We all love Vegas buffets, even if it’s more of a brief affinity for quantity over quality, and all of us can enjoy the oddball flair of a restaurant strangely tucked away inside the insanity of any casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
And while the strip offers something for everyone, there is a whole city beyond the lights full of great fare.
Here are six places away from the beautiful, glorious chaos of Las Vegas Boulevard where you can treat yourself to good eats, drinks, and chats.
Lotus of Siam
Once referred to as the best Thai in America by Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold (a title that few disagree with), this award-winning joint intrigues your tastebud by nailing the spice-driven wonder of northern Thai cuisine. It’s a move away from the potentially more notable sweet and tangy flavors of Bangkok Thai food. Spicy sausages, crispy duck, barbecued prawns, mouth-watering curries, and a score of vegetarian dishes make Lotus of Siam the Thai place to eat at if you’re anywhere near Sin City.
While eating clean in Sin City can be a challenge, this hot spot bounds to life with fresh, hand-picked ingredients, whether dinner or brunch.
DW Bistro is a renowned eatery for both Jamaican and new Mexican cuisine (think more of two killer restaurants in one, rather than a fusion dive). From succulent jerk chicken to braised short ribs that melt with bordelaise sauce, the menu creators — two dear friends — know they’ll see you here again when they open in their new location this month.
Aces and Ales
Inspired by the more classic gastropubs of Europe, this is the place to go for gourmet food that’s as heavy in flavor as the poured booze that pairs alongside its expansive food menu. It’s the sort of place that would prove equally exciting for a family’s young buck and its oldest crooner. Aces and Ales has two locations (East side and West side) and 70+ craft beers on tap between them, along with menu after menu of wines, scotches, whiskeys, and tequilas. They also have some signature cocktails, including a drink called “Sean Connery’s Therapist.” Eat, drink, and be stupefyingly merry here.
Here is one of those Italian spots that get passed on as a recommendation through generations of tourists like a family secret, even though it’s a well-known hot spot.
Everyone from Bill Clinton to Michael Jordan to Justin Timberlake has had a meal here. It celebrates the kind of atmosphere that encourages evenings of story swapping and laughs, where you’re practically old friends with the server by the time the check comes. Piero’s is old school in its history, its fame, and even its approach to food, as the menu hasn’t changed since the doors first swung open to welcome the Rat Pack.
Cugino’s Italian Deli & Pizza
Always ready to serve up authentic Italian meats (as well as vegetarian dishes), Cugino’s Italian Deli & Pizza is a legit spot that feels like it could’ve been helicoptered out of New York City and dropped in the Vegas desert. Happily put on pounds by devouring pasta, pizza, sandwiches, and desserts that taste as though they got made by a family dedicated to the culinary craft of the old country. This is the joint East Coasters either show off or sneak to when nobody’s looking on a weekend away.
A lighter affair of dishes that work nicely with handcrafted cocktails and homemade desserts, Honey Salt keeps a farm-to-table mentality even in one of the noisiest cities around. Bouncing from sweet potato gnocchi to a charred filet mignon, the menu invites members of any dining party to find exactly what they’re hoping for. It fills without overkill, as one of the few places in Sin City that won’t slow you down when you head back out for a wild night-turned-morning.