The great American buffet — with its endless plates of prime rib, shrimp, pasta, pizza and more — is a tradition that originated in Las Vegas in 1946. Famed Las Vegas publicist Herb McDonald, who was a pioneering force behind El Rancho, the first hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, inadvertently created the nation’s first buffet by lining up a plate of sandwich fixings for hungry gamblers. This grew into the Buckaroo Buffet, a 24-hour affair that provided diners with unlimited hot and cold entrees for just a dollar.
In modern day Las Vegas, history lives on in the form of a wide selection of buffets — so many that there’s an actual buffet of buffets that allows diners to sample several buffets within a 24-hour period. For those who are overwhelmed by the sheer number of buffet choices on and off the Strip, it’s helpful to take a closer look at what’s available at each feast. Here are five interesting buffets that stand out in Las Vegas.
The fanciest brunch in town
Sterling Brunch is the kind of buffet that everyone should experience once. The decadent buffet, only available on Sundays at BLT Steak at Bally’s, features ever-flowing Perrier-Jouët champagne, lobster, caviar, oysters, and tuxedo-clad servers. It’s a 30-year-old institution that’s so over-the-top fancy, it could only exist in Las Vegas.
Sterling Brunch, BLT Steak at Bally’s, 3645 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-967-7258
The cure for the common buffet
Those who are bored with traditional buffet fare will find themselves enlivened by the Wicked Spoon. In true Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas style, the buffet is creative, unexpected and stylish. Diners will find very upscale dishes such as bone marrow, smoked trout, and spicy Gouda mac and cheese. Dessert options include chocolate-covered strawberries and a gelato bar. Wash everything down with bottomless mimosas, champagne, bloody Marys, house red or white wine, or Modelo drafts for $17.
Wicked Spoon, Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 877-893-2001
The iconic buffet
Since opening in 2012, Bacchanal Buffet became the gold standard for the Las Vegas buffet. True to its namesake, the Caesars Palace buffet is as lavish as a Roman feast. Bacchanal Buffet offers everything from crab legs to made-to-order crepes to lamb chops and dim sum. Every day features 15 chef’s specials to boot. Yes, the line to get in is long, but this buffet is worth the wait. Shell out $98 for a dedicated reservation time, access to the buffet, an all-you-can-drink package, and a VIP seafood tower.
Bacchanal Buffet, Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-731-7928
A budget option
Buffet prices — like many things on the Strip — can be staggering. For a budget-friendly buffet, the underrated Garden Court Buffet at Main Street Station is the place to go. The downtown buffet offers a seafood night, a prime rib and scampi night, and a Saturday and Sunday champagne brunch. Prices range from $8.99 to $29.99, making this an affordable option for unlucky gamblers who need to get back on budget.
Garden Court Buffet, Main Street Station, 200 N. Main St.; 702-387-1896
A French interlude
Le Village Buffet, located inside — where else — Paris Las Vegas, offers diners the chance to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner in a French village setting. In addition to the charming environment, Le Village Buffet features dishes that honor the provinces of France, from truffle mushroom crepes to macaroons. The layout of the restaurant allows diners to take a journey from Brittany to Burgundy without leaving Las Vegas.
Le Village Buffet, Paris Las Vegas, 3655 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-946-7000