Imagine presenting a list of the best restaurants in Las Vegas. Talk about pre-sumptuous! It's really a task that is just too subjective to even think about, unless of course, the restaurants are selected on a quantitative criteria from personal experience that includes great food, service, ambiance, and, of course, an adequate wine list for a reasonable value. I also have listened to many recommendations and read most of the media reviews.
However, generally, I don't have much credence in most media reviews, as many are actually strongly influenced by the possibilities of advertising revenue that could be available from that establishment. Many new food establishments are opening in this city, and my attention is to help you locate a comfortable, tasty restaurant while choosing where to spend your hard-earned dollars. Here's exactly what I did! I let my palate make my selections, and totally eliminated advertising and political considerations. The results speak for themselves.
I have tried to cover as much of the varieties or cuisines as possible to offer as complete well-rounded variety. Therefore, I have decided to make two lists. They are those that are in (hotel/casinos) and those that are not (neighborhood).
There are always plenty of places to eat, but certainly some are better than others, and if you truly appreciate good food, and a dining experience is important to you, then you've come to the right place. These pages have been selected to help guide you to my personal choices of Las Vegas' best restaurants. My goal is to recommend to you some restaurants, where you are almost guaranteed a great meal, good service, good ambience, and a reasonable wine list for a decent value. Since this selection process is my choice, I may have missed a few quality choices and will continue to update this list, as I deem necessary. This list of recommendations is in no way meant to embarrass or offend any person or establishment.
I am constantly asked for "Where Is the Best", so I have compiled what I believe is the best list available.
Are these the absolute BEST restaurants? Possibly, but the real "Best" is exactly what it's always been - "completely up to you."
My Favorite Neighborhood Restaurants
The Capital Grille
This exciting eatery in the Fashion Show has all other steakhouses looking up to this major winner. A 3rd floor view of the strip, including great people watching, is enjoyable setting across from the newest and largest Las Vegas property. This eatery enjoys alcoves circling the main dining room offering several choices of first class ambience and has commissioned hanging portraits of 16 Las Vegans or Las Vegas-related people, among them Liberace, Dorothy Dandridge, Helen J. Stewart, Maude Frazier, Sarah Hopkins Winnemucca, the Rat Pack, Howard Hughes, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, Del Webb, Pat McCarran and Elvis Presley.
The friendly bartenders can easily whip up a “Stoli Doli” their signature martini or enjoy an outstanding wine list consisting of more than 900 selections from France, Italy and California. There are 24 wines by the glass available. Personal wine lockers are on display for annual leasing. Warm, dark woods and soft lighting enhance the mood and, of course, let’s remember the food. For starters, knowledgeable waiters are happy to share their menu choices and certainly try the signature lobster and crab cakes or the lobster bisque is a special treat. Succulent dry aged prime steaks are without a doubt the best. Although perfectly prepared lobster, chicken, fish, veal or lamb is certainly a great choice as well. Side dishes are the standard fare and the exclusive desserts are a must to finish an exceptional dining experience. After dinner selections of port, cognac and more makes this a “must do” when in Las Vegas.
McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant
335 Hughes Center Drive
McCormick & Schmick's operates a variety of full service restaurants which feature 30 different varieties of fresh seafood. New owners took over this restaurant in January 2012 and we’ll see if the quality holds up. Menus are printed DAILY, based on product price and availability, usually featuring 85 to 100 freshly prepared items emphasizing not only traditional seafood, meat and poultry, but also salads and pastas.
The restaurant interior is typical dark-wood panels, stained-glass skylights, mosaic floors, hardwood tables and chairs, curtained booths and hand-crafted chandeliers.
This tasty restaurant includes an expansive cigar-friendly bar that serves an assortment of imported and domestic drafts, micro-brews liquors and wines. The Portland, Oregon-based restaurant is famous for its fresh seafood with a Pacific Northwest flavor, Alaska King Salmon, Oregon Petrale sole, my favorite, Puget Sound Manila clams, Dungeness crab, or Northwest oysters, as well as East Coast favorites like Bay Blue crab, Maine lobster, and Massachusetts scrod. Wines by the glass or bottle complement the menu too.
The menu changes daily and can also include 30 varieties like Hawaiian spearfish, Mexican yellowtail, Louisiana Catfish and Idaho Rainbow Trout too.
Daily Lunch & Dinner. If you love fish and seafood, don't miss this.
P.F. Changs China Bistro
4165 Paradise at Flamingo Road
Influenced by ancient Chinese art, the bistro has wall murals and reproductions of lions and other sculpture unearthed in the city of Xian. A complete bar and a reasonable wine selection are also offered. Some of their more innovative dishes include Honey Chicken, Pan-Fried Peking Raviolis, Sesame Shrimp, Kung Pao scallops, Catfish with Black Bean Sauce, Malaysian Chicken, Szechwan Beef, Stir-Fry Vegetables and Chef Specials. A variety of tasty soups or some choice appetizers will encourage a good start to a good meal. For dessert be sure to sample the pear almond custard torte.
Open 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday 'til midnight.
Smith & Wollensky
3767 Las Vegas Blvd
Since December of 1998, this high-end, freestanding steakhouse has made its mark in Las Vegas with locals and tourists alike. A three story 635+ seat New York style steakhouse, in the signature green and white building, has fast become one of the most popular places to gather for lunch, dinner, and all types of social events.
You no longer have to go to a hotel to find excellent steaks and seafood, as well as the kind of premier service that has made Smith & Wollensky famous in major cities across the country. Another bonus feature is their unique "Sidewalk Cafe" right out on the strip in front of Wollensky's Grill, which starts serving lunch at 11:30 a.m. and stays open till 3:00 a.m. to accommodate late night casual dining seven days a week. Their famous wine selections both bottle and by-the-glass are all American and selected by Kevin Zraly, formerly of Windows on the World restaurant and notable wine guru.
Located opposite the Monte Carlo and between the MGM Grand and the Planet Hollywood, makes it easily accessible from all major hotels and casinos. The restaurant features its own private valet parking for the convenience of out of town visitors as well as Las Vegas residents.
Brio Tuscan Grille
Town Square Las Vegas Boulevard South
Brio operates several full-service restaurants in many states. All three concepts are open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and are positioned as "upscale affordable". Their concepts appeal to a broad base of guests from business people and young professionals to families and empty nesters. Their goal is to be the "Best Italian" restaurant company in America. They are a quality driven company, not a quantity one. Their number one focus is the guest experience. Consistently high quality food, superior service, good value and a unique atmosphere all contribute to their guests' satisfaction. They differentiate themselves by offering classically prepared food items from original regional recipes using the highest quality, freshest ingredients. At BBRG, significant time and resources are spent developing their team members so that they deliver superior guest service each and every meal, each and every day.
Fort Apache just off West Charleston Blvd.
The extensive menu here serves to confuse more than help the guests, however, almost anything on the menu is very tasty including a wonderful Beverly Hills Thai pizza salad. A must visit for cheesecake lovers. You couldn't have cheesecake in your name and not serve top notch product. Open lunch and dinner 11:15 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday, later on weekends.
Lotus of Siam
953 E. Sahara Ave.
It may be in an "unassuming" strip mall, but don't let the outside fool you – this longtime Eastside spot filled with locals and foodies from across the country is off the hook with unusual, ultra-tasty Northern Thai specialties elevated by a clarity in the bright sauces and fresh ingredients, as well as a wine list that could challenge the big dogs; fans just suggest disregarding the decor, an easy feat given the gracious staff .
Nora’s Italian Cuisine
6020 West Flamingo Road
Construction has started on their new free standing building just 1 block away. Delicious meats, pastas and sauces that captivate your senses await inside this family-run local favorite tucked away on the West Side, where “home-style” Italian fare shines amongst awesome cocktails and a nice wine selection; the intimate strip-mall location can be crowded (regulars say make a reservation), but factor in an impeccable staff and reasonable prices and it’s well worth the wait.
Todd's Unique Dining
4350 East Sunset Road
Chef-owner Todd Clore does it right at this Henderson “secret”, offering a truly fine dining experience in an out-of-the-way, strip-mall location where the New American menu of original, high-quality dishes is artfully prepared using seasonal ingredients; the cozy setting is nothing fancy, but most agree that the professional but relaxed staff helps make it a dependably excellent option.
600 East Warm Springs Road
This hidden treasure in the Southeast serves up exceptional New American fare from an eclectic menu highlighting seasonal ingredients in creatively prepared dishes; the relaxing atmosphere is matched by an outstanding Chef/Owner and staff that ensures diners feel at home; no wonder it’s a “locals’ favorite” deemed worth every penny.
My Favorite Hotel/Casino Restaurants
Carnevino at Palazzo
Chef Mario Batali and Winemaker Joe Bastianich partnered to open Carnevino in 2008. The restaurant consistently serves some of the finest steaks in town. The beef is house-aged and rubbed with a blend of sea salt, black pepper and fresh rosemary to achieve a delicious and slightly charred crust. The beef at Carnevino is all natural, hormone-free and antibiotic-free. The menu includes dishes with veal, pork, poultry and lamb as well as daily specials and 12 vegetable side dishes prepared Italian-style. Not only can you get an amazing steak here, you can also indulge in Batali's famous Italian dishes like homemade pastas. To top it off, Carnevino offers a vast international wine list.
Estiatorio Milos at The Cosmopolitan
Milo's, a high-end Greek and Mediterranean restaurant, serves some of the freshest seafood from the Mediterranean Sea. When dining at Milos, the first thing you do is sit down at your table. The second thing you do is stand up and walk over to the impressive fish display. An open-air cooler is filled with crushed ice and topped with all sorts of delicacies. It is here at the fish market that you select the fish or items you want to have for dinner that night. Gorgeous langoustines, beautiful fish, langosta (spiny lobsters) and fresh vegetables all line the case. One of the best places to enjoy your dinner is on the patio, a gorgeous setting with vine-covered white lattice, olive trees and flowers.
Thomas Keller’s “civilized” Venetian offshoot of his Napa original still gives “foodies” a “thrill” with “beautiful presentations” of “exceptional” French fare and “well-chosen” wines offered in an “elegant”, “true bistro environment” designed by Adam Tihany; it may be a splurge”, but effortless, knowledgeable” service contributes to a top-notch experience that’s worth every cent.
Charlie Palmer Steak
Four Seasons Resort
The very attentive service, good food, and well-chosen, slightly unusual menu distinguish Charlie Palmer Steak from other up-market steakhouses. Their wine list focuses on small world-class producers. Wines by the glass, including Aureole Cuvée - a sparkling wine made exclusively for Aureole by California’s Iron Horse Vineyards. Charlie Palmer Steak is in many ways a traditional steakhouse, with an emphasis on quality. All beef is certified black Angus and has been dry-aged for 21 days to insure the best flavor and tenderness. Nothing goes better with the New York or porterhouse cut than one of Palmer's double baked potatoes with truffle cream. Chef Steve also offers a superb selection of seafood offerings, including the Ahi Tuna Sashimi Tower appetizer, one of the restaurant's signature dishes. Prix Fixe: $58, Dinner
Main Course: $17-$35. Dinner 5:00-10:30 p.m. Mon-Sun Lounge 5:00-12:30 p.m. Mon-Sun Live entertainment Friday and Saturday.
Mandalay Bay Resort
New York's famed and award winning Chef Charlie Palmer brings his special flavor to Mandalay Bay. A complete wine collection and unique display only at this establishment where they recently won Wine Spectators "wine list of the year award." Chef Palmer has created many signature dishes, made even more brilliant in the luxury and taste of these very surprising and comfortable surroundings. Aureole is the place to be within the circles of fine dining. Open daily 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
My favorite town of San Francisco is a favorite home of some of chef Michael Mina's other restaurants features contemporary seafood cuisine with a touch of French cooking style. Chef Mina's signature dishes include seared day-boat scallops with potato shallot cake, Osetra caviar and lemon Beurre blanc; tuna and foie gras, featuring medallions of ahi tuna cooked rare with a seared Hudson Valley foie gras in a Pinot Noir sauce. For dessert, try an old-fashioned root beer float and the warmed chocolate chip cookies. A vegetarian tasting menu, which is a five-course meal with the chef's selection, is just $55. Also they offer a dessert sampler for $14. Open daily 5:30 to 11 p.m.
Michael's Gourmet Room
This is an elegant dining room where the entire business and menu was developed on comps. While it is expensive if you are paying those outlandish menu prices the food is very good. Among the house favorites are imported fresh Dover sole, rack of lamb, and Veal Françoise. However, a complimentary tray of fruit slices dipped in white and dark chocolate at the end of the meal. Good service and reasonable selections on the wine list makes this a must visit place for hotel gourmet food in Las Vegas. It’s an experience to pay once anyway.
This transplant restaurant comes with big baggage from New York where the original chef made it a world-wide "Must Do" restaurant. For over a quarter century, Le Cirque has remained the gustatory temple at the epicenter of New York's social, business and power dining scenes. Ringmaster Sirio Maccioni, long recognized as the "world's most charismatic restaurateur," brought his Four-Star culinary magic to the Las Vegas Strip with the opening of Bellagio. Perched astride an eight-acre lake filled with dancing fountains, Le Cirque is a whimsical jewel box of color and detail, from the star-studded entry of polished woods to the sumptuous, swooping silk-tented ceiling. Le Cirque offers animated surroundings with vibrant French cookery that is by turns rustic and elegant including Braised Rabbit in Riesling with Spaetzle, Fava Beans and Wild Mushrooms; Roasted Chicken in Black Truffle Skin with Roasted Potatoes and Lobster Salad "Le Cirque" with Black Truffle Dressing. Le Cirque is the proud recipient of the AAA Five Diamond Award for 2005. The executive chef Jeremy Lieb is one of the most talented chefs in Las Vegas. This however, is a "Special Occasion" place to dine. Open daily 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Nobu Matsuhisa’s eponymous empire of Peruvian Japanese fusion stretches from New York to Dubai, but this Vegas newcomer is the largest Nobu in the world and has things unique to this location, including special dishes, a lengthy sake menu, Teppanyaki tables, and even breakfast (for hotel guests). But it also has all the oft-imitated but never quite equaled Nobu classics that have made chef Matsuhisa hugely popular, including his addictive rock shrimp tempura and amazing miso black cod (shown). It is the Nobu you already love taken up a notch, and an unbeatable Vegas choice for sushi, sashimi or cooked dishes.
The Venetian Hotel/Casino
Another Emeril Lagasse room featuring America's favorite cuisine (STEAK). This is a classic steakhouse menu with Emeril's Creole influences. Some favorite specialties include bone-in rib eye steak, Delmonico chicken carved tableside for two, Emeril's double-cut pork chops, and baked jumbo Gulf shrimp, just to name a few. Good service and reasonable selections on the wine list makes this a must visit place for a steak in Las Vegas. Open daily for lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Dinner 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Later on weekends.
Top Of The World
Stratosphere Tower Hotel/Casino
Top of the World lends new meaning to "upscale" dining. You'll be seated at your table more than 800 feet above the ground in a room that rotates so you have a 360-degree view of Las Vegas. Imaginative dishes include Chicken Sate, Cioppino San Francisco, lobster fettuccine and chicken breast with lobster thermador sauce. Prices are almost as high as you'll be seated, but is a great "Special Occasion" dinner spot. Open daily 5 p.m.-11 p.m. and 'till midnight Friday and Saturdays.
At Picasso you can enjoy French and Spanish cuisine surrounded by works from the legendary artist. The views of the Bellagio Fountains and the Strip are beautiful from the outdoor patio. Executive chef Julian Serrano ‘s menu has earned the AAA Five Diamond Award 13 times. Guests can choose from a prix-fixe menu, a tasting menu or a vegetarian menu, which includes dishes like fennel and celery root ravioli and a vegetable ragout. Picasso's wine cellar also boasts more than 1,500 selections.
The Palms Casino Resort
When the name of Chef Andre Rochat is attached to a restaurant, both locals and visitors take notice. Alize at The Palms Hotel/Casino is Andre's third Las Vegas restaurant and is preceded by the sterling reputation of his ventures, which have racked up numerous "Best of" awards in mostly French cuisine. Named after the trade wind on the French Mediterranean, Alize offers dining in the French Riviera style and the stunning views of the Strip from its 56th-floor location. The menu changes twice a year, an Andre Rochat tradition. Entrees include black truffle-roasted guinea hen and prime filet of beef with green peppercorn and cognac cream sauce. Nearly 5,000 French wines and cognac from Andre's personal collection are displayed in an ornate glass wine cellar in the center of the room. Romanticism is everywhere here.
This restaurant boasts a Forbes Travel Five Star Award, AAA Five Diamond award, two Michelin stars, the Wine Spectator Grand Award and inclusion on the Gayot.com Top 40 Restaurants in America list, just to name a few honors. The restaurant is designed to emulate the menu of Savoy's Paris restaurant. It's the only place in the U.S. you can taste Savoy's food, including his famous artichoke and black truffle soup. Choose from Savoy's signature menu, an à la carte menu or the innovation menu, which is served for the entire table.
Simply the best fine dining restaurant in the country if not the world, the global flagship of the most Michelin-starred and decorated chef in history is a jewel in every sense: meticulous décor, service, and an ever changing menu that will not fail to wow. You’ll pay handsomely for this once in a lifetime experience, with a the full degustation menu typically running over $1,000 for two, but if you want to truly understand the concept of “fine dining” you cannot do any better.
THE Steak House
Often called the best reason to visit Circus Circus and for a big chunk of the Las Vegas population, and possibly the only reason to visit Circus Circus. The hard part is choosing between the mesquite-grilled steaks, prime rib or succulent lobster. This is one of Las Vegas’ oldest and BEST steakhouses.
Las Vegas is full of great Italian restaurants, but Chef Michael LaPlaca has found a way to stand out from a crowded pack by constantly trying out new tricks on traditional favorites. If you want your meatballs blended with fried squash and goat cheese or your lasagna made with braised oxtail and ragu, this is your place.
SLS Las Vegas
In a town where steakhouses are often routine, Chef Jose Andres' Las Vegas masterpiece is truly unlike anything you'll come across. With early courses like foie gras cotton candy and a tableside-prepared beef tartare, it's hard to save room for the main course, whether it's a Spanish-style bone-in ribeye or a roasted pig being shared among your table guests.
Making a reservation here is the best Sinatra-related thing you can do in Las Vegas in 2016. The spaghetti and clams alone makes it worth the visit. You'll find interesting souvenirs on display as well as their great cuisine.
Red Rock Resort
Beautifully prepared, top-quality cuts and white-glove service from a well trained staff make this Summerlin steakhouse at Red Rock Resort a rival to many upscale Strip locales; an opulent atmosphere prevails in the warm setting, and while tabs run as expensive as you’d expect, it’s hard to beat for a big night out.