolve. Pok Pok Chicken recently closed all of its locations in the US. It will be replaced by Bāng Bar from chef David Chang. More on that shortly. I want to look at the food hall as a whole because it offers some of the most affordable dining options at the Cosmopolitan.
This is one of the best times to eat and drink outdoors when visiting Las Vegas. During the summer we shared some places to dine al fresco on the Vegas Strip. The middle of July and into early August is probably my least favorite time to be outside in Las Vegas. It’s just too hot for me but that’s a personal thing. With COVID-19 spreading, the information was helpful for many looking for a place to grab a bite in Las Vegas in the fresh air.
Dining al fresco seems to be a big deal around the country. States reopening after being closed to help slow the spread of coronavirus are more likely to allow outdoor dining than indoor dining. This seems like a big deal for much of the country. However, this isn’t new in Las Vegas. Eating outdoors has been a Las Vegas tradition during the summer months for as long as I can remember. That said, it might be more in demand than ever as people acclimate to spending time out of their houses again.
I’ve visited every casino on the Vegas Strip over the years. I’ve stayed at many, but not all, hotels in the tourist corridor. Last year I had multiple friends stay at Aria and I visited more often than any year since I moved to Las Vegas. Although I’ve never slept at Aria, I’ve seen the beautiful technology-forward hotel rooms. The rooms are luxury quality at a lower price point than you’d pay at one of the top tier Las Vegas casino-resorts.
It’s time to look at some of the highlights of Park MGM. We’ve been covering the transformation of Monte Carlo to Park MGM since 2017(!). In early 2018 MGM Resorts said the property was officially Park MGM even though construction wasn’t complete. The majority of the renovations to Park MGM were complete by the end of the year. However, there were still a few restaurants opening throughout 2019. Well, the reinvention of the property is complete and it’s a good time to look at some of the highlights at Park MGM.
Dining in Las Vegas isn’t cheap. Sure there are inexpensive dishes but splurging on food in Las Vegas can get a bit expensive. Even ideas that seem cheap, aren’t always inexpensive. For example, eating at a bar can be inexpensive. Dining at a bar can also be as expensive as sitting at a table in the same restaurant. I’ll share ways to find better prices when dining in Las Vegas.
The Flamingo is one of the oldest casino-resorts on the Vegas Strip. The classic roadside hotel and casino opened way back in December of 1946. Caesars hasn’t rested on its laurels with this vintage Vegas property. The Flamingo has expanded a lot over the years and now has more than 3,600 hotel rooms to go along with a 70,000 square foot casino.
Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. The restaurant opened in the fall of 2004 and has welcomed nearly 2.5 million guests. I don’t find celebrations like this to be interesting very often but this strikes me differently. Mesa Grill is easily my favorite restaurant at Caesars Palace. This is quite a feat for a casino that has 13 restaurants, 7 quick-serve restaurants in its food court, and a mall with another 10+ restaurants.
Las Vegas has become one of the best cities for foodies in the US. Unfortunately, there’s one meal that’s often forgotten when chefs are creating delicious and decadent menus. A great breakfast is often omitted in a town that cherishes great dinners at night and brunch during the day.
“Best of ____ in Las Vegas” lists are fun. They offer a baseline of what should be the best in a certain category. We recently looked at the hotels U.S News & World Report says are the best in Las Vegas. As you’d imagine, most of the best hotels are luxury resorts on the Vegas Strip. That’s the case with the best restaurants in Las Vegas according to Forbes.
Las Vegas has become one of the top culinary destinations in the U.S. There are plenty of well-known chefs and great restaurants all over Las Vegas offering great food. It’s almost difficult to believe that Las Vegas has also been the home of one of the best food festivals in the country for 13 years. It feels like the first Vegas Uncork’d was just a couple of years ago.
Eataly’s sixth U.S. location opened at Park MGM just as 2018 came to an end. The 40,000-square-foot culinary destination is located directly on the Las Vegas Strip and will serve as Park MGM’s main entrance.
Eataly is a vibrant space full of unique food counters, bars, cafés and dining experiences offering traditional, authentic Italian food. This is the venue inside Park MGM that I’ve been most looking forward to. Eataly is more than just a food court with different Italian dining options.
One of the best trends to emerge in Las Vegas restaurants in 2018 was special dining opportunities. Tasting and pairing menus for one night only isn’t exactly a new concept. However, it seemed as though more restaurants offered special menus than ever before.
Prices at the newest bars and restaurants on the Vegas Strip haven’t been “cheap” in years. However, the inflated prices from the 1990’s haven’t stopped and sticker shock is real. There’s nothing like being hit with a $6 price tag for a large iced coffee before you can open your eyes in the morning. Eesh.