Las Vegas has come a long, long way from 99-cent shrimp cocktails and all-you-can-eat buffets. Sin City is now one of America’s very best (and most expensive) cities for foodies, thanks to a wealth of restaurants opened by famous, award-winning, Michelin-star touting celebrity chefs – many of whom have multiple establishments around town.
More than 50 celebrity chef restaurants now feed the ravenous hoards in Vegas where there are 2,300 restaurants to choose from. To avoid a risky gamble, here are your best bets.
For truly great New American cuisine, it doesn’t get any better than this Vegas twin to the NYC restaurant that earned Charlie Palmer the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef in America. Great for: Superb price-is-no-object dining, gawking at the four-story wine tower. Mandalay Bay; $$$$
Foodies go nuts for Jose Andres’ molecular gastronomy and charcuterie magic. You just can’t find things like the James Beard honoree’s liquid green olives or cotton candy foie gras anywhere else. Great for: Hip vibe, carnivore pleasures, making vegetarians reconsider. Sahara Las Vegas (formerly SLS Hotel & Casino); $$$
The new kid on the block is Roy Choi, king of the gourmet food truck and Netflix star of The Chef Show. His supercool restaurant lounge is a flavor-packed homage to his Korean roots, lust for tacos and love of all things ‘80s and ‘90s from hip-hop to bibimbop. ‘I hope all guests lick their fingers with their mouths full saying “holy shit,”‘ Choi says. Great for: Good vibes, loud music, late night dining. Park MGM; $$
Perfection on a plate at this traditional Lyonnaise-style French bistro by the fastidious Chef Hubert Keller. Great for: Chalkboard specials, marvelous brunches, unique Vin de Carafe wine program. (PS: For $5,000, high rollers can sink their teeth into the world’s most expensive burger at Keller’s Fleur bistro in Mandalay Bay.) Venetian; $$$
The very first restaurant from Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis serves heaping helpings of California-influenced Italian fare. Great for: Indulgent brunch and lunch carbo-packing with an elevated view of the central Strip. The Cromwell; $$$
Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar
‘Go big or go home’ is the motto here for elevated and wacky junk food by big personality celebrity chef Guy Fieri of Diners Drive-ins and Dives. No subtleties here. Just in-your-face tacos, ‘Trashcan Nachos,’ burgers and fried stuff. Great for: Anything-goes groups, loud families, enormous Bloody Marys. The Linq; $$
The world’s richest chef, Gordon Ramsay, has five restaurants in town, but none is better or more entertaining than this impressive showcase with its stage-like kitchen and teams led by a Hell’s Kitchen season winner. Great for: Celebrations, photo ops, revelatory sticky toffee pudding. Caesars Palace; $$$
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After his success with Sage at ARIA, Iron Chef America winner Shawn McClain teamed up with master mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim for this lively gastropub. Great for: A buzzing happy-hour, interactive cocktail experiences. Mandalay Bay; $$
Southwestern cuisine by celebrity chef Bobby Flay spices things up with standouts like his ancho chile honey-glazed salmon, and 22-ounce chipotle rib-eye. Great for: Pre-show dinners and margaritas near the Colosseum theater. Caesars Palace; $$$
Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House
Beloved Louisiana chef Emeril Lagasse knew that Las Vegas needed an authentic Naw’lins joint so – BAM! – he brought his signature dishes plus gumbo, BBQ shrimp, and Creole-seasoned steaks. Great for: Kicking the flavor up a notch in a casual open-air respite away from the noisy casino. MGM Grand; $$$