The Best Food and Drink in Nevada for 2019
December 20, 2018
Hit the jackpot when you dine at any of these restaurants!
The Best Food and Drink in Nevada
The dazzling lights of Las Vegas can’t dull the shine of the standout restaurants, bakeries, bars, and taco joints of Nevada. Sure, many people come travel through this desert state to play the slots and see the shows, but what they really should be doing is eating! Luckily, with our first annual guide to the best food and drink in every state, both visitors to Nevada and locals looking for a break from their restaurant routine will know exactly where to go.
In this slideshow, you will discover that although Nevada’s best restaurant is also its most expensive, the Silver State has some of the cheapest and best steak in the country. Whatever you’re craving, be it Italian, fried chicken, Mexican, or Chinese, Nevada has it all, though of course much of it is located on the same world-famous street.
Over the course of the past year we’ve honored everything from its best hot dogs and brunch spot to its best bar and craft beer in our comprehensive and wide-ranging lists and rankings, compiled through extensive research and with input from a wide network of site contributors, bloggers, journalists, and chefs. We've compiled galleries celebrating the best food and drink in every state, and you can find our Nevada gallery ahead.
Best 24-Hour Diner: Hash House a Go Go (Las Vegas)
Located in the LINQ Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, the only 24-hour location of this “twisted farm food” mini-chain is a sight for sore eyes, serving stuffed burgers (ham, Cheddar, and egg inside a burger, anyone?), a BBBLT (with extra bacon, of course), steak and eggs, sausage gravy and biscuits, and their legendary sage fried chicken and waffles all through the night in a funky and comfortable diner setting. Not looking for a big meal, but eager to keep the party going? Go for the O’Hare of the Dog, a 24-ounce can of a Bud with a side of bacon.
Best Airport Restaurant: Village Pub & Grill (McCarran International Airport)
Featured on CNN Travel’s “Best Eats at the 20 Busiest U.S. Airports,” the family-owned Village Pub & Grill is a great place to grab a drink and some fantastic comfort food. If you’re not building your own burger, their beer-battered fish and chips or some delicious homemade Southern fried chicken.
Best All-You-Can-Eat Deal: Bacchanal Buffet, Caesars Palace (Las Vegas)
The Caesars Palace Bacchanal Buffet is nothing short of mind-blowing. Opened in September 2012 after a $17 million build-out, it’s stocked with nine cooking stations turning out more than 500 individual dishes and about 15 daily specials. Seating about 600, this buffet looks like an upscale restaurant, and the quality of the food served here would feel right at home at any of the city’s top eateries. Top-quality carnitas tacos are made to order; you can take your pick from a mound of meat including prime rib, lamb chops, and barbecue brisket; the dim sum and sushi are some of the best in Vegas; and soufflés are baked to order. There are wonders around every corner at this buffet, and if you can only hit up one while in Vegas, it should be the Bacchanal at Caesars. The price varies from $39.99 for weekday brunch to $59.99 for weekend dinner.
Best Bar: Vesper Bar (Las Vegas)
Named for the 1953 cocktail in the original James Bond novel, Casino Royale, Vesper Bar inside the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is an example of modern sophistication juxtaposed with firm roots in the elegance of the past.
Surrounded by mirrored tiles and centering on an ornate wooden liquor cabinet, it is certainly charming. Vesper Bar has a menu of 20 beers, 11 wines by the glass, and 10 cocktails separated into two styles: classic (traditional renderings of classic drinks) and Vesper interpretations (drinks based on the originals but infused with modern additions to show off the evolution of the industry). Specializing in "molecular" mixology, edible cocktails, and tequilas, Las Vegas native and chief mixologist Mariena Mercer brings extensive knowledge to the operation — making this a must-visit bar.
Best Beer: Joseph James’ Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout
Best Brazilian Steakhouse: Via Brasil Steakhouse (Las Vegas)
In a city all too familiar with the all-you-can-eat concept, Via Brasil is a nice mix between buffet and fine dining. The two cascading water walls give the sophisticated open space a tropical air; the friendly wait staff is welcoming. Meats from ham with pineapple to prime rib are complimented by the salad bar, which includes everything from asparagus risotto to chicken stroganoff. Diners who've been able to manage fitting in dessert rave about the banana flambé.
Best Brunch: Sterling Brunch, BLT Steak (Las Vegas)
The Sterling Brunch is one of the most expensive in Las Vegas, at $85, and is only available on Sundays beginning at 9:30 a.m., but it’s nothing short of a wonder to behold, and has been the city’s finest brunch for more than 30 years running. Held at BLT Steak inside Bally’s, the best way to describe it is to simply list off what’s available: unlimited Perrier-Jouët and Mumm’s Champagne, whole lobsters, Alaskan king crab legs, caviar, filet mignon, truffles, prime rib, rack of lamb, oysters, sushi, and made-to-order desserts; small plates like lobster bisque, eggs Benedict, and BLT Steak’s famed chopped salad. It’s the ultimate in luxury.
Best Burger: Hubert Keller Burger at Burger Bar (Las Vegas)
Known as “the other Keller” (besides Thomas, obviously), Hubert Keller is familiar to fine-dining enthusiasts who have long enjoyed his exquisitely crafted modern French food at the now-defunct Fleur de Lys in San Francisco, and to the Las Vegas dining public for having created a $5,000 hamburger at his Fleur in the Mandalay Bay Hotel. The accomplished Alsace-born chef has more recently established a reputation for producing sensibly priced burgers of great quality at his Burger Bar (which has additional locations in San Francisco and Beijing). The basic burger here is certified Angus beef on a plump bun with tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and dill pickle, but the burger that Keller enjoys so much that he put his name on it starts with a bison-meat patty and is topped with caramelized onion, wilted baby spinach, and blue cheese, and is served on a ciabatta bun alongside red wine shallot sauce.
Best Chinese Restaurant: Joyful House (Las Vegas)
Located a few blocks off the main strip, this spacious restaurant with a vaguely Asiatic exterior specializes in traditional Cantonese cuisine (think barbecued meats, seafood, and slow-cooked soups). To that effect, you’ll see plates of roast duck, honey walnut shrimp, and salt and pepper pork chops exit the kitchen at breakneck speed. Rather than trying to intercept a startled waiter, get your 6-pound lobster to go and stage your twisted version of "Under the Sea" in the privacy of your own home (no one needs to see that).
Best Chocolate Shop: Jean Philippe Patisserie (Las Vegas)
Located in the Bellagio, Jean Philippe Patisserie features the world’s largest chocolate fountain, but that isn’t nearly the most impressive thing here. That would be the chocolates themselves, which are so decadent, so luxurious, and so high-class, they could only exist in Vegas.
Best Coffee Shop: Sunrise Coffee (Las Vegas)
Handmade lattes, pour-overs, and drip coffee are all available at Sunrise, a coffee shop that puts a lot of care into every cup. The coffee here comes from micro co-ops in single-origin farms, and Sunrise Coffee also makes sure to stay as eco-conscious as possible. The menu is filled with vegetarian and vegan foods, as well as gluten-free options, giving customers plenty of tasty and healthy, yet still affordable, choices.
Best Cupcakes: Freed’s Bakery (Las Vegas)
Though this iconic bakery is known for its tasty and jaw-dropping wedding cakes, its bakers are no strangers to the art of cupcake-making. Its line of classic flavors — like chocolate peanut butter and strawberries and cream — never disappoints. You’ll fall in love with these sweet treats and the dreamy, thick swirls of frosting on top.
Best Dive Bar: Double Down Saloon (Las Vegas)
Best Doughnut: PinkBox Doughnuts (Las Vegas)
Robert Armanino, the businessman behind PinkBox Doughnuts, knew that it took something special to get noticed in Vegas, so created the suitably decadent Pink Box Doughnuts. These treats are extravagantly topped with fancy glazes like chipotle caramel and generous toppings like Cocoa Pebbles. If you’re only going to visit once, you must try the Fat Elvis: a chocolate-covered, peanut butter-filled doughnut garnished with a slice of caramelized banana.
Best Farmers Market: Fresh52 Farmers’ & Artisan Market (Las Vegas)
At the Fresh52 Farmers’ & Artisan Market, there are cherries, berries, apricots, sweet and savory hummus, Hawaiian shaved ice, macaroons and caramels, silver exotic stone jewelry, restored upcycled hardback books made into purses, and much more. On certain days, the market features live entertainment, including string ensembles, chef demonstrations, and crafting activities for kids. The market is open Saturdays and Sundays year round.
Best Food Truck: Fukuburger Truck (Las Vegas)
For the record, Fukuburger gets its name from co-founder Colin Fukunaga’s last name, not an expletive. He and Robert "Mags" Magsalin serve "All-American" burgers (and a panko-encrusted chicken katsu sandwich) with a Japanese twist, featuring toppings like wasabi mayo, pickled red ginger, avocado cream, Japanese barbecue sauce, and furikake (dried and ground fish, sesame seeds, chopped seaweed, sugar, and salt). Looking for a unique side dish? Try the togarashi garlic fries with banana ketchup.
Best French Fries: Burger Bar (Las Vegas)
Hubert Keller’s Vegas Burger Bar serves two different cuts of plain fries — skinny and fat — and both are a huge hit with fry connoisseurs. They carry just the right amount of grease (in the way that all fries should). The crispy skinny fries, in particular, earn rave reviews.
Best Fried Chicken: Blue Ribbon (Las Vegas)
Blue Ribbon Brasserie-Las Vegas/Yelp
The fried chicken recipe created by brothers Bruce and Eric Bromberg more than 20 years ago helped give rise to a mini-empire of Blue Ribbon-branded restaurants in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and South Beach, and it's the most popular item on the menu at the Blue Ribbon location in Las Vegas’ Cosmopolitan (and at spinoff Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken in the Grand Bazaar Shops. To make this dish, chicken pieces are dipped in egg white and coated in a combination of matzo meal, flour, and baking powder before being deep-fried. After coming out of the oil, they're dusted with salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, basil, parsley, and garlic and onion powders, and the end result is spectacular.
Best Grocery Store: WinCo Foods
WinCo Foods is an employee-owned 24/7 supermarket chain with discounted groceries and bulk foods, plus a deli and bakery. One reviewer said: “WinCo offers excellent deals on general grocery store products. Their bakery, butcher shop, and produce sections are amazing and offer very good prices as well as a variety of options for any palate.”
Best Homemade Ravioli: Carbone (Las Vegas)
The New York power trio of Rich Torrisi, Mario Carbone, and Jeff Zalaznick — officially known as the Major Food Group — knocked it out of the park with this very expensive, clubby old-school Greenwich Village red sauce joint (and its Las Vegas spinoff). The trio put a massive amount of time and energy into crafting each dish offered, and their lobster ravioli is one of the best pasta dishes around. The squid ink pasta is served with a creamy sauce that’s studded with fresh herbs and loads of perfectly cooked lobster.
Best Hot Dog: The Steamie Weenie (Henderson)
The Steamie Weenie/Yelp
Located inside Henderson’s Pebble Marketplace, The Steamie Weenie is a local legend, serving nearly 20 hot dog varieties or letting you customize your own with a choice of seven sausages and 40 toppings. Styles range from classic (Vienna Beef dog, Chicago-style; German brat with sauerkraut and mustard); to absolutely bonkers (bacon-wrapped Nathan’s frank with peanut butter and jalapeño jelly; Vienna Beef frank with macaroni and cheese, chili, and shredded Cheddar; and a frank with house-made beer cheese, slaw, fried Spam, watermelon barbecue sauce, and crunchy fried onions. Their corn dog also uses the same batter recipe as the Iowa State Fair.
Best Ice Cream: Steve’s Homemade Ice Cream (Fernley)
This New York transplant ice cream shop is serving the best scoops in Nevada. “Steve has the best ice cream I've had since moving to Nevada almost 3 years ago,” said one reviewer. “He has a vast selection to choose from but as of late, my go-to flavor is his Brownie Batter — that right there is heaven in a cone.”
Best Inexpensive Steakhouse: DeSimone’s Steakhouse (Henderson)
Located inside the 87-year-old Railroad Pass Hotel & Casino, the recently renovated DeSimone’s Steakhouse serves a traditional steakhouse menu in every aspect but the prices. A 20-ounce New York striploin costs just $20, a 14-ounce rib-eye costs $26, and a 12-ounce prime rib will set you back just $24.
Best Irish Pub: Rí Rá Irish Pub (Las Vegas)
Ri Ra Irisih Pub/Yelp
Nestled in The Shoppes at Mandalay Bay Place, Rí Rá brings much needed authenticity to a city known for frivolity; it was constructed entirely in Ireland and shipped over to Las Vegas lock, stock, and barrel. This classy, grown-up pub offers guests a true Irish pub experience.
Best Italian Restaurant: Costa di Mare (Las Vegas)
When Paul Bartolotta’s excellent and beloved seafood palace Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare abruptly closed its doors a few years ago, only to reopen the next day with a new name (Costa di Mare) and a new chef (Michael Mina alum Mark LoRusso) at the helm, customers had a right to be apprehensive. Thankfully, they had nothing to worry about. Forty varieties of fresh fish are still flown in daily from Italian coastal waters and served whole, live langoustines in four sizes are still a menu centerpiece (ranging in price from $30-$45 apiece), fresh pastas are still stunningly delicious (try the oven-baked spaghetti with shrimp, spiny lobster, clams, mussels, scallops, and flying squid), the menu still changes daily based on what comes in, and prices are still astronomical. It’s a bit strange to think that what’s quite possibly the best seafood restaurant in the country is located in the middle of the dessert, but hey, that’s Vegas for you.
Best Lasagna: Osteria Costa (Las Vegas)
Located in the Mirage Hotel, Osteria Costa offers a taste of the Amalfi Coast right in the heart of Las Vegas. With an incredible selection of wood-fired pizzas and handmade pastas, this casual reprieve celebrates the southern coast of Italy with bright dishes and wines from the region. Their representation of lasagna combines sausage, mozzarella, and a house-made pomodoro in a way that will leave you speechless.
Best Lobster Roll: Luke’s Lobster (Las Vegas)
Owner Luke Holden’s father was a Maine lobsterman, and Luke’s locations throughout the country (plus a Japanese outpost) are about as Maine as you can get. At the Vegas location (inside the Fashion Show Mall), his lobster rolls start with toasted split-topped buns shipped from Maine, the claw and knuckle meat comes from Maine lobsters (they’re steamed, picked, and sealed airtight before being shipped south), and accompaniments include Maine Root soda and Gifford’s of Maine ice cream. The lobster rolls here are served with a little mayo inside the bun and butter drizzled on top, and it’s all brought together with a celery salt-heavy secret seasoning blend. Thankfully, they also ship.
Best Mexican Restaurant: Bonito Michoacan (Las Vegas)
It may not have the flash of Mexican hotspots on the Strip, but Bonito Michoacan is one of America’s great neighborhood Mexican restaurants for a reason: fresh ingredients, excellent execution, tableside guacamole, and hand-pressed, homemade tortillas. All the basics are covered, and the amount of care put into every component results in some spectacular food.
Most Expensive Restaurant: Joël Robuchon (Las Vegas)
Located inside the MGM Grand, the late French master chef Joël Robuchon’s eponymous restaurant is serving the most expensive meal in a city that’s chock full of them. The restaurant offers several tasting menus, which start at $127 per person. From there it’s $169 and $250 before topping out at the crème de la crème of American tasting menus, the 18-course degustation, for a whopping $445 per person, before drinks, tax, and tip.
Most Outrageous Restaurant Dish: Hot Beast, Truffles N Bacon Café (Las Vegas)
At Truffles N Bacon Café, you can order a beastly burger that's sure to give you great fuel for your Instagram feed and a likely stomachache. Made with an Angus beef patty, the Hot Beast is topped with pork belly, tater tots, serrano chile, Hot Cheetos, melted cheese, Korean mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, and a sunny-side-up egg to finish off.
Best Pancakes: BabyStacks Café (Las Vegas and Henderson)
With five locations in Vegas and Henderson, BabyStacks is absolutely legendary for its pancakes, which come in a whopping 18 varieties. Red velvet, carrot cake, honey whole wheat, s’mores, lemon ricotta, peanut butter and banana, Cinnabun, hazelnut Nutella, orange creamsicle, rocky road, white chocolate chip macadamia nut – if you can dream it, they can do it. And these pancakes aren’t great just because they can get a little wild; they all start with a scratchmade batter that cooks up golden brown and supremely fluffy.
Best Pizza: Pizza Rock (Las Vegas)
This Vegas outpost, one of the some 11 pizzerias California pizza king Tony Gemignani owns, doesn’t skimp on pizza preparation. There are at least four ovens (a 900-degree-F wood-fired Cirigliano Forni oven, a Rotoflex gas brick oven, a Marsal gas brick oven, and a Cuppone Italian electric brick oven) the pizza champ uses to send out his signature pie styles (Napoletana, classic Italian, classic American, Sicilian, and Romano) of which there are many impressive iterations in each category. Your goal? Try to score one of the only 73 Margherita pies made daily using Tony’s award-winning recipe.
Best Restaurant for Breakfast: EggWorks/ Egg & I (Las Vegas)
In a city that’s as breakfast-centric as Las Vegas, tracking down the restaurant that serves the absolute best breakfast of all was a tall order, but EggWorks, which has six locations in town (including one called Egg & I – the original) and opens daily at 6 a.m., fits the bill. Going strong since 1988, EggWorks is a gimmick-free restaurant with an absolutely massive menu that makes the most out of fresh, high-quality ingredients. Seven Benedicts (including one based on a croissant with blackened prime rib), a massive variety of four-egg omelettes and scrambles, homemade corned beef hash, several varieties of French toast and pancakes, waffles, breakfast skillets, crêpes, Tex-Mex breakfasts, and even Hawaiian-style dishes like loco moco are on offer. Classic down-home offerings include biscuits and gravy, country fried steak, and steak and eggs, and there are plenty of healthy substitutions available as well.
Best Restaurant: Joël Robuchon (Las Vegas)
The cooking is simply exquisite in this opulently furnished dining room in the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, which was the only three-Michelin-star restaurant in the city when the guide covered Vegas. As the first restaurant opened in America by the famed, award-winning Robuchon, widely considered the greatest of modern French chefs, Joël Robuchon maintains the highest standards under the guidance of chef Christophe de Lellis. Everything is impeccable, from its superb service and impressive (and impressively pricey) wine list to such finely crafted dishes as Le Caviar Imperial, a disc of king crab topped with an ample amount of osetra caviar, atop a crustacean gelée dotted with cauliflower puree. The 18-course tasting menu, which was completely revamped two years ago, is a truly memorable experience — as well it ought to be at $445 a head, wine not included.
Best Sandwich: Short Rib Grilled Cheese, Fat Choy (Las Vegas)
Located off the Strip inside the tiny Eureka Casino, Fat Choy is fusing Asian and American comfort foods with some astonishing results (think pancakes topped with crispy pork belly, bacon, and sausage; Peking duck bao, and burgers topped with short rib and bacon), and is a thing of seriously cultish devotion in Sin City among those in the know. The menu’s ultimate indulgence is the shor rib grilled cheese: melted provolone and Cheddar kicked up with shredded short rib and onion jam, all fused between two thick slices of buttery toasted bread. It’s late-night eats at its finest.
Best Sports Bar: Lagasse’s Stadium (Las Vegas)
Chef Emeril Lagasse has reimagined what a sports bar can be by turning his into a high-stakes venue. Located at The Palazzo on the Las Vegas Strip, the bar looks more like a swanky loft than a sports bar — not that we’re complaining. HDTVs furnish the dining room, the "stadium" looks more like a plush movie theater, and the upstairs luxury boxes are outfitted with couches, pool tables, and even arcade games. And don’t forget the upscale bar food, like the Stadium burger, shrimp po'boy, and spice-rubbed baby back ribs — you won’t want to watch a game anywhere else, not even in a real stadium.
Best Steak for $20 or Less: Top Sirloin Steak Special, Ellis Island (Las Vegas)
In the land of super-cheap prime rib, one steak stands out — but you have to be in-the-know, because it’s not on the menu. In order to get this steak at Ellis Island Casino you need two separate coupons (which aren’t too hard to come by), but they’ll get you a 10-ounce thick-cut top sirloin, garlic green beans, soup or salad, and potato or rice. The deal is available 24 hours a day (of course), and it’ll cost you just $7.99.
Best Steakhouse: Bazaar Meat (Las Vegas)
Having conquered Spanish cuisine both traditional and avant-garde, the cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, historical American fare, and both the Mexican-Chinese and Chinese-Peruvian idioms, what was the ceaselessly energetic José Andrés going to tackle next? Hmmm. How about, oh, I don't know, meat? At this Sin City venture, Andrés includes plenty of Spanish tastes as well as an extensive raw bar and "meat from the sea" (fish to you), but while pedants might argue that this isn't exactly a steakhouse, the focus is appropriately meaty. With a menu of carpaccio, tartares, cured meats, and, yes, serious beef rib steaks from California, Oregon, and Washington State, including a chateaubriand from the Golden State's Brandt Beef served with truffle sauce and pommes soufflés, Bazaar Meat can provide pretty much all the meat you need when you're out on the town.
Best Sushi: Nobu (Las Vegas)
Nobu Matsuhisa is nothing short of a rock star in the sushi world, and a visit to one of his two Las Vegas restaurants (we recommend the one located in the newish Nobu Hotel inside Caesar’s Palace, but the original inside the Hard Rock Hotel is also spectacular) will immediately tell you why. These David Rockwell-designed Nobus are chic and hip — sure, a place to see and be seen — but the ambiance never gets in the way of the food. You’ll find all the trademark Nobu dishes — black cod miso, rock shrimp tempura, yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño — but there’s also an astounding sushi selection. Even though Matsuhisa himself is more renowned for his hot dishes, he’s brought on some of the best sushi chefs in the world and his creative ingenuity is on full display here. Be it abalone, Japanese red snapper, shad (kohada), or striped jack (shima aji), when it’s served at Nobu, it’s going to be good.
Best Taco: Al Pastor at Taco y Taco, Las Vegas
If you’re looking for a classic taquería experience in Las Vegas, you’re going to need to abandon the Strip and head to Taco y Taco, which has locations on East Tropicana Avenue and South Eastern Avenue. Opt for the al pastor, and pork will be sliced from a giant rotating spit and deposited directly onto the flat top for some extra caramelization. Piled into a tortilla with onions, cilantro, and chopped pineapple with an elote (ear of corn) on the side, it’s the perfect distraction from the glitz and glamor of the Strip.
Absolute Best Thing to Eat: Nachos Nachos Nachos, Peppermill (Las Vegas)
Nevada, and Las Vegas in particular, is one of the only places in America that has a seemingly infinite number of spectacular standalone dishes but very few that can be considered statewide (or citywide) specialties (aside from high-end classics served at expense-account restaurants). That notwithstanding, the nachos at late-night Vegas staple Peppermill are really, really good, and over the years have been elevated to legendary status. To make this ultimate drunk nosh, tortilla chips are topped with refried beans, jalapeños, onions, olives, tomatoes, and several types of cheese, sent into the broiler for maximum meltiness, and finished with your choice of chicken, ground beef, or both. It’s an absolute mountain of food, perfectly proportioned for maximum cheese and topping coverage. Nachos Nachos Nachos: The nachos so nice, they named them thrice. For more states, check out our ultimate guide to the best food and drink in every state for 2019.