Dim Sum Feast at Ping Pang Pong in Las Vegas Restaurants

Las Vegas Restaurants – 5 Recommendations

In Restaurants, West by Daryl Hirsch62 Comments

There are so many great Las Vegas restaurants both on and off the strip. Here are five that we recommend.

During a recent dinner in the Serpico dining room on South Street in Philadelphia, a strange silence overcame our table. We weren’t just eating with a friend, we were dining with Jim Begley, engineer by day and restaurant critic for the Las Vegas Weekly by night.

Jim asked the one question that would cause a certain amount of discomfort for the 2foodtrippers, me in particular.

“Daryl, how come you still haven’t written about your time in Las Vegas last year?”

The question burned at me. For months and months, my brother Lou has badgered me (especially on Facebook) about not writing about my Las Vegas experiences, but hearing the question from Begley brought the point home. Not only did I eat great food in Sin City, but I also took some great pictures at the various Las Vegas restaurants. Each meal experience was unlike the last. However, what happened in Vegas truly did stay in Vegas…

…Until now.

It is finally time for me to share my photos from my trip.

My 5 Recommended Las Vegas Restaurants

1.  Raku – The Closest Experience to Tokyo in a Strip Mall

Yes, I said strip mall.

Raku in Las Vegas. Las Vegas Restaurants


Raku Grill, a favorite among Las Vegas restaurant folk, is an intimate restaurant that features a range of Japanese classics like the prettiest and tastiest plate of sashimi outside of Japan as well as a range of plates prepared low and slow on Raku’s robotayaki grill.

I feasted at Raku Grill with a local power trio – the aforementioned Jim Begley, Celebrity Chef Sammy DeMarco and restaurant veteran Lou Hirsch. During the dinner, we touched on all corners of the wide-ranging menu.

Esteemed Dining Companions at Raku in Las Vegas. Las Vegas Restaurants

Esteemed Dining Companions

Some of the highlights included the aforementioned sashimi, perfectly rare kobe beef skewers and a large hunk of  melt-in-your-mouth grilled beef tendon.

Kobe Skewers, Sashimi and Beef Tendon Raku Las Vegas. Las Vegas Restaurants

Kobe Skewers, Sashimi and Beef Tendon

Raku Grill is located at 5030 W Spring Mountain Rd #2, Las Vegas, NV 89146, United States.

2.  Sweets Raku – Desserts Done with Japanese Finesse

After a wonderful meal at Raku Grill, dessert is right around the parking lot corner. Literally. Sweets Raku’s Chef Mio Ogasawara meticulously prepares a culinary sweets nightcap straight out of a Tokyo Depachika. And it all starts with an edible menu.

Edible Menu at Sweets Raku Las Vegas. Las Vegas Restaurants

Edible Desert Menu

Our desserts at Sweets Raku included an elaborate cheese plate with artfully sculpted blue cheese, honeycomb and candied pecans. Las Vegas. Las Vegas Restaurants

Our desserts at Sweets Raku included an elaborate cheese plate with artfully sculpted blue cheese, honeycomb and candied pecans.

Raku Sweets is located at 5040 W Spring Mountain Rd, Spring Valley, NV 89146, United States.

3.  Estiatorio Milos – Greek Lunch on The Strip

There are some great values on The Strip if you know where to find them, even at chic spots like The Cosmopolitan.

Greek chef Estiatorio Milos offers an excellent three-course lunch for $22.14. While dining at Estiatorio Milos on my own, I enjoyed a fresh tomato salad with feta cheese, a whole fish grilled to a perfect char and a simple greek yogurt with fruit.

Greek Salad, Lavraki and Greek Yogurt Milos Las Vegas. Las Vegas Restaurants

Greek Salad, Lavraki and Greek Yogurt

Esiatorio Milo is located in the Cosmopolitan at 3708 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, United States. 

Bonus Recommendation – International Marketplace

Las Vegas has a thriving international community, many of whom work at the casinos. Few markets have as varied a selection as International Marketplace. The enormous market proves that you CAN get everything in the desert.

International Marketplace in Las Vegas. Las Vegas Restaurants

International Marketplace

International Marketplace is located at 5000 S Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89118, United States.

4.  Ping Pang Pong – Dim Sum at the Gold Coast Casino

Not all meals need to be elegant to be good. Such was the case with my dim sum lunch with Jim Begley at Ping Pang Pong at the Gold Coast Casino. Masquerading as a mall-like eatery and located directly off an aging casino floor, Ping Pang Pong is serving authentic dim sum Chinese food that transported me straight back to the crowded Hong Kong streets.

Dim Sum Treats at Ping Pang Pong. Las Vegas Restaurants

Dim Sum Treats

A benefit of not dining solo for this meal was that I got to try more dishes. And then some more.

Dim Sum Feast at Ping Pang Pong in Las Vegas. Las Vegas Restaurants

Dim Sum Feast

Ping Pang Pong is located at the Gold Coast Casino at 4000 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103, United States.

5. Sambalatte – Coffee Fix in Summerlin

As a bit of a coffee snob, I seek out good coffee whenever I travel. My nose took me to Sambalatte in Summerlin for globally sourced, locally roasted coffee. Sambalatte is a good spot to enjoy a pour over right next to some of Vegas’ most colorful characters.

Coffee at Sambalatte in Las Vegas. Las Vegas Restaurants

Coffee at Sambalatte

Sambalatte now has multiple locations. Check their website for the best location that is best for you.

Fear not if you’re flying out to Las Vegas in the next couple months or even the next couple of years. The city may be in the middle of the desert, but that hasn’t restricted multicultural chefs from cooking great food both on and off the strip. Food options have exploded not only with big name restaurateurs on the strip but also with food establishments throughout the entire metropolitan area.

There are many great Las Vegas restaurants at every price point, so there’s no need to eat at the casino buffets (unless you’re into casino buffets).

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  1. Hi there, I love Milos in NY so glad to hear it is just as good in Las Vegas! Next time try the WIcked Spoon in the Cosmo hotel – it’s the new wave of buffets! AMAZING!

    1. We’re not normally buffet people, but we’ll check the Wicked Spoon out on our next visit. Thanks for the tip!

    1. Thanks Kristin! You really must make time for at least one special meal the next time that you’re in Las Vegas, especially if you’re there on business. We can happily make more recommendations for you – just let us know.

    1. There are so many great places to eat in Vegas, that is for sure.

    1. FYI, you can enjoy dessert Sweets Raku even if you don’t eat dinner at Raku.

    1. So true. We always try to get good restaurant recommendations when we visit a city.

    1. Get the dessert tasting menu. That way you don’t have to choose. Problem solved.

    1. We’d rather give our money for great food than to the casinos. Glad you enjoyed the list!

    1. We used to think the same about Vegas. However, now that we have friends and family there, we can honestly say that there’s a lot more to Vegas than just the strip.

  2. I’m glad you decided to share this! These are some great suggestions- I’ve never been to Vegas but I imagine there is a ton (of everything) to choose from so this looks like a great place to get some ideas. That dessert menu looks yummy!
    Hannah recently posted…The Best of NiceMy Profile

    1. Vegas definitely has a ton of everything. When you go there one day, you surely won’t be bored.

    1. There’s a lot to Vegas off of the strip. Hopefully you’ll get to check out some off-the-strip restauarants on your next trip.

    1. Have a fantastic weekend in Vegas!!! Hopefully you’ll have time to check out some of the wonderful restaurants while you’re there.

    1. Thanks for sharing the article with your Las Vegas loving friends!

    1. There are many great restaurants in Las Vegas. These are just five to try first.

  3. Great tips – I did my first trip to Vegas last year and was totally overwhelmed by the amount of places to eat there, so it’s good to have some recommendations, especially of the more unusual options (how good is a menu you can eat!).
    Lucy recently posted…Ancient Olympia: Let the Games beginMy Profile

  4. Thanks for this! We will likely be heading to Vegas soon. I lived there for 5 years, about 5 years ago though, and don’t remember any of these! I look forward to heading back and enjoying some of the wide range of foods!
    Simone recently posted…Flashback Friday: New ZealandMy Profile

  5. Everything you ate looks like a masterful work of art. Whenever we go to Vegas we rarely leave the strip because we automatically go towards the restaurants that are in the hotels, but clearly some of the best bites can be found off the strip. Thank you for sharing! Raku has made it onto my must-try list:)
    Susan recently posted…How to Travel to Siem Reap from BangkokMy Profile

  6. Whenever I think Vegas, I think gambling and greasy all you can eat buffets. This post gave me another perspective.
    Sandra @ Tripper recently posted…Antwerp by Bon BagageMy Profile

  7. Thanks so much for the handy hints! Vegas is spread from top to bottom in restaurants so it’s good to pick out a few that top the cake. I’ve been to Vegas many times so now I have an excuse to return and try out some fancy eats, but will always include a reservation at a Mexican restaurant while in Las Vegas.
    Carissa – Start Wandering recently posted…Wandering About Chasing the DreamMy Profile

  8. This is great. There is a lot of good food in Las Vegas, but I think it’s often missed because people usually just stay along the Strip. I know the Chinese food is good, but never had Japanese food off the Strip. Will definitely check out Raku next time I’m there.


    1. You should make a reservation for Raku in advance, especially since the New York Times recently wrote about it. Have a great trip!

  9. This is a very interesting side of Las Vegas!!! If we will touch this city in the future (we hope to make a coast to coast sooner or later) we will try it!!! 🙂

  10. raku grill looks like a jewel in the rough…those desserts..omg! i feel that same way about sergio’s italian gardens. hidden in a little outdated strip mall. thanks for the suggestions.

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