Dining in Las Vegas is an experience like no other. The city is home to a vast array of world-class dining spots that are squeezed into a small area, making it a food lover’s paradise. Whether you’re looking for chic celebrity chef restaurants, fast food chains, or buffets so big you’ll need a map to navigate them, you’ll find it all along the Strip. But for a more authentic experience, it’s worth venturing off the Strip to discover some of the city’s hidden culinary gems, which are favored by the locals.
Here’s a list of my favorite restaurants in Las Vegas, some of which are well-established favorites, while others are newly discovered treasures, but they all share that certain something that keeps me coming back for more.
One of the new, must-visit dining spots in Las Vegas is the NoMad Library, located inside the NoMad Hotel. The restaurant’s concept is similar to the original NoMad Library in New York, with shelves of books and vintage objects lining the walls, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. Their signature dish is the mouth-watering roast chicken, which is what everyone is ordering. The chicken is stuffed with lemon, rosemary, parmesan, and brioche. The chicken is cooked in a wood-fired oven, resulting in a crispy skin and tender, juicy meat. It is served alongside a savory side of chorizo, saffron rice, and mushrooms, which perfectly complements the rich flavor of the chicken. Enough for 2-3 persons to share (and if you’re only two persons sharing, don’t order anything else, as it’s a really big serving).
Best Friend, located is Roy Choi’s trendy, Mexican-Korean restaurant inside Park MGM. The menu features a variety of small plates, tacos, and larger entrees, all with a Korean-Mexican fusion twist. One of the most popular dishes is the Kogi short rib tacos, which are made with braised short rib, kimchi, and salsa roja, all wrapped in a warm tortilla. It’s delicious!
The restaurant’s decor is colorful and eclectic, with neon signs and artwork that create a fun and lively atmosphere, making Best Friend a great place to start a night out in Vegas.
This dark and handsome Italian at The Cosmopolitan is the place to be if you’re after great Italian food in hip surroundings. The restaurant is elegant and refined, with a sleek and contemporary decor. The menu features homemade pastas, fresh seafood, and expertly prepared meat dishes. One of the standout dishes is their famous spaghetti, which is served with tomato and basil sauce and a touch of garlic. Their creamy polenta with truffled mushrooms and parmesan is also very, very tasty. They used to have bone marrow ravioli on the menu, which is one of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever had, but I went to their website to check and unfortunately, it isn’t there anymore.
Cocktail Hour daily at 5:30pm-7pm with $8 small bites and pasta + $7 select wine and beer
Tacos El Gordo
For, cheap, authentic Mexican food, Tacos el Gordo is a must-visit spot. The taco shop is located at a shopping plaza just north of Wynn/Encore, and specializes in street tacos, with a variety of fillings to choose from like carne asada, al pastor, and lengua (beef tongue). While the tripe and tongue varieties might not be for everyone, I still haven’t met a person, who didn’t like the Adobada, so go for this one if in doubt.
Gordon Ramsay Burger
I love, love, LOVE the burgers at Gordon Ramsay Burger. Yes, the line is long, and no, you’re most likely not going to see Gordon R. himself, but the burgers are out of this world and so are the sides. My favorite used to be the Chanterelle Burger, but it’s not on the menu anymore, so my new no. 1 is the American Burger. I haven’t yet tried the Hell’s Kitchen Burger, which seems to be what most people order.
Located in the Cosmopolitan Hotel, Eggslut is a chic breakfast spot that serves up some of the best egg-centered breakfasts in town. Their signature dish, The Slut, is a coddled egg on top of a smooth potato purée, poached in a glass jar, and served with slices of baguette. The line is long, but trust me, it’s worth the wait.
The Slut is delicious but not very filling, so if you are very hungry, you might want to order two, or add one of their breakfast sandwiches.
Raku and Sweets Raku
Sweets Raku is a Japanese dessert cafe known for beautiful, innovative creations. Sweets Raku seems to get all the attention (fully understandable, their desserts are amazing), but the sister restaurant, Raku, also deserves a mention. Raku specializes in robata-style cooking, which means grilled meat and vegetables over charcoal, but they also have a nice selection of other Japanese dishes.
Of course, there’s also a spot on this list for my favorite buffet in Las Vegas. Located inside the iconic Caesars Palace, Bacchanal Buffet is a food lover’s paradise. With more than 500 dishes on offer, there’s really something for every tastebud. The seafood selection is particularly impressive, featuring oysters, crab legs, lobster, and shrimp. Other notable dishes include the prime rib, dim sum, and various international dishes from around the world. I’ve tried a lot of buffets in Las Vegas, and while there are other decent options, Bacchanal is just at another level, and if you are only trying one buffet in Las Vegas, make sure it’s Bacchanal. Pricey, but worth it.