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The best places to eat and drink in Las Vegas
People used to visit Vegas to gamble, sip free drinks and fill up at all-you-can-eat buffets. These days, Las Vegas boasts some of the best dining in the world. From celebrity chef-driven, fine dining to former Rat Pack haunts and down and dirty dive bars, there’s something for everyone in Sin City.
Here are the best places to eat in Las Vegas.
Hit the Culinary Jackpot
Yes way, Jose!
I make no secret of the fact that José Andres is my favorite chef. If he’s got a restaurant in any city I visit, I am going! My only issue in Vegas is choosing which of his places to check out. You’ll find his avante garde homage to traditional Spanish tapas at Jaleo, a restaurant at the Cosmopolitan. If you’re looking for something super-special (and just won big at the blackjack table), might I suggest making a reservation at é by José? It’s a small private room adjacent to Jaleo, offering a clever and creative tasting menu.
Andres’ recently opened Bazaar Meat at the new SLS Hotel. It’s a playful riff on a steakhouse, with lots of meat, meat, and more meat on the menu (okay, there are a handful of vegetable sides and salads, too). Located where the iconic Sahara Hotel and Casino once stood, I can’t wait to check out this place on my next Vegas visit.
Beauty & Essex
I’m not sure what I love more—the food at Beauty and Essex or the fact that you have to walk through a pawn shop in order to enter the restaurant. Only in Vegas! Since Beauty and Essex is at the Cosmopolitan, it’s pretty much the most beautifully curated pawn shop on the planet. The actual restaurant, with its jewel-toned everything, feels cozy and seductive—the perfect spot to sip on handcrafted cocktails. The culinary team masterfully creates shareable plates—think dry-aged chuck sliders, street Thai barbecue chicken, and yummy Brussels sprouts. It’s eclectic in all the right ways.
Off the strip awesomeness
If you never leave the strip, you’re missing out on some of the city’s best food. Here are three reasons to leave your hotel.
Lotus of Siam
Did you know some of the best stateside Thai food resides in a mini-mall about a mile from the strip? Yep, it’s true. Visit Lotus of Siam for award-winning Northern Thai cuisine. Don’t be surprised if you see The One Guy from Top Chef eating here—this spot draws in serious food lovers from all over the world. It’s a casual restaurant, but reservations are always recommended, even on weekdays.
Another off-strip culinary destination? Raku, a Japanese restaurant that’s an insider secret amongst chefs. Their big thing is the robata—a method of grilling skewers of meats and veggies over charcoal. You’ll want to order a bunch per person. Most run about $3-7 apiece, but if you’re feeling fancy, get the soy-glazed foie gras.
The Golden Steer
Dining at an old school steakhouse in Vegas just feels right. The Golden Steer delivers on everything you’d want—jumbo shrimp cocktail; Caesar salad served tableside by tuxedoed waiters who’ve worked here since the Carter administration; aged steaks and ridiculous portions of side dishes. It’s no wonder Frank and Dean loved this place.
Cocktailing Like a Pro
Sure, you can get free drinks if you’re gambling… but is it really “free” when you just keep pumping quarters into that slot machine? Think of these fabulous cocktail bars as a way to save money!
Fizz Las Vegas
What’s more decadent than a crisp, bubby flute of champagne? Nothing! Check out Fizz Las Vegas at this fancy-dancy Caesars Palace lounge. The place is decked with art from Sir Elton John’s private collection (how cool is that?). Check your selfie game at the door—they don’t allow photos inside, which to me just makes this place feel even more chichi.
The Vegas strip is nice and all, but I’ve never really taken to that whole bottle service scene. Head to East Freemont street for cheaper drinks and lots more character. For pure kitschy goodness, hit up Beauty Bar. Grab a seat under an old school hairdryer and sip on a Flyin’ Frenchie, made with French whiskey, cranberry, sweet vermouth, Grand Marnier and bitters. During the day, you can get your nails done—seriously! The place morphs into a live music venue at night, with great up-and-coming bands gracing the stage.
Welcome to Vegas’ oldest freestanding bar, Atomic Liquors. It’s divey on the outside, but actually pretty darn nice inside. Fun (or scary?) fact: Its name comes from that one time customers watched atomic blasts from the roof.
At Alain Ducasse’s Skyfall Lounge, you get excellent cocktails and a view to match. Towering high above Sin City on the 63rd floor of the Delano, you’ll find the second-best view of the strip (the best view being on your flight out, knowing you made it out of town alive!). Sit on the terrace sipping on a Cowboy Hunting, made with Elijah Craig 12yr bourbon, amaretto, lemon juice, and Thai chili.
Frankie’s Tiki Room
I’m a sucker for a good tiki bar. They’re just pure fun. For the best in Vegas, head to Frankie’s Tiki Room. Any place that’s open 24/7, 365, which always makes me question how it gets cleaned—but trust me, after one stiff drink you will not care.
Let’s be honest: Las Vegas is pretty much Disney World for adults. Nothing quite embraces this from a culinary standpoint than sipping on an adult milkshake. For the most over-the-top version, head to Holsteins Shakes and Buns in the Cosmopolitan. With 11 different boozy milkshake offerings, you’re certain to find something that jibes with your tastes.
What are your favorite Las Vegas restaurants? Share in the comments!
This Post Has 24 Comments
John Mull’s Road Kill Grill located in Las Vegas has the best BBQ in Las Vegas and the best BBQ i have had since moving from Texas.
You sit outside at picnic tables. But it is totally worth it.
I’m a sucker for a good tiki bar too! Loved the Golden Tiki in a strip mall about a mile from the Strip. Fun & kitschy with great drinks, just the way a tiki bar should be. Went there several times last trip!
I agree with P.Matthews!!! Golden tiki is the best tiki bar in town! They have an adult version of dole whip ???? Sooo good on a warm night.
I have always liked Boot Legger’s south on Las Vegas Blvd. towards the outlets. It has an old Mob feel to the Italian restaurant. Tony Orlando was dining with his family when we were there! Pretty Cool! This last trip I discovered the Alley between the Lync and Flamingo as you head toward the High Roller.
Virgal’s BBQ had some yummy ribs and fried pickles and live entertainment. The Yard House was surprisingly reasonable and very good food (fish tacos!).
I love Forte Tapas at the corner of Rainbow and Flamingo. Eastern European food in a funky little place.
Lots of good food and drink items and a market of specialty items. Nice staff, sometimes do brunch, sometimes live music. Its always a little bit different every time I go.
The best of the best: Joël Robuchon -3 Star Michelin – (the Restaurant not The Atelier) and Carbone is an excellent Italian restaurant
Second Street Grill. Located downtown at The Fremont. Delicious. We eat there everytime we go to Vegas!
Firefly! B E S T. tapas!
Great list! Loved Holsteins and can’t wait to try Black Tap at the Venetian!!
Lotus of Siam is now on the Strip. No longer in the off strip mini mall.
For a casino restaurant I would recommend Mi Casa at the Silverton. Every time I’m in Vegas, I always go there! Margaritas are good, the salsas are amazing, and if you go during happy hour, the prices are great! The lamb shanks on the happy hour menu are beyond delicious. I’m not one to order lamb, but you can’t pass these up. And for sushi, Blue Fin is a fun place. It’s afforable and tastes great. And Ping Pong Thai has really great food too!
Local jointz2. Ellis island for BBQ ribs. Longhorns for ham steak for $5. Great Buns for apple turmovers.
Hugo’s Cellar at the Four Queens Casino
As a Las Vegas native I will say you have a great list here. Really good spots I would also recommend. But I should tell you with great sadness that Fizz is closed. 🙁 I loved that place
For a wild culinary roller coaster, break open your piggy bank and surrender yourself to the amazing whims of chef Pierre Gagnaire at Twist at the Mandarin Oriental. The Grand Tasting Menu is a three-hour joyride. Dessert alone is five courses.
Yardbird at Venetian. They have the best chicken and waffles and morning bloody Mary’s. Highly recommend
Love this article! You are sharing the great info with us. I will definitely try these places. Thanks for the great article.
Raku hands down, Wolf and Sparrow and B&B ( Unfortunately closed )for there outstanding wine list and service ????
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Gangnam Asian BBQ Dining. We go eat there every time we visit Vegas. Amazing food at an affordable price. Highly recommend it.
Best breakfast in Vegas is Mon Ami Gabi at Paris!! Don’t miss it!!
You can’t forget The Peppermill on the north end of the strip. The place is a Vegas classic. Huge portions and decadent frozen drinks, what’s better than that after a late night of partying and gambling?
The best of the best: Joël Robuchon -3 Star Michelin – Carbone is an excellent Italian restaurant.