Las Vegas Buffets
I realize that buffets aren't the preferred locales for Chowhounds, but my hands are tied: I'll be going to Vegas for a weekend in early November with a couple of friends and about a dozen college students, and we'll probably hit a breakfast and a dinner buffet during the trip. My friends and I would have no problem paying $20+ for a meal, but the students would. We'll also probably be spending all our time on foot, on the Strip, so a ride over to Texas Station is probably out (although we could certainly get to Main Street Station if we go downtown). Does anyone have any recommendations for decent buffets in the $10-20 range?
This is against my better principles, but...
For cheapish buffets (under $10), your best bets are probably Main Street Station and Texas Station (the former has the virtue of being in a relatively pleasant and quiet setting).
Of the more expensive buffets, you might try the Paris, the Regent (which is undergoing financial difficulties and has just stopped serving breakfast and lunch -- I wouldn't be surprised if the dinner buffet also suffers), Bellagio, and the Aladdin.
Don't expect great food at any of these places. The upscale buffets are distinguished more by the expense of the ingredients than in superior preparation.
The breakfast and lunch buffets at Paris Las Vegas are both surprisingly good and you get good value for your money. Actually, we got to try both for the price of one. We entered fairly late in the morning and they were still serving breakfast but, by the time we were ready for a second go at the buffet, they had begun the change-over to lunch. The food is tasty and varied and the dining room is a Disneyized version of a town square - actually kinda cute. I'd definitely go back, but I'd like to try it for dinner next time.
Another one on my list for the next time is the dinner buffet at the Rio. I haven't been there yet, but I've heard great things about it.
Not too much difference between the lunch and dinner buffets at the Paris. If you arrive right at the end of lunch, you can stay for dinner when a few of the expensive meats/seafood are laid out.
The Rio buffet has been on a steady descent for at least two years. Other than its size and long lines, it has little to distinguish itself at this point. Since Harrah's has taken over the Rio, it's unlikely to improve (Harrah's puts little emphasis on food quality, unfortunately).
re: lisa b
Bad news on just about every front, Lisa:
Since Harrah's took over the Rio,
1. The price of the seafood buffet has been raised
2. The seafood buffet is now closed at lunch (many of the other Rio restaurants are now either closed for lunch or closed at least two days a week).
3. Most importantly, the food quality has suffered.
The only good news is that the word has spread. There are no longer long lines for the seafood buffet most of the time.
Several of the other hotels now offer seafood buffets, but not every night of the week. I don't recommend either the Flamingo or the Fremont seafood buffets.