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Las Vegas Restaurants and Fine Dining
The food in Las Vegas is varied and typically caters to a variety of budgets. You’ll find a lot of classic American cuisine here, but that’s not to say that other gourmet delights can’t be found – heading Downtown is advisable if you fancy something a little different, and there are also unique themed restaurants to be found. You can expect to pay around $30 per person for a weekend dinner, and around half that for lunch. Breakfast is cheaper still for a varied breakfast buffet. However, don’t forget that tipping your waiter 10 to 15% is customary, even for a free drink where a tip of $1 per drink will be expected.
A number of these restaurants are flagships belonging to prevalent, award-winning celebrity chefs such as Todd English, Gordon Ramsay, Nobu Matsuhisa, Wolfgang Puck and Mario Batali. Hollywood actor Robert De Niro even part-manages the much-loved Italian restaurant AGO at the Hard Rock Hotel alongside chef-restaurateur Agostino Sciandri.
If this is all sounding incredibly expensive, don’t worry: a number of Vegas’s luxury restaurants also offer more affordable dishes, and the Strip is littered with eateries to suit all budgets and tastes. Besides elite venues, you’ll find endless buffets, cafés and familiar fast food joints, including In-and-Out Burger and multiple McDonalds, along the Boulevard.
Read on to discover more about the Las Vegas dining scene.
Highly commended fine dining experiences in Las Vegas
Sin City is designed for unashamed indulgence, so tourists should make sure they go for at least one meal with a premium price tag during their visit! When it comes to exquisite dining experiences, visitors really are spoilt for choice, but these are perhaps the most opulent options:
- Picasso at The Bellagio: While many of Vegas’s celebrity restaurants do not actually employ their respective stars as head cook, renowned chef and owner Julian Serrano works vigorously in the kitchen of deluxe French restaurant Picasso every night. Winner of the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award on thirteen occasions, Picasso provides the ultimate in fine cuisine and houses many authentic paintings created by the legendary artist of the same name. Picasso spent the majority of his life in France and Spain, and so these regions were obvious influences for the establishment’s lavish menu.
- L’atelier de Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand: This extravagant, two Michelin star French restaurant is the brainchild of France’s ‘Chef of the Century’ Joel Robuchon. Tapas and fine wines from around the globe can be enjoyed while diners watch their chosen dishes cooked up before their very eyes as part of this upmarket bistro’s unique, friendly and interactive counter service. Robuchon was the pioneer of taster menus, and so diners do not need to dedicate themselves to a single meal and can instead enjoy a wide variety of textures and flavours in intimate, sumptuous surroundings.
- Valentino at The Venetian: The Valentino restaurant in Los Angeles is reputed as the best Italian eatery in the entire state, and so it goes without saying the Vegas arm is also supreme. Created by award-winning executive chef Luciano Pellegrini, Valentino’s menu is perfectly complemented by its extensive 2,400+ wine list, winner of Wine Spectator Magazine’s Grand Award every year since 2002. Valentino boats several menus from which to choose, and a ‘grill room’ perfect for diners seeking a delicious meal in a slightly more relaxed setting.
- Nobu at The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino resort: The flagship Japanese-meets-Peruvian sushi restaurant Nobu is located in New York’s trendy TriBeCa neighbourhood. The Las Vegas arm (also part-owned by Robert De Niro) has an enchanting interior similar to the original’s, featuring birch trees, bamboo pillars and a black river rock wall. Both sushi rookies and veterans will find options to suit, and the service is impeccable – waiters watch attentively to ensure no guest even pours their own water! Of course, Matsuhisa’s signature dish of black cod with miso also features on the menu.
Eating on a budget: The best Las Vegas buffets
Colossal, all-you-can-eat buffets are a staple of eating out in Las Vegas, and many are conveniently located in the most popular hotel-casino resorts. Both standard and gourmet buffets offer a vast and often multicultural array of mains, sides and desserts to choose from, meaning that every palette – and even the most bottomless of appetites – is catered for.
Filling up on buffet food while in Las Vegas can see tourists save a lot of money, especially if 24 hour, multi-buffet passes (available to purchase at many hotels) are taken advantage of.
Both locals and Vegas visitors consider these to be some of the best buffets on the Strip:
- Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Place: Costing more than $17 million to build, this restaurant takes the classic Las Vegas buffet to the next level, providing unrivalled variety. The large majority of the 500+ Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Japanese and American dishes it offers are made-to-order, directly in front of the diners requesting them. With nine decadent show kitchens under one roof (including individual ones for pizza and dessert) and $45* a head, it’s hardly surprising that USA Today named it the “#1 buffet in Las Vegas.”
- Bellagio Buffet: Also renowned for its endless array of tempting cuisine, the Bellagio Buffet prides itself on its premium food quality and impeccable presentation. Offering taste bud-tingling Italian, Japanese, Chinese, seafood and American delights, diners can enjoy everything from fresh, wood-fired pizza to foie gras or crabs legs, freshly prepared on live-action cooking stations. At just $32* a head, this buffet offers fantastic value for money and is nearly always busy (be sure to arrive early to avoid long queues!).
- Le Village Buffet at Paris: Set in a charming faux French village, this $32* buffet is of an impressive standard, and offers diners the choice of alfresco dining in the ‘town square’ if preferred. Featuring five separate cooking stations, each representing a different province of France, all meals are made to order, assuring fresh and flavoursome results every time. Very few buffets offer duck l’orange, coc au vin and handmade crepes and macaroons! This buffet has been commended by the Las Vegas Review for providing the ”best brunch in the city”.
- Wicked Spoon Buffet at The Cosmopolitan: This bustling, diverse and ambient food hall delivers mix of traditional, more imaginative and seasonal tapas-style foodstuffs. Excellence is of the upmost importance at this high end buffet and, while portion sizes are small, customers are encouraged to try as many different foods as they can handle. With a menu of many bespoke dishes, Wicked Spoon offers a more dignified experience than other buffets, which is reflected in its price ($40* a head) and the fact it also harbours an extensive wine list.
*December 2012 dinner buffet prices
What are the best Vegas restaurants for family dining?
While kids will also enjoy the above buffets, you may prefer to take them for a sit-down meal at one of the following family-friendly eateries:
- Cheesecake Factory at the Forum Shops at Caesars: The Cheesecake Factory chain is known for its very large portions, and so this is a great place for an affordable family fill-up. The desert menu offers the obvious in addition to ice cream, and mains include pizzas, sandwiches, salads, seafood and steaks.
- Maggiano’s Little Italy: Maggiano’s is conveniently within walking distance of the majority of Strip hotels, and serves hearty portions at very reasonable prices. As such, this restaurant – big on taste and Italian hospitality – is very popular with families visiting the city.
- Rainforest Café at the MGM Grand: Children are sure to love this rainforest-themed restaurant, filled with waterfalls and authentic tropical sounds. To enter, diners must walk through an impressive 10,000 gallon double archway aquarium, home to endless schools of brightly coloured fish. The purpose-designed kids menu sees fuss gratefully avoided by parents.
Other prevalent eateries
These are some other great places to grab a bite during your Las Vegas holiday.
- CUT at the Palazzo
- Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse
- Roy’s Restaurant
- Crepe Expectations
- The Barrymore
- Le Cirque at The Bellagio
- Del Frisco’s
- Michael’s Gourmet Room
- Earl of Sandwich
Many of the restaurants on this page can be visited as part of our Las Vegas holiday packages. Call the friendly experts at American Sky today on to begin planning your fabulous Vegas break.