This Mojito Hot Toddy Is the Destroyer of Colds
Modern yet rustic eatery has a menu as vibrant as the Red Rock surroundings
Originally a stop on the Old Spanish Trail that ran through Nevada long before Las Vegas was even a city, Blue Diamond is a historic mining town that never had its own restaurant -- until now. Surrounded by the scenery of Red Rock Canyon, Cottonwood Station is a bar, coffee shop and pizzeria all in one, built from the ground up in a modern rustic style that's an enhancement to the neighborhood without being a distraction. The evolving menu is kept small and simple, but with an artisanal touch and focus on fresh ingredients that are felt in the house-made sauces and dressings. Overnight-baked pastries and fresh waffles are top choices for mountain bikers stopping by for breakfast, but sundown is the best time to enjoy the breezy air and mountain atmosphere. Order a wine on tap, grab a seat under the bistro lights of the elevated patio, and sink your teeth into a fig, ricotta, and pancetta pizza.
Clean and contemporary French cuisine in Chinatown of all places
That didn't take long. Less than two months after Chada Street closed up, a contemporary French restaurant has opened in the same Chinatown space. Partage is the latest concept from the team behind Eatt -- a dining spot that proves fresh healthy fare can exist alongside indulgent pastries and desserts. The new place is more upscale, with five, seven, or nine-course dining menus. Otherwise, you can mix things up on your own with small tasting-size dishes or large plates for sharing. Highlights include pan-seared scallops with seaweed chutney and a grass-fed Ribeye served in a box smoked with a choice of hay or applewood.
The Wolfgang Puck original gets a new location and a new menu
Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. Wolfgang Puck gets the credit (or blame?) for kicking off the celebrity chef movement on the Vegas Strip with Spago, which now has a home at the Bellagio more suitable for a flagship restaurant. The change of scenery includes an outdoor patio and floor-to-ceiling windows that give pretty much every customer what they really want -- a fountain view. So expect the place to be packed on any given night. The menu has been totally revamped and now shares more in common with the Beverly Hills original than the old Vegas edition at the Forum Shops. That means you get familiar signature plates plus new exclusives like kampachi crudo and rabbit garganelli.
Jamaican food and atmosphere in a renovated truck garage
It's time to start bringing your tourist friends to the Arts District, which is quickly replacing Fremont East as the Downtown area with all the cool restaurants and bars. The latest example is Jammyland, where the menu and music are inspired by the breezy atmosphere of Jamaica. The food delivers on authenticity and served as small inexpensive plates perfect for sharing, especially the spicy smoked ribs. There's also a killer cocktail lineup that changes with the season -- just like the in-house reggae Spotify playlist. The place is an old industrial truck garage that's been gutted and renovated from the ground up. Still in place -- giant roll-up doors that open wide to a giant courtyard that used to be a driveway. You can't replicate this kind of atmosphere in a casino lobby.
Great views and a wide variety of food for large parties and big events
It may be a stretch to call this event space a "restaurant," but let's be honest. A lot of people are coming to Vegas for a wedding or corporate conference and in that context, it's hard to beat Enclave. Think of it as a fresh and modern alternative to those stuffy casino ballrooms. The rooftop dining area has a perfect view of the Strip and the food by Cut & Taste includes multi-course menus, buffets and customized stations -- all prepared with fresh ingredients and an inventive touch.
Dark and moody steakhouse with steaks, Scotch, and artwork
Named after an old-school Vegas neighborhood, Scotch 80 Prime is the culinary centerpiece of an ongoing $620 million renovation at the Palms. A big chunk of that cash was spent on a museum's worth of artwork by the likes of Warhol, Basquiat, and Hirst. But you're really here for the food, and Las Vegas always loves a good steakhouse. Top choices include certified authentic Kobe beef, a flaming seafood tower, a liquid nitrogen twist on a tableside Bananas Foster presentation, and for those who appreciate rare and exclusive spirits, a $3 million Scotch collection.
Upscale Cantonese cuisine with authentic ingredients and preparation
The Hong Kong brand by the late David Tang makes its US debut in Las Vegas, offering authentic Cantonese cuisine on a fine-dining level. Start easy with dim sum, choose how you want your live lobster prepared, and go big with shared dishes that require an advance order -- like the sliced tableside Beijing Roasted Duck. The menu includes prices in both U.S. and Hong Kong dollars, which can be seen as a gimmick or a nod to the growing market for Asian tourism in Las Vegas.
Uncommon pizza craftsmanship brings a Brooklyn edge to Downtown
Don't overthink it. Just make good pie. That's the idea behind this new pizza joint at Pawn Plaza, yet owner, operator and pizzaiolo Vincent Rotolo puts an artisanal level of craftsmanship into every pie that comes out of the kitchen. Taking temperature, humidity, and other variables into account, he's perfected a dough with Italian flour that's fermented Brooklyn-style in tin pans before it's baked in the oven. The dough is so good, it works for three types of pizza: Brooklyn, Detroit (originally perfected by Sicilians using leftover pans from auto plants), and cracker-thin Grandma style from the East Coast in which sauce is drizzled on top of the cheese. Prices are kept low even though ingredients are given high priority in sourcing, including local produce from Urban Seed and mozzarella flown in fresh from New York.
Vibrant dishes stem from a combination of Latin and Asian flavors
Ricardo Zarate's new Las Vegas restaurant mixes Japanese influences with his already acclaimed Peruvian cuisine. It's a powerful combination of flavors that's almost too ambitious and experimental for its Strip location. Located in a quiet corner of the Grand Canal Shoppes, Once (pronounced on-seh) is a vibrant space where walls of greenery surround communal tables and a eight-seat chef's counter with views of the kitchen in action. Highlights include a charcuterie and cheese board with grilled octopus in the center and an oxtail Bibimbap that combines spicy seasoning and the sweetness of plantains into one unique bite.
Farm-to-table Italian in the Downtown Arts District
Esther's Kitchen is fast becoming the go-to restaurant for the growing Downtown Arts District. By sourcing ingredients from local farmers markets, Chef James Trees has put together a fresh and dynamic menu that evolves with the season and is elevated by house-made breads and pastas. Despite drawing big crowds and plenty of buzz, Trees insists on keeping prices reasonable while building loyalty that will likely generate repeat business for years to come. Dinner hours recently expanded to seven days a week, giving you more time to check out recent additions like the ricotta-filled agnolotti with pea pesto or the smoked pork and porcini pappardelle.
Off the Strip
Mexican food reinvented with healthier ingredients and modern style
No sombreros or mariachi bands here. This Mexican restaurant combines latin flavors and carefully sourced ingredients within a stylish dining room that features large windows, tall ceilings and DJs during the weekend. Every bite tastes dynamic and fresh -- especially the braised octopus tacos and the enchiladas served "inside-out' to show off the meat on top. Even the house salsa, made from grilled tomatoes, carry a unique savory quality.
French menu balances the line between casual and fine dining
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.
SLS Las Vegas
A steakhouse with rare depth, inventive dishes, and foie gras cotton candy
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.
Modern American cuisine with a Vietnamese influence in the Southwest Valley
It's hard to find a new restaurant that made a bigger splash in 2017. The Black Sheep brings a modern edge to neighborhood dining with an efficient menu that mixes common American flavors with the influence of Chef Jamie Tran's Vietnamese heritage. A loyal team of Strip veterans puts it all together, earning plenty of repeat customers eager to check out an evolving menu that changes based on the availability of seasonal ingredients -- including the cocktails.
Neighborhood dining with inventive small plates in Henderson
The casual atmosphere is borrowed by Brazilian-style neighborhood hangouts, but the menu carries a heavy global influence with small plates designed for sharing. Regular tasting menus and wine pairing dinners allow the culinary team to mix things up here and there while experimenting with new flavors. The weekend brunch features larger plates of inventive dishes like a sinfully delicious foie gras Benedict.
A true experience with a dry-aging program that produces the best steaks in Vegas
This Las Vegas steakhouse leads the pack 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.”
Cajun-seasoned steaks and the best spirits list on the 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.
An ultra-exclusive tasting experience in an intimate setting
Consisting of just nine seats at a countertop, é by Jose Andres can be found in an intimate dining room off to the side of Jaleo (a damn good restaurant in its own right). With only two seatings a night at 5:30 or 8:30, reservations can be hard to book but worth the advance planning to score what is literally a golden ticket to enter. Guests are guided through a culinary experience that consists of more than 20 small bites in less than two hours. Ingenuity is the theme with many of the dishes based on gastronomic experimentation. The cotton candy empanadas with foie gras are especially fun. Add a wine or cocktail pairing and just roll with it.
The best steakhouse off the Strip keeps prices low and quality high
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.
The best sandwiches in Vegas, constructed with house-made ingredients
Sometimes you just need a good sandwich. The Goodwich originally started as a pop-up stand outside Dino's dive bar and eventually moved to its own downtown location with a second one in the works for the southwest. The team sticks to one main concept -- sandwiches stacked high with pretty much everything made in-house, from the bread to the pickles. It's refreshing to see such a common item reimagined with an unusually strong dedication to quality ingredients. The Ruben is the star, but even the PB&J comes with house-made peanut butter, bacon, and seasonal jam.
Cantonese cuisine in a stylish environment next to a nightclub
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.
Contemporary dining driven by fresh ingredients
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.
A choice of two restaurants to celebrate one of France's greatest chefs
This spot belongs together with sister restaurant L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon... since they sit side-by-side as the only two dining establishments in the United States by 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 carefully crafted seasonal menus and free-flowing Champagne, as well as house-made pastries and desserts.
An intimate no-frills dining room with sushi flown in fresh from Japan
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.
A few different ovens to make sure every style of pizza is prepared perfectly
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 can be found 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.
Masterfully prepared French dining in a quiet spot overlooking the 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.
Chinatown favorite brings a modern style to classic Asian flavors
Raku has built a strong reputation as one of the best reasons to visit Chinatown. 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.
An evolving menu that makes good use of seasonal ingredients and a wood-fired oven
Chef Brian Howard's ambitious restaurant represents a melting pot of different cultures and cuisines with an evolving menu that tends to change every three weeks or so. Most of the food, from meats to vegetables, emerge from a wood-fired oven, offering a welcome smoky touch to dishes that range from cheek bone marrow dumplings to lamb neck and even lasagna. Everything is perfect for sharing, including three-tier bento boxes.
French and American fusion in a modern fine dining space
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.
High-end sushi, true certified wagyu, and a koi pond... what else do you need?
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.
Southern comfort food and the best fried chicken in Vegas
Yardbird gives Southern comfort food a gourmet upgrade, with ridiculously good organic fried chicken 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 finish things up with a peach cobbler that requires a 30-minute advance notice to prepare. If that wasn't enough, four choices of buttermilk biscuits are made fresh each day. As for drinks, keep your attention focused on the diverse bourbon selection and Old Fashioned lineup.
A contemporary twist on Vietnamese street food on the edge of 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.
Fresh fish and stellar Greek cuisine with views of the 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. The $29 three-course lunch menu is one of the best deals on the Strip.
Neighborhood dining at its finest with sharp cocktails and a heavy Asian influence
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.
Creative French cuisine in a comfortable dining room near the Bellagio fountains
Thanks to an inventive and adventurous menu, this outpost of the famed French restaurant not only outpaced but outlasted 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.