Las Vegas is nicknamed "Sin City" for a reason. Whether you're in town for a bachelor party, convention, or a poker tournament, at some point one of your friends will blurt out, "Let's go to a strip club!".
If you enjoy the sheer thrill of eating, then you're going to the best places in America to gorge yourself. Plus, if you're looking to save a few dollars, then Vegas buffets give you an opportunity to save a few bucks. And if you're totally broke and want to stuff your face with subpar food, then you can pay next to nothing for a trip to the buffet.
Several of the lower-end casinos like the Excalibur offer up “All Day” buffet passes which gives you access to the buffet at any time during the day. I would not recommend those establishments because those buffets have lower quality food and offer up little variety. However, if it's your last day in Vegas and you lost all of your money gambling or blew it at the Rhino, then an “All Day” pass gives you the best bang for the buck. Again, I wouldn't visit one of those buffets unless you are totally desperate.
Wicked Spoon (Cosmopolitan)
The Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan has been getting rave reviews ever since it opened. The Wicked Spoon bills itself as a “culinary dining hall”, which means even your most snobby foodie friends will still enjoy the experience.
The Wicked Spoon is decorated in a post-modern theme and reminds me of eating inside an art museum. The Wicked Spoon is unique because it serves food in smaller individual cast-iron dishes, which means you will have a fresh serving instead of wondering how long a specific dish has been sitting underneath a heat lamp.
The Wicked Spoon is more like a tasting menu of comfort food than a traditional buffet. Their mac-n-cheese is just like how your mother made it and the shrimp cocktail is served in small glasses. With popular buffets, you will have to stand in a very long line, but it's worth the wait, especially the dessert station which has 18 flavors of gelato.
Bacchanal (Caesar's Palace)
The Bacchanal is the newest upscale buffet to open its doors and it is one of the most expensive. The newly refurbished buffet cost $17 million to build. Most buffets in Vegas are tucked away in the farthest corner of the casino, but the massive-sized Bacchanal has more than 600 seats and it overlooks the Garden of the Gods pool, so you can ogle at sunbathing beauties during the day.
Bacchanal specializes in international cuisine (particularly Chinese, Mexican, and Italian) and has nine different stations including a pasta bar and a sushi area. The Bacchanal also boasts a full-service bar so you can order any specialty cocktail to go along with your meal. Although liquor is not included in your buffet price, you can pay extra to get all-you-can-drink beer and wine, which has become a haven for seasoned alcoholics looking for a bargain.
The dessert specialties at Bacchanal include soufflés and crème brûlée.
The Wynn is one of the higher-end casinos in Las Vegas, and the quality of the buffet reflects its elegance. The Wynn's buffet is considerably more expensive than its competitors on the Strip, but you'll discover that the higher price point keeps out the riff raff. Besides, it's worth every cent.
The Wynn's seafood specialty is Alaskan King Crab legs, which are flown in directly from Alaska. If you watch Deadliest Catch, there's a good chance that one of those king crabs ends up on someone's plate a couple days later.
It's not easy to find buffets for hardcore vegetarians, but the Wynn provides some exquisite vegan dishes. The Wynn's dessert station is among the best in Vegas. Try the bread pudding because it is divine.
Studio B at the M Resort
If you ask local residents what their favorite buffet is, they'll probably mention Studio B because they do not have to travel all the way to the Las Vegas Strip to indulge in a buffet experience.
Most of the casinos that cater to locals have affordable buffet prices, but the quality of food is mediocre. However, Studio B at the M Resort has an opposite philosophy as they actively pursue both locals and tourists who seek out fine cuisine at affordable prices.
The atmosphere at Studio B is wide open (as opposed to some claustrophobic buffets) and has live cooking demonstrations on giant screens. One of the cooler things that separates Studio B from its off-the-Strip competitors is an espresso bar.
The Bellagio's buffet is a personal favorite, although the consistency diminished in recent years. I have many good memories at the Bellagio because I covered a lot of poker tournaments and the poker staff is always very generous in giving players and media comps. Not only did we get a free buffet, we did not have to wait and got access to the head of the line.
The Bellagio's buffet was a trendsetter and became the first casino to offer its customers high-end all-you-can-eat cuisine. Since the Bellagio opened, several other opulent casinos opened its doors and have surpassed the Bellagio in overall quality. The Asian food is probably their best station and offers up both dim sum and sushi, while many health-conscious folks rave about the salad bar. I know people who go to the Bellagio buffet just to eat their prime rib. If you visit the buffet for weekend brunch, they offer up bottomless mimosas.
I get asked about poker rooms all the time. It's really hard to give someone a specific answer, because much like playing poker, it all “depends” on the situation. What constitutes a good poker room? I'm looking for terrible players with deep pockets, comfortable seats, good and quick dealers, and a knowledgeable floor staff to adjudicate disputes in a swift, fair manner.
Buffets and Las Vegas go hand-in-hand. Buffets represent the best and worst aspects of our self-indulgent culture of overconsumption. If you like to people watch, then a trip to the buffet is like a National Geographic special – spending time in the wildlife watching lions in the Serengeti feast on gazelles.
You're in downtown Las Vegas and either got really drunk and a taxi dropped you off there, or you opted to let your friend book a cheap vacation and ended up at one of the many seedy no-tell motels on East Fremont. Well do not fear, I have a couple of things you can do while you're slumming in Downtown Vegas…
When I was a kid, my parents told me they saw Elvis Presley perform in Las Vegas, so from a very young age I associated Las Vegas with musical spectacles and over-the-top performances. The King has been dead for several decades, but the modern-day headliners in Sin City are still heavyweights like Celine Dion and Elton John.
An entire culture in Las Vegas exists around pool parties. There's been a big push to capitalize on "day clubs" or massive gatherings poolside with lots of booze, lots of skin, and lots of loud music.
Las Vegas is one of the few places in America in which you can legally place a sports bet. You don't have to worry about getting scammed by an offshore book or dealing with shady local bookies. If you're a fan of any major sport or horse racing, you'll be able to wager on the outcome at different sports books in Las Vegas.
If you're visiting Las Vegas for an extended period of time, you might want to break up your holiday by scheduling a side trip. Las Vegas is a pretty crazy place and excessive indulgence has ruined too many people, which is why you sometimes need a vacation away from your Las Vegas vacation.
We've all hit the low point at some point in Las Vegas when you ran bad and lost all your money, whether it was the bad end of variance at the poker table or an annoying dealer cold-decked you at blackjack.