My 12 Favorite Restaurants Off the Strip in Las Vegas
From Breton pastries to hand-pulled noodles and Detroit pizza, you can dine around the world off the Strip, too.
I was never a fan of Las Vegas. Joke’s on me—now that my parents have permanently relocated to the Ninth Island, I call it home two weeks out of the year. I don’t gamble, nor do I seek out the shows. I do a little shopping, but after catching up on much-needed sleep and cuddles with the dogs, eating takes up most of my agenda. Luckily for me, Vegas knows food.
We go off The Strip to explore parts of the valley between Chinatown and Summerlin, with the occasional visit to downtown Las Vegas and the edges of Henderson. These Las Vegas area restaurants are favorites I look forward to visiting each time.
Al Solito Posto
This grand restaurant at Tivoli Village is a bastion of Roman sensibility with East Coast roots. Inside is a gorgeous bar with Vegas’ best Negroni menu and soft lighting accentuating the huge dining room. The fare skews toward red sauce Italian with servings that rival Buca di Beppo and much tastier. It’s from the mind of James Trees, aka the chef-owner of Esther’s Kitchen in Downtown, after all. Al Solito’s seasonal menu revolves around fresh handmade pasta, like rigatoni alla vodka with spicy Italian sausage ($29) and silky pappardelle bolognese ($31), and entrées including lamb shank osso bucco ($44) and chicken marsala ($31). Even the warm foccacia bread shouldn’t be missed. For dessert, the Italian Rainbow cake ($14) with scoops of gelato ($10) makes you feel like it’s your birthday even when it’s not. Attentive service and an intimate ambiance make this one of my favorite places in Vegas.
Open Monday to Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m., Friday to Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4 to 11 p.m. Inside Tivoli Village, 420 S Rampart Blvd. #180, Summerlin
Baguettes, croissants, brioche and crepes galore: Café Breizh is where we go when we’re in the mood for Breton and French pastries and sandwiches. This is one of my parents’ regular spots in Summerlin. For the quality and value, it does not disappoint. For Christmas, we stock up on croissants and eclairs from the case (from $4.50), plus a loaf of gruyere and bacon sourdough bread ($7.50) to eat with butter. It’s all tough to resist. Breakfast and lunch are casual affairs, especially when you go early on weekdays. The Croque Madame ($12) and peanut butter crepes ($7) are almost too good to be true.
Open Monday to Thursday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday to Sunday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., 3555 S. Fort Apache Road #141, Summerlin, cafebreizh.com
D E Thai Kitchen
A hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurant on an eerily quiet street near West Charleston Boulevard and South Third Street, D E Thai Kitchen is a happy discovery. For as small as it is, it sure punches above its weight class when it comes to food and service. My pad si ew with crispy pork ($16) reminds me of what I’d order in Los Angeles’ Thai Town. The curries are rich and full of protein and veg, I don’t think you could mess up with any order. Dining in is quick for an 18-seat restaurant, and takeout is a solid choice, especially after a day of shopping at the nearby outlets.
Multiple locations, dethaikitchen.com
Gäbi Coffee & Bakery
Nothing prepared me for what lies beyond the heavy wooden door to Gäbi Coffee and Bakery in Chinatown. An entire greenhouse (the kitchen) sits in the middle of this warehouse-loft chic café with a mix of post-Chosun era décor and antique western touches. There are loads of seating arrangements from high-top tables to armchairs, sofas and even a set of bleachers at the back. The menu is extensive and changes with the seasons, but standouts are the epic sandwiches, milles crepe cakes and espresso coffee drinks. Favorites include the open-face crunchy turkey salad sandwich ($13), grilled ham and cheese sandwich ($15) and the Galaxy Lemonade ($7.50).
Open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., 5808 Spring Mountain Road Suite 104, Chinatown, (702) 331-1144, gabicafe.com
Guerrilla Pizza Co.
Guerrilla Pizza Co. wasn’t an easy find, but if someone is making Detroit pizza, I’m seeking them out. Tucked in the Hard Hat Lounge, a dive bar near the North Outlets, Guerrilla is possibly the only Detroit pizza game in Sin City. Pies are consistent, loaded with toppings and framed with the signature crust of Wisconsin brick cheese. Every slice is a corner, so everyone’s happy. We tried a pepperoni mushroom pizza ($21) to go, and realizing it was actually very good, returned a couple of days later and bought two pies and garlic knots. They survived the 30-minute drive home and kept my lap warm before being devoured in record time. The Gorilla Knots ($7) with marinara dip make for a good sidekick to the square pie when feeding more than a couple of people.
Open daily from 12 to 11:30 p.m., 1675 S. Industrial Road, Downtown, (725) 777-2949, guerrillapizzaco.com
SEE ALSO: Find Detroit- and Brooklyn-Style Pizzas at Chinatown’s New Slice Shop
Juan’s Flaming Fajitas
Is the whole tableside flame show a gimmick? Possibly. But how can you pass up Juan’s when the two-choice weekday lunch combos come in under $13? The pork tamales covered in salsa verde and Ranchero crispy tacos al pastor are my go-to picks and come with rice, beans and a basket of hot tortilla chips. Even if you’re not getting the flaming fajitas, the tables around you most likely are, so you can still enjoy the show.
Multiple locations, juansflamingfajitas.com
Katsuya Ton Ton
Katsuya Ton Ton is the best katsu restaurant I’ve been to outside of Japan and Hawai‘i. For the price point, which rivals that of Tamafuji in Honolulu, you can expect huge portions and it’s all very good. The tonkatsu tenderloin is bursting with juicy goodness while the seafood katsu is a treasure trove of delights. I also recommend the scallop katsu a la carte ($14) for a little something extra to add to your teishoku sets. One of the reasons it might be so good is the owner has ties to Japan and Hawai‘i, having previously worked at a famous katsu-ya in Waikīkī.
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 8:30 p.m., 7225 S. Durango Dr. Suite 105, Rhodes Ranch, (702) 605-4402, tontonlv.com
SEE ALSO: Kaimukī’s Nana Ai Katsu Finally Opens for Dine-In
New Asian BBQ
New Asian BBQ, or Tân Tùng Ký as it’s known in Vietnamese, is that restaurant. You know, the family-run spot in the tiniest Chinatown strip mall with 10 parking stalls that are always full and an outrageous line outside. But you go because it is worth the hassle it takes to get crispy roast pork, huge siumai, and all you need for a New Year’s Eve feast. Because of the weather and the crowds, we get takeout, but inside, New Asian BBQ is like a portal to Hong Kong—round tables with lazy susans filled with platters of roast duck, baskets of dim sum and noodles for days. If you’ve tried Ping Pang Pong and you’re looking for a humbler experience, this is your spot.
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., 150 Spring Mountain Road Suite 16, Chinatown, (702) 202-2262
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Many of the Station Casinos have an Oyster Bar branch. The most famous of them all is the 24-hour location in the Palace Station, which often has hours-long lines at all times of the day. My parents live closer to Santa Fe Station, which is where we go for our pan roast fix. Pan roast is neither a soup nor a stew, but something closer to a runny gumbo. It’s warm, full of shellfish and can be spicy. Ripe for a piece of crusty bread or a bowl of rice, pan roast is comfort grinds to the max.
Multiple locations, stationcasinos.com
Shàng Artisan Noodle
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This spot gets a lot of hype and I’ll gladly tell you it’s 100% real. Hand-pulled noodles, silky wontons, spicy soup noodles and a mighty wok hay fried rice that’ll blow your socks off: It’s all here at Shang Artisan Noodle, a cozy noodle bar with a view of the kitchen action. I especially love watching cooks pull noodles for each order, producing chewy strands in a crimson beef broth. Pan-fried pork dumplings burst with juiciness (that’s your warning) and the Shang Fried Rice, with minced pork and loads of savoriness, are worth stretching for, even if you need to take home leftovers. If you can handle the numbing spice, the dan dan noodles are also a must-try. Go during off-hours for less of a wait, otherwise prepare to queue up.
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., 4983 W. Flamingo Road, Suite B, Chinatown, (702) 888-3292, shangartisannoodle.com
SEE ALSO: Find Fresh, Spicy, Hand-Pulled Noodle Bowls at These O‘ahu Farmers Markets
The Bagel Café
The Bagel Café sounds like it could be your average mom-and-pop bagel shop, but it is far from average. It just might be Vegas’ best Jewish deli. Pastrami reubens, knishes, lox, schmears and matzo ball soup: There’s a breakfast diner off to the side and, as you might expect, upwards of 29 different bagels to choose from, most $2 apiece. Sharing is encouraged if you’re need to be active after your meal here.
Open Tuesday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday to Monday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., 301 N. Buffalo Dr., Summerlin, (702) 255-3444, thebagelcafelv.com
EggWorks and The Egg & I
Breakfast is a sacred meal in our house, probably because we’ve always been morning people. So when we’re up early but don’t feel like cooking up a feast ourselves, The Egg and I is where we go. It’s a peculiar mix of Anna Miller’s and Koa Pancake House, with a solid menu in the form of a tabloid newspaper. Eggs are the specialty here, so definitely order them. They also serve Portuguese sausage, but not sliced into rounds—it’s an entire sausage split down the middle.
Multiple locations, theeggworks.com