Although Sin City is home to truly delicious Italian, Indian and French delicacies, there is something about the town’s fish-related offerings that makes everybody go ga-ga. It might have to do with the fact that the restaurants serving the best seafood in Las Vegas source their ingredients with militant care, flying in freshly caught goodies from Japan, Hawaii, the Mediterranean and Aegean seas. But it’s what they do with those shipments that makes these local eateries truly stand out: Cooking lobster claws with white wine and sea urchin, baking sea bass in a salt crust, marinating shrimp and octopus in a heady bath of citrus and spice. They seek inspiration from Mexico, Greece, Maine and Maryland and remind us that the ocean is an incredible resource, worthy of our respect and protection.
Best seafood in Las Vegas
Among all the magicians in Las Vegas, Dan Krohmer is one of the best. Behind a bland storefront, the chef who studied sushi in Japan and worked for Morimoto in Philadelphia serves brilliant seafood that’s transformed an average strip mall into a culinary hot spot and earned glowing praise all around town. Grab a couple counter seats and something special from the bar, then dig into whimsical dishes like French toast bites with caviar, blue crab hushpuppies, fresh sashimi and baller ceviche. The hard part is not ordering the whole menu.
When Milos opened at the Cosmopolitan in 2010, it brought something to the Strip we hadn’t even realized was missing: Greek seaside fare fresh 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 imported fish, cooked whole in a salt crust and finished with a drizzle of olive oil and a few capers. At $29, the three-course lunch special is a steal. Just be sure to pick the “real Greek yogurt” for dessert, which will completely overwhelm your taste buds.
If Jiro Dreams of Sushi is your favorite documentary, Yui Edomae Sushi might be your favorite restaurant. Here, the role of Jiro is played by chef Gen Mizoguchi, a master of fish and rice who helped introduce Las Vegas to traditional edomae sushi as the opening chef of Kabuto. At Yui, Mizoguchi plays chef and choreographer for a brilliant parade of bites that progress over the course of an omakase tasting, from pickled items to grilled plates to gorgeously subtle sashimi and nigiri using fish and seafood you’ve never heard of—let alone tasted.
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/T.Tseng
The San Francisco location of chef Michael Mina’s eponymous restaurant earned a Michelin star in 2017, and its Vegas sister is nothing to scoff at either. Here, Mina’s crew employs top notch ingredients like Santa Barbara spot prawns and Alaskan halibut to craft thoughtful dishes influenced by French and Japanese traditions. There’s no bad choice on this menu, but allow us to whisper these four glorious words: Maine lobster pot pie.
This is our world now. A world where Vegas diners hankering for highly choreographed omakase tastings don’t have a single option but multiple restaurants to choose from, including this recent arrival adjacent to Yummy Sushi. While Kabuto and Yui embody traditional edomae experiences, at Kame things feel looser and more creative. There’s still fantastic seafood—Hokkaido hairy crabs, giant clams and cod sperm sac—but the chefs have a little more fun with their dishes, serving sea urchin in nori tacos and lobster claws in a bath of uni Sauvignon Blanc sauce. Those 16-ish courses don’t come cheap, however. Expect to spend at least $165 per person on this two-hour culinary journey.
When chef Paul Bartolotta’s eponymous restaurant closed in this whimsical space along Wynn Esplanade, locals bemoaned the loss of a legendary restaurant. But in its place Mark LoRusso has created Costa di Mare, an eatery that hews closely to the concept Bartolotta established, namely fresh-as-it-gets seafood sourced straight from Italian waters. Order live langoustines, spider crab ravioli, a whole pink snapper or splurge on the James Beard House menu, a seven-course tour of oceanic flavors that chef LoRusso prepared at the New York landmark.
Set along the Wynn’s delightfully odd Lake of Dreams, where puppet and light shows are projected on a waterfall after sunset, chef David Walzog’s Lakeside is hard to define among restaurants devoted to specific regions, nations or even cities. At Lakeside, the common thread is simply seafood, prepared however the chef deems fit. There’s tuna sashimi with jalapeño and ponzu, charred octopus with Spanish chorizo and oven-roasted lobster with an array of optional sauces. For something special, consider the wild Hawaiian fish, caught sustainably using hook and line, proving that eating responsibly can be utterly delicious.
You already know fedora-ed chef Brian Malarkey from his Top Chef run back in the day, but in the ten years since he was told to “pack his knives and go,” Malarkey has been busy building his own restaurant empire. His second Strip eatery is Herringbone, a California-cool, indoor-outdoor space that’s all about celebrating the bounty of the coast. Slurp down oysters, nosh on tuna poke and buffalo octopus, or dig into fisherman’s stew and whole grilled branzino with salsa verde. And with plenty of more terrestrial items on the menu, you don’t have to feel bad for bringing along less seafood-loving friends.
Is District One a seafood restaurant? Not exactly. Or rather, yes and. Yes, this Chinatown destination does oysters with a house special sauce of ponzu, tobiko and serrano. Yes, it serves sashimi tacos and whole grilled squid. Yes, chef Khai Vu prepares dishes that evoke his native Vietnam, like whole fried fish with pickled papaya and signature lobster pho, the crimson crustacean overflowing its bowl. But that’s not all. At District One, you’ll also find Asian fusion plates and meaty offerings—coconut pork belly, oxtail fried rice, clay pot chicken with Chinese sausage. Come with an open mind and an empty stomach, and you’ll be rewarded.
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Sophia P.
If this off-Strip casino isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you’re hungry, you don’t know the Oyster Bar. A Vegas institution, this tiny, 24-hour seafood counter slings steamers, gumbos and bouillabaisse to a handful of seats that generally stay filled round-the-clock. That means you’ll probably have to wait in line no matter what time you show up and that the signature pan roast of shrimp, crab and lobster can serve as your late night snack or breakfast of champions.