Iconic restaurants in Las Vegas continue to make an impact
There’s always something new to eat in Las Vegas, a city with one of the most exciting and fast-moving restaurant scenes in the world. But despite changing trends and rapid culinary evolution, you can still experience some of the foundational dining destinations of the Las Vegas Strip, long-standing icons that continue to make an impact. Here are 10 legends ready and waiting for your reservation.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
The well-known steak chain has a long history in Las Vegas stretching back to its first incarnation in the late 1980s on Paradise Road, before the city was a steakhouse capital and other franchises began expanding into the burgeoning desert hot spot. Today it exists as a sprawling second-floor favorite at Harrah’s, still serving Prime beef on sizzling plates with fantastic views and all the side dishes you can imagine. Harrah’s, 702.693.6000. For reservations, click here.
Restaurant Guy Savoy
Different eras of Las Vegas restaurant development have been marked in different ways, and the first decade of the new millennium was all about the French masters taking over the Strip and creating opulent spaces for their fantastically decadent cuisine. Multiple Michelin star winner Guy Savoy was a big part of that wave when he brought his eponymous eatery and a new level of sophistication to Caesars Palace in 2006. Whether you’re sampling his greatest hits with a multicourse feast or enjoying a la carte favorites like the “Colors of Caviar” parfait or the impossibly rich artichoke and black truffle soup with toasted mushroom brioche, a meal here is always most memorable. Caesars Palace, 702.731.7286. For reservations, click here.
The signature restaurant creation from Too Hot Tamales celebrity chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger is not only one of the culinary cornerstones of Mandalay Bay’s legendary dining portfolio, it’s also widely regarded as one of the most dynamic Mexican restaurants in the history of Las Vegas. As rare female chefs and owners on the Strip, Milliken and Feniger paved the way for the likes of Giada De Laurentiis and Lorena Garcia, but it’s their dedication to authentic flavors and techniques that has established the Vegas version of Border Grill as an icon. With the help of longtime executive chef Mike Minor, they created one of the most beloved brunch options in the city, enhancing the combination of refined fare in a casual and colorful environment that keeps regulars coming back. Mandalay Bay, 702.632.7200. For reservations, click here.
This beautiful, amber-hued dining room set away from the busy Wynn casino is one of the most celebrated Chinese restaurants in the country. In fact, Wing Lei is the first Chinese restaurant in North America to earn a Michelin star, thanks to chef Ming Yu’s precise renditions of Imperial Peking duck, wok-fried lobster, Alaskan King Crab salad, dim sum and more. Whether you want to sample Wing Lei’s vegan offerings or indulge in rare live seafood, you won’t find a similar experience elsewhere on the Strip. Wynn, 702.770.3388. For reservations, click here.
Bobby Flay established his stylish Southwestern flavor profiles at Mesa Grill in New York City in the 1990s, and the Caesars Palace location, established in 2004, has been one of the most consistently successful eateries in the history of the Strip. Mesa’s beloved dishes like the tiger shrimp and roasted corn tamale and ancho chile and honey-glazed salmon have influenced countless chefs and restaurants in Las Vegas and across the country. Caesars Palace, 702.650.5965. For reservations, click here.
Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House
The affable Emeril Lagasse doesn’t get the credit he deserves for helping to establish Las Vegas as a destination for truly fantastic food. He opened this comfy corner serving his soulful Southern signature dishes nearly 25 years ago as one of the first celebrity chefs to hit the Strip. It remains one of the few restaurants in Las Vegas to experience proper Big Easy gumbo, broiled oysters, po’ boy sandwiches and jambalaya. MGM Grand, 702. 891.7374. For reservations, click here.
The most obvious member of this esteemed list is the restaurant that made Wolfgang Puck a household name and, when it opened at The Forum Shops at Caesars in 1992, the place that served notice that Las Vegas wasn’t about cheap buffets and casino coffee shops anymore. Spago sparked the city’s culinary renaissance and remained a favorite of Vegas visitors and locals alike for decades. In the summer of 2018, it reopened at its new Strip location, complete with a sleek patio overlooking the famous fountains, and it’s lost none of the quality that’s made it a Las Vegas institution. Bellagio, 702.693.8181. For reservations, click here.
Costa di Mare
When it first opened in 2005, this palatial shrine to Mediterranean seafood was conceived and operated by James Beard Award-winning chef Paul Bartolotta, who teamed with the innovators at Wynn Las Vegas to create a new way to import and showcase the specialty product. Now Vegas veteran Mark LoRusso commands the kitchen, serving only the freshest Ligurian octopus, sea scallops, Imperial red shrimp, Blue Rock lobster and other oceanic delicacies along with incredible pasta, wine and more. Costa di Mare remains an unparalleled and unique dining experience. Wynn, 702.770.3305. For reservations, click here.
The Steak House at Circus Circus
Speaking of Strip spots that locals love, the old-school favorite is the Steak House at Circus Circus, a place for dry-aged beef perfection, cool cocktails and all the ambiance you can imagine for more than three decades. When you go for dinner, you’ll likely be surrounded by savvy frequent visitors who appreciate quality and service and Las Vegas residents who keep coming back for a bone-in ribeye and a Waldorf wedge. Circus Circus, 702.794.3767. For reservations, click here.
First established in Las Vegas at the ultra-trendy Hard Rock Hotel just east of the Strip, Nobu Matsuhisa’s genre-defining Japanese restaurant instantly updated the city’s sushi offerings and hip dining hot spots. That resort is currently being refashioned into Virgin Las Vegas and current plans include the return of the original Vegas Nobu. In 2013, Nobu opened its most grand restaurant yet along with the first-ever Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace, two bold new steps for one of the most significant restaurant empires in the country. Caesars Palace, 702.785.6628. For reservations, click here.
Click here for your free subscription to the weekly digital edition of Las Vegas Magazine, your guide to everything to do, hear, see and experience in Southern Nevada. As part of your subscription, each week via email you will receive the latest edition of Las Vegas Magazine, full of informative content such as restaurants to visit, cocktails to sip and attractions to enjoy.