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The bar at Lotus of Siam on Flamingo Road
The bar at Lotus of Siam on Flamingo Road
Louiie Victa

Where to Spot Political Correspondents Dining in Las Vegas Ahead of the Democratic Debate

NBC and MSNBC’s Joy Reid, Garrett Haake, and Alex Seitz-Wald share some of their favorite restaurants in Las Vegas

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The bar at Lotus of Siam on Flamingo Road
| Louiie Victa

Six Democratic presidential hopefuls take the stage at Paris Las Vegas on Wednesday night for a debate ahead of the Nevada caucus on February 22. Entrepreneur and former mayor of New York City Mike Bloomberg joins the debate stage for this first time, along with Sen. Bernie Sanders, South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

NBC News, MSNBC, and the Nevada Independent host the debate, beginning at 6 p.m. Political analyst at MSNBC and host of AM Joy Joy Reid, correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC Garrett Haake, and senior politics reporter for NBC News Digital Alex Seitz-Wald are in Las Vegas this week for the debate, and Reid will also anchor AM Joy from Las Vegas for the Nevada caucuses. All three discussed some of their favorite places to eat and drink on and off the Strip in Las Vegas.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Gritz Cafe

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1911 Stella Lake St #150
Las Vegas, NV 89106
(702) 255-4748
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Joy Reid took the advice of her producer and tried Gritz Café and its namesake grits. “I love that it’s a black owned and operated business and the menu has all of my favorite comfort food dishes, including biscuits and gravy and sweet potato pie.”

A bowl of grits with a side of bacon and an orange slice
Grits at Gritz Cafe
Gritz Cafe/Facebook

2. Tacos El Gordo

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1724 E Charleston Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89104
(702) 251-8226
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Want to catch Alex Seitz-Wald? He likes Tacos El Gordo for lunch. “Every time I’m in town, I try to visit Tacos El Gordo on Charleston Boulevard, which another reporter who grew up there once took me to see the real Las Vegas.”

An array of tacos and drinks at Tacos El Gordo
Tacos El Gordo
Tacos El Gordo [Official Site]

3. ReBAR

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1225 S Main St
Las Vegas, NV 89104
(702) 349-2283
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Garrett Haake likes to explore the local vibe, which led him to ReBAR in the Arts District. “Perfect, funky dive bar with a fantastic beer selection and shabby-chic vibe. A great spot to get off the Strip and unwind.”

4. El Dorado Cantina

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3025 S Sammy Davis Jr Dr
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 722-2289
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Garrett Haake likes to try Tex-Mex dishes in Las Vegas, and on a recent trip, he brought his girlfriend to El Dorado Cantina just off the Strip. “The fajitas and table side guacamole made everything right.”

A plate of fajitas
Mixed fajitas plate at El Dorado Cantina
El Dorado Cantina/Facebook

5. Lotus of Siam

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620 E Flamingo Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89119
(702) 735-3033
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Political reporters love to get off Strip while on the campaign trail, and for Alex Seitz-Wald, that means Lotus of Siam. “Their papaya salad and crispy rice is special, unlike what you might get at your neighborhood Thai spot.”

Artwork at Lotus of Siam on Flamingo Road
Lotus of Siam
Louiie Victa

6. Momofuku

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Boulevard Tower 3708, Las Vegas Blvd S Level 2
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 698-2663
Visit Website

Garrett Haake loves ramen, so he likes to hit up Momofuku in the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for lunch. “The pork belly ramen is only on the lunch menu, but they’ll serve it for dinner too. Pair it with a Tiger beer and the cauliflower and Brussels sprouts and you’re good to go.”

A bowl of ramen with a soft-boiled egg.
Ramen at Momofuku
David Chang/Facebook

7. China Poblano

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3708 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 698-7900
Visit Website

Joy Reid recommends trying José Andrés’ China Poblano at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for lunch. “The food is perfect for the middle of the day because you can get something light and filling, not to mention that José Andrés is an amazing philanthropist in addition to being a fantastic chef. Definitely a must-hit for lunch while you’re in Vegas.”

China Poblano
China Poblano
Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas [Official Site]

8. Wicked Spoon

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The Chelsea Tower, 3708 S Las Vegas Blvd Level 2
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(877) 893-2001
Visit Website

When Alex Seitz-Wald wants to be adventurous, he heads to Wicked Spoon, the buffet at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. [It] “has a ton of adventurous foods you might not order off a menu and want to commit to for an entire meal, but can have fun sampling.”

Wicked Spoon
Wicked Spoon
Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas [Official Site]

1. Gritz Cafe

1911 Stella Lake St #150, Las Vegas, NV 89106
A bowl of grits with a side of bacon and an orange slice
Grits at Gritz Cafe
Gritz Cafe/Facebook

Joy Reid took the advice of her producer and tried Gritz Café and its namesake grits. “I love that it’s a black owned and operated business and the menu has all of my favorite comfort food dishes, including biscuits and gravy and sweet potato pie.”

1911 Stella Lake St #150
Las Vegas, NV 89106

2. Tacos El Gordo

1724 E Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89104
An array of tacos and drinks at Tacos El Gordo
Tacos El Gordo
Tacos El Gordo [Official Site]

Want to catch Alex Seitz-Wald? He likes Tacos El Gordo for lunch. “Every time I’m in town, I try to visit Tacos El Gordo on Charleston Boulevard, which another reporter who grew up there once took me to see the real Las Vegas.”

1724 E Charleston Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89104

3. ReBAR

1225 S Main St, Las Vegas, NV 89104

Garrett Haake likes to explore the local vibe, which led him to ReBAR in the Arts District. “Perfect, funky dive bar with a fantastic beer selection and shabby-chic vibe. A great spot to get off the Strip and unwind.”

1225 S Main St
Las Vegas, NV 89104

4. El Dorado Cantina

3025 S Sammy Davis Jr Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89109
A plate of fajitas
Mixed fajitas plate at El Dorado Cantina
El Dorado Cantina/Facebook

Garrett Haake likes to try Tex-Mex dishes in Las Vegas, and on a recent trip, he brought his girlfriend to El Dorado Cantina just off the Strip. “The fajitas and table side guacamole made everything right.”

3025 S Sammy Davis Jr Dr
Las Vegas, NV 89109

5. Lotus of Siam

620 E Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89119
Artwork at Lotus of Siam on Flamingo Road
Lotus of Siam
Louiie Victa

Political reporters love to get off Strip while on the campaign trail, and for Alex Seitz-Wald, that means Lotus of Siam. “Their papaya salad and crispy rice is special, unlike what you might get at your neighborhood Thai spot.”

620 E Flamingo Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89119

6. Momofuku

Boulevard Tower 3708, Las Vegas Blvd S Level 2, Las Vegas, NV 89109
A bowl of ramen with a soft-boiled egg.
Ramen at Momofuku
David Chang/Facebook

Garrett Haake loves ramen, so he likes to hit up Momofuku in the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for lunch. “The pork belly ramen is only on the lunch menu, but they’ll serve it for dinner too. Pair it with a Tiger beer and the cauliflower and Brussels sprouts and you’re good to go.”

Boulevard Tower 3708, Las Vegas Blvd S Level 2
Las Vegas, NV 89109

7. China Poblano

3708 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
China Poblano
China Poblano
Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas [Official Site]

Joy Reid recommends trying José Andrés’ China Poblano at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for lunch. “The food is perfect for the middle of the day because you can get something light and filling, not to mention that José Andrés is an amazing philanthropist in addition to being a fantastic chef. Definitely a must-hit for lunch while you’re in Vegas.”

3708 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109

8. Wicked Spoon

The Chelsea Tower, 3708 S Las Vegas Blvd Level 2, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Wicked Spoon
Wicked Spoon
Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas [Official Site]

When Alex Seitz-Wald wants to be adventurous, he heads to Wicked Spoon, the buffet at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. [It] “has a ton of adventurous foods you might not order off a menu and want to commit to for an entire meal, but can have fun sampling.”

The Chelsea Tower, 3708 S Las Vegas Blvd Level 2
Las Vegas, NV 89109

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