Where To Eat in Las Vegas’ Chinatown

Las Vegas has a home for diverse Asian cuisine.

omakase platter
Photo courtesy of Robata En

Las Vegas is often best viewed through the lens of its culinary culture—and its Chinatown district is no different. While tourists often roam hotel lobbies for buffets, fancy French restaurants, and celebrity chef steakhouses (which are all great too), the most rewarding dining experiences are often just a short rideshare west of the Strip. 

Chinatown covers a three-to-four mile stretch of Spring Mountain Road. Nobody agrees on the exact boundaries, but they're somewhere between Rainbow Boulevard and Interstate 15. There are no hotels or much of a residential presence aside from the recent opening of the eye-catching Lotus apartment building, which itself hosts a few restaurants on the ground floor.  Chinatown is business first—a commercial district with endless plazas and strip malls where (in a break from Vegas tradition) parking isn't always easy and walking isn't always ideal. Don't expect much in the way of parks, patios, or promenades. The magic happens inside—where kitchens and dining rooms serve some of the most compelling food in Las Vegas.

As we welcome the Year of the Ox with the Lunar New Year holiday on February 12, Chinatown restaurants need our support more than ever. Like all neighborhoods in Las Vegas, Chinatown was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and an economic downturn that continues to punish a city reliant on tourism and trade shows. But Chinatown businesses also faced a wave of xenophobic fears related to COVID that resulted in an even greater loss of revenue.

"That was a stigma we had to deal with," says Joyful House Manager Gary Yau. "A lot of Americans chose American dining. Now, for the first time, we're seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. It's picking up, but a lot of people are still waiting for the vaccines."

Without traffic from tourists and conventioneers to rely on, the Chinatown community rallied together to support one another, especially with delivery orders. The emergence of Hungry Panda, a Chinese-language delivery app, couldn't have come at a better time."We do more Hungry Panda right now than Grubhub and DoorDash put together," says Jimmy Li, chef and owner of ShangHai Taste.  

While the Las Vegas version of Chinatown may not have the national profile of counterparts in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, it continues to grow, expand, and craft an identity that defies conventional expectations. It's a culinary hub for Asian cuisine, yet it also attracts a deep representation of global fare—French at Partage, Spanish at EDO, Latin fusion at Tres Cazuelas, or an eclectic international mashup at Sparrow + Wolf—all prepared with a common understanding: if you want to play in Chinatown, you gotta bring your A-game. 

Even the bars are hard to pin down. If you're not sipping on tequila and mezcal at Mas Por Favor, you're chugging rum-fueled cocktails at Golden Tiki or just hanging out with a beer at the Leatherneck Club, a Marine bar that treats everyone like brothers in arms. 

Yet Asian dining remains the heart of Chinatown—a neighborhood that's earned its reputation as an intriguing Las Vegas destination without big casinos or fancy resorts. So dive into the Year of the Ox with cuisine and culture that represents the very best in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and more. From elevated multicourse meals to quick and easy street food, you've got plenty of restaurants to visit. Try 'em all, even if it takes the entire new year. 

china mama
China Mama | Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

China Mama

3420 South Jones
China Mama has a quiet energy and lowkey atmosphere that takes a backseat to the bold, dramatic character of its food. The standalone restaurant aims to cover every region of China, from the north where noodles are popular, to the south where dishes tend to be more rice-focused. The menu is as comprehensive as ever—maybe even a little overwhelming—but that's a good thing for those who crave a variety of complex flavors. The dumplings remain a big draw, especially for the lunch crowd, while the Szechuan flavors of the spicy boiled cod in chilli sauce and the tea-smoked duck are attractive as hearty dinner options. 
How to order: Order online for delivery or takeout and call 702-873-1977 to inquire about reservations.

Raku
Raku | Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

Raku

5030 Spring Mountain Road
By adapting Japanese street food to a sophisticated setting, Chef Mitsuo Endo not only made Raku an in-demand dining destination, but helped broaden the perception of what's possible in Chinatown. Choose your fresh fish and have parts of it grilled, fried, or prepared as sashimi. Or stick with small bites roasted over charcoal on the robata grill. Beef liver, pork cheek, foie gras—the choice is yours. Even the condiments are given a personal touch, including the Japanese plum soy sauce and a green tea/seaweed/shiitake/sea salt combo, all made in-house. Extensions of the brand include Sweets Raku, an intimate spot for desserts and light bites in the same plaza and Raku Toridokoro, a yakitori where chicken not only comes grilled, but also in the form of raw sashimi (and yes, it can be done safely).   
How to order: Reservations for Raku can only be made by calling 702-367-3511. Make reservations at Sweets Raku by calling 702-290-7181 or order online for takeout. Call 702-337-6233 to make a reservation at Raku Toridokoro.    

8 oz. Korean Steakhouse

4545 Spring Mountain Road
Think of 8 oz. as a high-end spin on traditional Korean barbeque. The menu is organized by choice of meat—wagyu, galbi, pork belly, whatever you like—and the size of your party, prepared at your table by a server during dinner hours. Lunch is more informal with self-service. Yes, grilled meats are a must, but don't overlook the noodles and ban chan (sides of pickled and marinated vegetables). The deals during the late-night reverse happy hour are incredibly good, running Monday through Thursday from 10 pm–2 am. The semi-industrial modern dining room of brick and wood is a striking departure from what you'll typically find in the area. Throw in the interactive meal prep and you might have the best place to bring a date in Chinatown. 
How to order: Call 702-909-3121 to place a takeaway order or book a reservation. 

Chengdu Taste
Chengdu Taste | Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

Chengdu Taste

3950 Schiff Drive
Chengdu Taste makes a point to take the mystery out of its in-your-face, numb-your-tongue Szechuan-style spiciness. The 30-page menu is full of big photos with heat-level illustrated by the number of peppers next to each dish. Anyone who seems remotely apprehensive is immediately directed to the Toothpick Lamb with cumin, a safe choice with a modest one-pepper ranking. Cuts of lightly fried meat hang off toothpicks like mini-shish kabobs, eliminating the need for chopsticks. Save those for the bowls of hot beef, chicken, or squid in hot sauce. The dining room is even more no-frills than usual for Chinatown, so don't feel guilty about ordering your food to go.   
How to order: Call 702-437-7888 to place a takeaway order or book a reservation. 

Yui Edomae Sushi
Yui Edomae Sushi | Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

Yui Edomae Sushi

3460 Arville Street
The minimalism of the dining room is designed to match the simplicity of the food, but don't be fooled. A meal at Yui Edomae Sushi is definitely an elevated experience for a special occasion. Just look at the bill if you're still not sure. Fortunately, every penny is worth it. Pull yourself up to the 300-year-old wood counter and put yourself in the chef's hands. The omakase format is never quite the same from day to day, based on the daily selection of fresh fish—although every ounce of tuna is cut in-house from the same 250-lb bluefin. Beyond delicate cuts of sashimi and sushi, part of the fun is letting the meal gradually build throughout the evening, from the sharp bite of abalone liver and sips of a crystal clear oden broth to authentic kobe beef and the clean, creamy texture of sea urchin. And yes, that's real sharkskin being used to grate the wasabi root. The intimate dining room has a few quiet corners for extra privacy, including a secluded speakeasy-like lounge behind the host stand, which has its own tapas-style menu.        
How to order: Book a reservation online or call 702-202-2408. 

Trattoria Nakamura-Ya
Trattoria Nakamura-Ya | Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

Trattoria Nakamura-Ya

5040 West Spring Mountain Road
A taste of Italy in Chinatown? Don't call Trattoria Nakamura-Ya fusion. Rather, just think of it as the kind of Italian restaurant you'd find in the middle of Tokyo. The pastas are the perfect level of al dente, including the carbonara, which uses miso in place of egg, or the spaghetti and clams, which rivals versions that cost twice as much on the Strip. If you need more recommendations, check out the "Big Ten'' list of popular dishes on the wall. You can't go wrong with sea urchin linguine in tomato cream sauce or spaghetti with squid ink. The restaurant is small with simple decor—including old-school red-and-while checkered tablecloths—but it's a nice change of pace, especially during the daily lunch deals. 
How to order: Order online for takeaway or call 702-251-0022 to make a reservation.

Monta Ramen
Monta Ramen | Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

Monta Japanese Noodle House

5030 Spring Mountain Road
This tiny noodle house is cozy, crazy busy, and has what could be the most addictive ramen in Las Vegas. It takes 12 hours each day to make the pork broth, and it's worth every minute. (According to legend, a full pig's head is soaked inside it for a full gelatinous effect.) The pork works just as well in the fried rice, gyoza dumplings, or soup-free cold noodle plate. Before the pandemic, guests would just sign their name on the clipboard by the front door and hang out on the sidewalk until a table was ready. Now, it's best to make a reservation well in advance.  
How to order: Call 702-367-4600 or place a pickup order or book a reservation.

Izakaya Go

3775 Spring Mountain Road
Izakaya Go which likes to describe its menu as Japanese tapas, serving dishes to share in a dining room heavy on wood decor that aims to reproduce the atmosphere of a Far East street market. Sure, you can stick to sushi, but there's so much more. Try something adventurous—stir-fried Jidori chicken gizzard, perhaps?—or keep things safe and familiar with teriyaki salmon or Korean-style BBQ ribs. If you prefer your meal to go, the restaurant introduced bento boxes to make takeaway orders easy and convenient during the pandemic.  
How to order: Book a reservation online or call 702-247-1183 for reservations and to-go orders. 

ShangHai Taste
ShangHai Taste | Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

ShangHai Taste

4266 West Spring Mountain Road
You may have heard—xiaolongbao is kind of a thing right now. Also known as soup dumplings, the traditional Eastern Chinese dish has grown in popularity in recent years. If you want them done right, Chef Jimmy Li has mastered the concept at ShangHai Taste, where guests can watch each dumpling rolled by hand through tall kitchen windows. They're steamed to order and served hot. Poke a hole in the top, let some of that hot air out, and slurp down the broth filling before finishing 'em off. They're usually stuffed with chicken or pork, but ask about the beef and lamb versions to celebrate Lunar New Year. Chef Li is also in the process of reopening his previous restaurant, Niu Gu, as Beijing Taste with a new menu of regional dishes under $10. 
How to order: Call 702-570-6363 to book a reservation or place an order for pickup or delivery.

pho
Photo courtesy of Pho So 1

Pho So 1

4745 West Spring Mountain Road
This casual but lively spot opened in late 1993, making it one of the oldest restaurants in what is now known as Chinatown. Traditional Vietnamese dishes are the specialty, and Pho So 1 deserves credit for introducing pho to Las Vegas. The house broth simmers for 8-12 hours with beef bones, oxtail, brisket and flank before it's served to customers the following day. The soup is best enjoyed against the texture of vermicelli noodles. The family behind the restaurant has an ownership connection to District One, which specializes in a more modern, experimental take on Vietnamese. It was damaged in a fire last year, but is targeting a March reopening date. 
How to order: Call 702-252-3934 for reservations or curbside pickup. Delivery is available via DoorDash or Postmates.

Noodle Man
Noodle Man | Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

The Noodle Man/Chubby Boy BBQ

5130 Spring Mountain Road
There are three locations for The Noodle Man in Las Vegas, but the one in Chinatown's Golden Sky Mall has Chubby Boy BBQ, a restaurant-within-a-restaurant that specializes in Cantonese-style BBQ. The house favorites, like supreme chicken in soy sauce or a sweet, crispy, roasted pork help round out old favorites like the chow mein and the long, sticky impossible-to-separate Hong Kong-style rice noodles, served in a clear broth with overstuffed wontons. The bones and cartilage in the Peking Duck may catch you by surprise, but the kitchen is more than happy to debone it by request to accommodate preferences.
How to order: Call 702-367-0890 to make a reservation and inquire about pickup or delivery.

LaMoon
LaMoon | Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

LaMoon

6125 Spring Mountain Road
Looking for something quirky and different? Try LaMoon. It's almost like a French cafe, where jazz plays in the background and customers sit on mismatched furniture while enjoying a menu of Japanese-Thai fusion, coffee, tea, and desserts. The modified pad thai is basically a wrap, with noodles, dried shrimp, and vegetables surrounded by a thin layer of scrambled egg (instead of being mixed together) and fresh crab on top for a sweet, but balanced bite. The tiger steak (slices of marinated ribeye charcoal-grilled and pan-seared) arrives on a sizzling hot plate with a side of fish sauce and truffle french fries—because why not? However, the Japanese-style curry—spicy, but sweetened with lychee and grapes—really seals the deal, especially with strips of savory roast duck added on top. 
How to order: Book a reservation or place a pickup order online. Delivery is available via Uber Eats or DoorDash.

Joyful House
Photo courtesy of Joyful House

Joyful House

4601 Spring Mountain Road
While other restaurants focused on takeaway orders in the early days of Chinatown, Joyful House set itself apart by offering an elevated sit-down experience for Hong Kong-style Cantonese dining. Chef and owner Kai Yau is a veteran of former Strip restaurants like Jasmine and Pearl, and now focuses on carrying out his own vision at his family-run business. His wife, Jowai, curates an extensive wine list inspired by the family's own personal collection. The Peking Duck, a big favorite, is carved tableside and utilized in other dishes like the duck noodle soup. Ask about the latest live seafood—visible in tanks that line the dining room—which on any given day range from Dungeness crab to geoduck, which is pronounced "gooey duck" and takes a moment to get used to. Signature Lunar New Year entrees include lobster noodles for longevity, pork hock (pigs feet) for prosperity, oysters, and fish. 
How to order: Call 702-889-8881 for reservations or to place a pickup order. Delivery is available with Postmates.

Weera Thai Kitchen
Weera Thai Kitchen | Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

Weera Thai Kitchen

4276 Spring Mountain Road
The original Weera Thai Kitchen on Sahara is fine, but the newer one in Chinatown has a colorful dining room (with large overhead light fixtures and walls covered in faux foliage) that feeds off the energy of the new Shanghai Plaza. The outdoor patio has its charm too—with decorative bicycles, umbrellas, and bistro lights. Happy hour runs a generous 5–9 pm, although the good stuff is on the main menu. Drag the shumai (open-faced dumplings) through the sweet sauce that plates the tung thon (shrimp and chicken inside a crispy "money bag" shell) and go heavy on the heat ("number five") with the coconut green curry. Your server will suggest the duck with the pad thai, but if you want to mix things up, request the seafood combo of steamed shrimp, mussels, and calamari instead.  
How to order: Order online to pick up from either the Sahara or Chinatown location. Call 702-873-8749 for the latest reservation policies. 

Robata En
Photo courtesy of Robata En

Robata En

4480 Spring Mountain Road 
Yonaka remains a sorely missed sushi bar, but the culinary ingenuity of its former executive chef, Ramir DeCastro, is put to good use at Robata En. Most of the menu is divided between cold and warm plates with dishes meant to be shared. However, omakase platters and 8- or 12-course tasting menus are also available to take the guess-work out of the equation. Highlights include the himachi (brought to life with the crunch of apples and almonds), a perfect al-dente uni pasta, and grilled meat skewers ranging from kurobuta pork belly to A5 Kobe beef. The dining room is a dark, contemporary space with a busy corner sushi bar attracting most of the attention.
How to order: Call 702-331-0619 to book a reservation or place a takeaway order. Reservations can also be booked online.

Mian
Mian | Photo by Rob Kachelriess for Thrillist

Mian

4355 Spring Mountain Road
The food at Mian is A+. The atmosphere may leave something to be desired, but no one will complain if you take your order to go, and either way, you're getting some incredibly rewarding Szechuan-style street food. Noodles are front and center—often with funky, spicy flavors. The Chengdu Zhajiang house special is one of the best $10-and-under deals in Chinatown with ground pork crumbles mixing well with long noodles, house-made soy sauce, and the numbing taste of peppercorn. The texture is almost like bolognese (so yes, you'll love it). Even something a little more simple, like the pork wontons in chive and bone broth, will offer something new for those looking to play it safe. 
How to order: All ordering is done online, even when dining in-house. 

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Rob Kachelriess has been writing about Las Vegas for Thrillist for more than seven years. His work has also appeared in Travel + Leisure, Trivago Magazine, Sophisticated Living, Modern Luxury, Leafly, Las Vegas Magazine, and other publications. His spice level is "number three." Follow him on Twitter @rkachelriess.
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