Taste the West: Las Vegas

Gone are the days of discount buffets dominating the Las Vegas culinary landscape. See how Sin City has become a foodie's paradise

Haute cuisine within reach

Haute cuisine within reach

Joël Robuchon's main restaurant is famous for being the kind of experience doctors and lawyers need to save up for. It’s still not a bargain, but the less lavish L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon offers the master chef’s signature French dishes à la carte.

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Comfort food classics

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Comfort food classics

Chef Natalie Young’s Eat attracts a discerning downtown crowd with breakfast classics like buttery pancakes and steel-cut oats with cinnamon roasted apples and pecans. Stick around for lunch with a Southern accent: soft and pillowy beignets, shrimp and grits, and the best grilled cheese in town.

More: Eat

Chefs know best

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Chefs know best

Chef Mitsuo Endo uses binchotan, a special Japanese charcoal, to grill mountain trout, pork cheek, and a long list of robatayaki at Raku, an elegant izakaya. But the big star is the agedashi tofu, silken housemade tofu topped with salmon roe, a favorite with the local chefs who crowd the counter after their shifts.

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The best little noodle house in Vegas

Photo by Thomas J. Story

The best little noodle house in Vegas

Credited for launching Vegas’ ramen revolution, Monta Japanese Noodle House boasts rich and salty broth with a hint of marrow. Choose between the shoyu (soy) and the heartier, thicker miso ramen before piling on the toppings—hard-cooked egg, tender slices of roasted pork.

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The local hang

Photo by Thomas J. Story

The local hang

Downtown Cocktail Room feels exactly like a downtown cocktail room, with a slight speakeasy vibe, harlot-lipstick red walls, and mildly alarming abstract art. Must-drink: The Carciofo Swizzle, which is essentially a full-fledged tour of Italian amaros in a glass.

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Fresh fare

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Fresh fare

Not every leafy morsel of organic goodness comes to LV in the back of a FedEx truck. The Friday morning Downtown3rd Farmers Market takes over a repurposed transit terminal next where local producers sell jerky, jams, honey, mushrooms, and more.

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Caffeine-fueled creativity

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Caffeine-fueled creativity

Two blocks from the Fremont Street Experience, The Beat Coffeehouse energizes downtown’s cool crowd with sturdy joe, sandwiches, and a browse space that includes a vintage vinyl store and a warren of three dozen creative businesses, including galleries and artist studios.

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Bangokian cuisine

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Bangokian cuisine

The chintzy metal façade and unadorned tables at Le Thai might be annoying if you didn’t know what was to come: authentic Southeastern fare like pad Thai noodles redolent of green onions and cilantro, with no cloying sweetness. The three-color curry and the beef meatball noodle soup—made from a stock slow-simmered with bones and tendon—make this one of the toughest reservations in town.

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Downtown dessert

Photo by Rafael Lizaragga

Downtown dessert

Chocolatier Megan Romano sculpted desserts at Charlie Palmer’s Aureole for more than a decade before decamping to Chocolate & Spice Bakery on the Westside. You’ll find the usual assortment of indulgent creations (like dark chocolate hazelnut bonbons), but also a first-rate lunch menu with surprises like a Black Forest ham and cheddar panini with sun-dried tomato aioli.

More: Chocolate & Spice Bakery

Splurge!

Photo courtesy of Vintner Grill

Splurge!

It may be off the Strip, but Vintner Grill is well worth the trip. Order standouts from the always-changing contemporary American bistro menu show off influences from the Mediterranean, like its white bean hummus with spicy pita chips or braised lamb osso bucco.

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