Eating good food in Vegas.
October 7, 2010 10:02 AM   Subscribe

Great buffets and restaurants in Vegas?

I'll be in Las Vegas four nights from the 15th to the 19th of October. It'll be my first visit, although my husband has been there before some years ago. I would really like to try at least one or two great buffets, and at least one good restaurant.

I don't know what the buffets in Vegas offer in terms of variety and price, but I'd be willing to pay around (or up to) $35 dollars for some really good food and lots of choices (extra points if they have crab legs!).

Also, I would like a suggestion for a good restaurant. Can be any type of food, just make it yummy and worth my money.

Important note: I'm pregnant so I can't risk eating any bad food!
posted by CrazyLemonade to Food & Drink (31 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Last time I was there, they had a deal where you paid $35 and got 24hr access to seven different buffets. More than fits your budget, and gives you a chance to try them all! (If it is still running as a promotion, that is).

As for a good restaurant, one of my favorites is Mon Ami Gabi in Paris. Definitely worth it. Joel Robuchon was also superb, but definitely hurts the wallet, so only go there if you win big one night in the casinos!
posted by Grither at 10:05 AM on October 7, 2010

Sunday brunch at the Wynn is INSANE. Must eat! The Bellagio is also good.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:07 AM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Bellagio has a good buffet. The Rio was good, but I haven't been there in years so I don't know if it's gone downhill at all.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:07 AM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

everyone told me that the wynn had a great buffet ...after we'd stayed there. i avoid eating at buffets, but the raves from others would make me reconsider that one.

There's a place ACROSS THE STREET from the wynn, however, on the corner of the fashion-something mall, that's a beers&burgers joint, with a GREAT discount on food & drinks at their multi-hour happy hour! We went there 2-3 times when in Vegas for NAB.
posted by ChefJoAnna at 10:09 AM on October 7, 2010

I went to the Aria and it was fantastic. The one at Treasure Island was also surprsingly good, but not on the level of Aria. I think the Aria was right around $35, maybe a little less. They had tons of crab legs. I would not suggest the Mirage though, very disappointed.

I love Sushi Samba. Little pricey, but fantastic Asian fusion.
posted by whoaali at 10:10 AM on October 7, 2010

Bellagio Champagne Brunch is delish and has a huge selection.
I've heard Wynn is good too.
posted by msbutah at 10:11 AM on October 7, 2010

when i was in culinary school and we got kitchen tours, we learned that all the restaurants of a single hotel used the same kitchens & ingredients. so a hotel with a really good restaurant will have a good buffet. Also, many places with the same ownership share resources. Not everyone bakes bread and makes pastries from scratch onsite, but it's made onsite at a neighbor.

anyone who works in vegas, please correct me if i'm wrong. MeMail me, even. If this is no longer true (tho i heard it from the chef at the venetian) I don't want to keep telling that story.

also the venetian has an Italian restaurant that serves genuine pizza (NOT puck's, but in the same area, where they do that pugliacci show) that even if the food was sub-par (which it's absolutely not) has the loveliest environment. My husband and I refer to that perfect combination of 7pm lighting and 72º temperature as "Venetian Hour" when it happens IRL. :-)

(thank god MeFi doesn't charge extra for parentheses)
posted by ChefJoAnna at 10:17 AM on October 7, 2010

Seconding the buffet at the Paris. I also had the Wynn on my list to try during my last trip but didn't make it over there.

If I were going to LV tomorrow, I'd put Wynn and Aria on top of the list. I've heard great things about the Aria buffet and since the property is relatively new, you know they've got to still be on the very top of their game.
posted by pineapple at 10:21 AM on October 7, 2010

Response by poster: Would we need reservations for any of these buffets, or is it ok to just show up?
posted by CrazyLemonade at 10:25 AM on October 7, 2010

Typically, I don't think you can even get reservations, unless you're a large group. But depending on where and when you go, be prepared to wait up to an hour or so in line for some buffets...
posted by Grither at 10:30 AM on October 7, 2010

When people first told me how amazing and good Lotus of Siam is, I did not believe them, and I figured that a place in a Vegas strip mall couldn't really be the place that some knowledgeable foodies would consider "the best Thai restaurant in the world" and other similar superlatives. I was wrong, it was mindblowingly good, and they were right, and now every time I go to Vegas I go there.
posted by iknowizbirfmark at 10:38 AM on October 7, 2010

For sure there's another thread on this. In addition to doing a search:

1) Cheap: Lotus of Siam for Thai food. It's in a big, incredibly sketchy strip mall. It's tough to find even when you find the mall - but the food is seriously good.

2) Expensive: high tea at the new Mandarin Oriental at City Center. It's at the top of a tower looking over the strip. Great experience.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 10:39 AM on October 7, 2010

Mandalay Bay has several fantastic restaurants; my favorite is RM Seafood, which is Rick Moonen's restaurant.
posted by litnerd at 10:56 AM on October 7, 2010

Also, my obligatory shoutout in Vegas food threads to the Peppermill. You must, you must, you must go.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:58 AM on October 7, 2010

I'm not an aficionado of buffets, but the Bellagio always seemed to have a very nice one.

Seconding Lotus of Siam. It might be the best Thai food in the US -- and yes, the strip mall surroundings are a little bizarre. Reservations are a must for dinner.

Also, Firefly on Paradise. Great tapas, great sangria, full of locals (curiously, it seems to attract a large contingent of off-duty strippers). Fairly easy on the wallet, too, especially given the quality.

Egg Works makes a fine breakfast.
posted by toxic at 11:03 AM on October 7, 2010

Be sure to check out this previous AskMe: BEST Eats in Vegas?
posted by ericb at 11:09 AM on October 7, 2010

Last time I was there, they had a deal where you paid $35 and got 24hr access to seven different buffets.

Oh yes, the Buffet of Buffets! We did that, and tried to hit as many places as we could. FYI, some buffets are closed on weekday evenings, which foiled some plans. Of the ones we made it to, they were all decent-to-good, except for Imperial Palace, which was quite lousy.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:09 AM on October 7, 2010

We were just there in July and stayed at Treasure Island, so most of our dining experiences were on the North Strip. I would have been pissed at paying for the buffet at TI if we hadn't had comps and discount cards, but if you do have them the late breakfast/early lunch changeover period can be a decent start to the day. In fact, I'd recommend doing this at whichever hotel you choose to stay if the option is available. Avoid The Coffee Shop at TI, but Isla Mexican Kitchen was pretty good and reasonably priced (by Vegas standards).

I would absolutely wholeheartedly recommend Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill at Caesar's Palace. It's right off the casino floor so I'd suggest a reservation. I think our total was around $200 for apps, entrees, and a couple drinks each for 3 people. I can't say enough good things about the food. Everything we ordered was superb. Well-prepared, super flavorful, and elegant presentation. The pork tenderloin was delicious and massively portioned, and the filet mignon was out of this world. I could talk about this meal for hours, and if we hadn't gone on our last night there we probably would have gone back for another meal. I seriously can't stop raving about it, so I'll wrap up by saying it's the best meal I've had this year so far and anyone who goes to Vegas should make it one of their destinations.

This list of Vegas buffets was very helpful for us, providing breakdowns and rankings by cost, hours, and quality. There's also a chart showing when and where to find crab, and whether it's Snow or King. We actually had Harrah's buffet one night and it was a decent value, especially with a discount from one of the many magazines or coupon books floating around the Strip. I don't know if I can wholeheartedly endorse it for a pregnant woman, but we didn't get sick, and they had crab legs.

Another good night for us was B.B. King's Blues Club in the Mirage. The band was great and we were lucky enough to snag a table on the floor, but you might want a reservation if you're planning to spend a few hours there. Service was iffy, but the burgers were char-grilled and delicious.

None of the other places we dined at really stand out to me as great or terrible. I do regret not making it to Lotus of Siam. On preview, I see plenty of good advice in this thread. Pick your favorites and enjoy your trip!
posted by kyleg at 11:09 AM on October 7, 2010

Egg Works makes a fine breakfast.

For a great breakfast head to Tropical Breeze Café in the Flamingo hotel. Their "egg men" are renowned.
posted by ericb at 11:10 AM on October 7, 2010

For a nice meal, I really enjoyed Bouchon at the Venetian. It has beautiful outdoor seating away from the strip, elegant, refined service without being stuffy and most importantly, delicious food.
posted by mmascolino at 11:39 AM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

I ate at the Flamingo buffet last month. Average, at best; go somewhere else.

Cheapo Vegas was a pretty helpful site for my trip.
posted by SuperNova at 11:58 AM on October 7, 2010

Adding to the already-given opinions: Bellagio buffet was very good, Wynn buffet was fantastic.
posted by dfan at 12:12 PM on October 7, 2010

nthing the Wynn. Stayed there and didn't feel like roaming too far from home, but felt I got a good deal for the variety. On an unrelated note, we also got a decent meal at Daniel Boulud at the same hotel. They have a very reasonable prix fixe if you go before 7.
posted by Gilbert at 12:26 PM on October 7, 2010

Bellagio Sunday brunch is a great buffet (and free champagne, if you have anyone else with you). I also had a very good breakfast buffet at Harrah's a few years ago -- the decor was nothing write home about, but the food was excellent.

Several locals have told me that the buffet in M is the best in town, but I haven't been there yet.
posted by coolguymichael at 12:28 PM on October 7, 2010

For the best value, by far, I would go with either the Red Rock buffet or the Green Valley Ranch buffet. They're off-strip, and cater to locals, and have very good food for very little money.

Green Valley Ranch, on Friday or Saturday nights (I think Saturday) has a $20 all you can eat seafood buffet that includes free wine. Such a good deal.

For a good fancy restaurant, I've been to a few, and I really liked the food at John George's steakhouse.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 12:40 PM on October 7, 2010

I loved the Lotus of Siam. Its strip mall also has a showgirl wig shop, if you need some fancy drycleanable hair.
posted by Sallyfur at 1:47 PM on October 7, 2010

I've had very fine meals at Craft (steak) and Olive.

Now must go to Vegas for great Thai and fancy drycleanable hair!
posted by cyndigo at 2:45 PM on October 7, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I guess the Wynn and Bellagio (maybe Aria?) are my top bets for a good buffet.

Keep the restaurant suggestions coming if anyone still has them! (I said any type of food at first but now I'm thinking of taking steak, burgers and Mexican out, just cause I can get good food of that type right here at home.)
posted by CrazyLemonade at 5:05 PM on October 7, 2010

OP wrote > I'm thinking of taking steak, burgers and Mexican out

I hear what you're saying there... but consider that even if you eat a $40 buffet at lunchtime, you might still want to eat *something* at 9pm. conversely, if you are making plans to go to a large, pricey buffet at dinner, a light lunch will still be appealing, even necessary, to keep your bloodsugar levels even. That's why I proposed the happy-hour burger place at Fashion Walk.
posted by ChefJoAnna at 6:42 PM on October 7, 2010

Lotus of Siam.....oh yes.
posted by jindc at 7:11 PM on October 7, 2010

Response by poster: "but consider that even if you eat a $40 buffet at lunchtime, you might still want to eat *something* at 9pm"

Oh for sure! Eating is what I do best! But burgers are not my thing, we have great steak here, and well, I'm Mexican. That's why I took those three things out.

Thanks for your suggestions!
posted by CrazyLemonade at 7:52 PM on October 7, 2010

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