January 21, 2014
When it comes to culinary delights, the Las Vegas Strip offers some of the world’s finest by the most iconic chefs around. But, if you know anything about Las Vegas, you already know this. You probably have a mental list of Vegas restaurants you can’t wait to experience or to return to soon. You’re starting to get hungry just thinking about it, aren’t you? Well, this article won’t help. In fact, you’ll probably only become hungrier. But, don’t stop reading because, if you do, you’ll miss out on discovering something about dining in Vegas you don’t know – there’s a culinary revolution underway in the city’s quickly evolving downtown cityscape.
There was a time not too long ago when Downtown Vegas dining was known only for being the home of cheap eats. The height of dining here was, for the most part, grabbing a tasty .99 cent shrimp cocktail, maybe indulging in a deep-fried Oreo or Twinkie (or both). Or, heading to Du-Par’s inside Golden Gate hotel and casino for a stack of pancakes so divine they’ve been named the best in the US.
Sure, downtown has always offered a handful of everyman steakhouses, too, but if you wanted truly distinctive dining, you had to trade downtown’s Fremont Street for the refinement of The Strip.
A few miles from the bright lights of downtown’s renowned Fremont Street, MTO Cafe is revving up taste buds in a whole new way with Made-To-Order flair. Much of the menu can be tailored to what guests are craving at that moment. For example, eggs can be ordered with a range of extra ingredients and that’s before you need to decide if you’d like a wrap, a skillet or an omelette. Or, leave yourself in the staff’s imaginative hands by going with the much-lauded Thanksgiving Burger, an open-face patty topped with truffle stuffing and orange-cranberry sauce, or the Fat Elvis, a French toast “˜sandwich’ filled with bacon, peanut butter, bananas, and Nutella and garnished with berries.
Another downtown cafe simply named EAT should also be taken as a piece of trusted advice. From Shrimp and Grits and Killer Grilled Cheese to a to-die-for Truffled Egg Sandwich, this self-dubbed breakfast and lunch joint is just too good to be off your radar.
Considered one of the best vegan/vegetarian destinations in town, Bronze Cafe is well off the usual tourist track when visiting the Downtown Vegas dining scene, but is well worth the effort it might take to get there. Tucked inside The Center, the city’s gay and lesbian community centre, Bronze Cafe’s menu changes regularly depending on the availability of fresh ingredients but is always filled with sandwiches, soups, and salads that are as colourful as they are flavourful.
Closer to downtown’s typical tourist destinations, the charming Container Park – a fitting descriptor for an outdoor plaza in which businesses are housed in shipping containers – features several dining spots but only one should win your patronship, Simply Pure. The tiny raw food eatery is located on the second level and can be easily overlooked. The yummy healthy bites (and free samples!) offered here, however, should have everyone seeking it out.
Lastly, a short stroll away, Nacho Daddy serves up some of the most delectable street tacos in the town. The kind where you look at your dining companion with eyes rounded in surprise and they met your gaze with the same look. Yep. That good. Now, who’s ready to eat?
Header photo: EAT © Rebecca Frisch
Have you already discovered new offerings in downtown Vegas dining scene? Share your favourite find in the comments below!
Written by Rebecca Frisch