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going to vegas, looking for recommendations?

  • d

hello! i'm from Canada and I'm new to the board. Me and some friends are heading down to Vegas for a week in September and are looking for some recommendations for places to eat! We're staying on the strip and planning on walking for the most part, so restaurants within walking distance would be most appreciated. We're not rich so we're not looking to spend *too* much but will probably splurge on at least one meal! Other than that, we're pretty open to any suggestions out there. Thanks in advance for the advice!

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  1. You may want to consider taking the bus on the Strip as it over 100 degrees in September (passes are $5 US for 24 hours per person). What is your budget per person. Also,what types of food are you looking for? There are some very good restaurants off the Strip that you can access via the bus.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Eric

      we're probably in the $50-100 per person category with maybe one or two splurges into the "we're in vegas, let's just go all out and SPEND" category. Interested in any type of food really, thai, japanese/chinese, french, american, etc. Yeah we've heard about the strip bus, we're planning on using it for most of the trip to get around.

    2. Here are some quick ideas:

      As far as eating-reasonable-

      Burger Bar - Mandalay
      Border Grill - Mandalay
      Dicks Last Resort - Excalibar
      Canters Deli - Treasure Island

      4 Replies
      1. re: JohnLaub

        I'm not sure why anyone would go to Dick's Last Resort. A theme park "rowdy joint" that's as artificial as astroturf. You might was well go to Outback. If you wish to stay on the strip and walk you need to let us know where you are staying. Even walking between two properties can be quite a hike.

        Canter's vs. Carnegie gives you an option between the west coast (Canter's) or the east coast (Carnegie). I prefer Canter's, but the Woody Allen sandwich at Carnegie can easily feed four with some to take back to the room for (last time I was there) $17.95. Do not tell them you are sharing and just get sides for the other people--the splitting charge is exorbitant.

        1. re: The Old Man

          Agree completely with the comments on Dick's - known for the rowdy bar atmosphere (which is another topic altogether), but not known for their food. With all the wonderful choices in Las Vegas, please go somewhere else to eat and then maybe come here for some post-dining fun. Bartolotta's would be a nice splurge, but you probably don't want to be outside in a cabana in September - still really hot. What kind of food do you want for your splurge - steak, asian, etc.

          1. re: atlantachowhound

            for our splurge, we're leaning towards french cuisine i think, or maybe a steak house

            1. re: atlantachowhound

              I loved Dick's ... it's def not known for the food. More the crazyness that happens there..

        2. Splurge on Bouchon - worth it

          1. Picasso in the Bellagio is a great Splurge, recently returned from there and enjoyed. it. Previously wrote a full report on the meal. Also, if you are willing to go to one dinner off the strip I would suggest Rosemary's. Also wrote a report. Hyakumi in Cesaer's has great soups and sushi. In the Venetian if you are going to late shows or want dessert afterwards the Grand Lux is open 24 hours, reasonably priced, consistent, and the staff was always very good when I visited. I am not sure where you are staying, however; I ate at the Burger Bar in Mandalay Bay and in my opinion its not worth the trip down there, its nothing special. Canter's Deli is good, however; I think that Carneige Deli in the Mirage is much better, they serve thicker corned beef sandwiches and great matzoh ball soup. For Thai I have heard raves about Lotus of Siam, which is off the strip near the convention center, reasonably priced. I have not been, didn't have enough time, but it is on my list for next time.


            1 Reply
            1. re: 3star

              I second Picasso. My favourite restaurant every time I go to Vegas.

            2. we're staying at the "new york new york" hotel and planning on riding the strip bus or walking for the most part. I've heard lots about the lotus of siam so that's on our to-do list. i wanted to go to joel robuchon for the our splurge meal but it may be a bit out of our price range, so we might settle for l'atelier instead. i'm from a big city but am currently living in a much smaller, much less diverse city, so am looking for places out of the "north american" norm

              2 Replies
              1. re: dod10

                The food court at NYNY is one of the best as far as a variety of both food and cost. The coffee shop inside NYNY is also pretty good. ESPN Zone is good bar food and decent atmosphere.

                Right across the street at MGM is a wide range of restaurants that fits your budget. Rainforest Cafe, Fiamma Italian. A little bit east on Tropicana are a couple of local hangouts BJ's Cocktail Lounge and Crown & Anchor Pub. Next door, the Monte Carlo has a great brewpub. Across the street is the Hawaiian Marketplace should you want to try Hawaiian food.

                Quintessential Las Vegas is the Peppermill. Huge portions for every meal, but especially nice for breakfast.


                Peppermill Inn
                2985 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

                B J's Cocktail Lounge
                218 E Tropicana Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89169

                Crown & Anchor Pub
                1350 E Tropicana Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89119

                1. re: shamu613

                  I was going to pop in and recommend the brew-pub at the Monte Carlo, too. The beer is pretty good; the chow is average'ish, but it's relatively affordable and is walkable from NYNY. (Everything else in the Monte Carlo is pretty forgettable in my opinion.)

                  Also, you can take the bus to the Venetian. I agree that Bouchon would be a great splurge. In fact, I think Bouchon is one of the best values for breakfast in Las Vegas. You could easily get one of their breakfast combos and order a side of eggs and coffee and share all that between two people. I have a post floating out there from earlier this year (including photos), I think you can search on Vegas Soup to Nuts and find it pretty easily where I talk a little more specifically about the breakfast at Bouchon. (As well as Lotus of Siam. You'll probably need to take a cab to LoS by the way.)

                  Also in the Venetian, not as chowish, perhaps, and definitely not meeting your atypical requirement is the Grand Luxe Cafe. It's a sibling to the Cheesecake Factory. Giant portions (again, I'd share if I were you.) I mention this because it's a little bit harder to find good value and accessible on the strip from where you'll be staying.

                  I love Peppermill, too, for the kitchsy atmosphere and the giant portions of food. I don't think that's easily walkable though. Maybe you can get there by bus?

                  Sorry I don't have more for you. But, have fun and please do report back!


              2. Go to Payard (in Ceasars) for their continental breakfast - unlimited pastries, bagels & lox, fruit, yogurt parfaits, fresh OJ and coffee for $22 per person. I think this is the best deal in LV!

                Splurge: Bartolota in Wynn; request a cabana outside and get their tasting menu.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Obessed

                  I second Payards's. Planned to go there one day. Went the first. Ended up going for five......

                2. we've decided to rent a car for our 2 days in vegas, since we're planning on driving out to the grand canyon for the day, so we'll be able to drive around a little bit and maybe visit some places off the strip, definitely planning on LOS since i've heard so many great reviews on the board!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: dod10

                    If you have a car, then go to Rosemary's for your splurge meal!

                  2. i'm undecided about rosemary's. there's been a lot of good stuff said about rosemary's, and also a lot of not so positive comments about it lately. we won't be in town on Sunday so we won't even be able to go for 1/2 price wine day, is it worth it to go?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: dod10

                      I think it is worth it to go... I was there about three weeks ago and it was great. I was skeptic about going there as well, having never been, and someone in my party really wanted to try it so we did go, and I am so glad because it was wonderful. It was a great experience, even if your dont get the 1/2 off bottles of wine. Wednesday is 1/2 ladies food if you can go on that day, but reguardless of the promotions Rosemary's is wonderful; it should definetly be on your list. I recently got an email about a summer promotion as well, so maybe try to check out the website they might have offers on there.

                      1. re: 3star


                        What is the price range for Rosemary's (dinner for two, say, with a couple of glasses of wine)?


                        1. re: jillita

                          The 3-course prix fixe was $55 the last time we went (in April). Appetizers, salads, etc. are generally under $15, IIRC, with mains in the high $20's to high $30's. If you do the prix fixe you don't have to do the traditional app-main-dessert. Last time my husband and I did 1 app, 2 salads, 2 mains and 1 dessert. Can't help you with the wine prices.

                      2. re: dod10

                        Rosemary's is a very good to outstanding restaurant. That cannot be denied. I have been over handful of times and I can never think of a bad meal there. But I cannot say that I remember a truly memorable one either. I agree with the affordability factor and quality of food. But I am at odds with the appeal of driving 25+ minutes (others will say "15min off the strip". On a Saturday night recently it took us well over 45min to get back to the strip.) When I go to Vegas I want to feel like I am in Vegas. I know that dining on the strip is considerably more money but I am in Vegas, I have allotted for that. (That is not to be confused with wanton disregard for prices. I will eat @ Prime in the Bellagio understanding that there is a premium to be paid for quality and consistency. I will not, however, dine at a place like Carnivino where $40 pasta dishes are the norm and $150 for a non-prime steak are my options. There is a HUGE difference between inflated and egregious.) There are a plethora of excellent choices right on the strip, from Mandalay Bay all the way to the old downtown.

                        Here are my choices:

                        Breakfast: Tableau in the Wynn, Verandah at the Four Seasons, and Bouchon @ the Venetian. And yes in that order.

                        Lunch: Who can eat lunch after those breakfasts? If you do...Border Grill @ Mandalay Bay, Tableau @ Wynn, Olives @ Bellagio, Mesa Grill @ Caesars (not at all a Bobby Flay fan but it is a good lunch though), Pink Taco @ Hard Rock (ONLY sitting outside though. Food is decent enough but I/we like the Hard Rock pool scene.), Mon Ami Gabi (again outside), and Bouchon. Not in any particular order.

                        Dinner: More complicated but here are some of my favorites: Lotus of Siam, Picasso, Steak House @ Circus Circus (although seems to be losing a little luster), Prime, Guy Savoy, Wing Lei, and Japonais. Yes this is such a small list but I have not had a bad meal at any of these places. Like some may argue about Japonais as there are better sushi places. Can't disagree, but for the 3 times I have been to Japonais I have never been disappointed and if compared to a Nobu or Okada, it is a fraction of the cost (not cheap and actually quite pricy, but nowhere near as bad as the others.). Finally, yes I am long winded (sorry!) we have never been to L'Atelier and CUT (both of which seems to gather a lot of good reviews) and plan on going when we are there in September (19-23). If anyone has any suggestions for our group PLEASE feel free to let us know.

                      3. Have you considered Rosemary's for lunch? You can print a coupon for a $23 3 course special (all the items are off the regular menu) and get a nice representation of the cuisine. I was there on Mondy (my first time) and enjoyed the food very much. Wait staff are professional and unobtrusive, something I did not expect from a "local" restaurant.

                        1. hmm we may have to strongly consider Rosemary's, with all these good reviews coming in!

                          1. Since you're at the south end of the Strip, I strongly recommend Fiamma at the MGM. The Fusilli with the truffle butter, is one of the most memorable meals I've had in years. Fabulous taste and definitely affordable. For seafood, you get great food and great service at RM Seafood in Mandalay Bay. Definitely costlier, however.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Grahamc100

                              We ate at Fiamma two weeks ago and the fusilli has been changed to paparadelle but otherwise the dish is the same. It's even better with paparadelle because the pasta is thinner and more luscious. Seriously delicious.

                              1. re: Debbie W

                                i was considering fiamma =, their menu looks delicious! we're going to see KA at MGM anyways, so we'll definitely look into a restaurant there too!

                                1. re: dod10

                                  Also at MGM we have always enjoyed Nob Hill. I would stay away from L'Atlier. (see post under Vegas - LI Chef notes)Bouchon for Brk is great, esp if you love good coffee and fresh fried donuts. Croque madame with fries will tide you over till a late dinner. Burger bar was good at Mandalay. Rosemary's is worth the trip, however, it pays to be hungry there because the portions are huge.

                            2. Thanks to everyone who gave us recommendations! Just returned from an extraordinary trip, with the most fantastic food I've ever had!

                              We splurged on dinner at Craftsteak and potatoes will never be the same for me again! We got the domestic wagyu tasting menu, with appetizers of caesar salad, grilled hawaiian prawns, and prosciutto. The salad was delicious, and the anchovies on top were so great, we didn't have enough to go around! The prawns were flavourful and large, and the prosciutto was melt in your mouth tender. We got 4 different cuts of steak (can't remember which), all of which were tender and juicy, with a selection of mushrooms, asparagus and potatoe puree as sides. The mushrooms were delicious, with one type being particularly full-flavoured and "woodsy" and like I said, potatoes will never be the same again! For dessert, we had bread pudding, berry crisp, liquid chocolate cake, sorbets (concord grape and raspberry), and fresh berries, all of which were delicious! the service was prompt, atmosphere was good and drinks even better. BEST meal of my life so far!

                              We got a deal at l'atelier as well, with a dinner and show package, also a good meal but not for some less-adventurous members of my party, especially following Craftsteak the night before. The amuse bouche of foie gras, port wine reduction and parmesan foam was tasty but some of my party was put off by the texture of it. The appetizer of mediterranean vegetables layered with mozzarella cheese was good, with plenty of flavour packed into each layer. The salmon entree had a wonderfully crispy skin and the accompanying sauce was light and went well with the salmon. The pureed potatoes was also delicious, although I would be hard pressed to choose between the potatoes @ l'atelier or craftsteak, they were both so good! One of my friends had the steak with caramelized onions, which he said was delicious, even better than the steaks at Craftsteak! None of us really cared for the cheese course though, I like cheese but only in small portions, and the chartreuse souffle was so so. I've never had souffle before, so I can't really compare, but it was definitely light and fluffy, the way souffles are supposed to be. However, it's flavour was so-so.... not bad but not great. I would want to go back by myself though, and try their tasting menu, as it sounds interesting and looked delicious on the plates of people next to me!

                              Lotus of Siam was delicious and SPICY, but definitely good food for the price. The dinner buffet at Bellagio was ridiculously large, with interesting choices for a buffet and the most beautiful desserts I've ever seen. Glad we went early-ish tho (6pm) because by the time we left at about 8, 8:30, the lineup was out the door! The chinese breakfast buffet at NYNY was good, with standard breakfast fare for decent prices, and Il Fornaio (NYNY) was good for breakfast as well, with fantastic orange juice and omelets!

                              We definitely want to go back to Vegas soon, so that we can eat at all the other fantastic restaurants we didn't get to try out!