The 11 Best Theme Restaurants in Las Vegas (Slideshow)
April 5, 2016
Looking a little fun with your meal? Try one of these unique theme restaurants for a quirky and casual culinary experience
Blondies Sports Bar and Grill/Yelp
There are a lot of sports bars in Las Vegas, but Blondies takes it more seriously — or perhaps less seriously, depending on how you look at it. The servers are dressed as cheerleaders, and the whole place has a university athletics theme, which includes numerous beer pong tables throughout the restaurant. The fare is casual American pub food, including fry baskets, jalapeño poppers, mozzarella sticks, garlic bread balls, turkey bacon guacamole wraps, a number of personal-size pizzas, pulled pork and other sandwiches, an eight-ounce grilled or blackened salmon, a 14-ounce ribeye or New York strip, and a build-your-own-burger option. As any college bar should have, Blondies also boasts a great happy hour, one of the best in Vegas: $20 all-you-can-drink from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding the occasion of any major sporting events).
Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
The first Bubba Gump Shrimp Company was opened in Monterey, California, in 1996 by Viacom, hoping to capitalize off of the critical and box office success of the Oscar-winning 1994 film Forrest Gump. Since then, some 42 additional locations have opened, including one in Las Vegas, at the intersection of the Strip and Harmon Avenue. The walls are adorned with various shrimp-boat and Forrest Gump-related décor, guests can signal for their servers with “Stop, Forrest, Stop” signs, and the menu is expectedly shrimp-and-seafood-heavy. In addition to popcorn shrimp, shrimp cocktail, shrimp mac & cheese, Cajun shrimp, shrimp gumbo, shrimp po’ boys, and coconut shrimp (this is starting to sound like a scene from the movie), choices also include steamed crab legs, charbroiled mahi mahi, baby back ribs, Angus top sirloin, half-pound burgers, a Texas Cajun chicken sandwich, and a host of Gump-themed cocktails and desserts. And that’s all I have to say about that.
Dick’s Last Resort
Dick's Last Resort/Yelp
At first glance, Dick’s Last Resort in the Excalibur Hotel seems like a typical, casual grill joint. However, once you're seated, it will be clear to you that this is no ordinary dining experience. The servers are intentionally and incredibly rude, while constantly berating customers and forcing them to wear adult bibs and giant paper hats with insulting phrases written on them. Menu items include typical grill fare like grilled chicken breasts (called “The Dolly”), fish and chips, barbecue pork ribs, a Southwest taco salad, sirloin steak and shrimp, fried shrimp, and bacon cheeseburgers. The restaurant also features a number of creative cocktails (with creative names to match, of course) and a whole bunch of innuendo-laden merchandise available for purchase.
Hard Rock Café
Easily the most famous of the theme restaurants, the Hard Rock Cafe boasts 191 locations worldwide, including 157 cafés, 22 hotels, and 11 casinos. One of those cafés is in Vegas, and so is a hotel and casino. In regard to the eatery, there are 42,000 square feet stretched across three floors, including an interactive wall, a contemporary lounge and bar, a patio overlooking the Strip, the world’s largest “Rock Shop” for merch, and of course an endless amount of rock memorabilia covering the walls, ceilings, and everywhere else you look. As for the menu, it’s consistent with a lot of the other locations, featuring wings, spinach and artichoke dip, a fried shrimp platter, hickory-smoked pulled pork or chicken sandwiches, a number of burgers (including the “Fiesta Burger” with jalapeño salsa, jack cheese, fresh guacamole, and pico de gallo), fajitas, and a 16-ounce bone-in ribeye.
If you couldn’t guess the restaurant’s theme from the name, it’s motorcycles, and lots of them. In addition to browsing some of the one-of-a-kind hogs (no, not the animals) around the Harley-Davidson Cafe, guests can also check out the world’s heaviest chain link American flag, and of course buy some HD swag. The menu is as extensive as the company’s 100-year history, and features spicy chicken egg rolls, Buffalo shrimp, chili fries, Philly cheesesteaks, several burger varieties, country-fried steak, salmon teriyaki, fajitas, a “Wild Hog” barbecue plate (with baby back ribs, chicken, and Carolina pulled pork and brisket), and three steaks, including an 18-ounce T-bone steak that’s part filet and part New York strip. There’s also a lengthy beer, wine, and cocktail list — assuming you’re not riding your Harley home.
Heart Attack Grill
With a menu featuring a burger with eight patties, eight slices of cheese, and 40 pieces of bacon (dubbed the “Octuple Bypass Burger”), it’s only fitting that this restaurant has a hospital theme. At Heart Attack Grill on the northern end of the Strip, diners don hospital gowns before placing their orders with waitresses clad in revealing retro nurses uniforms. Menu items include the half-pound coronary dog, beer-battered onion rings deep-fried in pure lard, “Flatliner” fries, and drinks like IV bags of wine, syringe and pill bottle shots, and shakes containing “the world’s highest butterfat content.” Word of warning: If a customer fails to finish his or her meal, they will often receive a paddling from the waitress. Oh, and customers who weigh over 350 pounds eat for free — because how can that go wrong?
Hofbräuhaus is Las Vegas’ first and only German beer hall and restaurant, so if you’re looking for big beer steins slung by Bavarian-dress-wearing waitresses in a large, high-ceilinged establishment, then look no further. Unlike a lot of other theme restaurants, the fare here is actually German-inspired, and not just American cuisine with altered names. Guests can start with Bavarian potato soup or a jumbo pretzel, before moving on to giant pork sausages with sauerkraut, chicken schnitzel sandwiches, currywurst, and a multitude of other related options. Hofbräuhaus is located just off the Strip on Paradise Road neat the UNLV campus.
Marrakech Mediterranean Restaurant
Just off the strip is the first Moroccan restaurant in the state of Nevada, Marrakech Mediterranean Restaurant, which first opened back in 1979 by master chef Mustafa Alioua. To create a full Moroccan experience, the restaurant serves a six-course meal to diners in an ornately-designed, colorfully-lit tent while surrounded by belly dancers as music plays in the background. The prix fixe meal costs $50 per person, and includes Mediterranean shrimp scampi, harira soup (with lentils, rice, lemon, and spices), the Marrakech Sampler (hummus, baba ghannouj, olives, cucumbers, and marinated carrots), beef kabob, a couscous and chicken platter, and a Moroccan banana, nut, and chocolate pastry for dessert.
One of the most famous theme restaurants in the city (and other cities, since it has nine locations worldwide), Planet Hollywood might not actually be where you think it is. Although Las Vegas has the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, the restaurant is actually located in The Forum at Caesars. Regardless, the interior is exactly what you’d expect: movie memorabilia from action films like Terminator, suspense flicks like Misery, sports tales like Rocky, and comedies, like Mike Myers’ jogging suit from Austin Powers: Goldmember. They even have a train (from Under Siege 2) hanging from the ceiling. Diners can opt for outdoor patio seating overlooking the Strip while munching on Buffalo wings, potato skins, chicken sandwiches, burgers (including a 10-ounce kobe beef version), hand-tossed pizzas, fajitas, teriyaki salmon, and fried lasagna.
One of the few Las Vegas theme restaurants that is aimed at kids as well as adults, Rainforest Cafe features plants, waterfalls, mist, and figures of different animals meant to give diners the experience of eating deep in the jungle. Some of the animals (which include elephants, tigers, gorillas, jaguars, snakes, and crocodiles) are animatronic, moving and making sounds to entertain and delight guests. The menu is extensive, but mostly contains the usual American fare with some Latin American twists — so chicken strips, barbecue bacon cheeseburgers, and Portobello wraps are served alongside beef lava nachos, shrimp tacos, and fajitas. There’s also a kids menu with hot dogs, sliders, grilled cheese, and pizza.
A Russian-themed restaurant might initially seem like an odd idea, especially since it’s one of the only depictions of Soviet culture in America, but somehow Mandalay Bay’s Red Square makes it work. Just walk past the decapitated (and bird dropping-covered) Lenin statue and through the large stone columns to enter one of the Czarist palace-themed dining rooms and begin your meal. The cuisine isn’t really Russian, with the menu instead containing renamed dishes that fit the theme, but there are some Asian-influenced dishes. Notable examples include “Siberian” nachos (wonton chips with smoked salmon, wasabi cream, chive, and tobiko), braised short rib dumplings, a “Czar” (Caesar) salad, Chicken Kiev, short rib stroganoff, braised lamb shank, pan-roasted salmon, and a 20-ounce bone-in ribeye. The biggest draw, however, is the vodka list containing over 200 brands from over two dozen countries. Guests can don fur coats when visiting the vodka vault and frozen ice bar.