Las Vegas is more about fine food than it is about gambling these days. I might get a lot of sideways looks and accusations of poor mental health for suggesting that, but the evidence abounds.
In this age of economies struggling, governments stumbling and disposable incomes shrinking, travelers to the Nevada desert have a different take on Sin City. If they’re going to take a vacation and drop $500, $1000 or $10,000 in Vegas, they want the assurance of taking something home with them besides an empty wallet and credit card debt thanks to a sour run at the Craps table.
Tourists want a memory of a once in a lifetime show, an adventure thanks to a zip line or a dune buggy or an elite shopping experienced. And, they want to take home the lingering pleasure of a truly great meal. Las Vegas has become the epicenter of “event dining.”
Overall, there might be more world class restaurants in New York City. There might be more famous restaurants in New Orleans. But, nowhere on Earth are more dazzling and satisfying restaurant choices than in the relatively compact confines of Vegas from Fremont down The Strip.
The following list is a list of my favorite destination restaurants in Vegas. Unlike other journalists who try to make their listing some empirical pantheon of global wisdom, I’m telling you straight out this is my list – packed with all of my dining prejudices and predilections. I think you should run out into the hot sands and try any or each of these restaurants until the money runs out – or until you’ve eaten so much you can’t feel your legs. But, no doubt there’s a foodie under every rock in the Mojave with a different opinion.
The list is in no particular order. I deliberately put together a mixed grill in both culinary and financial terms. There are joints on this list that will set you back well north of $150 to $300 per plate, depending on your entrée choice and how many bottles the winemaster delivers to your table. There are also diners where you can grab epicurean joy for less than $20. There’s even Vegas’ two best buffets to offer the biggest menu hungry eyes could absorb.