Las Vegas Dining Planner

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Las Vegas Dining Planner

Reservations

As the Vegas dining landscape has become rife with showstopping, one-of-a-kind restaurants, reservations at dinner (and occasionally even at lunch) have become a necessity in many cases. Generally, if you have your heart set on dinner at any of the celeb-helmed joints at the bigger Strip casinos, you should book several days, or even a couple of weeks, ahead. On weekends and during other busy times, even at restaurants where reservations aren't absolutely essential, it's still prudent to phone ahead for a table.

What to Wear

Although virtually no Vegas restaurants (with the exception of Joël Robuchon at the Mansion inside MGM Grand) require formal attire, men will likely feel a bit out of place at some of the top eateries on the Strip if not wearing a jacket—at the very least, avoid jeans in these spots. Dressing according to the mood of the restaurant (smart, stylish threads at the better ones) will generally help you out in terms of how you're treated and where you're seated. Casual attire is the norm at lunch, at less fancy venues, and virtually anywhere off the Strip or outside upmarket resorts.

Hours

The majority of the top restaurants on the Strip are dinner only, although there are plenty of exceptions to this rule—unless otherwise noted, the restaurants are open daily for lunch and dinner. Hours vary greatly from place to place, with 5 to 10 pm typical for dinner hours, but many of the more nightlife-driven venues serve until after midnight or even ʼround the clock. Las Vegas is definitely a city where it's best to phone ahead and confirm hours.

Tipping and Taxes

In most restaurants, tip the waiter 16%-20%. (To figure the amount quickly, just double the tax noted on the check and add a bit more.) Bills for parties of six or more sometimes include the tip already. Tip at least $1 per drink at the bar.

Children

Although it's unusual to see children in the dining rooms of Las Vegas's most elite restaurants, dining with youngsters does not have to mean culinary exile.

Prices

Las Vegas's status as a bargain-food town has evaporated steadily, even rapidly, as the restaurant scene has evolved and the city has been thrust into the gastronomic spotlight. Now at top restaurants in town it's unusual to experience a three-course meal (including a bottle of wine, tips, and tax) for less than $100 per person, and prices can be two to three times that at many establishments. You can save money by trying lunch at some of the top eateries, and by checking out the increasingly noteworthy crop of restaurants that have developed off of the Strip. Credit cards are widely accepted, but some restaurants (particularly smaller ones off the Strip) accept only cash. If you plan to use a credit card, it's a good idea to double-check its acceptability when making reservations or before sitting down to eat.

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