Las Vegas isn’t the first place that springs to mind when you think of gastronomic delights – but because the city is filled with world-class hotels, of course, it goes without saying there are also world-class restaurants and bars littered around every block. It’s a foodie heaven, therefore my heaven. I love food. And quite frankly, it was really, really tough choosing where to eat and where to drink because the choice was endless.
There are nearly 4000 eateries in LV – yes 4000… From cheap-style fast-food places, to michelin-starred establishments boasting head chefs such as ‘the chef of the century’ Joël Robuchon at The MGM Grand, or Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace – and anywhere in between, serving good, honest food from all around the globe.
Then we come to finding somewhere to enjoy a beverage – there are cocktails bars, sports bars, rooftop bars, bars with views, bars with live music, old-fashioned bars, swanky bars, jazz bars… Needless to say, you’ll never be far from a place to wet your whistle.
Eating and drinking on the main strip isn’t cheap by any means, particularly within the hotels themselves – and especially if you’re going to go all out and eat top-end, but no more than I would say compared to London. I’m also not even going to pretend to be an expert on where is best to eat and drink in Vegas, because at the end of the day it depends on what tickles your fancy…
This is my personal selection – and we really had fun trying them all out. My waistline, however, would beg to differ…
Best For Burger: Culinary Dropout
I consider myself a burger connoisseur. What are my credentials you ask? Well, I’ve chomped my way through a lot over the years, some fantastic, juicy and mouth-watering and some pretty yuck. Situated at The Hard Rock Hotel, with a fabulous terrace overlooking the pool area, this was the perfect place to grab a bite after our long journey. And the burger didn’t disappoint. The menu also has steaks, mussels, ribs and even chicken curry, as well as an extensive beer selection.
Best For Breakfast and 24/7: The Peppermill Restaurant and Lounge
When we mentioned to a few cab drivers of our intention of dining at The Peppermill, they all professed their love for the restaurant which is open 24 hours a day, every day. One guy said it would be sacrilege if we didn’t try their famous omelettes, another, their pork chops. It goes without saying The Peppermill is a real favourite with locals and tourists alike – it’s been around since 1972 and is famous for its huge portions, purple decor and fancy cocktail waitresses who will bring you alcoholic beverages any time of the day! We had brunch here, and although there was a small wait for a table, it was well worth it. The experience alone is worth the effort – let alone the delicious food. Which by the way I couldn’t finish. That shows how big it was, as I can normally eat my way through a lot!
Best Buffet Experience: Buffet at the Wynn
Okay, so it hasn’t been voted ‘Best Buffet’ in LV for nothing. You know that saying: ‘Your eyes are bigger than your belly’? Well, nothing is truer than at the Wynn’s fantastic buffet restaurant. It boasts 15 cooking stations filled with fresh seafood, meats, salads and much to the delight of hubby, a dessert counter! The food was fresh and delicious and from $20 for breakfast, really good value for money. The was such a huge selection of differing foods, it was tough to know where to begin. My advice, don’t over fill on your first go…
Best for cocktails: Parasol Up, Parasol Down
Even at 11.00pm when we arrived for a cocktail, there was a 25 minute wait for a table outside on the terrace. In such decadent surroundings, this wasn’t too much of a problem. Once seated by a welcoming hostess, the cocktail menu was extensive. I opted for a few Lychee Martinis, which were delicious and quite potent. Seated by the Wynn’s famous Lake of Dreams, there is also a half hourly light show to enjoy while you’re sipping your drink. The atmosphere was relaxing, the air was thick with elegance and glamour, and it felt like we were a world away from the strip.
Best For Dessert: The Cheesecake Factory
I found it a little strange to head directly to a mall just so I could go and eat something. But having heard such good things about The Cheesecake Factory located in Caesars Palace Forum Shops, we felt it would be rude not to go and try one of 50 different cheesecakes and desserts on offer. From Tiramasu Cheesecake to Apple Caramal Streusel, you’ll be hard pushed to make a decision without changing your mind every five seconds! Oh, and the restaurant also serves great savoury foods – including a brunch menu, burgers, pizzas and pastas. I had the club sandwich, which could have fed the pair of us. What did we go for dessert wise? We couldn’t resist trying the Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake. It was divine.
Best For Old-School Dining: The Barrymore
Tucked away off the main strip is an old-style Vegas restaurant with show reels on the ceiling and a cosy dining room, fantastic drinks and an unpretentious menu serving classic America cuisine. When we rocked up, we weren’t sure if we were in the right place – but as soon as you walk through the doors, it’s like entering a bygone era. We had a little booth corner and were offered aperitifs straight away and fresh bread that had just come out of the oven. I went for the lobster mac and cheese (one of their signature dishes) and had sea bass for mains, while hubby opted for the lamb chops. We were so full, we couldn’t manage a dessert. It was a great dining experience, although it did come at a hefty price.
Best Outdoor Terrace: Rhumbar
Go to The Mirage and enjoy a few drinks in the Rhumbar’s award-winning outside patio with fantastic views over the strip looking over towards the Venetian. We managed to grab a seat in one of the patio’s comfy lounge chairs and enjoyed a Rhumbar Mojito. We watched as a group of friends indulged in smoking a hookah, while saw some others ordering off the cigar menu. It was a great location, the music wasn’t too loud and we would definitely go back again.
Best For People Watching: Chandelier Bar
The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas is one of the trendiest spots on the strip. The staff and croupiers all look like they’ve stepped off a fashion catwalk – the lines in the hotel are modern and sleek and it definitely caters to a ‘younger’ crowd. That said, its Chandelier Bar which is divided into three sections, is split via an escalator and large chandelier beads dripping down from above is a place for ‘older’ clientele, too. We ended up on top of the ‘chandelier’ in the cocktail lounge and managed to bag ourselves a great spot looking down to the casino and bar below. It was vantage point for some serious people watching, and the Margherita wasn’t half bad either! Great place to drink and have a conversation.
Best For Japanese: Sushi Roku
We both love sushi – so we definitely knew we wanted to grab some while we were in LV. Sushi Roku situated in Caesars Palace, has a fantastic reputation for a great atmosphere and fresh fish – and it also combines european flavours with traditional Japanese, such as olive oil. Our helpful waiter suggested we try the chef’s eight piece sushi dish and it didn’t disappoint. And the extra bonus, fabulous view of the strip. It’s not cheap – but then good sushi isn’t. If you come during happy hour, you’ll get more for your money.
Best For Steak: The Steak House
The Steak House feels out-of-place in the buzzing, crowded casino of Circus Circus. It’s unobtrusive frontier opens into a traditional setting and we were lucky enough to be given a great table right in front of the chefs who prepare all the steaks on the hot grill. As steaks go, it was up there with some of finest I have ever eaten. The meat was so tender and it was cooked perfectly medium rare. I was way too greedy. When the lovely waiter looked me up and down and asked if I was sure I wanted a 14 ounce steak, I nodded enthusiastically. Could I eat even half of it, could I heck! I did feel very guilty for wasting such amazing food, and at such good value for money. I had to roll myself out of the restaurant, especially after we polished off a bottle of Cab Sav, too.
Best For View: Ghost Bar
Fifty five levels up The Palms’ Ivory Tower, the Ghost Bar attracts an uber trendy crowd who want to get down and party, particularly on the weekends when the dance music really kicks in. However, if you just want to enjoy a cocktail, don’t be put off. Even though the Ghost Bar exudes a cool ambience, and DJs are always in residence, it’s worth making a trip away from the main strip to enjoy a drink with a view. When you walk out on to the patio and look over the glass balcony, the panoramic view of Vegas is spectacular.
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