Las Vegas Restaurants

Las Vegas is one of America's hottest restaurant markets. Nearly every big Strip property has at least one and often two or more celebrity-chef restaurants. Away from the Strip, the unprecedented population growth in the city's suburbs has brought with it a separate and continuous wave of new eateries, both familiar chains and increasing numbers of legitimate destination restaurants.

Casino-resort dining basically falls into one of three categories. In the top echelon are the properties that have a half dozen or more bona fide star-status restaurants: Aria, Bellagio, Caesars, The Cosmopolitan, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, Venetian/Palazzo, and Wynn/Encore. At the next level are those resorts with one or two stellar restaurants and a smaller range of worthwhile but not quite top-of-the-line options. On the Strip, these include The Cromwell, Mandarin Oriental, Mirage, Monte Carlo, New York–New York, Paris, Planet Hollywood, SLS Las Vegas, and Treasure Island. Off the Strip, you can add the Lucky Dragon, Palms, the Hard Rock, M Resort, The Rio All-Suite Hotel, Green Valley Ranch, the JW Marriott, and Red Rock Resort. Then there's everybody else: casino-resorts with maybe a decent eatery or two but that simply aren't known for great food.

Downtown Las Vegas has seen a big revitalization in the past several years, and that extends to restaurants. Although Downtown still lacks a destination restaurant, notable spots are Carson Kitchen, Therapy, Turmeric, Le Thai, and La Comida in Fremont East; and Pizza Rock and the older Triple George Grill in the Downtown 3rd District. There also are a number of good restaurants in the Downtown Container Park.

Outside the tourism corridor, Las Vegas has a number of marquee restaurants with increasing cachet among foodies from out of town—places such as Todd’s Unique Dining, Marché Bacchus, Nora's Italian Cuisine, and Lotus of Siam. There's great food to be had off the beaten path in Las Vegas, and you'll pay a lot less in these areas, too.

If you haven't been to Vegas in a few years, you'll notice some major changes. Names like Wolfgang Puck, Michael Mina, and Emeril Lagasse still have plenty of pull in this town, but the Vegas chefs commanding the most attention are French imports such as Pierre Gagnaire, Joël Robuchon, and Guy Savoy, along with vaunted U.S. chefs like Giada De Laurentiis, Charlie Palmer, and Mario Batali.

There's also a trend toward high-minded restaurants with exclusive-nightclub vibes. Note the success of see-and-be-seen Pan-Asian hot spot Hakkasan and Tao Asian Bistro & Nightclub, the youthful late-night haunts LAVO and FIX, and bordello-chic establishments such as Strip House—to name just a few. Elsewhere in town, Las Vegas's growing international—and especially Asian—population has created a market for some of the best Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Pan-Asian restaurants in the country.

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  • 1. Big Ern's BBQ

    $ | Downtown | Barbecue

    Big Ern's has great barbecue—don't miss the brisket —but an even bigger draw for kids may be the huge play structure in the center of the Downtown...Read More

  • 2. Border Grill Mandalay Bay

    $$$ | South Strip | American

    Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger are the popular, green-minded chefs who created this cheery, sophisticated outpost of their now-closed Santa...Read More

  • 3. Bouchon Las Vegas

    $$$$ | North Strip | French

    When chefs name their idol, more than a few will cite French Laundry chef Thomas Keller, the star behind this stunning, capacious French bistro...Read More

  • 4. Carson Kitchen

    $$$ | Downtown | American

    The late rock-and-roll chef Kerry Simon brought his fun, contemporary cuisine to this restored hotel in the Downtown redevelopment district...Read More

  • 5. Casa Calavera

    $$ | Paradise Road | Mexican

    Fans of the bygone Pink Taco will still smile in recognition when they see its replacement. The layout is much the same, including the convivial...Read More

  • 6. Delmonico Steakhouse

    $$$$ | North Strip | Steakhouse

    Chef Emeril Lagasse gives a New Orleans touch to this big city–style steak house at The Venetian. Enter through 12-foot oak doors to find a...Read More

  • 7. Eat

    $$ | Downtown | Modern American

    Eat may serve only breakfast and lunch, but chef Natalie Young's food is so hearty (and so uniquely appealing), you may not feel the need for...Read More

  • 8. Emeril's New Orleans Fish House

    $$$$ | South Strip | American

    Chef Emeril Lagasse's first restaurant in Las Vegas dates back to the opening of the MGM Grand, but it's still a popular choice and has been...Read More

  • 9. FIX Restaurant & Bar

    $$$$ | Center Strip | American

    The ceiling, constructed almost entirely of Costa Rican padouk wood, curves like a breaking wave at this upscale comfort-food restaurant, where...Read More

  • 10. Fleur by Hubert Keller

    $$$$ | South Strip | International

    Chef Hubert Keller's Fleur has two dining spaces, one fairly intimate and one open to Mandalay Bay's restaurant row, so you can watch the world...Read More

  • 11. Golden Steer Steakhouse

    $$$$ | North Strip | Steakhouse

    In a town where restaurants come and go almost as quickly as visitors' cash, the longevity of this steak house, which opened in 1958, is itself...Read More

  • 12. Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill

    $$$$ | Center Strip | British

    Three things stand out at this comfortable, casual restaurant, conceptualized by tyrannical celeb chef Gordon Ramsey: the libations, the cheery...Read More

  • 13. Hank's Fine Steaks

    $$$$ | Steakhouse

    Start with a martini in the classy piano bar at this steak house at the much-loved Green Valley Ranch Resort (they're half-price during happy...Read More

  • 14. Honey Salt

    $$$ | West Side | Eclectic

    Frequented by local professionals and ladies-who-lunch, this spacious suburban spot serves farm-to-table–inspired dishes. Expect to see a lot...Read More

  • 15. Ichiza

    $$ | West Side | Japanese

    Modest little Ichiza has developed a cult following for serving sublimely delicious, authentic Japanese food and drink in a casual social environment...Read More

  • 16. Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

    $$$$ | Center Strip | Seafood

    Drop by this bustling branch of the famed South Miami Beach restaurant for, at the very least, a pile of fresh stone crabs and a beer. But Joe...Read More

  • 17. Julian Serrano Tapas

    $$$$ | Center Strip | Spanish

    Chef Julian Serrano—renowned for Picasso at Bellagio—chose to honor his homeland's tapas and paella traditions at his eponymous restaurant in...Read More

  • 18. La Comida

    $$$ | Downtown | Mexican

    This rustic restaurant and lounge is brought to you by Michael and Jenna Morton, late of the N9NE Group. The menu focuses on updated Mexican...Read More

  • 19. Marrakech Mediterranean Restaurant

    $$$$ | Paradise Road | Moroccan

    Sprawl out on soft floor cushions and feel like a pampered pasha as belly dancers shake it up in a cozy Middle Eastern–style "tent" with a fabric...Read More

  • 20. Pizza Rock

    $$$ | Downtown | Pizza

    Eleven-time world pizza champion Tony Gemignani installed four ovens in this heavily renovated, industrial-chic space in the Downtown Third...Read More

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