Can't Miss Culinary Experiences in Las Vegas

Elegant to Buffets

Las Vegas is a city entirely given over to life's guilty pleasures. Sure, you can hit Nevada's desert oasis of neon lights for the gambling, shows, or its many, shall we say, adult offerings, but foodies know that the real reason to come to Vegas is to experience its cuisine.

Many of the world's most-celebrated chefs supervise restaurants on The Strip, making it easy to keep up with global gastronomy trends. There's also a vibrant food scene off-Strip that's worth exploring, and a number of excellent annual food and drink events.

01 of 05

The Big Splurge

Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas
MGM Grand

The centerpiece for any culinary traveler will certainly be a very special dinner at one of the many celeb-chef-helmed restaurants. Be prepared, "special" also means expensive. You could easily drop $200, and way, way more, on a meal for two.

One place to try is Joël Robuchon, located in the MGM Grand. Robuchon was named "The Chef of the Century" by the French restaurant guide Gault Millau in 1990. Check out the eight-course black truffle menu, which includes "La Truffe," a black truffle tart with onions and smoked ham. $500 per person.

Not in your budget? Get the experience without the big bill by having cocktails or appetizers at a celebrity chef's joint.

02 of 05

The Burn

Sample dishes from the Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas

 

Bryan Steffy / Stringer / Getty Images 

A more underground and affordable choice is off-Strip at Lotus of Siam. It doesn't look like much, but chef Saipin Chutima’s place has an international reputation as the best Thai food in the West, if not the entire continent, according to Gourmet magazine. Try the Issan Sausage, which is grilled, served with fresh chili, ginger, and peanut.

03 of 05

The Fantasy

Las Vegas Venetian Gondolas

Mark Kahler / Trip Savvy

Otto Enoteca San Marco is located inside The Venetian casino, in the San Marco piazza area, which is quintessential Las Vegas fantasy. When you sit on the "patio," and blur your eyes a little, you could almost believe you've left Nevada for Italy.

Enoteca San Marco is an excellent choice for a wine and nibble break, choose from a comprehensive selection of fromaggi and charcuterie. Be sure to try the finocciona, a salami cured with fennel, cracked pepper, and a little curry, direct from Seattle's famous Salumi Artisan Cured Meats. 

04 of 05

The Hearty Breakfast

Brunch entree at Hash House a Go Go

 Hash House a Go Go

Start your day off right at Hash House A Go Go. The restaurant has a fun, metallic agri-industrial vibe, and it serves what it calls “twisted farm food.”

As you might expect, the house specialty is crispy potato hash, which you customize by adding your choice of roasted chicken, corned beef, house-smoked salmon, chorizo, meatloaf, or veggies. Your hash will be topped with two eggs (any style), fresh fruit, and a huge fluffy biscuit. Yep, this is hearty fare, and the portions are both eye- and pants-popping. So, it's a good idea to share, well worth the extra plate charge. Breakfast entrees run between $13.00 to $20.00.

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05 of 05

The Modern Buffet

Buffet dinner at the Bellagio on the Strip in Las Vegas.

inazakira / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0 

Okay, okay, a buffet does scream vintage Vegas, and not in a good way. But El Rancho Vegas, the very first hotel on The Strip, had a buffet, which makes it an indigenous food from here. So try to slot a good one into your foodie itinerary.

The Buffet at Wynn has 16 cooking stations and earns good reviews for its seafood, particularly its King Crab legs.

The Buffet at Bellagio earns raves for its Kobe-style beef and duck, as well as its desserts, particularly the chocolate-dipped strawberries.

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