Our guide to dining out in Las Vegas
With world-renowned restaurants featuring beautiful views of The Strip and Las Vegas Valley, the culinary scene offers the best from high-end gourmet to casual dining. Nove sits high atop the Fantasy Suite Tower at Palms and provides a sweeping panorama of the city. If you prefer secluded dining, just 20 miles off-Strip, Lake Las Vegas offers an array of intimate dining options, as do the restaurants surrounding the Lake of Dreams at Wynn Las Vegas.
The casinos have some of the best all-you-can-eat lunch and dinner buffets anywhere. The most popular are Bellagio, Bally’s, Paris, Planet Hollywood, Mirage, and MGM — all on Las Vegas Boulevard.
This city has choices both upmarket and casual (though rarely inexpensive). Society Cafe, in the Encore, easily combines the two atmospheres, feeling both gracious and down-home. The black and white look gives it a restrained elegance, and the menu is full of comfort food with slight twists.
For retro, casual fun, check out BLT Burger, in the Mirage, where you can wash down your turkey, tandoori lamb, or Black Angus beefburger with milkshakes ranging from Campfire Marshmallows to Creamsicle. For oversized appetites, Hash House A Go Go is the place. A long standing off-strip favorite, it has now opened a branch in the Imperial Palace, and after a breakfast of those 14″ pancakes or banana cinnamon cream French toast, you’ll be set till dinnertime (or the next day). For rollicking good fun in a hip, far-from-quiet atmosphere, and an eclectic menu from thin-crust pizza to lobster tacos, check out Fix, in Bellagio.
Splurge on a meal at Joel Rubuchon, the elegant restaurant in the MGM Grand. The room is plush and comfy, the meals are a revelation, delights await, each with Robuchon’s contemporary/classic touch, as beautiful to the eye as to the palate. ,Robuchon’s is the first French restaurant in America by the legendary chef of the same name. Considered by some to offer the best French dining in the U.S., Joël Robuchon is refined but delightfully intimate, with limited seating in its gorgeous and deeply-hued Art Deco-inspired setting.
If you have just one meal to eat in the city, make it at Picasso. Chef Julian Serrano left Masa’s, his San Francisco restaurant, to paint a new canvas at Bellagio. The dining room is sophisticated country elegance, with soft light reflected off high ceilings, brick, tile, wood, and multi million-dollar Picassos.
The Las Vegas outpost of Bobby Flay’s acclaimed Mesa Grill at dishes out divine grilled venison chops with cranberry-cascabel chile sauce, and wild blueberry shortcake with lemon ice cream and blueberry basil syrup, for those craving Mesa’s Manhattan marvels.
The Redwood Bar & Grill (California Hotel) is a local favorite for its porterhouse special. The quiet dining room has a comfortable, country English feel. Another great view can be had at Voodoo Steak & Lounge offering upscale Cajun/Creole cuisine.
Spago (Forum Shops at Caesars) is more accessible and just as good as the Los Angeles original(s), with both a restaurant and less formal café.
For Thai, try Lotus of Siam (Commercial Center, 953 E. Sahara Ave.; 702-735-3033; $9-29), a charming small restaurant serving traditional Thai cuisine, hailed by many as one of the best of its kind in the country. Finally, Viva Mercado (6182 W. Flamingo Rd.; 702-871-8826; $13-$23) is the locals’ favorite choice for authentic Mexican.