It’s time again for the Year in Eater — where we look back at the last twelve months of Las Vegas’s restaurant scene. We reached out to Vegas’s finest food writers, reporters, and bloggers to get their takes on local trends, recent standouts, and notable newcomers. Here, they weigh in on the celebrity-owned restaurants that were most worth visiting in 2023.
I have to make the obligatory inclusion of Joël Robuchon. An entire experience, dining here is second only to flying to Paris to experience French fine dining. For more accessible dining, Chef Roy Choi’s Best Friend is consistently phenomenal — incredible Korean food, a really fun atmosphere, and in contention as the best restaurant for dining with a medium-to-large-sized group. Coming in just under the wire for 2023, Chef Evan Funke’s Mother Wolf at the Fontainebleau is spectacular. I haven’t stopped thinking about the spaghetti arrabbiata.
— Janna Karel, Editor for Eater Vegas
I think RPM Italian (by Giuliana and Bill Rancic) is one of the best new Strip restaurants of the past couple years. It’s the right combination of food and service that’s worth the splurge. The bar is excellent, too. On the other end of the price spectrum, the Chef Truck inside Park MGM was a nice surprise. The collaboration between Jon Favreau and Roy Choi (based on the 2014 Chef movie) could be the best value on the Strip right now. You get a lot in the $16 Mojo Pork Bowl alone.
—Rob Kachelriess, Contributor for Thrillist, Zip Code Magazines, and Las Vegas Weekly
We’re actually lucky to have a LOT of celebrity chef restaurants in Las Vegas that consistently deliver amazing experiences. I’m a huge fan of Amalfi by Bobby Flay, Buddy V’s Ristorante (by Buddy Valastro), Gordon Ramsay Steak, and pretty much every restaurant in town by Wolfgang Puck, Michael Mina and José Andrés (particularly Bazaar Meat). But the one that’s most exciting to me right now is Balla Italian Soul by Shawn McClain, in Sahara. It’s not only one of the best celebrity chef restaurants in Las Vegas, it’s also one of the most affordable.
—Al Mancini, creator of the Neon Feast restaurant guide, co-host of Food and Loathing
Ramsay’s Kitchen in Harrah’s surprised me with its top-tier service, beautiful room, and delicious food. Go there if you can’t get into Hell’s Kitchen!
—Emmy Kasten, freelance writer for Eater, Tripadvisor, The Infatuation and more
Define “celebrity chef.” I’d rather visit a restaurant where I know the chef behind the concept is actually in the kitchen and not some television personality loaning a menu and a name. Give me James Trees or Jamie Tran any day. I’m also excited to see what Michael Mina has in store for us when he opens Orla at Mandalay Bay.
—Ryan Slattery, Eater Contributor
José Andrés is Spanish Willy Wonka and I’d probably eat a boiled shoe if he served it to me.— Philip Tzeng, online at @LasVegasFill