Vegas! The first thought most have is gambling, right? Well, I don’t gamble yet Vegas is hands-down one of my favorite places to visit in the US. Why? The food, of course! Some of the best food and drink lives in this city, and I’ve lived coming here every year (for a long time) to tell about it. I mean, you can literally wake up at the Cosmopolitan, go downstairs to the café, and buy a coffee and croissant that tastes like it came straight from France. This is a true story. A few years ago, I came back with two croissants for me and Tres and when I bit into it I said, “This is why I love Vegas. This croissant is good as any we’ve had in France.” We have been to Vegas so many times, I’ve lost count which means only one thing: I’ve eaten everything the strip has to offer! Here’s my list of can’t-miss restaurants and what to order.
Ok, first off, we don't miss a Jose Andres restaurant - ever. If we visit a city and he has restaurants there, we make an immediate reservation to all of them. He's a genius and probably our favorite chef of all time. You don't want to miss this restaurant. Walking in alone will make any meat eater love life just a little bit more. Meats you've never thought of before - strung and hung every which way, you feel like you're walking into the best butcher shop on earth and then it just gets better. The menu is playful and the food is all one big presentation.
What to order: Cotton Candy Foie Gras, Smoke and Ice Oysters, and if you have a group, the Suckling Pig
I’ve heard the lunch special here is beyond! Supposedy you get a lot of great food for a way lower price point than dinner so if you’re feeling like a fancy lunch with a big impression, this is your place! We always go at dinner time because it’s my favorite kind of dinner: fresh seafood, amazing veggies, and a starter menu to knock your socks off.
What to order: Milo’s Special - fried zucchini and eggplant with tzatziki & cheese, Tomato Salad - it’s the best one you’ll ever eat outside of Italy or Greece, Charred Octopus, Fish in Sea Salt if you’re with a group (it’s 3 pounds) or grilled fish if not with a group - just make sure you chose the branzino every time, and the grilled veggies with olive oil. Their olive oil is life!!!
The literal fanciest, best Chinese food you’ll eat in your life. This restaurant is the newest on my list and takes a spot in my Top 3 Must-Eat dinners in Vegas! The dishes are whimsical and unlike any Chinese food you’ve ever had before. The cocktails are artwork. And the ambiance can’t be beat. I’m officially obsessed with this restaurant!
What to order: They’re known for the pecking duck and you can’t leave without getting it! Also fabulous: Hot and Sour Soup Dumplings (my fav), Marinated Cucumber and Garlic, Wagyu Beef Lettuce Cups, Sweet & Sour Pork with Dragon Fruit, Smoked Black Cod, the Stir Fry Beef with the chili pepper that makes your mouth go numb!
Giada's restaurant represents everything she is as a chef. The focus is delicious Italian food with a California twist, a menu full of fresh, clean, light options with divine flatbreads, pastas, and main entrees. And I cannot forget to mention my favorite thing about the restaurant (which is also my favorite thing about Giada): "a little bit of everything and not a lot of anything." Her menu features a lot of small bites so you can try many different items, and you'll want to - it's difficult to make your mind up. Go during the day, sit by the windows for a fountain view, and enjoy life. The views here are the best and most enjoyed with a bottle of champs or sparkling wine.
What to order: My favorite is the Imported Buratta. That may sound boring, but I've had a lot of Buratta in my time and the one there is the best! The Lemon Spaghetti is wonderful as well.
For crying out loud, go here just to get the famous Spaghetti. At first glance of it on the menu, you won't know better and you'll look right over it. But I'll make you a promise: you'll never eat a tomato basil sauce like this ever again. EVER. It's simply the best. In addition, the full pasta menu here is to-die. I also suggest the Duck Foie gras Ravioli. If we don’t have time to fit all our restaurants in, we still come here pre-dinner, sit at the bar, and share the spaghetti as an appetizer. You can’t miss it - truly one of the best things you’ll ever eat.
What to order: Clearly, the Spaghetti
All I can say about this place is: GO HERE! Do not miss it. A very casual and inexpensive restaurant, it's a perfect lunch stop if you're walking around the shops at the Venetian. They also bring out the most fabulous bread. You probably won't eat the rest of the day, but it's so worth it.
What to order: Any of the pizzas or pastas - you can’t go wrong! We get one of each and share.
You didn't think I was only going to mention one Jose Andres restaurant, did you? This menu is the way I see Jose Andres as a chef - modern, whimsical, authentic tapas. This is another restaurant I love so much because the small portion sizes allow you to try so many different menu items. And you'll want to because the menu is a mile long, yet everything is unique and oh so good! We have been here so many times and ordered so many different dishes! This is the type of restaurant where you ask your server to just order for you, and you'll be more than happy.
What to order: The menu is long but some of our favorites include the Squid Ink Paella, Codfish Fritters with Honey, Jamon from Acorn-Fed Iberico Pigs, Endive Leaves with Goat Cheese and Orange, Gin and Tonic Oysters, Anchovy Olives, Chorizo Casero, Shrimp Sautéed in Olive Oil and Garlic. Also, the gin and tonics here are everything a traditional Spanish gin and tonic should be.
When we go to Napa, we make a stop at Bouchon. And when we go to Vegas, we make a stop at Bouchon. A Thomas Keller work of art, this restaurant is well-known for it's bakery so it's a great breakfast or brunch spot. I like it for brunch because they always have the best oyster selection as well as a delicious champagne and cocktail selection. The bakery and the restaurant are different so don't get them mixed up. I suggest the restaurant because you can still enjoy the bakery treats along with a great meal or take some to go! It’s a bit difficult to find, so just have someone point you in the right direction at the Venetian.
What to order: oysters (always here), French Onion Soup, the omelette is unforgettable
We first went here when we were in NYC and to my happy surprise, they opened one in Vegas! It’s pawn shop/jewlery store themed, fun, and elegant. This place is beautiful with the best ambiance, and the food is delicious. Oh, and the cocktails are to die for... I love the one with Pink Peppercorn syrup. We usually come here for appetizers to get warmed up for dinner.
What to order: East and West Coast oysters, Grilled Cheese Smoked Bacon and Tomato Soup Dumplings
Originally started in Miami, this restaurant was added to the Vegas Strip a few years ago, which can only mean one thing: it's one of the best in the country. This place is my jam because it reminds me of my own style of cooking: southern with a fun flair. You'll find typical southern style items on this menu - everything from Chicken and Waffles and BLT to Grits and Biscuits. But you'll also find unexpected dishes like Bone Marrow, Charred Okra, Swine Burger, and craft whisky drinks and cocktails for days. But you don't want to miss the Chicken Watermelon and Waffles
What to order: Hands down, the chicken and waffles. Also the fried green tomato BLT, deviled eggs, grits, and Brussels sprouts
A phenomenal modern steakhouse with delicious sides and great starters. The best part about STK is the atmosphere, complete with loud music and an attractive wait staff. It's like being in a calm version of a Vegas club, yet you're surrounded by great food. I suggest going here with a large group of friends... you'll have a blast.
What to order: their Seafood Tower is everything, Lil Brgs, Beef Carpaccio with Pesto Noodles, any steak but ask for all 8 sauces to go with it, Truffle or Lobster Mac and Cheese, Creamed Corn
I’m wearing out the Jose Andres restaurants, but it’s only necessary. This is the perfect mix of Mexican and Asian food and every bite is just complete loveliness. We like to go for lunch before hitting a pool or starting our day (with a salt foam margarita).
What to order: Salt Foam Margarita and/or Orange Margarita - they’re both so good, Tuna Ceviche, Guacamole, When Pigs Fly, Queso Cactus Taco
I’m new to this place, and mad at myself for never trying it before. This is a MUST-GO and truly one of the best meals we have ever had in Vegas! We did lunch here, and it was perfection. Everything we ordered was legit French taste vibes and the champagne selection is extensive and lovely.
What to order: oysters and Champagne (these were some of the best oysters we had the entire trip), the Omelette with Truffles, the foie gras, and the King Crab Endive Salad.
It used to be a secret but clearly it’s not anymore as there is always a line out the door. It’s the perfect late-night bite before bed - when you’re already full from dinner but just say screw it. The pizza here is phenomenal.
What to order: Pizza, of course
This is not a restaurant, but if you enjoy a good cocktail, it’s a must-go. First of all, it’s beautiful. Second of all, the drinks are to-die-for. There are 3 floors and each has a different cocktail list (2nd and 3rd are usually best). You’ll want to go here every night for a pre-dinner drink.
What to order: They change the cocktail list up seasonally, so you’ll just have to go with your gut!
Also not a restaurant, but this bar is fancy, beautiful, and will give you the best views in Vegas Strip views you’ve ever seen.
What to order: It used to be the Mandarin Oriental hotel and changed to the Waldorf this past year, so I haven’t been back to view the new menu. I’m sure the drinks are all just as fabulous as they always were!
Have you ever seen a wine angel? If you go to Aureole, you will! If you're a big fan of a lengthy and spot-on wine selection, this is your place! If anything, just go to see those angels grab the bottle of wine you choose from the glass four-story wine tower. The women, known as wine angels, are hoisted into the air where they sometimes perform acrobats and come down with your bottle of wine. If that isn't bravo, I don't know what is!