Culinary Genius: Las Vegas Leads the Way

By: Katie Manning

March 5, 2014

Las Vegas is, as many will testify, home to all sorts of guilty pleasures, and although the gambling and the nightlife might be the ones that spring to mind, don’t forget that the City of Sin is also a food lover’s dream.

The Strip is host to some of the world’s most talented chefs, including the likes of Joël Robuchon (and his two restaurants, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand) – named “˜Chef of the Century’ by the influential Guide Gault Millau.


Las Vegas Culinary Genius | Raku

Raku is a top restaurant off the main Strip © T.Tseng

At the same time, while high rollers still flock to the big-name, celebrity restaurants, there are now a number of different options in addition to full-on splurges. Las Vegas is changing as fast as most people’s luck on the tables, and many visitors are delving deeper into the city’s evolving restaurant scene. Even Eating Las Vegas, the city’s anticipated dining guide (known for refusing to put “celebrity over credibility”) now features several “off-Strip” inclusions in its list, like the well-rated Marche Bacchus and Raku.


Las Vegas Culinary Genius | Jaleo

Jaleo is popularising the Vegas tapas trend © Krista

Another newly established Vegas trend: huge, multi-hour tasting menus are on the decline, while small sharing plates are most definitely on the up. Restaurants like Jaleo and Julian Serrano are leading the way with petite yet elegant tapas plates. The only exception to this new rule might be the (literally) over-the-top menu at Dinner in the Sky – a dining experience more akin to a fairground ride, but which does have the benefit of faultless skyline views (due to the fact that diners are suspended 180 feet from the ground).


Culinary Genius Las Vegas | Wynn

Steve Wynn has helped kickstart the Vegas vegan trend at his venues © Jake Przespo

One more surprising Vegas trend: the increasing appreciation for the meat-free. Vegans used to have only the most ascetic dining options available when visiting the city, but no more. The trend was kick-started by hotel mogul Steve Wynn, who gave up animal products himself before insisting on providing plentiful vegan options in his venues. Now, the appreciation for the veggie has spread, and there’s even a new slate of vegan offerings at the Prime Steakhouse at the Bellagio.


Whether you’re after the glitzy and indulgent or prefer to dine on the healthier end of the spectrum, Las Vegas’ rapidly changing dining scene ensures that all stripes of visiting foodies are well catered to.


Feature image © somchaij/iStock/Thinkstock


Virgin Atlantic operates direct flights to Las Vegas from London Heathrow. Book your flight today.


Which of these restaurants would you most like to try? Which is a bigger Vegas draw: the casinos or the dining? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.


Katie Manning

Katie is an author for the Virgin Atlantic blog. Despite her urban London residency, Katie can often be found exploring far-flung corners of the globe in search of exciting new experiences and stories. A self-confessed night-owl, she makes it her mission to search out the best cocktail bars and live music venues on each and every expedition. Follow Katie @kt_saramanning

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