It’s difficult to make the argument that Las Vegas is best known for anything but its casino games. If there is another aspect of the city that truly defines it, however, it is the culinary scene. While most big cities and major travel destinations boast their share of good restaurants, Las Vegas has over the years become a sizzling hotbed of culinary activity. Beloved local cooks, internationally renowned chefs, and major chains alike all have establishments dotted around Sin City. And for many visitors, meals at these establishments wind up being every bit as memorable as a good round of poker or a lucky win at the slots.
With that said, and to guide you if and when you happen to visit the entertainment Mecca in the desert, here’s a look at some of the very best restaurants to try there.
Viva Las Arepas
To start you off with something more casual, we’ll highlight Viva Las Arepas, a Venezuelan arepas restaurant located at the south end of the famed Las Vegas Strip. At a glance, it’s a fairly simple eatery selling traditional South American comfort food (arepas being corn cakes stuffed with meats and other ingredients). Dive into the menu though, and you’ll discover one of Las Vegas’s hidden gems –– and a place described by Roadfood as having some of the “finest Venezuelan wood grilled meats anywhere.” Throw in affordable prices (a standard shredded beef arepa is about $10 with a few toppings) and quick service, and it’s hard to find a fault with the place.
Hofbrauhaus is another casual option, and one of the best German-style beer hall/restaurant combos you’ll find in the United States. It comes recommended in a guide to Las Vegas activities beyond the gaming tables by Poker.org specifically on the grounds that you’ll have “a real brewhaha” enjoying the live music (which is on every night), the cold beer, and the “bomb” German cuisine. And that –– coupled with the fact that the place basically amounts to a boisterous party at all times –– about sums it up! We won’t advise you on the beer (it’s all high quality, but it’s a matter of taste what you order), but where food is concerned, try the schnitzel with mushroom sauce and a jumbo pretzel. You won’t be disappointed.
Restaurant Guy Savoy
Caesars Palace may be best known for its poker tables, extravagant pools, and ties to the Hangover trilogy. But it's also home to one of the vaunted "celebrity chef" hangouts Vegas is so famous for. Specifically, visitors to Caesars will find one of the finest restaurant experiences in Las Vegas (if not the United States) at Guy Savoy's. Savoy is a renowned French chef who first opened his eponymous restaurant in Paris before establishing this sister restaurant in Las Vegas. Both of the restaurants have won multiple Michelin stars, however, which should clue you in to what a treat this spot is. Atmospherically, Restaurant Guy Savoy is actually surprisingly minimalistic (perhaps refreshingly so for those who are a bit overwhelmed by the general stimulation of Vegas). But the authentic French dining is out of this world. Nothing on this restaurant’s menu disappoints, but it’s worth knowing that some of Savoy’s most celebrated preparations include his Octopus Terrine and the artichoke and black truffle soup.
Mizumi is a high-end, traditional Japanese restaurant housed in the Wynn Las Vegas resort on the Strip. And the first thing visitors will notice upon entering is likely design –– a blend of vibrant color, elegant traditional décor, and garden aesthetic (with much of the dining area open to a lush outdoor area complete with a waterfall). Once seated, meanwhile, you’ll get a chance to choose between the “Main Menu” (featuring sushi, sashimi, robatayaki grill food, and tempura), or the “Teppan Menu” (which features delicacy entrees, including a 3 oz. Kobe beef option that sells for $255). And while all of this food is wonderful, don’t forget to take a look at the drink menu. There’s an excellent range of sake and wine available, and a reviewer at LandofMarvels.com once described one of the cocktails (the Pear Cosmopolitan) as the “best of his life!”
This is another celebrity chef haunt –– in this case run by José Andrés. Andrés himself has become known largely as a sort of culinary humanitarian, going to such extensive efforts to provide healthy meals for people in disaster zones that he was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Before this was his primary venture though he established some of the finest restaurants in the world, and Bazaar Meat at the Las Vegas SAHARA is one of them. This is an elegant fine dining space where you can quite simply expect some of the best meat preparations you’ve ever had. Highlights include the classic tartare and the chateaubriand, though guests also enjoy the $275/person tasting menu –– a curated journey through a multi-course meal designed by Andrés and/or his chefs.
These are just five of many excellent restaurants you can enjoy in Las Vegas, but we hope we’ve given you a taste for both the quality and variety that exists in the city. Enjoy our selections if you get a chance to go, and please check out more of our restaurant recommendations here at No Garlic No Onions when you get the chance!