Las Vegas started as a cowboy town. When the Hoover Dam was built, it became a gambling destination. Not long after, the general tourist crowds followed. The dining scene too has grown from afterthought coffee shops and buffets to celebrity chef-helmed meccas and so-called "Gourmet Rooms" galore. Today Las Vegas covers just about every genre of food imaginable at every price point. Here's a guide to help you dig in where it matters.
Welcome to Celebrity Chef Land
Nowhere in the world can you find as many celebrity chefs in one compact space as in Las Vegas. More than 40 big-name chefs have hung their shingles at one of the resorts along the Strip, giving the 42.9 million tourists who visit Sin City every year an ample variety of very good and very splashy places to dine.
If you're in the market for a fancy dinner, there's sushi from Nobu Matsuhisa at either Caesars Palace or the Hard Rock Hotel. Grab truffle and artichoke soup at Guy Savoy’s namesake French restaurant at Caesars Palace, or — if you like modern renditions of French cuisine — dine at Pierre Gagnaire’s only restaurant in the United States: Twist at the Waldorf Astoria. You can also go all in with steaks and a pre-nightclub party scene at STK at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. See what all the table-side service is about at Carbone at Aria.
But Las Vegas is so much more than fancy dinners, too. Catch breakfast, lunch, or dinner round the clock at the legendary Peppermill or gorge on some of the best tacos in the city at Tacos El Gordo with its long fast-service lines.
Where to Start on Eater Vegas' Best Maps
Eater publishes tons of different maps and guides that detail the top places and things to eat and drink in Las Vegas. Below, we cherry pick the most important points from some of our most popular maps.
Hot Restaurant: The hottest restaurants in Las Vegas right now are Ricardo Zarate’s Peruvian Nikkei Once at the Grand Canal Shoppes, Scott Conant’s Masso Osteria at Red Rock Resort, Wolfgang Pucks’ reinvented Spago at the Bellagio, the new Scotch 80 Prime with its Kobe beef and $3 million whisky collection at the Palms, and Block 16 Urban Food Hall with Lardo from Portland with porchetta sandwiches and dirty fries, Pok Pok Wing from Andy Ricker in Portland with Asian-inspired chicken wings, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken with Nashville hot chicken and Southern sides, District: Donuts. Sliders. Brew. out of New Orleans with a rotation of 100 doughnuts along with breakfast favorites, and hometown vets Tekka Bar: Handroll & Sake with sushi and hand rolls. Other hot spots include Marc Vetri’s ode to rustic northern Italian fare Vetri Cucina at the top of the Palms and the divine and decadent NoMad Bar and NoMad Restaurant at the new NoMad Hotel.
Essential Restaurants: When you need to narrow down the Essential 38, hit up Joël Robuchon's two restaurants at the MGM Grand, where carts full of breads, chocolates, and desserts bombard diners. Just make sure someone else foots the bill. Other top picks off the Strip include Raku for extraordinary Japanese small plates served late, The Black Sheep with its Vietnamese-inspired fare, and Other Mama, the raw bar and casual libation spot on the west side.
Pizza: Tony Gemignani dominates the pizza scene in Las Vegas with two Pizza Rocks and Little Tony's, the gems of the pizza map. On the Strip, head to The Pizzeria (a.k.a. "Secret Pizza") at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for late-night cravings.
Steakhouses: It wouldn’t be Las Vegas without a steakhouse in every resort. Standouts include Bazaar Meat by José Andrés at SLS, SW Steakhouse at Wynn, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Prime at the Bellagio and Jean Georges at Aria. Las Vegas is one of the few cities where diners can find real Kobe beef.
Brunch: Las Vegas owns brunch, with options available to suit just about every whim. Try the Sterling Brunch at BLT Steak for one of the most decadent in the city or Bardot Brasserie for an eggs Benedict riff made with waffles and duck confit. For a shorter version of brunches, check out the essential brunches guide.
Las Vegas Food 'Hoods to Know
Sin City has more key areas to eat than the Strip. Here are all the neighborhoods every self-proclaimed food lover needs to get acquainted with — complete with what to eat and drink in each.
The three and a half miles of the Strip is the most egalitarian, all-encompassing, and high-quality eating arena in any major North American city. Graze from the most insane multi-course menu you can find at é by José Andrés to cheap eats to fashionable restaurants where you can see celebrities on the regular. Dine on real Kobe beef at SW Steakhouse and Mizumi at Wynn Las Vegas or Bazaar Meat at SLS Las Vegas, three of a handful of restaurants nationwide that serve this buttery Japanese treasure.
Want to try some true Vegas flavors with a solid meal without the big bill? Head to Downtown Las Vegas and the Fremont East district, the walkable and more approachable neighborhood in Las Vegas, where some of the biggest growth in the restaurant industry has taken place. In 2012, only Le Thai brought diners outside the canopy of the flashier Fremont Street Experience with its smaller casinos. Since then, more restaurants opened, bringing everything from ramen and sushi to vegan and Cajun fare. Look for sushi at Bocho, great breakfast fare at Eat, vegetarian dishes at VegeNation, an all-night cafe at Siegel’s 1941 and so much more.
This neighborhood's name is misleading as just about every type of Asian fare can be found here. Some of the city’s best Japanese restaurants reside here, including the izakaya Raku, Monta Ramen and the desserts and sandwiches spot Sweets Raku. Head to District One Kitchen & Bar for Vietnamese pho.
Las Vegas Glossary of Terms
French chef Robuchon earned the nickname Chef of the Century for his 32 Michelin stars worldwide. In 2005, he came out of retirement to open Joël Robuchon and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand. These two restaurants represent the only places in the United States to eat his exquisite food, which is worth every penny. His namesake restaurant features degustation menus and carts galore with bread, tea, dessert, cognacs, and more, while L'Atelier, the workshop, has bar seating to watch the chefs in action. Robuchon died in August 2018 at the age of 73.
The shouty chef is probably best known for his television shows such as Hell's Kitchen. Originally from Scotland, Ramsay brought Gordon Ramsay Steak to Vegas in 2012 (order the beef Wellington). He followed those up with Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace with its Piccadilly Circus theme, Gordon Ramsay Burger at Planet Hollywood Resort with a wall of flames, Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips at The Linq Promenade, and his latest, the ode to his television show Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen at Caesars Palace.
The Austrian chef who hawks his wares on HSN has six restaurants in Las Vegas. He ushered in the era of celebrity chefs on the Strip when he opened Spago at the Forum Shops at Caesars with his salmon pizza and California fare in 1992 and then made the move to the Bellagio in 2018. His restaurant Cut at the Palazzo is often considered one of the best steakhouses in Las Vegas.
This chef from New Orleans is perhaps best known for his interjections of "Bam!" Lagasse's oldest restaurant, Emeril's New Orleans Fish House at the MGM Grand puts the chef's Creole cooking in the spotlight while Delmonico Steakhouse at the Venetian has one of the best books of whiskeys in Las Vegas.
The shrimp cocktail earned its place in Vegas dining lore when casinos put it on the menu for 50 cents to lure gamblers in 1959. Other places might have cheaper shrimp cocktails (Think the Skyline Restaurant on Boulder Highway with its 24-hour $1.49 version.).
Long before the celebrity chefs took over the Strip, Las Vegas relied on cheap prime rib to drive diners into the restaurants and have enough money leftover to keep gambling. That era kicked off in 1942 with The Last Frontier, which served up “juicy rich prime ribs of Eastern steer beef, cooked in rock salt, served from the cart at your table with Idaho baked potato with chives, tossed salad, rolls and coffee” all for $1.50. For more on where to eat prime rib, check out this map.
Gourmet rooms got their start in the early ’60s, focusing on French cuisine, seafood, Italian dishes or steak. The first, The Sultan’s Table at the Dunes, came before places such as the Delmonico at the Riviera, the Dome of the Sea at the Dunes, the Candlelight Room at the Flamingo, the Regency Room at the Sands, and Le Gourmet Room at the Tropicana. Chefs came from the Ritz in Paris and Savoy in London. Head down to South Point to dine at the last one standing — Michael's Gourmet Room — for romantic booths, table-side service, captains serving and a romantic dining room straight out of that bygone era.
Reservations To Make in Advance
Joël Robuchon; L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon; Restaurant Guy Savoy; é Bar by José Andrés; Raku; SW Steakhouse; Lotus of Siam; Eiffel Tower Restaurant; Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen; Lotus of Siam; Spago; Sterling Brunch at BLT Steak
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