A few weekends ago there was a small but scary fire at the Cosmopolitan. Making a long story short there were big flames and large plumes of dark smoke. Due to proximity of the firehouse across the street at City Center (home of Aria, Veer Towers, Mandarin Oriental) the fire fighters didn’t have to battle much traffic on the way to put out the fire. The fire was extinguished in 30 minutes and nobody was hurt.
There was a little damage to the Bamboo Pool deck on the 14th floor of the hotel but it was back up and running less than 24 hours after the fire. Nobody was injured and the hotel and casino are operating like normal again aside of a handful of rooms on the 14th floor.
We can breath a sigh of relief that one of the best hotels in Las Vegas comes away from this fire relatively unscathed. The following statement is no joke, the first question I got about the fire was if Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill was okay. Yes, it’s okay. I gave my buddy a heads up that he could head to Brooklyn Bowl at The Linq if he was in the mood for some Blue Ribbon vittles.
One of the best things about visiting the Cosmopolitan is the great variety of restaurants and bars. Take a look at the dining options beyond Blue Ribbon Sushi:
China Poblano – Showcasing Jose Andreas’ personal take on Chinese and Mexican cuisines.
D.O.C.G. – Casual rustic Italian restaurant featuring pizza, pasta, steaks and chops.
Milos – Touted as one of North America’s finest Greek restaurants.
Holsteins – New burger restaurant with an emphasis on fresh, natural and organic ingredients.
Jaleo – Authentic flavor of a Spanish tapas restaurant by renowned chef Jose Andreas.
Overlook Grill – This restaurant is Adjacent to the Boulevard Pool and offers casual fare with hints of Riviera chic.
Rose.Rabbit.Lie. – A communal venue that blurs the lines between restaurant, bar, club and live entertainment to create a modern supper club.
Scarpetta – Scarpetta is a modern Italian restaurant by award-winning chef Scott Conant.
STK – A new style Las Vegas steakhouse from The One Group.
The Henry – 24 hour a day cafe featuring Old-school revamped classics.
Wicked Spoon – A bustling culinary food hall (aka buffet).
The Cosmopolitan also has a couple of quick serve options with Secret Pizza and Va Bene Caffe. If you’re just looking for a drink than the Cosmo probably has a bar for every mood.
The Chandelier – Offers 3 unique bar experiences; high-energy hot spot, sophisticated cocktail haven and inviting lounge.
Vesper Bar – This lobby bar offers delicious cocktails mixed with style and grace.
Bond – A funky, chic cocktail house with a vibrant mash up of dynamic LED art, gaming and upbeat house music.
Queue – An original take on gaming and cocktails.
The Neapolitan – Hand-crafted cocktails and ice cream come together for an avant-garde experience.
TBD – HQ Cocktail Lounge is rumored to be taking over the space once occupied by Book & Stage.
I consider the Cosmopolitan my favorite bar on the Vegas Strip because it’s really just one building housing multiple bars. No matter what kind of mood I’m in there is a bar or lounge that will satisfy my needs.
Las Vegas is a city of extravagance and always one one of the great excuses to splurge when on vacation. One of the most respected names in wine, Wine Enthusiast, recently revealed their 2015 Restaurant Awards.
The Wine Enthusiast Award of Excellence is their basic 1 star award which focuses on restaurant wine lists that offer a well-chosen selection of quality producers along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. The Grand Award is highest award from Wine Enthusiast and is given to restaurants that typically offer 1,000 selections or more, and feature serious breadth of top producers, outstanding depth in mature vintages, large-format bottles, and superior organization, presentation and wine service. Each of these restaurants earned 3 stars from Wine Enthusiast. Las Vegas has five (5) Wine Enthusiast Grand Award winners this year.
If you’re looking to splurge on a night of great wine and great food the Wine Enthusiast Grand Award winners are a great place to start. This year’s Grand Award winners in Las Vegas are Aureole at Mandalay Bay, Delmonico Steakhouse at the Venetian, Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand, Picasso at Bellagio and Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace.
Each of these restaurants has won the Grand Award since Joel Robuchon won the award in 2009. Aureole has actually won a Wine Enthusiast award since 2000. That’s 15 years of delicious wine in a city where restaurants are lucky if they’re around for more than a year. This is quite the impressive group of restaurants as they offer some of the best meals you’ll eat anywhere in the world in addition to a great wine selection.
If you’re looking for a good wine selection in Vegas but not the best there are plenty of affordable 1 and 2 star award winning restaurants with excellent wine lists all over Las Vegas. If you’re in the mood for a great wine tour of Las Vegas you can grab some friends, rent a limo and visit locations as far out as Henderson and Summerlin.
Here’s a unique wine tour you might take:
Begin at Oscar’s Beef, Booze and Broads at the Plaza, head to Vitner Grill in Summerlin (a Rachel Ray favorite) then back to the north end of the Vegas strip to Bazaar Meat at SLS Las Vegas before proceeding away from the Vegas strip to Del Frisco’s on Paradise (near the Hard Rock) then The Charcoal Room at Santa Fe Station in Henderson before heading back to one of the many restaurants on the Vegas Strip like Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House at MGM Grand.
This is just a small sampling of the 1 and 2 star Wine Enthusiast award winners in Las Vegas. There are a total of 76 different 1 and 2 star award winning restaurants in Las Vegas. You can see the Award of Excellence (1 star) winners in Las Vegas here, the Best of Award of Excellence (2 star) winners in Las Vegas here and more information on Wine Spectator here.
Downtown Vegas aka Old Vegas aka Fremont Street brings a great collection of new and old Las Vegas fun. Downtown Vegas was more of a gambling pit stop than an destination for much more. That’s changed a lot in the past few years as casinos have been renovated, new shopping areas have been built and new restaurants and have opened.
Today you’ll find some great places to eat that offer a wide spectrum of options from modern to classic and casual to fine dining. Whether you stay in Downtown Vegas or just visit the area it’s now a fantastic location for destination dining. Recently a friend visited Las Vegas from out of town and we specifically made plans to go downtown for dinner one night.
You’ll see that (dinner) recommendation below as I outline 3 meals that you can eat throughout the day for under $30. With that in mind these restaurants are all casual and all delicious. These are all meals that will make you rethink how you dine on a budget in Las Vegas.
Breakfast – $7.75
DuPar’s Restaurant & Bakery at the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino offers diner/cafe style food. To be honest most of the menu is pretty average and few dishes really stand out. The superstar at DuPar’s are the pancakes. Ohhhhhh, the pancakes! These are the most fluffy and perfectly cooked pancakes you’ll find in Las Vegas. They’re topped with a ladle of drawn butter which seems like the secret ingredient that makes the dish. Stick with the short stack for $7.75 so you don’t get too weighed down. This makes the perfect late night snack if you’re in need of a “4th meal” but it’s a great way to start the day.
Lunch – $9.95
Le Thai is one of the newer free standing restaurants you’ll find in Downtown Vegas. It’s located just outside of the Fremont Street Experience in the Fremont East section downtown. The food is all fresh and affordable with most, if not all, dishes under $15. The quality of the food and relative small size make this one of the more crowded restaurants for lunch as it has become a favorite of people that work in Downtown Vegas. Nothing on the menu is outrageously priced but the lunch special may be one of the best deals you’ll find. For $9.95 you’ll get a large, delicious plate of food and a drink. It’s worth the wait if you show up on a busy day.
Dinner – $8
Pizza Rock is another great new(ish) free standing restaurant in Downtown Vegas. It’s located on 3rd Street across from Downtown Grand and one block from the Fremont Street Experience. It’s a fairly progressive pizza restaurant with a menu full of great options. To date, I haven’t had a disappointing meal here. If you’re not in the mood for pizza or other Italian dishes you can step over the the burger section of the menu and have one of the best you’ll find in Las Vegas. While some items on the menu may be pricey there you’ll find one of the best Happy Hour deals in Vegas here. The 3-5-7 Happy Hour is from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and again from 10 p.m. until close. You can enjoy an appetizer of 3 meatballs for $3 and a main course of a personal pizza with one topping for another $5. Together you’ll be perfectly full for the night. If you’re a beer drinker you might want to enjoy a few craft beers they offer on tap but we’re just focused on the food today.
These three restaurants offer a great variety of dining from breakfast through dinner. 3 meals for under $30 is hard to beat when you’re on vacation in 2015. If you want to add drinks to your breakfast and dinner you can still dine all day at these restaurants for under $50 per person. Welcome to 1990’s pricing for some of today’s best food!
Las Vegas Restaurant Week is a great way to either save money on dining or try a restaurant you may not normally want to pay for. Las Vegas Restaurant Week began in 2007 as a way to give locals and tourists the opportunity to help the community by dining out. 2015 marks the ninth year of Las Vegas Restaurant Week, which features a variety of fine dining experiences throughout the Valley. This year Las Vegas Restaurant Week takes place from June 15 – 26, 2015
Proceeds from Restaurant Week benefit Three Square, Southern Nevada’s only food bank. Three Square currently provides more than 34 million pounds of food and grocery product – the equivalent of more than 28 million meals per year to more than 1,300 community partners including non-profit and faith-based organizations, schools and feeding sites throughout Southern Nevada. Three Square is a member of the Feeding America network of food banks.
It’s great to see that revenue from something that benefits restaurant customers in Las Vegas going to a good cause. A variety of restaurants from all over Las Vegas take part in Las
Vegas Restaurant Week so you’ll find dining options on and off the Vegas Strip. Different restaurants offer special menus with prices between $20 and $50 depending on when and where you dine. Even if your meal doesn’t add up to a sweet discount you can be happy knowing that some of your money will be going to a good cause.
While some restaurants only offer dinner, Buddy V’s at The Venetian offers both lunch and dinner. Both menus have a nice variety to choose from but lunch really gives you a chance to take in a full meal at less than you’d normally pay. Here’s a look at the two menus they’re offering:
- ANTIPASTO (choice of): Tomato & Basil Soup – grana padano and focaccia croutons; or Caesar Salad – polenta croutons, parmesan and classic dressing
- MAIN COURSE (choice of): Spaghetti and Meatballs – beef & pork, red wine, tomato; Grilled Salmon – Mediterranean chickpea and artichoke salad, roasted tomato vinaigrette and balsamic; or Chicken Chopped Salad – chicken, artichokes, tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, celery, garbanzos, roasted peppers, mozzarella, arugula and Italian vinaigrette.
- DESSERT: Cannoli & Cookies – cinnamon pastry, sweet ricotta cream, cocoa drops, pistachios and Italian Cookies.
Cost for the Restaurant Week lunch is $20.15 per person. Tax and gratuity not included.
- ANTIPASTO (choice of): Grandma’s Meatballs – beef, veal & pork, tomato ragu, pecorino; Caesars Salad – polenta croutons, parmesan and classic dressing; or Panzanella – buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, grilled bread, arugula, balsamic red onions.
- MAIN COURSE (choice of): Spaghetti Bolognese – beef & pork, red wine, tomato; Roasted Branzino – cured lemon, arugula salad and pine nuts; My Dad’s Bucatini Carbonara – pancetta, cracked black pepper and egg; or Chicken Parm – oven-baked, provolone, mozzarella, spaghetti marinara.
- DESSERT: Tiramisu & Cookies – marsala mascarpone cream, chocolate espresso cake, lady fingers and Italian Cookies.
Cost for the Restaurant Week dinner is $40.15 per person. Tax and gratuity not included.
A quick look at Buddy V’s menu shows a Caesar Salad will cost $12 and Spaghetti and Meatballs costing $24. Without dessert your lunch would normally cost $36. Add $6 or $7 for dessert and you’re looking at a full price over $40. This makes the $20.15 price they’re offering for lunch quite a steal!
You can see a full list of participating restaurants and their special menus at helpoutdineoutlv.org. Saving money on lunch and/or dinner while helping a good cause sounds like a win-win all around!
Las Vegas is one of the few cities in the world that really never sleeps. Casinos don’t close and nightclubs go into the wee hours of the morning. Whether you’re a party animal not ready to crash or a casino worker working the late or overnight shift and in need of a bite at an odd hour Las Vegas has a solution for you.
Graveyard dining specials have become legendary in Las Vegas over the years. These late night dining specials are almost as famous as the old “$1.99 buffet” with one exception. You can still find Graveyard specials all over Las Vegas. They’re not offered everywhere like they used to be but you can still find a late night dining deal for less than $10 if you know where to look.
We’ve done the looking and here are 5 of the best Las Vegas Graveyard Specials you’re going to find in a casino.
Silverton (Sundance Grill) – There are a good amount of choices here so let’s start with the least expensive: If you just need a late night snack you can snag the All-American Sliders for .99 each. If you’re a hungrier you can grab the Wild Card Special for $2.95 (2 eggs, bacon or sausage, hash browns, toast) or the even larger option of Ham and Eggs for $3.95 (2 eggs, grilled ham, hash browns, toast).
Station Casinos (Grand Cafe) – There are 7 different casinos offering various overnight specials if you have a players club card (sign up here). The All-Nighter Skillet (2 eggs, hash browns, toast) is only $1.99, a Short Stack of pancakes or an order of Biscuits and Gravy are each also $1.99. You can step up your meals to a Classic Burger & Fries for $2.99 or 8 oz. New York Steak and Eggs for $5.99.
The Orleans (Courtyard Cafe) – While these are a little more expensive than some of the other options the late night specials at the Orleans are available for a longer period of time than most of the other Graveyard Specials between 10 P.M. to 7 A.M. on Mondays through Thursdays. You can choose from Southwestern Egg Rolls, Steak and Cheese Nachos or Potato Skins for $4.99 each.
South Point (Coronado Cafe) – The sheer number of Graveyard Specials here could fill up a lesser cafe’s entire menu. You’ll find a Cheeseburger, Biscuits and Gravy, Bacon and Eggs, Steak and Eggs and even a Pancake Sandwich (with ham and fried eggs) for under $4! The South Point is about a 10 minute taxi from Mandalay Bay during the overnight hours and these prices are worth the trek if you’re looking for a late night bargain.
Ellis Island (the Cafe) – Ellis Island is located right behind Bally’s on Koval Lane. Off the bat you should know that there are dining and beer specials here all day and night. You can pretty much eat a full meal for around $10 any time of day. However, Ellis Island’s location makes it the closest Graveyard Special to the Vegas Strip that you’ll find on this list. The amount of late night breakfast dishes under $5 is fantastic. You can choose from 2 or 3 Eggs Any Style with hash browns and toast, The Breakfast Special with scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, and bacon or sausage and Cinnamon Vanilla French Toast.
It’s that time of year again. Spring has sprung and temperatures in Las Vegas a teetering at the 90 degree mark. We’re entering the most beautiful time of the year in Las Vegas. The weather is warm during the day but not hot. There’s a slight chill in the air when the sun goes down but it’s not cold. Ahhhhh…breathe in.
This beautiful weather only lasts about 6 weeks before temperatures reach the 100 degree mark. Some people prefer the desert heat during the middle of the summer and some prefer the warm winters. There’s no arguing that the weather, despite occasional winds, is perfect right now in Las Vegas.
It’s time to get outside of the casino for a little while and relax. There’s no better way to do that than dining al fresco. You can grab a meal outside at any time of the day from breakfast to late night dessert. Restaurants with outdoor dining range from the uber fancy fine dining restaurants at Wynn Las Vegas to the simple cup of coffee at Sambalatte outside of Monte Carlo. If you’re looking for something in the middle you can head to Planet Hollywood for some middle of the road restaurants and bars.
There are a lot of restaurants that offer al fresco dining in Las Vegas today and more will be coming as the Vegas Strip continues to reinvent itself. Here’s a rundown of restaurants where you can grab a bite or strap on a feedbag outside on the Vegas Strip.
Bellagio – Prime, Picasso, Jasmine
Caesars Palace – Serendipity 3
Cosmopolitan – Estiatorio Milos, Overlook Grill
Flamingo – Carlos and Charlies
The Linq – Guy Fieri’s Kitchen, Chayo, Yard House, Flour and Barley
Mandarin Oriental – Pool Cafe
Monte Carlo – Diablo’s Cantina, Double Barrel Roadhouse, Sambalatte, 800 Degrees Pizza
New York New York – Shake Shack, Tom’s Urban, Nine Fine Irishmen
Mandalay Bay – Border Grill
Palazzo – Lavo, Morels French Steakhouse, Lagasse’s Stadium
Paris – Mon Ami Gabi, Hexx
Planet Hollywood – Cabo Wabo, PBR Rock Bar
SLS Las Vegas – Umami Burger
Tropicana – Beach Cafe
Venetian – Bouchon, B & B Burger and Beer
Wynn Las Vegas – Country Club, SW, Lakeside Seafood, La Cave, Terrace Point Cafe, Botero, Mizumi, Tableau
You’ll need a reservation for some of the restaurants listed above – specifically the restaurants at Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas along with Border Grill at Mandalay Bay (especially for brunch). If you want to ensure outdoor seating I advise calling the individual restaurants. OpenTable and other reservation apps don’t guarantee where you sit.
You’ve never really experienced Happy Hour until you visit Las Vegas. Why? The answer is quite simple. There are so many bars and restaurants competing for the same business and Happy Hour discounts are a great way to get people in the door. Hopefully the food, drink and environment is good enough to cause discounted customers to return for dinner and drinks at full price. Whatever the case, Happy Hour deals are a great way to eat and/or drink for lower than normal prices. In no particular order here are 10 Happy Hour deals that we think are great. That’s a lie, the best deal is the last deal.
Country Club at Wynn – Happy Hour is every Wednesday through Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m. Small bites are priced from $3.50 to $8. Drink specials include select beers from $4 and select cocktails from $7. This is a chance to wine and dine at a beautiful restaurant that may normally be beyond your budget.
The Pub at Monte Carlo – Happy Hour is every Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. This is one of the best beer bars on the Vegas Strip. You get $3 off all draft beers (normally $6 and up) and food between $3-$6. This is a great discount for any beer drinker looking to get the party started early.
Downtown Cocktail Room – Happy Hour is every Monday through Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. DCR has some of the best cocktails you’ll find anywhere in Las Vegas. Drink specials range anywhere from $3 to $7. If you’re serious about drinking something special then you may want to opt for a handcrafted cocktail for $7. Many of these drinks are on the menu for $10+. There are discounted small bites but you’re going here for the cocktails, not necessarily the food.
Peppermill Lounge – Happy Hour is daily from 3 to 6 p.m. and again 9 to 11 p.m. The Peppermill Lounge is legendary and discounts for Happy Hour are a great excuse to stop by a non-casino property. Now you have extra motivation for a visit if it’s not already a part of your itinerary. Happy Hour includes 50% off well drinks, wine and beer, $4.50 martinis, $5.50 mozzarella sticks.
Andre’s at Monte Carlo – Happy Hour is Tuesday through Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m. Drink specials are $5 for beer, $6 for cocktails and $7 for small plates. This is a great excuse to snack on some French dishes you may normally not eat, like roquefort sliders. If you’re looking to really step out of your comfort zone, head to their Cigar Lounge for an early evening smoke, drink and snack.
Yard House at The Linq – Yes, we’re recommending a chain restaurant that has Happy Hour. The location of this Yard House is fantastic, right in the middle of the Vegas Strip. $1 off their wide selection of beer is a great deal for this area on the Vegas Strip. The food is all good with discounts between $5 and $8. Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. If you’re a fan of Yard House and want to travel you can find multiple Happy Hour deals off the Strip at Red Rock Resort and Town Square.
Triple 7 Brewery at Main Street Station – If you’re looking for some serious discounted quality, head downtown to Main Street Station where prices are already low. Happy Hour at Triple Seven Brewery is Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. Already low priced microbrews are only $2.50 during Happy Hour. If you’re the kind of person that goes to a microbrewery for wine or well drinks those are also $2.50. Select food on the menu is discounted.
Hussong’s Cantina at Mandalay Bay – Happy Hour is Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. You get 50% off appetizers, margaritas, cocktails, draft beers and $3 tacos. Need we go on? There’s something here for everyone.
Herbs & Rye – Sometimes you’re rewarded by reaching the end. Today you’re gifted with one of the best Happy Hour deals in Las Vegas. You can save so much money that it’s worth a cab ride off the Vegas Strip. Happy Hour is Monday through Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m and again 11:59 p.m. to 3 a.m. Herbs & Rye is one of the best cocktail bars in Las Vegas but you can get discounted well drinks for $5 and draft beers for $3 if you want. Certain items on their food menu, including steak (cost around $50) are discounted by 50%. Take your savings and invest in one of the best cocktails you’ve ever had.
Waking up in Las Vegas can be different every day. One day you may just need the closest cup of coffee and something to snack on and other days your body may require a full sit down breakfast. Just about every casino on the Vegas Strip has a coffee stand (usually Starbucks) to satisfy the most basic desires. The same can’t be said at Downtown Vegas hotels where you may have to visit their sit down cafe and order coffee and a pastry or whatever to go.
When I think about breakfast it’s never about hitting the coffee stand for a quickie. It’s always about those times when only a full meal will do. Here are some restaurants with great breakfast dishes. Some of these breakfast dishes can be enjoyed at any time of the day.
DuPar’s (Golden Gate Hotel and Casino)
DuPar’s is both a restaurant and bakery. You can sit down and eat a meal at this diner style restaurant or just get a pie to go. The world famous pancakes at DuPar’s inside the Golden Gate in Downtown Vegas are one of the best breakfast’s you’ll find anywhere in Las Vegas. The combination of a great pancake and a ladle of drawn butter makes for one of the most satisfying meals any time of the day from breakfast to a late night snack. Coffee drinkers may want to bring their own cup from the outside. Their brown water isn’t very drinkable.
Grand Lux Cafe (The Venetian)
This tip is specifically for the Grand Lux Cafe at The Venetian. Even though this is a chain restaurant the location at The Palazzo does not prepare this specific dish the same way. The steak and eggs at the Grand Lux Cafe at The Venetian isn’t the $1.99 special you may have heard of years ago in Las Vegas. This is a perfectly grilled New York steak with fluffy eggs, hash browns and toast for $20. This isn’t an everyday meal. It’s too much food in the best way possible and worth every penny you’ll pay.
Las Vegas can get expensive quickly if you’re not paying attention. When you’re in a tourist area, no matter what city, prices tend to drift a little higher than you may normally pay at home. That $4 domestic beer at home may be $7 on the Vegas Strip. When you add a $1 tip you’ve now paid $8. When you’re looking in your pocket it’s easy to think you just spent $10 on what’s normally a $4 beer because of the missing big bills. As the night progresses the extra money spent on drinks can add up.
You can get “complimentary” drinks while you’re gambling but these aren’t necessarily free. If you lose your buy-in at the table or machine that you’re playing you have in essence paid that much for however many drinks you’ve had. I’ve probably had as many video poker sessions at the casino bar where I’ve had enough drinks for a weekend that only cost my $20 buy-in as I’ve had $200 blackjack sessions where I lost so quickly that I only had one drink. That’s a $200 beer. Not cool.
“Free” isn’t always free in Las Vegas. However, there are some great options to get your drink on for a lower price. Many of the casual bar/restaurant’s in Vegas casinos has a Happy Hour. Many of these happy hour specials change so check out the restaurants in the hotel where you’re staying and see what kind of drink discounts they offer. You may be happily surprised with what you find.
One little known way to get free or cheap drinks is to head to the casino gift shop. Some casinos offer discounts when you show a players club card. This may make the beers less expensive than you’ll pay at the casino bars.
Quick Serve Restaurants (QSR) aren’t a new trend but it’s one that is rapidly growing across the country. Quick serve restaurants are the next step in the progression of fast food. Quick serve restaurants fit a niche that’s needed by today’s fast paced society. They offer food orders to be filled quickly while also offering a better quality of fast food. The food is closer to what you’d expect at a traditional dine-in restaurant at prices somewhere in between discount fast food restaurants and that traditional dine-in restaurant.
The most famous quick serve restaurant is Chipotle. They make full restaurant quality food quickly. Food at Chipotle is constantly being prepared so its fresh, unlike some fast food restaurants we all grew up with. When you visit a 5 Guys Burger restaurant, another QSR, you’ll hear the cashier yell “DROP FRIES” to the cooks every time fries are ordered. Their French fries have become almost as famous as their burgers.
This kind of fresh food continues to grow in popularity across the country and is finally hitting the Vegas Strip in a big way. Casinos are noticing that quick serve restaurants are a great way to offer customers a high quality meal at a more moderate cost than at a coffee shop or a dine-in restaurant.
Las Vegas used to be known for the $1.99 All-You-Can-Eat buffet but that’s changed over the years. Las Vegas is now one of the culinary capitals of the country. Some might even say that there is better fine dining in Las Vegas than anywhere in the world.
Las Vegas doesn’t just have restaurants by celebrity chefs, Las Vegas has restaurants from award winning celebrity chefs. You know chefs who are famous because of their cooking, not just because they’re on TV. Here are 5 new restaurants that will be opening in 2015.
Bardot Brasserie at Aria
James Beard award-winning chef Michael Mina will open his newest restaurant, Bardot Brasserie, in January at Aria. The restaurant will be slightly secluded from the action as it will be located on the second floor of the hotel and away from the casino. Bardot Brasserie will offer traditional French dishes that pay homage to the café culture of Paris offering both lunch and dinner like a Paris cafe.
The slowest time in Las Vegas is usually around the holiday season. In between Thanksgiving and Christmas hotels in Las Vegas are often much less than half full. Years ago I was told that capacity in the hotels was around 20% but that has to be higher with the increased number of visitors over the years. Since there aren’t as many visitors at this time of the year there’s a break in major news item happening. That’s not to say that nothing is happening in Las Vegas but a lot of the news is more forward looking. With that in mind let’s take a look forward to restaurants that will be opening soon or have recently opened in Las Vegas.
Restaurants are the most volatile businesses in Las Vegas. There’s always something new happening on the dining front. The Linq shopping promenade (mall) hasn’t been open a year yet but they’re already getting a couple of new restaurants. Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips will a small quick serve restaurant opening sometime next spring. Off The Strip, which will be a 24 hour diner style restaurant is said to be opening as soon as the end of the year.
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.