The days of those classic cheapo buffets are pretty much over in Las Vegas (RIP, the original dollar midnight buffet at El Rancho!), but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get a good deal... as long as you know stuff like where to go, when to go, and why you should stay away from the sushi. So scroll down for 10 things you should know before you hit the buffet:
2. A whole pig only lasts 15 minutes
That’s why the Medley Buffet at the Aliante serves eight of the slow-roasted suckers on Tuesday’s Hawaiian Night.
3. Station Casinos' buffets go through more than a million hard boiled eggs a year
A lot of 'em wind up in their various Bloody Mary concoctions at places like the Fiesta Henderson's Festival Buffet, which offers a Bloody Mary bar during its Champagne Brunch.
4. There’s caviar… and it’s actually pretty good
On Friday and Saturday nights, the buffet at The Bellagio sets up a station providing unlimited access to the world’s finest caviars -- tobiko is liberally applied to Japanese eats, while prized ikura tops their housemade blinis and miniature buckwheat waffles that're more than just "otay".
5. Skip the sushi
The rice in those bland California rolls will just fill you up, so avoid it at all costs... unless it comes with something like the marinated pork (from an 86yr-old recipe) at the new taco stand inside the Texas Station Feast Buffet.
7. Casinos are waging a buffet war
In a city known for… wait for it… raising the stakes, two resorts are squaring off in a battle for bragging rights to the best buffet on The Strip. It all started when The Wicked Spoon at The Cosmopolitan began offering higher quality food (steaks and ribs from an in-house butcher shop, etc.) in smaller portions. Caesars Palace answered back with the Bacchanal Buffet where things like sea bass, roast duck, raw oysters, and creme brulee are as good as you'll find in the city.
8. You don’t have to wait in line for hours...
... If you hit under-the-radar spots like The Buffet at Aria (which has a Tandoori oven and a shton of actually good gluten-free options); Studio B at The M Resort in Henderson where they've got next-level seafood (try the crab legs!); or Downtown's best buffet, Paradise at The Fremont, for their famed oxtail soup.
9. Go for the food, stay for the scenery
The Bayside Buffet has a panoramic view of Mandalay Bay Beach; the Bacchanal Buffet overlooks the impressively pillared Garden of the Gods pool at Caesars Palace; and the Paradise Garden Buffet offers a glimpse of the exotic birds inside the wildlife habitat at the Flamingo.
10. It matters when you sit down
You’re charged at the beginning of the meal. Not at the end. So if you time it just right… you could pay the lunch price moments before the dinner offerings roll out. Or, if that seems too hard/you don't have a watch, check out the Buffet at The Wynn where there's only a $4 price difference between lunch and dinner.