While New Yorkers will immediately lay claim to being the food capital of the United States (and thus the world), Las Vegas isn’t afraid to challenge that throne.
Sin City has so many options between one-star drunk dining up to four-figure tasting menus, it’s impossible to hit them all. But if you eat in the same place twice on a single trip to Las Vegas, you’re probably doing it wrong.
Here’s a quick, abbreviated list of one man’s favorites. Getting to every place in Vegas I love would be impossible on one list, as the internet would run out of room before you ran out of great places to eat in LV.
Barry’s Steakhouse at Circa
SW at Wynn
STK at Cosmo
Bazaar Meat at Sahara
Echo & Rig in Tivoli Village
Most Vegas steakhouses are terrific, but not because they’re insanely innovative or off-the-wall creative. You know exactly what you’re getting; a terrific meal with Prime beef, calorie-infused side dishes, and desserts that are as opulent as the furnishings in a five-star suite.
Our favorite is Barry’s, not just for the incredible food but also for service that is elite fine dining while staying wonderfully friendly. It’s worth the trip downtown, and paired with a nightcap at the rooftop Legacy Club, it’s about as good a date night as you can have in Vegas.
Craftsteak by Tom Colicchio at MGM Grand
Cut at Palazzo (it was my favorite, but my last meal was kinda meh??)
Andiamo at The D
Hank’s at Green Valley Ranch
Peter Luger?? (we haven’t been, the Vegas location just opened last month)
Carbone at Aria. Ignore the backlash to the backlash to the backlash that comes for everyone eventually in the world of hospitality. It 100000% lives up to the hype, even if the spicy rigatoni is a bit overblown. Bonus points if you can be dining when the music changes over from Sinatra, Dean Martin, and the Rat Pack to all NYC rappers. No Dre, no Snoop, all Nas and Biggie and HOVA. Speaking of Sinatra...
Sinatra at Wynn. While I never got to shake The Chairman’s hand, I’ve had his truffle pasta and it’s life-changing. So is everything else on the menu, but bring plenty of black chips or your black card. It’s still worth every penny.
The Bootlegger. I used to live not far from this place that opened in 1949 and often wondered how many mob-ordered hits came inside the walls. Anthony Bourdain loved it as much as I do, and the post-midnight pastas are a terrific way to begin sobering up for tomorrow.
Nora’s Italian Cuisine. A local joint that is as red sauce perfect as you can get, and very much worth the trip off The Strip.
Mizumi at Wynn
Morimoto at MGM Grand
Fuhu at Resorts World
I like sushi but I’m not an expert. But at any of these places, you won’t need a menu, as you can just say “omakase” and agree on a price point. And skip all the 900 Nobu’s, tourists. Unless you’re in Malibu with the ocean view, you can do better.
Mott 32 at Palazzo: Authentic Chinese, and often spicy as hell. I love spicy so it’s a favorite, and call ahead for the Peking Duck.
Din Tai Fung at Aria: Being DTF when in Vegas is always a good idea. The California-based mini-chain has about a dozen locations and some fantastic dim sum. Can be a bit crowded (get a rezzie on the MGM Resorts app), but the bites are elite, and the service is usually very quick as well.
Best Friend at Park MGM: It looks like a Korean bodega, but the backroom bites inside are terrific. Great for plate sharing with friends as well.
Xiao Long Dumplings in Chinatown is open until 11 pm, and there isn’t a soup or dumpling that isn’t excellent.
Izakaya Go in Chinatown is open until 2 am in Chinatown, so if Xiao Long is closed, go here.
X-Pot at Venetian. The tasting menu is about $225, and don’t go if that’s not on your radar. It comes with a preposterous amount of wagyu, 100 different ways to prepare it, and they are kind enough to throw in dessert. It’s a die-for meal.
Delilah: The hardest part will be the reservation, so make nice with people at Wynn immediately. No cameras or cell phones allowed, but Drake or Usher might randomly get up and start singing in the middle of your meal. Seriously. A true supper club with a dress code and an incredible vibe. Worth the arm and leg it will cost when the check comes.
Mayfair Supper Club: Delilah, but you have a better chance of getting in, and it’s in a better location. The live music is phenomenal, as the last time I went a jazz singer covered Toxic by Britney Spears and No Diggity by Blackstreet while doing standards too. Having the Bellagio fountains as a backdrop while someone croons big band classics is the ultimate Vegas experience. Get the tableside prime rib and a booth for two near the stage or the window, and it’s a perfect date night.
Mon Ami Gabi at Paris: Slip the hostess a $20, and sit outside on The Strip. Good food, a bit less expensive than what’s above, but a terrific date spot.
Tacos El Gordo: They have everything from filet to beef tongue served cafeteria style, and there’s often a line. Prepare to wait, but it’s worth it.
In-N-Out: The Linq Promenade has the closest spot for tourist east coasters looking for a quick cheap bite from the place they’ve heard about forever. Yes, the fries suck, but go Mustard Grilled over Animal Style, get a shake, and it’s still an elite fast food experience.
Lotus of Siam: The legendary original on Sahara is now closed, so go to the one on Flamingo which and a bit of a cab ride, but it might be the best Thai restaurant in this hemisphere. Has won James Beard awards, and the average entree is about $20. I love spicy, and I order my food at a 6 on their 1-10 scale. If you get a 10, enjoy an evening in the hospital at UNLV.
Grand Lux: At both Venetian & Palazzo is very good, it’s basically a Cheesecake Factory. But they’re both open 24/7, and there’s a very good chance you’ll need that information at some point.
Pizza Rock and Evel Pie: Both are downtown and are both elite, but we think Pizza Rock is better.
Secret Pizza at Cosmopolitan: Send your most sober or drunk friend to get in line about 20-30 minutes before you want to eat. And don’t sleep on the white pizza.
Hash-House-A-Go-Go: Three Vegas locations, including one at The Linq right in the middle of the strip. Their “twisted farm food” menu is originally from San Diego (the original location in SD’s Hillcrest neighborhood is now legendary), and it’s terrific for a huge breakfast or lunch. But come very, very, very hungry.
Street Eats in Resorts World: Set up like an Asian hawkers market. Not cheap by food hall standards, but basically everything is delicious.
Eataly at Park MGM: The Tradizionale at La Rosticceria is just four ingredients, and two of them are olive oil and salt. It’s also my favorite sandwich on earth. But if you are even merely mediocre on Italian food, there’s something here you’ll like. It’s huge, there’s tons of food and dessert options, and you can bring a soda from somewhere else and drink it here. A good way to save $6.
Block 16 at Cosmopolitan: Eggslut isn’t worth a huge line, but a little one is for sure ok. DON’T get the Eggslut menu item, it’s actually the worst thing on there (weird, right?). Hattie B’s Hot Chicken from Nashville, Bang Bar by David Chang, and plenty of other good places. Can’t go wrong.
This article can also be found in our Ultimate Guide to Super Bowl 58, presented by Frank’s Red Hot.