If you’re bringing the whole family to Las Vegas, our first and best advice is: Don’t cheat yourself and do all your dining in cheap chain restaurants that you could find in any city. Vegas—on the Strip and off—has loads of choices that cater to kids. This is one of the most competitive restaurant environments in the world, and many restaurants that you might not have considered for kids are actually great family choices.
Before checking out our top favorites for kids, we recommend considering these two things: 1) How adventurous a diner is your child? (i.e., If they won’t venture past chicken nuggets and pizza, you’re a bit limited, but we still have some great suggestions.) 2) Can your child sit in one place, or do they need to roam? No worries: There are choices for both.
Don't shy away from Strip restaurants just because they don’t have a kids’ menu (but do make sure in advance that they allow children). I’ve had great luck dining all over the Strip with my young daughter, from Hell’s Kitchen (where she loved the TV merch and full-size screen image of Gordon Ramsay) to the elegant NoMad Restaurant, where we dined family-style and the mixologist made her a special mocktail.
And remember: There’s no reason to be mortified by your kids’ behavior in Las Vegas; it’s probably better than many adults they’ve served. Here, our top 15.
The Strip’s largest buffet seems to go on for miles and miles, with more than 500 dishes from countries all over the world; because searching among all the options will occupy plenty of time, Bacchanal is an excellent choice for families with kids who need to get up from the table frequently. Kids will love the red velvet pancakes at breakfast as well as the massive station devoted to desserts of all kinds. The seafood bar is one of the best of the casino hotels. You'll stand in a long but fast-moving line to get in, so consider going at off-times during the day. Expert tip: Start in the back and case the many offerings before loading up.
Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger’s beloved and accessible Border Grill is a good choice for families right before or after a visit to The Shark Reef, right next door. The two floors of patio dining make a terrific spot for weekend brunch. We love the many tacos and lots of shareable dishes, from the Yucatan pork to lomo saltado. Don’t miss sides like street corn and Peruvian potatoes.
The lines to get into “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro’s family-style restaurant wound through the Venetian when it first opened. Can’t-miss favorites include Jersey City-style fried mozzarella (named for his Aunt Nina), his grandmother’s meatballs, and My Wife’s Eggplant Parm. Kids get their own “Bambinos” menu, with meatballs, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, chicken parmesan, and more. Head across the corridor to Carlo’s Bakery for an after-dinner cannoli.
With a giant map of the United States, this restaurant at New York-New York Hotel & Casino has a menu featuring dishes from different regions of America—so you can pretend that you’re educating your kids at the same time they’re diving into Kansas City-style baby back ribs or a California Benedict. The restaurant is open 24 hours, and because donuts are a mainstay every American can agree on, start breakfast or end dinner with one of the many freshly baked donuts (we like the maple bacon).
One of life’s little pleasures: wandering the wide-open spaces of The Park Las Vegas with a chicken and waffle sandwich in hand. Order one of the Bruxie's showstoppers like the Holy Chicken! (maple glazed chicken, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar, sriracha, and egg), or a selection from the kids' menu (such as the Bruxie waffle with berries and whipped cream). Take it to the little bar stools outside and let the kids run wild while you enjoy your meal.
Batter up! Gordon Ramsay’s traditional takeaway-style “chippy” in the Linq corridor serves fun fare, from freshly battered cod filets and chips to sausage and “dirty” chips. It's a bit fancier than your regular British chippy (we bring your attention to the truffle, Parmesan, and chive chips and a lobster and shrimp combo). Pick up your selection and eat it as you wander down to Las Vegas’ High Roller observation wheel.
What could be better for a lively family than a restaurant that bills its menu as “twisted farm food” and serves it in actual troughs? Nothing, that’s what. And that’s why Hash House A Go Go is a favorite among locals, who flock to its three locations in Las Vegas. Start with a pile of biscuits and graduate to super-sized, over-the-top diner specialties (think sage fried chicken and waffles with smoked bacon, a cranium-sized pork tenderloin sandwich, and a pancake that could outweigh a four-year-old).
In most of its other locations, the massive Italian marketplace doesn’t immediately scream “family.” But the Park MGM location—whose 40,000 square feet of dining stations are devoted to fantastic Neapolitan pizza, fresh pastas, and decadent filled-to-order cannoli—is perfect for kids who want to wander a little and parents who want to dine on seriously great dishes with a glass of wine.
Honey Salt is the affluent Summerlin neighborhood’s unofficial cafeteria, serving fresh-as-can-be superfood salads and seasonally influenced comfort food (caramelized sea scallops, meatloaf, Duroc bone-in pork chop). Owners Elizabeth Blau and Kim Canteenwalla’s son Cole is the last word in the kids’ menu, and every item from the extra-cheesy mac and cheese to the crispy battered chicken tenders has been personally vetted by him. Do yourself a favor and don’t miss their Brookie for dessert: the ultimate chocolate chip and fudge brownie merger topped with McConnell’s salted caramel chunk ice cream.
The rainforest-themed dining room at Harmon Corner (a short walk from Planet Hollywood) erupts regularly with “thunderstorms,” and features a talking tree, a boa constrictor, and a 14-foot-long animatronic crocodile. For those who were lobbying for Disneyland over Las Vegas for the family vacation: everyone wins. The kids’ menu may be a little uninspiring for kids who like to veer off the beaten path (read: lots of chicken nuggets, burgers, grilled cheese, and mini hotdogs), but this may be just the ticket for parents who would like to settle in with a sugary cocktail and let the jungle animals do the entertaining for a bit.
Be warned: Sugar Factory Brasserie’s owners did not pick a name at random. The massive, candy-themed flagship in Fashion Show mall does, in fact, serve an accessible menu of salads, piled-high sandwiches, “monster” burgers, and larger-than-life entrées. But you’ll need to wade through 1) a candy store and 2) a menu full of sugar-bomb cocktails to get to the food. (Imagine the Hypnotique, a bright blue cocktail swimming with blue gummy sharks; or The Drake, a mix of Virginia black whiskey and sweet tea filled to the brim with Sour Patch peaches and cotton candy.) Kids will love the rainbow-hued sliders. You are not getting out of this without a sugar coma.
At some point you’re going to have to take one for the team and do something that, while you might not plan for a romantic date night, your kids will remember forever. Namely, eating with your hands in a 900-seat arena while cheering on a jousting match. You’ll watch Merlin and The Knights of the Round Table while tearing at Cornish game hens (fun fact: Excalibur is the No. 1 consumer of Cornish hens in the US). Remember that time you told your kids you’d go Medieval on them? This is your time, parent.
You want Wolfgang's sophisticated-yet-familiar flavors like big-eye tuna tartare with avocado spicy mayo and wontons, and your kid wants potato chips. Luckily, there's a middle ground: Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill in MGM Grand is your place among the selection of Puck eateries in the Vegas Valley. This location takes kids seriously, offering one of the longest kids’ menus around (think seared salmon with mashed potatoes, flat iron steak, and grilled chicken along with usual suspects like buttered pasta, chicken fingers, and pizza).
We realize that Shake Shack can now be found in many cities, but its New York-New York Hotel & Casino location is a lifesaver for parents. Walk in from the city’s first community green space, The Park, and either sit in the large dining room or take your food right back out. Don’t miss one of the chain’s famous concretes (made with sweets from local bakery Gimme Some Sugar, these dense ice cream shakes are best eaten with a spoon).
There’s something for everyone here (especially if you enjoy Pop Tarts, since Tom’s take on the classic is a monster, shareable version). Brunch is served most of the day, with big, create-your-own omelettes and mammoth Benedicts. Or opt for lunch and dinner items that span the globe, from banh mi lettuce cups and fried pickles to tacos, pizza, a great NY Strip, and overstuffed burgers.