Buffet all day!
While celebrity chefs may appear to have taken over Las Vegas, all-you-can-eat buffets still endure and can be found at all the major resorts. However, they are not all created equally and are definitely not resting on their laurels. Which Las Vegas buffet reigns supreme seems to be a perennial point of contention among aficionados, but rest assured, these are the best in town.
Station Casinos’ recent purchase of the Palms turned a run-of-the-mill buffet into something special, with seven stations themed to cooking methods such as Smoke & Fire and World Pan. There are some whimsical choices, such as elote or macaroni and cheese with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos crumbs; salt-and-pepper chicken wings, shui mai, and potstickers are there for those craving all things Asian. Individual dishes include mini wedge salads and chicken pot pies; meat choices include smoked brisket and tri-tip steak; and vegan selections are available.
INSIDER TIPBe sure to arrive early for serving hours at the more popular buffets. And—while this has become a little more difficult lately—sometimes you can show up near the end of lunch and hang around for the dinner buffet.
When Caesars Palace revamped and expanded its Bacchanal Buffet a few years ago, it borrowed the name of one of its now-closed landmark restaurants known for luxurious indulgence—and the tradition continues. One feature is daily chef’s specials (up to 15) chosen by seasonality and availability. Dishes prepared with subtlety, such as truffled deviled eggs, rosemary-marinated tri tip steak, and char-grilled Australian lamb T-bone are there along with such standards as crab legs and smoked spare ribs. Some dishes are served individually, including mini salads such as watermelon. Freshly made dim sum, noodles, and sushi are plentiful on the Asian station. And you can get a reservation—for an extra fee.
The Buffet at The Wynn certainly ranks as among the most attractive in town, with an abundance of floral arrangements in keeping with the aura of the resorts. Fifteen live cooking stations ensure the freshness of food that always includes steaks grilled to order and crepes cooked before your eyes. You’ll find buffet standards like crab and prime rib alongside less-familiar choices such as shrimp shu mai and panko-crusted fried lobster. When it’s time for dessert, don’t miss the bread pudding, a longtime Wynn standard made with leftover croissants that is as decadent as you’ll find anywhere.
The Buffet at Aria
Aria’s buffet is spacious and streamlined, in keeping with the spirit of the resort. This one has a tandoor oven, whence comes hot, fresh, flaky naan made right in front of you. Beef-lovers are attracted to the 75-pound steamship roasts carved before their eyes, while seafood fans will find an abundance of fish and shellfish, including the ever-popular snow- and King crab legs, as well as Dungeness crabs, made-to-order poke bowls, sushi-grade ahi tuna, and paella.
The Buffet at Bellagio
The Buffet at Bellagio was the first daily brunch in Las Vegas to take a strictly upscale approach when the resort opened in the 1990s, and little about that has changed, with dishes such as sushi, crab legs, mountains of chilled shrimp, and regional dishes such as poke and pork belly. On Friday afternoon and evenings there’s a special caviar service with house-made blinis, ahi tuna cones, and more. There’s also a Chef’s Table option for which reservations are required.
Feast Buffet at Green Valley Ranch
Red Rock Resort isn’t the only Station Casino to have a Feast Buffet. The Feast at Green Valley Ranch Resort is a draw for Henderson locals and frequent visitors, especially for the specialty nights. House-smoked pork ribs are served on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday; prime rib and shrimp are offered on Friday and Saturday. At other times you’ll find a vast array of dishes sampling numerous international cuisines, including American, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese.
Feast Buffet at Red Rock Resort
Station Casinos’ neighborhood resorts cater to locals and visitors in the know, and the buffet at Red Rock Resort is a popular Summerlin stop. The buffet—especially the bakery component—always recognizes holidays with special menus and colorful treats. This is a good place to experience a mix of cuisines, including Asian, Italian, Mexican, and farmers’ market stations in close proximity. Most of the offerings are fairly conventional, such as roasted turkey, beef, and chicken, but items such as custom-made pasta add variety. And regulars know the desserts—notably the pies—are not to be missed.
Le Village Buffet
The buffet at Paris Las Vegas has some of the coziest seating areas around, with the space divided into rooms evoking Parisian villages. The food stations have the same feel, with each dedicated to a specific region of France and the specialties of it, such as Mediterranean-inflected foods of Provence. Breads and pastries are a specialty, and so are the customizable, made-to-order crepes. If you want to really feel like you’re in France, walk up to the crepe maker and inhale the heavenly aroma of butter.
The bad news is the Sterling Brunch is just that: only brunch, and that it’s only on Sunday. The good news is that this buffet, which takes over the BLT Steakhouse at Bally’s, is the most opulent among Las Vegas brunches and has been for more than 30 years, predating the city’s restaurant revolution. Here you’ll be able to help yourself to lobster, King crab, lamb, freshly shucked oysters, and prime rib, and servers will bring lobster bisque, eggs Benedict, and more. BLT’s Gruyère popovers are brought to the table, as are unlimited Perrier-Jouët Champagne and mimosas (and the servers take care to keep those glasses full); for $15, you can upgrade to Veuve Clicquot.
Wicked Spoon, which opened with The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in 2010, pioneered the use of individual serving dishes and a move away from large steam-table buffet pans. Thus, your fried chicken would be served in a tiny metal basket, fresh from the fryer. Brunch and dinner are the only meals served; expect dishes like duck wings, bone marrow, charred broccolini, duck fat udon, and steamed dumplings. One caveat: The lines can be brutal, so try to arrive as early as possible.