It’s always a crazy time when a big show or event is in town. Getting restaurant reservations – or being able to walk in, for that matter – can be impossible. So for those who have asked, here (in alphabetical order) are our favorite places to eat and drink away from the Strip, and why we love them. Many of them are open late (read: until 2 or 3am), so they’re ideal for after-show or after-shift dining. Mileage given is distance from the Venetian (DFV); ymmv. Bonus: excellent food, unpretentious surroundings, and for most of them you’ll likely save more on your bill than you’ll spend on the taxi or Uber.
Black Sheep. Chef Jamie Tran (a veteran of Charlie Palmer’s Aureole and Daniel Boulud’s DB Brasserie) has created a Franco-American-Vietnamese menu, which finds its equal in the inventive cocktail program. The vibe is casual and as with most places on this list, the price is reasonable. Lots of Strip chefs and somms spend their nights off here. DFV: 11 miles.
Carson Kitchen. Downtown eatery founded by the late, great chef Kerry Simon. Delicious small plates, burgers, mac-n-cheese. Three words for you: fried chicken skins. No reservations and some tables are community style. Bonus: head around the corner to the Downtown Cocktail Room after. DFV: 3.6 miles.
District One: In the same shopping center as EDO (see below). Recent and much-lauded addition to the Vegas dining scene. Predominantly Vietnamese Asian fusion menu, and insanely delicious Vietnamese iced coffees. Open until 3am. DFV: 3.3 miles.
EDO Gastro Tapas. If how frequently you dine somewhere is indicative of its place in your personal ranking, as of March 2019 EDO’s at the top of our list. One of the owners (Roberto Liendo) is almost always at the front of the (quite small) house. Chef Oscar Amador turns out spectacular food. The 10-course tapas tasting menu (vegetarian and vegan versions available) is a steal at $55 and among the best deals in town right now. Thoughtful, reasonable wine list, plus a G&T cart and house-made Sangria. DFV: 3.3 miles.
Ferraro’s. Arguably the best Italian food in the city (there’s a reason it’s been around over 30 years), and a whopping Italian wine list with which to wash it down. Lunch M-F; dinner and Happy Hour (4pm–7pm) daily. Note: From 11pm – 3am (!) in the bar lounge and patio, discounted bar and tasting menus are available, with wine’s 50% off by the bottle. Across the street from the Hard Rock Hotel. DFV: 2 miles.
Flock & Fowl. This restaurant’s original incarnation, a tiny lunch-only spot, drew raves for it’s Hainanese Chicken Rice. Since then, owners Jenny and Sheridan Su (he’s the chef) moved to much more spacious digs downtown at The Ogden, where they offer an expanded menu and full bar. Open Mon-Thu 5pm-11pm; Fri-Sat 11am-midnight; Sun 11am-11pm. DFV: 3.9 miles.
Golden Tiki. One of the best tiki bars in the country, with a menu overseen by Flock & Fowl’s Sheridan Su. One of the few places in town offering Dole Whip, and plenty of non-alcoholic fun to be had here as well. Open 24 hours, 7 days a week. DFV: 1.8 miles.
Herbs & Rye. Cocktail it like the locals do. Enjoy steak, sliders or a flatbread while you’re at it. Open for dinner Monday-Saturday with a full menu until 3am. Closed Sunday. DFV: 2.5 miles.
Hiroyoshi. While “superb restaurant in a nondescript strip mall” is in danger of becoming a Vegas cliche, it’s nonetheless true here. The owner (and stellar sushi chef) hails from Blue Ribbon at the Cosmo; his wife handles front of house. Dinner Tue-Sun from 5pm; lunch Thu-Fri only; the bento boxes, around $10, are one of the best deals in town. Closed Mondays. DFV: 5.6 miles.
Honey Salt. Seasonal farm to table menu, and a darling of Westside locals for both lunch and dinner. Owned and operated by LV restaurant power couple – and darned nice people, too – Elizabeth Blau and Kim Canteenwalla. Lunch and dinner daily. DFV: 9.1 miles.
Lamaii. Foodies and wine aficionados far and wide rejoiced when owner Bank Atcharawan (formerly of Lotus of Siam and Chada) decided to jump back into the restaurant game. His recently-opened Thai restaurant brings back some Chada favorites (like duck panang) along with new items. Some appeal to newbies, some to those who who like it hot. The wine list is, of course, nonpareil and super well priced. Open daily from 5pm-2am. DFV: 2 miles.
Marche Bacchus. Lakeside dining in Las Vegas not at Bellagio? Check. The longtime chef from Valentino supervising the menu? Check. A wine shop in front that serves as the “wine list” – just add $10 for corkage? Check. As in, check it out. Lunch and dinner daily. Free wine tasting on Saturdays (usually 11:30-1:30). DFV: 10.6 miles.
Mordeo. Fantastic wine bar (incuding sake and sangria), with delicious Spanish and Latin-inspired food fused with Japanese flair. Most seats are at the elongated L-shaped bar, although it’s also fun to request a kitchen counter seat to watch the chefs at work. Open M-F for lunch (OMG, the fried chicken!) and daily for dinner from 5pm-1am. DFV: 3 miles.
Other Mama. Fantastic seafood and cocktails. You’ll find many off-duty Strip chefs, somms and bartenders hanging out here. Book ahead because it’s small. 5pm-10pm Sun-Thu, 5pm-11pm Fri-Sat. DFV: 6.7 miles.
Partage. Fine French dining in a casual environment close to the Strip, from the team behind Eatt. The kitchen is helmed by partner Yuri Szarzewski, a winner of Chopped! and recently named top new chef of Nevada. Thoughtful and affordable wine list. 5pm-11pm Mon-Thu, 5pm-midnight Fri-Sat. Closed Sunday. DFV: 1.6 miles.
Raku. You don’t need me to sell this Japanese grill to you – just Google the number of “Best in Vegas” lists atop which it sits. Only seats 50 or so; calling ahead advised. Dinner only. Open until 3am, closed Sundays. DFV: 2.3 miles.
Raku Sweets. Sister of Raku. A sparkling, tiny restaurant that offers a gourmet “meal” of desserts. Looking to impress a client, vendor or boss with a sweet tooth? This is your place. Only seats 20 and doesn’t take reservations. Hold out for one of the dozen seats around the counter. Closed on Wednesdays. Open until midnight (9pm on Sundays). DFV: 2.3 miles.
The Patio. Desserts and tea only, but an amazing experience awaits. I recommend the red velvet Hong Kong waffle, with a scoop of your choice of homemade ice cream on the side, and blue lavender tea. Heaven. Open until 1am for your post-concert munchies. DFV: 4.1 miles.
Yui Edomae Sushi. Possibly one of the best sushi experiences you can have outside of Japan (and worth every one of the many, many pennies you’ll pay for it). Impeccable fish, impeccable service, extraordinary experience. Open for dinner only, Monday through Saturday, from 6pm to 10:30 pm (last seating). Reservations recommended. DFV: 1.9 miles.
Have fun, and bon appetit!
Notes: Originally published in January 2015 for friends attending CES. Most recent update: February 2020.