Considering there are new restaurants opening in Las Vegas on a weekly basis, it should come as no surprise that 2014 saw dozens of delectable offerings open up on and off the Las Vegas Strip. With so many eateries to choose from, though, which were truly welcome additions to the city’s culinary scene? Here’s a look at five restaurant openings in 2014 that not only lived up to the hype, but easily surpassed it.
El Dorado Cantina
3025 S. Industrial Road
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Located next to Sapphire gentlemen’s club, this unassuming cantina might not look like much given its surroundings, but it’s actually one of the best Mexican restaurants in town. Serving an extensive menu of authentic Mexican dishes 24 hours a day that represent various regions of Mexico, El Dorado Cantina features an assortment of items carefully selected from U.S. farms that are free of antibiotics, pesticides and steroids. A vast array of its dishes are GMO-free and organic so guests can dig in to their meal without feeling guilty about it. While nothing disappoints, the Mexican chili—slow-cooked beans and tender vegetables in a juicy ground beef sauce topped with a Mexican three-cheese blend and pico de gallo—is a must, as is the tender citrus-marinated carne asada.
Related: Top Mexican Food In Las Vegas
GIADA At The Cromwell
3595 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Emmy Award-winning celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis’ first-ever restaurant was well worth the wait. Boasting breathtaking views of the Fountains of Bellagio and the Strip’s first antipasto station, GIADA features a mouthwatering menu that embraces De Laurentiis’ Roman heritage while also acknowledging her vibrant Californian influences. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, menu items are made from only the freshest ingredients, creating a new take on Italian cuisine while staying true to classic favorites. Dinner must-tries include the margherita pizzette, the shrimp, lemon and basil spaghetti and the seven-ounce filet served with salsa verde and crispy polenta—it’s truly one of the tastiest steaks on the Strip!
Lao Sze Chuan At Palms Casino Resort
4321 W. Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV 89103
Even if you don’t typically consider yourself a fan of Chinese Sze Chuan cuisine, renowned Chicago chef Tony Hu’s palate-pleasing restaurant Lao Sze Chuan will make you one. Featuring an extensive menu of more than 100 beef, chicken, pork and seafood dishes as well as a variety of soups, there’s sure to be something at this delightful restaurant for everyone. Start your meal with the tasty garlic cucumber or spicy cabbage before digging in to the flavorful dry chili chicken. The portions are generous and the prices are reasonable, making Lao Sze Chuan worth the trip for locals and tourists alike.
Made LV At Tivoli Village
450 S. Rampart Blvd., Suite 120
Las Vegas, NV 89145
Not surprisingly, this new neighborhood favorite is from the duo behind fellow neighborhood favorite Honey Salt: local husband-and-wife team Elizabeth Blau and Kim Canteenwalla. Open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, the modern American tavern features a menu of chef Canteenwalla’s inspired comfort food favorites complemented by Blau’s signature healthy touch. Delicious dishes include the bacon cheddar biscuits, the BBQ chicken and the beer steamed clams. There’s also a rotating selection of craft beers and seasonal specialty cocktails on tap for guests to enjoy while watching the game at the bar or playing one of the tavern’s retro arcade games. Great food, great bar, great entertainment—no wonder Made LV is fast becoming a neighborhood hangout.
Umami Burger, Beer Garden & Sports Book At SLS Las Vegas
2535 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Named “Burger of the Year” by GQ in 2010, Umami Burger finally has a home on the Las Vegas Strip. Designed for sports fans, integrating a William Hill Sports Book and an outdoor Beer Garden overlooking the northern part of the Strip, the tasty burger joint serves up some of the best patties in town, made from house-ground premium steak that’s hand formed and then infused with Umami’s unique blend of enhancing sauces and seasonings. The savory patties can be enjoyed as one of Umami’s signature creations, like the delicious Cali Burger topped with butter lettuce, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, house spread and house American cheese, or poutine style, served bun-less over thin fries with house gravy. Other meat-less and bun-less options are available as well. Whatever burger you decide on, your taste buds are in for a real treat!
When she’s not interviewing some of Hollywood’s biggest celebs, Heather Turk can often be found visiting some of Las Vegas’ most popular restaurants and spas for Examiner.com. She also covers the Las Vegas market for a variety of other media outlets, including Allegiant Air’s in-flight magazine, Sunseeker. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.