You can spend $500 on a meal in Las Vegas — per person. Or you can fill your belly on a tenth of that. Celebrity chefs may have flocked to the city in recent years to open their own spots — Jose Andres, Michael Mina, Maria Batali and, uh, Guy Fieiri, to name but a few — but there’s a wide-range of dining experiences to be had in addition to all the big-name joints that begat even bigger tabs.
It’s lights down, forks up at this unique restaurant east of The Strip where you dine in the dark. The idea is to provide “a journey of the senses” by depriving you of one, with a five- to seven-course, plant-based meal intended to heighten taste buds to compensate for a lack of vision. It’s a novel concept, one that works largely because the food’s good even if you can’t see what it is you’re eating.
2. Evel Pie
Because where else are you going to get a grasshopper pizza? Yes, that insect-topped pie was actually once on the menu at this Downtown pizzeria, where rattlesnake sausage can also be had. Themed after iconic motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel, with memorabilia from the all-around badass throughout the place, this is a perfectly divey contrast to all of Vegas’ high-end — and higher priced — eateries. The ideal place for grabbing a quick slice or some late-night, alcohol-absorbing grub done right, Evel Pie sticks true to its motto: “Live fast, ride hard, eat pizza.”
3. Joel Robuchon
If money is no object then you most certainly won’t object to what is arguably Las Vegas’ finest, most renowned dining experience at the MGM Grand. One of but 14 Michelin three-star restaurants in the country, and the only one in Vegas, Joel Robuchon’s is famous for its fine French cuisine and its extravagant tasting menu, which, for example, once included an 18-course, $445, three-hour meal. This is the place where all those caviar dreams come true.
You’ve got to have at least one old school Vegas experience while in town and the Peppermill fits this designation as snuggly as a showgirl’s headdress. Opened in 1972, the bar-restaurant can be seen in Vegas-set films like “Casino” and “Showgirls” and is known for its luminous pink decor, glowing fire pit in the center of the room, specialty cocktail menu highlighted by the 64-ounce Scorpion and its absolutely gargantuan food portions, like their famous, hubcap-sized omelets.
5. Wynn Las Vegas Buffet
Of course a city posited on excess is famous for its buffets. Just about every casino has one, as they’ve become as synonymous with the city as slot machines and Wayne Newton’s frozen-in-time hair helmet. But if you’re going to indulge, do it right at the Wynn Las Vegas Buffet, which eschews the typical greasy eats common at all-you-can-eat joints for 120 different plates including the Frank Sinatra family recipe for pasta, wagyu beef, fresh seafood and sushi and a chocolate fountain to drown your diet in. Pro tip: Leave your belt in your hotel room. You won’t need it here.