In Las Vegas, there are so many places to eat and drink it's created a delightful but perplexing dilemma for visitors. As Las Vegas has now become a dining destination that gives New York and Paris a run for their money, it's helpful to know where some of the best places to hit are during your stay (from most unique, to most delectable or simply, the cheapest).
Best Bang for Your Buck:
You can eat yourself silly at the Carnival World Buffet inside the Rio Hotel. Here, you can try diverse food from around the globe. The stations are organized by cuisine type including Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Asian-and for those less adventurous -American. There are vegetarian and vegan-friendly options along with made-to-order items such as the delectable soups and noodles at the Asian station. A rookie mistake is filling up your plate before walking through the entire restaurant. The dinner buffet is $30 (all prices in U.S. dollars) and includes non-alcoholic drinks. I was a bit deterred when I arrived due to the incredibly long line up to get in, however, there is a VIP section along the side I discovered for those who purchase the buffet with their show ticket at the hotel.
Best Place to Celebrate
One restaurant with the most imaginative cuisine I've ever eaten is TAO at the Venetian. It's definitely a place for celebrating and a dining experience that won't soon be forgotten. My favourite dishes were the braised short ribs and the yellowtail sashimi with jalapenos. The giant fortune cookie dessert is a must-try, which is partially dipped in chocolate, filled with white and dark chocolate mousse, and decorated with fruit. The surroundings are dark and luxurious with a giant Buddha fountain in the centre, and rose-petal filled baths adorning the entrance. A booth is ideal if you can snag one to take in the surroundings. The prices are higher (main dishes $30 to $45 range), but worth it.
Best Place to People Watch
Fat Bar overlooks the busiest street in the world-the Las Vegas strip. And if you've never heard of Fat Bar, think Fat Burger with a twist. It's the flagship location of Fat Burger and the first to have a full bar. You can eat a burger right out on the strip along with your favourite beverage. The experience is enhanced by the misty water overhead to keep you cool in the Vegas sun. The 200-seat retro-style circular bar with big screen TVs can be accessed from the street and is open 24 hours a day. Most days, there is a girl out front handing out coupons for the bar. The price is right and will satisfy any appetite, starting at $3.29 for the small burger all the way up to the XXXL burger at $9.69.
Best Place to be Entertained
The Las Vegas Hotel (formerly the Hilton) features a unique restaurant called Benihana, where Japanese food is served at the teppan-yaki table (several guests are seated around a steel grill) to enjoy a meal cooked right before them by a chef who is also an entertainer. From the vegetable fried rice shaped into a heart to the onions lit on fire (on purpose), it makes for a spectacular dining show. It's also a great way to meet people. I opted for sake (my first time) with my meal. It wasn't my favourite, but I learned later Japanese beer is ideally served with it to make it more palatable. The pricing is middle of the road (main dishes $30 and under).
Best Concept-Dining Experience
The Pampas Brazilian Grille, located inside the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, is for meat-lovers. The concept is simple: 11 different types of meats are served on a long skewer and brought to your table to be carved tableside. And trust me when I say, by the time you are done, you are truly done. The pricing is fair ($39.95 for the meat extravaganza) and a tasty way to try Brazilian food. kelleyscarsbrook.blogspot.com