YARDBIRD
Food & Drink

The Best Restaurants in Las Vegas Right Now

Published On 10/04/2017
Bill Milne

Andiron Steak & Sea

Downtown

The team behind locals’ favorites like Honey Salt and Made L.V. has created the top culinary destination in Downtown Summerlin with their most ambitious project to date. Juicy hunks of steak and carefully sourced seafood are the big draws but small plates like the bacon wrapped matzo balls and mac & cheese waffle are just as fun. And despite being a steakhouse, the roasted cauliflower steak could be the best vegan dish in Vegas.

Courtesy of Bardot Brasserie

BARDOT Brasserie

Strip

Michael Mina's latest of four distinct and very different Las Vegas restaurants is more than just French cuisine for big American crowds. The menu is diverse, expertly prepared and served in a lively bistro environment with a helpful staff that won't roll their eyes when you mispronounce the selections on the champagne cart in front of your date.

Courtesy of Bazaar Meat

Bazaar Meat

SLS Las Vegas

In addition to being the best reason to visit the SLS, this José Andrés steakhouse offers the most creative take on a format well represented in Las Vegas. There’s something for everybody with a raw bar, caviar flights, and a diverse array of meat, ranging from wild boar sausage and Buffalo-style bison to a ten-pound suckling pig and three choices of Spanish Style bone-in Ribeye steaks. If you want things to get weird, start off with the foie gras cotton candy.

Chris Wessling

Carnevino

Strip

This Italian steakhouse from Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich leads the pack in Las Vegas, with an off-site facility that dry ages most of its prime cuts for 90-120 days. But even those are tame compared to the elusive Riserva, which is aged for up to seven or eight months. It isn’t always available and is sold by the inch. There’s also plenty of pasta and wine to underscore the “Italian” part of “Italian steakhouse.”

Peter Harasty

Carson Kitchen

Downtown

The Fremont East district used to be a spot that people avoided. Then it became a place for hipster-friendly bars. In recent years, however, it’s become a hotspot for new restaurants, led by Carson Kitchen. This casual neighborhood hangout does justice to the legacy of late chef Kerry Simon with fun dishes like a crispy chicken skins appetizer and a short rib grilled cheese sandwich.

Delmonico Steakhouse

Delmonico Steakhouse

Strip

Emeril Lagasse has four restaurants on the Strip but Delmonico is the crown jewel of the celebrity chef’s Vegas empire. The steaks come with a New Orleans-inspired cajun kick and the mixology program is among the best in any Vegas resort, especially for whiskey buffs. Whet your appetite for the main course with the wilted spinach and frisée salad. Topped with a fried poached egg and caramelized pecan bacon, it’s the best version of bacon & eggs you’ll ever taste in your life.

Courtesy of Echo & Rig

Echo & Rig

Tivoli Village

The best bang for your buck when it comes to red meat in Las Vegas. The in-house butcher shop near the front door offers a preview of what’s to come with hunks of beef hanging in the window -- perfect for dinner or a treat to take home later. The cuts are always changing and generally range from 25 to 35 bucks, although there are a few exceptions and specials. Request a seat on the second floor patio, where you can look down on Tivoli Village shopping and dining plaza.

Courtesy of Hakkasan Restaurant

Hakkasan Restaurant

MGM Grand

Yes, it’s right next to Hakkasan nightclub, however, you won’t find loud music and rowdy patrons, but rather dark hallways twisting around intimate table areas separated by Asian-inspired oak latticing. The focus here is on the kind of Cantonese cuisine that’s isn’t easy to find anyway else, including Chinatown. So relax at your table and order a smoky Negroni to go along with your crispy duck salad and dim sum.

Courtesy of Harvest

Harvest by Roy Ellamar

Bellagio Hotel

Sick of hearing about restaurants that play fast and loose with the worn out "farm-to-table" phrase? Well, Chef Roy Ellamar pulls off the concept better than anyone on the Strip at Harvest, with a wide-open dining room that mixes a casual energy with fine-dining precision. Freshly picked produce is prepared alongside sustainable seafood and choice cuts of meats from some of the country's top ranches. There's also a surprisingly deep beer selection and a snack wagon serving small bites in the lounge area.

Courtesy of Marie Buck Photography

Herringbone Las Vegas

Aria

This Southern California-import has taken on some serious Las Vegas attitude with its new location at the Aria. The main dining room feels more like a lounge with low tables, comfortable couches, and music from an in-house DJ. But the atmosphere takes a backseat to the food, which offers fresh seafood plates, big and small, that are perfect for sharing, whether you like your octopus hot or cold. The patio is now open for brunch, giving diners a little fresh air and a nice view overlooking the Aria pool.

Joël Robuchon

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

Strip

This spot belongs together with Joël Robuchon... since they actually are together, just off the casino floor of the MGM Grand and are the only two restaurants in the Americas from acclaimed French chef Joël Robuchon. The namesake location is a little more fancy, and yes, a little more expensive while L'Atelier is a more casual alternative that proves that eating at a counter can actually enhance the dining experience. Either choice provides the same carefully crafted seasonal menus and free-flowing Champagne, as well as house-made pastries and desserts.

Flickr/kennejima

Kabuto

Chinatown

This is the place where sushi is treated like an art form. Each piece is given special attention, which means you won’t find any rolls or box sushi on the menu. The sake is matched carefully with your food, which in turn is prepared by a small yet knowledgeable team in accordance to each customer’s pace, appetite, and mood.

Courtesy of Pizza Rock

Pizza Rock Las Vegas

Downtown

Pizza Rock is one of those rare restaurants that not only tries to be, but thrives being, all things to all people. Go with Chicago Cracker Thin from a gas brick oven or for something a little more fancy, the quail egg white rose potato guanciale from the wood fire oven. A second location recently opened at the Green Valley Ranch resort in Henderson, although the original downtown spot stays busy late at night with a to-go window for those wandering home after a night at the bars.

Courtesy of Portofino

Portofino

Strip

If you want Italian food, it’s hard to find a better experience in Las Vegas than Portofino. The dining room is simple and traditional but the menu is modern and creative, with hand-made pasta and ingredients directly from Europe. Chef Michael LaPlaca specializes in using familiar ingredients in unconventional ways, and the knowledgeable staff is always eager to help pick out the perfect bottle of wine for your meal.

Courtesy of Caesars Palace

Restaurant Guy Savoy

Strip

The multi-course tasting menus aren't cheap but they are worth every penny at this Michelin-starred restaurant, the only American eatery owned by France's Guy Savoy. Everything here is only perfectly prepared and expertly served by a team that knows exactly how much time you need between courses, and for a great view, request a table near the window overlooking the intersection of Las Vegas Blvd and Flamingo.

Flickr/star5112

Raku

Downtown

Raku has built a strong reputation as one of the best reasons to visit in Chinatown, as well as a place where you’ve gotta wait for a table due to some pretty high demand. Seriously, despite the late night hours, it’s recommended to book a reservation well in advance. The Asian inspired cuisine includes sushi and small bites from the robata grill, ranging from fire-roasted eggplant to the portobello-stuffed chicken. And the steamed foie gras egg custard has won over plenty of fans all by itself. If you crave something cool and different for dessert, sister restaurant Raku Sweets is just a few doors away, offering clever creations like the Mt. Exotic mango cream cake.

Courtesy of Twist by Pierre Gagnaire

Twist by Pierre Gagnaire

Strip

French chef Pierre Gagnaire has more than a dozen restaurants around the world and made his US debut with Twist, a spot in the Mandarin Oriental with floor-to-ceiling windows that quietly overlook the Las Vegas Strip from the 23rd floor. The menu of French fusion lives up to the restaurant’s name with new takes on familiar ingredients served in a cozy dining room with a four-seat bar ready to serve cocktails to accompany special two or three course menus.

Jaleo

Jaleo

Strip

If you're looking for the best Spanish tapas in Las Vegas, it's hard to beat Jaleo. It's one of a handful of restaurants in town from Chef Jose Andres and is best known for its wickedly authentic paella. It's made on a massive million-dollar grill that also serves as the centerpiece of the venue. Keep your eyes peeled for dishes featuring fermin, a pork from pigs fed with acorns. Sister restaurant '"e" can be found through a side door, offering dinner for just a few guests at a time while setting new standards in molecular gastronomy.

Barbara Kraft

Mizumi

Strip

One of the most stylish places to bring a date in Las Vegas, Mizumi has a beautiful view of an outdoor Koi pond and waterfall. (If you want an especially private and intimate meal, snag the table that sits alone on the water.) While the atmosphere is amazing, the food is even better: the Japanese offerings range from hot robata and teppanyaki meats to fresh sushi and sashimi. While dishes like the miso black cod and Peking Duck may seem overly familiar, they are prepared with unique care and elegance. Mizumi is also one of the very few restaurants in the United States to serve certified authentic Kobe beef.

Yardbird

Yardbird

Strip

This Miami-import is one of the best places for fried chicken in not just Las Vegas, but in the entire country. Yardbird gives Southern comfort food a gourmet upgrade, with the main dish brined for 27 hours and served with a honey hot sauce along with cheddar cheese waffles and watermelon. Start things off with a BLT salad made with tender smoked pork belly and four choices of buttermilk biscuits made fresh each day. A few local choices are among the craft beers on tap, but you may want to keep your attention focused on the deep and diverse bourbon selection.

Rob Kachelriess/Thrillist

District One Kitchen & Bar

Chinatown

This Vietnamese restaurant borrows heavily from other Asian cultures while putting together an accessible modern presentation that draws purists as well as newbies unfamiliar with Chinatown. The pho prepared with a whole main lobster is one of those dishes you have to try at least once while in Las Vegas.

Estiatorio Milos

Estiatorio Milos

Strip

The place where fine dining, Greek cuisine, and fresh seafood all meet in one place. The bright and elegant dining room sits between the latest catch on display and a glowing view of the Strip through floor-to-ceiling windows. Estiatorio Milos is one of those restaurants where even the small dishes are excellent, including the grilled octopus, a Greek Salad loaded with fresh tomatoes, and the Milos Special of fried zucchini and eggplant.

Other Mama

Other Mama

Spring Valley

A good example that exceptional dining can be found in Las Vegas away from the Strip and Downtown. The eclectic menu has a heavy Asian influence and was designed by chef and owner Dan Krohmer, who mastered his craft working overseas Japan and on the road with Taylor Swift. Call ahead for Other Mama's seven-course dinner of off-menu items for $70 -- offered on a limited basis Fridays and Saturdays.

Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill

Sugarcane

The Venetian

Chef Timon Balloo's globally inspired cuisine arrives by way of Miami, with a heavy Cuban influence. That means a lot of rum in the drinks and seafood on the menu. It's prepared expertly and in all sorts of methods. Highlights include a kombu-marinated fluke and fire-grilled yellowtail collar.

Emilio Gonzalez

Andre's Bistro & Bar

Spring Valley

After closing his restaurant at the Monte Carlo ahead of the hotel's redesign, Andre Rochat went casual with his latest endeavor. This neighborhood bistro has a smaller menu, but retains the same quality in his French-inspired cuisine. It's the kind of place where escargot and frog legs feel comfortable alongside burgers and fries. Andre's also has one of our favorite brunches in Vegas, with a powerful grapefruit punch that matches up well with waffles and house-made sausage.

Le Cirque

Le Cirque

Strip

Thanks to the inventive and adventurous menu by Executive Chef Wilfried Bergerhausen, this outpost of the famed French restaurant might outpace the original in New York. With a dining room that overlooks the Bellagio fountains, the atmosphere feels more like an old Vegas supper club, comfortably worn in over the years with a staff that's equal parts knowledgeable and friendly. The presentation of the caviar-topped Maryland crabcake or sunchoke soup will catch your attention immediately, but it's the flavors you'll remember long after the meal has ended.

Zuma

Zuma

The Cosmopolitan

To stand out from the crowded field of Japanese restaurants in Vegas, Zuma had to show a little creativity beyond its eye-catching gin and tonic, which is served in a plastic bag like you'd get when buying a fish. Fortunately, the restaurant offers fresh takes on classic Asian dishes and has a stylish modern design with clear sightlines of the open kitchen, sushi counter, and robata grill. We recommend the wagyu beef tartare with black truffle and thin-sliced yuzu sea bass, but the Burning History, a smoky cocktail made with Japanese whisky, is worth the trip alone.

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