Las Vegas's Best Restaurants
Coral Von Zumwalt
T+L tours Sin City to find Las Vegas’s best restaurants.
There was a time, way back, when Las Vegas wasn’t much of a
food town. For most of its brief history, this was a land of soggy pancakes and
leathery steaks, of flavorless crab legs and tasteless design. Then again, who
really cared? There was plenty to amuse us besides eating, let alone eating
All that changed starting in the early ‘90s, when Wolfgang
Puck arrived to make the city safe for celebrity chefs and serious diners.
Since then nearly every famous toque you can name has set up shop along the
Strip—some have become Las Vegas’s best restaurants, others not so much, but
none sparing any expense. The result? A reshuffling of priorities for the
city’s hotel and casino developers, and for the (increasingly ravenous)
visitors they cater to, for whom grass-fed beef cheeks are likely as enticing
as showgirls, blackjack, and Cher. In the culinary candyland that is
21st-century Las Vegas, no respectable megaresort would think to open without a resident cadre of name-brand chefs.
And now the tables are turning yet again. Today’s Vegas is
no longer defined only by splashy casino-side restaurants—though there are
still plenty of those, a few of them actually worth the exorbitant price tag.
For food-lovers the parameters have expanded tenfold, apace with the city
itself. A devoted chowhound could spend weeks just eating his way through
Vegas’s Chinatown, oriented along Spring Mountain Road, jumping from pho shop
to boba tea shop, Hawaiian poke joint to Macanese bakery, Taiwanese noodle
house to Mongolian barbecue.
Within a taxi ride of the Strip one can find a growing
number of Las Vegas’s best restaurants, from an authentic Neopolitan pizzeria
to a cult-worthy burger joint and a late-night robata grill frequented by all
those celebrity chefs. One of the most acclaimed Thai kitchens in America is
tucked into an unassuming mini-mall near the Sahara Hotel & Casino. Against
expectations, Las Vegas is slowly but surely acquiring—gasp!—a proper local
Lest we paint too rosy a picture, let’s acknowledge that
inspired cooking in Vegas remains the exception, not the rule. For every great
meal you’ll still find a dozen desultory buffets, boring fast-food outlets, and
cynical chefs slinging overpriced comfort food. Which is all the more reason
why the following places stand out as Las Vegas’s best restaurants—the
delectable highlights of a city fitfully evolving into a food town.