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The best restaurants in Las Vegas

Our guide to the best restaurants in Las Vegas from fine dining on the Strip to top pizza, buffets and beyond

Photograph: Courtesy db Brasserie
Tunisian Lamb at db Brasserie

A far cry from the second-rate refueling options of yore—getting yourself to the best restaurants in Las Vegas now ranks with the best things to do in Las Vegas of legend, on a level with catching one of the extravagant Las Vegas shows or seeing the top Las Vegas attractions on the Strip. Las Vegas restaurants have been transformed over the two decades since Wolfgang Puck opened his first outpost here in the ’90s. In addition to numerous celebrity-chef establishments, you can gorge on a cornucopia of globe-spanning grub, including superb sushi, authentic Neapolitan pizza and standout Thai food. And those notorious all-you-can-eat buffets in Las Vegas are improving too—we’ve even included one on our list. Here are the best restaurants in Las Vegas, happy eating!

Best restaurants in Las Vegas

1

Joël Robuchon Restaurant

Recommended

Fine dining is alive and very well inside the “mansion,” a fitting nickname for Chef of the (last) Century’s opulent Michelin three-star restaurant just off the MGM Grand casino floor. The honorific was awarded by prestigious French culinary guide Gault & Millau in 1989, and as you’d expect, a meal inside Joël Robuchon’s jewel-hued rooms is a once-in-a-lifetime event, so opt for the full experience. The 16-course parade of transcendent French cuisine takes more than three hours, makes ample use of caviar, black truffles and foie gras and won’t leave you contemplating a slice of pizza on the way home. There simply is no dinner more decadent on the Las Vegas Strip.

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The Strip
2

Bazaar Meat by José Andrés

Recommended

Don’t call it a steakhouse. According to superstar chef José Andrés, this Philippe Starck–designed restaurant at SLS is a “meathouse,” dedicated to celebrating the bounty of the earth, be it in the form of A5 Kobe straight from Japan, Finnish caviar, or even leeks with charred chipotle sauce. The ingredients—sourced so carefully the R&D team tried more than 500 cuts of meat before opening—are the stars here, but the chefs still have fun showing them off. That means foie gras is offered wrapped in cotton candy and dishes like the classic steak tartare are mixed tableside with plenty of panache. Don’t skip the suckling pig, imported from Spain and served by the quarter. You’ve never had such succulent swine.

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The Strip
3

Raku

Recommended

Set in the back of a Chinatown strip mall, this pristine Japanese robatayaki restaurant has been drawing in-the-know locals, chefs and savvy visitors (ahem, Anthony Bourdain) for years. Chef/owner Mitsuo Endo, a James Beard Award semifinalist, uses Japanese charcoal to grill up skewers like Kobe beef tendon and bacon-wrapped mushrooms, complementing the robata list with appetizers, noodle soups and daily specials, often featuring fish flown in from Tokyo. Start with the house-made tofu and then order away, or put yourself in the chef’s hands for an omakase feast. Just make sure you leave enough room to sample the beautifully plated desserts around the corner at sister restaurant Raku Sweets.

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West of the Strip
4

Carnevino

Recommended

The name says it all. Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s Italian-influenced steakhouse is about two things: crazy good beef and crazy good wine. The wine list leans heavily on Italy, and the menu offers handmade pastas and various crudos, all leading up to some serious meat. The beef is sourced from American farmers and dry-aged off-site until it meets the restaurant’s very high standards. This can take a while—up to 90 days for cuts like the bone-in rib eye or porterhouse and up to 240 days for a special, once-secret steak called the riserva.

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The Strip
5

Twist by Pierre Gagnaire

Recommended

From the moment you step inside, Twist is breathtaking. There’s the view from the 23rd floor of Mandarin Oriental, the lights of Las Vegas spread out beneath you. There’s the airy dining room, with its glass orb chandeliers and serene decor. And there’s the food—modern French cuisine that seems to transport you inside the inventive mind of Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire. Trying to anticipate how a dish will arrive is a losing game here. Best to pick an ingredient that strikes you—say, langoustine or Colorado rack of lamb—or opt for one of the tasting menus and trust yourself to the kitchen. Don’t worry, they know what they’re doing.

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The Strip
6

Kabuto Edomae Sushi

There are no rolls on the menu at this Chinatown sushi restaurant. No gyoza, no seaweed salad and—heaven forbid!—no spicy mayo. Kabuto serves nigiri, lush slabs of super-fresh fish laid across perfectly seasoned sushi rice with perhaps a dab of soy here and there. That simplicity lets the ingredients sing and has made the restaurant a local star, dubbed one of the 50 best new restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit when it opened in 2012. Reserve a seat at the counter, where you can watch the chefs create your meal with a precision that resembles performance art.

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West of the Strip
7

Estiatorio Milos

When Milos opened in the Cosmopolitan in 2010, it brought something to the Strip we hadn’t even realized was missing: Greek seaside fare straight from the Mediterranean and Aegean. That’s what you’ll find at Milos—meaty octopus with just the right char, Portuguese grilled sardines and freshly flown-in fish, cooked whole in a salt crust and finished with a drizzle of olive oil and perhaps a few capers. At $25.15, the three-course lunch special is a steal. Order the “real Greek yogurt” for dessert, which will ruin you for the grocery store stuff.

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The Strip
8

Sage

Sage is a testament to the idea that great food does not have to be complicated. Chef Shawn McClain strives for sophisticated simplicity with a farm-to-table menu that includes dishes like slow-cooked Wagyu short rib with pomme dauphine and hay-roasted turnips, and Pacific red snapper with a rye bread crust and roasted poblanos. The result is a memorable meal that satisfies and surprises. For pre- (or post-) dinner cocktails, check out Sage’s ten-strong absinthe menu.

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The Strip
9

Chada Thai & Wine

Few restaurants have a chef who doubles as the sommelier, but that’s the case at Chada, where former Lotus of Siam somm Bank Atcharawan has created a menu of bright, authentic Thai food with a wine list to match. It’s impossible to go wrong at Chada. Foodies swear by the lo-ba, lightly fried pig’s ear, tongue and heart, but those squeamish about the squishy bits can dig into dishes like fried Cornish game hen, drunken noodles with lobster tail, and grilled whole tilapia stuffed with lemongrass and Thai basil. Whatever you order, let Atcharawan point the way to the perfect wine pairing.

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10

Cut

Wolfgang Puck, the man responsible for revolutionizing Las Vegas visitors’ eating expectations (with Spago), opened this classic steakhouse in the Palazzo in 2008. Since then, Cut has demonstrated that it’s a slice above many other steak joints. For one thing, that’s all you find here: meat, meat and more glorious meat. Go for the 100% pure wagyu rib-eye if you can; but you won’t go wrong with any of the other options either.

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The Strip
11

Bardot Brasserie

This stylish new spot from Michael Mina has everything you want in a French brasserie: modern takes on classic dishes, ample wines by the glass and a champagne cart, so you can browse the by-the-flute options before choosing your bubbly. On weekend mornings Bardot packs ’em in with its popular brunch, where you can order a variety of croissant Benedicts, brioche French toast with vanilla mascarpone and almond brittle, or the Hunter’s Waffle with duck confit and poached eggs. Accompany your meal with bottomless rosé. This is Vegas after all.

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The Strip
12

Craftsteak

The selection of meats (grass-fed veal, lamb shank, filet mignon, braised short ribs) is impressive, but the sides and the quiet invention shown in the kitchen distinguish Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak from more run-of-the-mill casino steakhouses. Ingredients come from small family farms and other below-the-radar sources, and you can tell, particularly when it comes to the splurgy Japanese A5 Kobe, which will set you back a cool $260 for the eight-ounce filet. It’s all served in an elegant, if slightly noisy, atmosphere.

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The Strip
13

Portofino

Ever since chef Michael LaPlaca—a veteran of Strip kitchens like Bouchon and Alex—took over this Mirage dining room, guests have been raving about his deft take on Italian classics. Portofino is less about reinventing the wheel and more about making the most delicious damn wheel you’ve ever tasted. Or rather, agnolotti—LaPlaca’s version comes filled with burrata and served with lobster and chanterelle mushrooms in a roasted corn and butter sauce. Other signature dishes include a crab cake and arancini mashup and meatballs topped with cheese-filled squash blossoms.

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The Strip
14

Yusho

Street food on the Strip? That’s the concept behind this hip Asian joint from Chicago-based chef Matthias Merges. Think meaty grilled items, tasty buns and boldly flavored reinventions of roadside staples, like dumplings with a garlic ricotta filling and the signature Logan Poser ramen served with a skewer of crispy fried pork. Pair your dinner with something from the draft cocktail program or opt for a beer. Yusho carries four brews from the elusive Japanese Coedo brewery.

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The Strip
15

db Brasserie

Foodies rejoiced when famed chef Daniel Boulud announced his return to Las Vegas, and this Venetian brasserie has not disappointed. The menu reads simply, but what arrives are beautiful, perfectly composed plates that remind you why French cuisine is still regarded as the paradigm of fine food. The twice-daily happy hour offers discounted nibbles in the bar and there’s even an oyster hour from 5pm to 6pm when the bivalves go for $1 apiece. Just be sure to save room for dessert. Three words: Grand Marnier soufflé.

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The Strip
16

Carson Kitchen

Opened downtown in the midst of the area’s redevelopment, this gastropub from beloved Vegas chef Kerry Simon—who died in September 2015 of MSA—signaled a shift in the neighborhood’s dining scene. Finally, there was a place for creative comfort food and potent cocktails, a place to meet friends for a bite or head on a first date—if, that is, you could get a table. Since opening in 2014, Carson Kitchen has been packed with locals who come for the lively vibe and clean-your-plate cooking. Make a reservation in advance and get down on that bacon jam and bourbon fudge brownie.

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17

Lotus of Siam

Lauded by food bloggers and critics, Lotus of Siam was rated the best Thai restaurant in the U.S. by defunct culinary bible, Gourmet magazine. We might not go that far, but it is certainly a rare and unexpected treat in an otherwise unprepossessing strip mall. Saipin Chutima presides over a huge menu (and equally impressive wine list), which can be a little overwhelming on a first visit. Do yourself a favor and try something from the Northern Thai section—we’re partial to the khao soi egg noodles in coconut cream curry—and don’t miss the nam kao tod, crispy rice with sour pork sausage, cilantro, chili and lime.

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East of the strip
18

Bouchon

The sole Vegas outpost from chef Thomas Keller, this bright, airy bistro well removed from the casino hubbub serves polished French cooking that covers all the bases, from steak frites and onion soup to the Grand Plateau, a seafood tower loaded with oysters, shrimp, clams, mussels and crab. Don’t sleep through breakfast. Bouchon is the rare Strip restaurant that serves one during the week, as well as a crowd-pleasing weekend brunch that fills up quickly. It’s worth the wait for that basket of fresh pastries and the roasted chicken with bacon-chive waffle.

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The Strip
19

Pizza Rock

We could list Pizza Rock chef Tony Gemignani’s credentials, the many awards and titles he’s won. But we’ll just say this: The man knows his way around a pie. And there are plenty on the menu at this downtown restaurant, where the pizzas are listed according to their cooking temperature and type of oven. Purists will want the Margherita Napoletana (baked in a 900-degree wood-fired oven), while more adventurous types might opt for the Cal Italia with gorgonzola, prosciutto and fig preserves (650-degree gas brick oven) or one of the Romana varieties (700-degree electric brick oven)—long, thin pies with three different sets of toppings. The decor is unfortunately more focused on the rock than the pizza, but the food is worth the view of a decorative truck parked in the dining room.

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Downtown
20

Bacchanal Buffet

If you haven’t been to a Vegas buffet recently, scrub the image you have in your mind. Bacchanal is more tasty, more interesting, more fresh—more everything. There are more than 500 different items on the menu daily, many individually plated and some made to order. Whether you’re craving Japanese curry, monster crab legs or fried chicken and waffles, you’ll leave satisfied and—unless you have truly epic willpower—very, very full.

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The Strip

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