Each time we think Las Vegas’s dining scene has definitively made itself over, it turns around and reinvents itself. And its most recent spate of openings is the most exciting in a long time. From a book lover’s paradise to the latest and greatest at the Palms Casino Resort—and between them, new French and Spanish treasures in Chinatown—here are some of the best places to eat in Las Vegas right now.
NoMad Restaurant (3772 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-730-6785; dinner for two, $200*), which opened in November 2018, is hands down the place to dine right now. You can sit in a theatrical two-level library—its 25,000 books sourced from the late David Rockefeller’s personal collection—and order the roast chicken for two, stuffed with foie gras, black truffle, and brioche, or steak tartare prepared tableside. Afterward, you can cozy up in the velvet banquettes of NoMad Bar (3772 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-730-7000; brunch for two, $50). Or head there for brunch—the sturgeon tart with crème fraîche goes well with a side order of people-watching.
Don’t feel like standing on ceremony? Eataly (3770 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-730-7617; dinner for two, $30) debuted in December 2018 with a new counter-to-table concept: Cucina del Mercato. Pick out your ingredients from the appropriate counter, place your order, and watch your meal get prepared right in front of you. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with a crêpe or croissant from the dedicated Nutella counter. If you’d rather be seated in a more classic restaurant setting, try Eataly’s Manzo (dinner for two, $60), a restaurant centered on wood-fired grilling and sustainable meats that launched in mid-February.
Las Vegas got its groove back when West Coast Korean barbecue king Roy Choi opened Best Friend (3770 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-730-7777; dinner for two, $50) in December. Visitors enter through a funky neon room that looks like a liquor store and pass into a dining room inspired by a Korean spa. A menu of Choi’s hits remastered from previous projects includes a truly delicious tamarind cod hot pot and hilarious over-the-top cocktails like a Hennessy and cola from the slushie machine.
Spring Mountain Road
Historically, Las Vegas’s Chinatown has centered around Spring Mountain Road, just west of the Strip. But more recently the area has evolved into a destination for all kinds of culinary traditions. Chef Kai Vu, whose popular District One and Le Pho have helped reshape the city’s food scene, recently opened the Japanese-inflected Spanish tapas and wine bar Mordeo (5420 Spring Mountain Rd.; 702-545-0771; dinner for two, $60), inspired by his travels to Barcelona. You’ll find Ibérico pork skewers grilled on bincho-tan (a kind of charcoal used in Japanese cooking) and Okinawan potato gnocchi alongside sashimi and Spanish charcuterie. With a last seating at 1 a.m., it has become a local late-night go-to.
If you’re in the mood for a tasting menu, consider French restaurant Partage (3839 Spring Mountain Rd.; 702-582-5852; dinner for two, $160), by Chopped winner Yuri Szarzewski. One of the draws is the reasonable price tag: The omakase-style tasting menus start at just $80 for five courses, and they star dishes like spiced poached-pear puree, white fish Wellington, and foie gras–stuffed squab.
West Flamingo Road
A little south of Spring Mountain Road lies another major corridor, Flamingo Road, whose restaurant scene is also heating up. Scotch 80 Prime (4321 W. Flamingo Rd.; 702-942-7777; dinner for two, $150), named for the Scotch 80s neighborhood, was one of the most exciting restaurant openings of the past year. The buzz isn’t likely to die down anytime soon. Waiters serve cuts of Kobe beef, mesquite-fired crustacean towers, steak tartare with quail egg and pretzel toast, and—perhaps most exciting of all—selections from the restaurant’s $3 million whiskey collection.
Some of the best views of the Strip can be seen from the 56th floor of the Palms, at Vetri Cucina (4321 W. Flamingo Rd.; 702-944-5900; dinner for two, $120), the second location of James Beard award winner Marc Vetri’s namesake hit. Wild boar ragù with chestnut fettuccine, a Vetri signature, makes an appearance on the menu, as does his legendary Philadelphia dish, a sweet-onion crêpe with white-truffle fondue. Between the food, the handblown Murano glass chandeliers, and the view, you may not know where to look. Take it all in.
- *Estimated meal prices do not include drinks, tax, or tip.
- NOTE: Information may have changed since publication. Please confirm key details before planning your trip.
- Published: March 2019