Sound the alarms! The Las Vegas food and drink scene is thriving Off the Strip. Check out our favorite Las Vegas restaurants away from the casinos and crowds. We include affordable places to eat Off the Strip in Vegas as well as some upscale options.
Las Vegas has evolved into a culinary destination with a variety of great places to eat and drink that don’t involve buffets, valet parking or slot machines. More than just a gambling destination, Las Vegas is one of the country’s best food cities.
Some of the top Las Vegas restaurants and bars aren’t in casinos. Instead, they’re located in various neighborhoods off the strip including Downtown Las Vegas, Spring Mountain (Vegas’ formidable Chinatown), Henderson and Summerlin.
Explore Downtown Las Vegas.
Many of the better off-strip restaurants don’t have large rooms or fancy decor. Pedigreed chefs are creating their own footprints in the city and achieving fanfare from both the rapidly growing local community and national media.
Look closely in Las Vegas and you’ll find excellent food in intimate settings, many operating with far fewer than 80 seats.
Since we have family in the area, we visit the city often but rarely go to the Las Vegas strip except for an occasional meal. What can we say – we’re not big gamblers and we despise buffets.
Instead, we spend our time in different neighborhoods, eating at some of the best Vegas restaurants off the strip where the locals eat.
Unsurprisingly, many of these locals are hospitality veterans who hail from places around the world including China, Thailand, Spain, Mexico, Japan, France and Italy. This eclectic workforce results in a wide variety of food available at every price from $ to $$$.
The challenge isn’t finding good places to eat off the strip. Rather, it’s knowing where to find the best Vegas off-strip dining locations and scoring reservations.
Table of Contents
- Notable Off The Strip Restaurants
- Esther’s Kitchen
- Black Sheep
- Other Mama
- Sparrow + Wolf
- EDO Gastro Tapas & Wine
- Rainbow Kitchen
- Kaiseki Yuzu
- Ada’s Wine Bar
- Lotus of Siam
- Carson Kitchen
- Herbs & Rye
- Cafe Breizh
- Siegel’s Bagelmania
- Half Bird Chicken & Beer
- Island Sushi & Grill
- Monzú Italian Oven + Bar
- Monta Ramen
- Fat Choy
- The Golden Tiki
- More Off the Strip Restaurants
- Las Vegas Off the Strip Restaurant FAQs
- Things to Do in Las Vegas
- Las Vegas Planning Checklist
Notable Off The Strip Restaurants
Las Vegas is famous for its plethora of celebrity chef-driven restaurants on the strip. While these esteemed restaurants attract visitors with uncapped expense accounts and big vacation budgets, savvy food travelers know that some of the best Las Vegas restaurants are located off the strip.
Our favorites spots include modern restaurants, steakhouses, global cuisine, cheap eats and bars. Read on to discover more than two dozen Las Vegas restaurants off the strip that are worth a rental car or Uber ride during your next visit to Sin City.
We heard a buzz in the air about James Trees’ new (at the time) farm-to-table Italian Restaurant in the underdeveloped Arts District area adjacent to Downtown Las Vegas in 2018. However, with limited time, we didn’t eat there.
In retrospect, we should have hightailed it to Esther’s Kitchen. It was like chili dust in our eyes every time we read its accolades. We planned to get there sooner but then, when the pandemic happened, four years passed before we could return to Vegas and eat at the lauded arts district restaurant.
It was worth the wait.
Esther’s Kitchen was everything we expected and more. Its vibe is both neighborhoody and edgy thanks to the restaurant’s open space, modern design elements and friendly staff. But, at the end of the day, eating at this downtown Vegas restaurant is all about the food.
We really shouldn’t be surprised by the quality of the food at Esther’s Kitchen. It all starts with Trees whose impressive resume includes stints working with Michael Mina, Brian Ogden, Gordon Ramsay, Eric Ripert and Alessandro Stratta. However, Trees’ original mentor was his Great Aunt Esther, who was also the chef’s benefactor and the namesake of his flagship restaurant.
Since Esther’s Kitchen’s original space is too small to keep up with its popularity, the trattoria is moving down the block to accommodate more people. A French bistro, Trees’ newest restaurant venture, will move into the original space – a true win-win for Las Vegas in general and the Arts District in particular.
The food at Esther’s Kitchen is best described as elegant Italian comfort food. It’s creative, fun and tastes great starting with house made sourdough bread served with one, two, three or every spread. We chose two – anchovy butter and nduja. Trees is serious about bread and his tasty sourdough loaves are a reflection of the restaurant’s mission.
The fun continues with comfort foods like meatballs and chopped salad. Pizzas are made with three-day sourdough crust while pastas run the gamut from old school to new school to seasonal.
Visiting the USA in August means that corn is on the menu. It’s the kind of vegetable you rarely see in Italy beyond polenta but, in the Italian spirit of using the best local ingredients and preparing them simply, Esther’s delivered the goods with Corn Agnolotti – immaculately constructed stuffed sawtooth pasta interspersed with fresh kernels of corn and thimbles of tiny scallop.
Other items we ordered included Italian Chopped Salad, Big Eye Tuna Crudo, Chitarra Verde pasta and Rigatoni Carbonara. A bottle of wine and after-dinner shots of Amaro added the finishing touches to our meal.
Check out Ada’s Wine Bar (see below) or Al Solito Posto if you don’t score a reservation at Esther’s Kitchen. All three restaurants are part of Chef Trees’ emerging restaurant empire.
Esther’s Kitchen is located at 1130 S Casino Center Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89104, USA.
Raku is an extraordinary restaurant just a few doors down from Monta Ramen (see below) in a nondescript strip mall in Las Vegas’ Chinatown. Yes, a strip mall. A favorite among local chefs, the late Anthony Bourdain ate here with Penn Jillette when he filmed the third season of Parts Unknown.
Advance reservations are a must. Make them. It’s well worth the effort to get the chance to splurge on an omakase meal straight out of Japan and away from Vegas’ maddening crowds. Raku is ideal for an intimate special occasion dinner or a boisterous food-focused meal with friends.
Our dinner at Raku fit into the special occasion category. Each dish during the multi-course meal was a winner from house-made Tofu to melt-in-your-mouth Sashimi to gooey, cooked forever Beef Tendon to Duck Skewers.
Raku is not only one of the best restaurants in Las Vegas off the strip but also one of the best places to eat in Las Vegas.
We’ve read that some people consider this off the strip restaurant to be the best Japanese restaurant in the USA. While we haven’t eaten at enough of the top Japanese restaurants in America to make that assertion ourselves, it seems to be entirely plausible.
Hop over to Sweets Raku in the same strip mall for dessert.
Raku is located in Seoul Plaza at 5030 W Spring Mountain Road, Las Vegas, NV 89146, USA.
Occupying a humble corner strip mall location (notice a theme here?), The Black Sheep serves some of Las Vegas’ best food in a simple setting. It’s the kind of food that justifies leaving the strip and provides a surprising, shining example of new Las Vegas cuisine.
This should be no surprise to fans of Bravo’s Top Chef since Chef Jamie Tran competed on the 2021 season of the show. While she ended up in fourth place, the series showcased her fun personality and mad cooking skills.
Tran honed her skills at Aureole and DB Brasserie before opening The Black Sheep away from the strip. Standout dishes during our meal at the modern Vietnamese-American restaurant included Pork Sausage Bao Sliders with fried quail egg and crispy shallots and Grass Fed Ribeye with crispy artichokes and Peruvian purple mashed potatoes.
We also ate a creative application of Crispy Salmon Skin – served as a taco, stuffed with salmon tartare and topped with popping tabiko roe – that we loved. You’re going to want to order this dish if it’s on the menu.
Open since early 2017 in a small space with 50 seats, the award-winning restaurant serves dinner only. Drink options include beer, a solid wine list and cocktails.
Don’t skip creative cocktails like the Black Manhattan with Rye, Amaro and Walnut Bitters and the Vietnamese Coffee Martini with an added injection of Kahlua to the classic mixture of robusto bean coffee and condensed milk.
The Black Sheep is located at 8680 W Warm Springs Road, Las Vegas, NV 89148, USA.
Back in 2018, with limited time in Vegas and the need to make a flight to Korea, we never made it to Other Mama. As years went by and the Spring Valley restaurant’s ownership changed, we started to think that we would never experience Other Mama’s spin on Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese food that’s modern, fresh and truly American. Luckily, we were wrong.
Our 2022 trip to Other Mama was a go after we received a glowing recommendation from a manager at a prominent on the strip steakhouse. That manager told us to sit at the bar. We did and it was a great tip. Once we were seated, General Manager (and now Partner) Alan Holmes guided us through the restaurant’s quirky menu while giving us a peek into the life of a Las Vegas local located on the edge of town (where Holmes lives).
We opened our late dinner with simple yet super-rich pieces of Chuo Toro Nigiri and a more involved dish of Amberjack Crudo in ponzu sauce. Every flavor of the crudo dish remained in focus with its mixture of soy flavors and fresh crunchy textures of diced onion and tomato.
Beyond raw fish, our finale of Braised Ribs covered in miso and spicy sauce was a fine example of slow cookery. The big, fatty, unsmoked spare ribs were among the best we’ve eaten outside the realm of barbecue. Each melty bite combined flavors that evoked Korean gochujang but better.
Other Mama’s dining room reminded us of an old school seafood restaurant that’s been decorated by a street artist. It’s a fun vibe that complements Other Mama’s main draw – its food.
When we next visit Other Mama, we hope to be with a crowd so that we can fully sample the restaurant’s creative yet mature spins on Asian food. We can’t wait.
Check out Other Mama’s daily selection of oysters before you place your order.
Other Mama is located in the Global Plaza West at 3655 S Durango Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89147, USA.
Sparrow + Wolf
Although Spring Mountain Road is famous for its Asian eateries, don’t discount non-Asian restaurants like Sparrow + Wolf. If you do, you’ll miss out on Chef Brian Howard’s hip, bold cooking.
Howard loves in-your-face food and offers tastes that never ‘hint’ at anything. And, in a nod to the neighborhood, he dots the menu with Asian flavors. It’s a combination that works.
Those flavors were clear and deliberate in our heirloom tomato salad. There was no mistaking the pleasing, slightly funky flavor of dashi broth and seaweed that complemented sweet American tomatoes. Such bold flavor additions could be misconstrued as overpowering but, to us, the food was an honest, balls-to-the-wall expression of the chef.
Howard loves sea urchin and is not afraid to use it in various preparations. We ate two – a luscious Uni Melt Sandwich with burrata brightened with blood orange kosho and a special modern, pan asian take on Clams Casino topped with lap cheong sausage and uni hollandaise.
Head over to Howard’s fast casual Half Bird (see below) if you can’t score a table at Sparrow + Wolf.
Sparrow + Wolf is located at 4480 Spring Mountain Road, Suite 100, Las Vegas, NV 89102, USA.
EDO Gastro Tapas & Wine
With the forces of the world food diaspora behind it, Vegas has become a lightning rod for just about every global cuisine. Chefs like Oscar Amador Edo have expanded the list to include Catalan cuisine.
Chef Edo brings extraordinary culinary experience to Vegas. Not only did he stage at avant garde El Bulli and the more traditional French-influenced El Racó de Can Fabes, but he also owned and operated three restaurants in his home country of Spain. Edo stretched his culinary chops further at Le Cirque after he moved to Las Vegas.
So now that we’ve established that Edo (the chef) knows a thing or two about the business, let’s talk about the food we ate at EDO (the restaurant).
Some of the food was decadent. Prime examples included a Hot and Cold Egg served in shell with a dollop of fresh water kaluga caviar and Canelon de Puys which artfully combined braised pork, beef, foie gras, porcini-béchamel and Manchego.
EDO also excels at Spanish classics like Pan Con Tomate that’s topped with olive oil but can be upgraded to include imported anchovies or boquerones. Then there’s its creative take on Tuna Carpaccio and a slim, toasted, ‘Bikini’ sandwich filled with creamy, porky sobrassada (think Spanish ‘nduja) and Mahon cheese. It’s essentially a pork and cheese sandwich but in a better package.
What boggles our minds is the setting where this type of food is served. It’s a small yet stylish space with a row of banquettes and dramatic colorful art featuring a headdressed woman holding what looks to be a Spanish-style gin and tonic. When you consider EDO’s strip mall location, it’s almost jarring to enter and eat at such an urbane place. It’s also wonderful.
Plan ahead if you want to dine at EDO’s new restaurant Anima, located in Spring Valley. Like EDO, it’s one of the hottest tickets off the strip.
EDO Gastro Tapas & Wine is located in the Mountain View Plaza at 3400 South Jones Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89146, USA.
The Spring Valley restaurant offers a diverse selection at its strip mall location about three miles south of Vegas’ Asian food hub on Spring Mountain Road. It’s worth the drive for those who come ready to eat a variety of tasty tidbits.
Rainbow Kitchen serves its dim sum without showy dim sum carts. Don’t worry. The menu’s vast menu includes dozens of selections in both Chinese and English.
Sure, you can order the usual Har Gow (shrimp dumplings) and BBQ Pork Buns. We ate them and they were top quality. But the real winners were more unique dishes like XO Sauce Scallop Dumplings, Alaska King Crab and Abalone Chicken Sou.
Those nationally lauded abalone tarts, slowly cooked for seven to ten days and served over puff pastry cups filled with chicken and mushroom, would have been enough to wow us. But Daryl insisted we order Peking Duck too since he lives for duck. Yes, it was a lot for two people but everything was extraordinary and we did our best.
Bill Chiang runs Rainbow Kitchen. He’s a gregarious manager who shares our love for both America and great food. He asked how we knew what to order, mentioning that we ordered the same food featured in a video on Vice’s Munchies channel. We hadn’t seen the video. All we can say is that we’ve eaten all over the world and let our taste buds guide the way.
While you can taste Rainbow Kitchen’s Cantonese creations at dinner hour, bear in mind that much of their dim sum is only available from 11 am to 3 pm.
Rainbow Kitchen is located at 7537 S Rainbow Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89139, USA.
Kaiseki Yuzu serves what we like to call Vegas kaiseki, different from the vegetable-forward version we experienced in Kyoto.
In Vegas, most likely in a nod to the clientele, kaiseki is more of a showcase where luxury ingredients like black truffles, high-grade wagyu beef, sea urchin, caviar and premium cuts of bluefin tuna are paraded in gorgeous, intricate style in front of diners like the Ferraris and Lamborghinis that arrive at casino valet parking stands.
Since it was our wedding anniversary, we wanted to dine in style. Kaiseki Yuzu fit the bill, albeit at a hefty price. Its kaiseki experience takes hours to complete and days to process. Those with big budgets and an appreciation for Japanese food, especially sushi and sashimi, will want to dedicate a night at Kaiseki Yuzu.
Our well orchestrated meal at Kaiseki Yuzu played out over ten courses like some of the loudest moments from Wagner’s ring cycle. The room was dead quiet if you get the point. It’s a lot and it’s intense. Most guests sit at the bar with a front row view of a team of chefs intricately preparing each dish.
We should mention that each course was a surprise since there was no menu to review either before or during our meal. Each diner was served in the folllowing order – Zensai (a series of amuses bouches), Sashimi, Yakimono (a grilled course), Hiyashizara (a traditional course) Dainomono (a dish with eels and eggs), Agemono (a tempura/fried course) Sunomono (a vegetable course), Sushi (self-explanatory), Tomewan Gawari (a soup course) and Dessert (also self-explanatory).
At Kaiseki Yuzu, extravagance is an understatement. For our Hiyashizara course, udon noodles were topped with Hokkaido uni, Hokkaido zuwai crab, Hokkaido scallop, caviar, clam and salmon eggs (ikura). We don’t believe we would ever eat that extravagant of a kaiseki meal in Kyoto but, once again, we understand since this is Vegas.
As a control freak, Mindi would have preferred to have a menu to refer to during the meal though we later received one later upon request. Daryl, however, enjoyed the meal’s elements of surprise as well as the challenge of figuring out what protein was in each dish.
However, neither of us found any fault with our dessert – a frozen miso caramel soufflé with fresh green tea matcha cake, ground cocoa nibs and cashew. We both ate that dessert until all that was left was the red plate on which it was served. Happy anniversary to us indeed.
Kaiseki Yuzi currently offers two dinner seatings and is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Plan your dinner accordingly and start saving now.
Kaiseki Yuzu is located at 3900 Spring Mountain Road, Las Vegas, NV 89102, USA.
Ada’s Wine Bar
Located in Summerlin’s Tivoli Village, a strange town square built over a parking lot complex, Ada’s Wine Bar is a must stop if you really want to plug into Vegas’ culinary scene in a way that’s unpretentious and local. Noted chef around town James Trees, one of the partners behind Ada’s as well as Esther’s Kitchen (see above), has a thing for neighborhood restaurants and that’s exactly what Ada’s is.
Lead sommelier and self-proclaimed “wine goddess” Kat Thomas curates an ever changing wine list that showcases her worldly wine chops with bottles from lesser known wine regions like the Alentejo (Portugal), Liguria (Italy) and Kamptal (Austria). She’s also curated a worthy selection of wines from the usual suspects – Napa, Burgundy, South America (Argentina and Chile) and Bordeaux.
While we love drinking wine, Ada’s menu by Chef de Cuisine Jackson Stamper offers good food beyond its bottles. The board we ordered, priced at $10 at the time of our happy hour visit, showed the kind of creativity we expect from good American chefs – heritage prosciutto from Casella in New York, Manchego cheese, pickled cherries and red onion, sweet and spicy peppers and bright green Castelvetrano olives flavored with harissa.
We washed it all down with eclectic red and white selections – a red Zweigelt from Austria and a white Picpoul de Pinet from Languedoc, France.
Beyond happy hour, Ada’s Wine Bar serves larger plates like trout, gambas al ajillo, bavette steak and even a burger. It also serves excellent bread sourced from sister restaurant Esther’s Kitchen. If we lived in Vegas, you’d probably see us at Ada’s frequently.
Stop by in the afternoon for Ada’s “Wine around the Clock” during which a selected wine is offered at $2 for a 2 oz. pour at 2pm, $3 for a 3 oz. pour at 3pm and $4 for a 4 oz. pour at 4pm. Ada’s also offers a $25 somm. selected bottle during its creative happy hour. Prices are subject to change.
Ada’s Wine Bar is located in Tivoli Village at 410 S Rampart Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89145, USA.
Ichiza provided our gateway to Las Vegas’ emerging Asian food scene back in 2009. While the second floor strip mall izakaya alerted us to the off strip dining scene in Vegas, Ichiza is still going strong more than a decade later, maybe even stronger.
What really hit us during our most recent meal, after years of worldwide dining and trips through Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka, was how good the Japanese food is at Ichiza. Case in point – our $11 plate of yellowtail sashimi had five ample slices of thick, bright, rose and red, melt-in-our-mouth slices of fish. As always, prices are subject to change.
To say that we feel like we’re in Japan when we sit in Ichiza’s Spring Mountain original space would be incorrect. Ichiza’s location, in the middle of a desert town rife with automobiles and parking lots, while intimate by Vegas standards, is relatively cavernous compared to the cubbyholes you’d find in Osaka districts like Tenma.
But that size difference makes Ichiza’s food no less Japanese.
Specials are handwritten on Japanese plaster poster boards over the izakaya’s bar and walls. A western communal-style table greets guests at the door while a slightly more ‘private’ Japanese area with pillows and a 2-foot high table beckons in the back.
We’re attracted to the loose rules of izakaya dining where we can eat a range of food. Why shouldn’t we be able to pair superior yellowtail sashimi with comforting crab fried rice and a hearty, brothy bowl of udon? At Ichiza, we can and we did. Meanwhile, on a different day, we may order a fiery bowl of mapo tofu instead.
The trick at Ichiza is to not order too many dishes. It’s important to save room for the izakaya’s somewhat intimidating block of honey toast, topped with a large scoop of ice cream, that seems to close every meal at every table every night.
Ichiza’s second location on Spring Mountain Road exclusively features private dining rooms.
Ichiza has multiple locations. We’ve dined multiple times at the original spot located at 4355 W Spring Mountain Road, Las Vegas, NV 89102, USA.
Lotus of Siam
Lotus of Siam is far from a hidden gem but it’s still worth a visit to this OG Thai restaurant for its classic Northern Thai food and stellar wines. Though there are newer Thai restaurants in town, many locals still consider Lotus Siam to be the best Thai restaurant in Las Vegas. Who are we to disagree?
This restaurant’s menu reads like a book filled with Thai dishes that can be ordered on a heat scale from zero (mild) to 10 (Thai hot). If you’ve traveled to Thailand, then you know that Thai hot is scorching. And, if not, consider yourself warned.
Wondering what to order? The restaurant’s coconut soup, beef larb and curry-infused pork stew transported us to the streets of Chiang Mai without the expense of an 18-hour plane ride. We say start with these dishes and order as many additional dishes as your stomach and budget can handle.
After numerous trips to Thailand, we recommend trying the Issan sausage. The little sour sausages, which are a street food fave all over the country, are Daryl’s favorite.
Though it can be tough to score a dinner reservation, you may be able to walk in for lunch and enjoy a leisurely meal. However, it’s better to call ahead for a reservation.
The original Lotus of Siam is located at 620 E Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA. A second restaurant is located at Red Rock Resort.
Stylish and sleek, the late Chef Kerry Simon’s Carson Kitchen is proof of Downtown Las Vegas continuing renaissance. But, to be clear, this downtown eatery isn’t a case of style over substance.
We had a mission when we returned to Carson Kitchen four years (give or take) after our first visit. We wanted to sit at the bar and eat Crispy Chicken Skins which is exactly what we did on a hot weekday afternoon. We wondered if the dish would live up to our memories and indeed it did.
Carson Kitchen’s open kitchen prepares shareable dishes like Bacon Jam and Tempura Green Beans. However, we won’t judge you if you choose to eat these and other dishes by yourself so long as you order Crispy Chicken Skins too.
Despite our obsession, don’t limit yourself to Carson Kitchen’s Crispy Chicken Wings. Other worthwhile dishes include Hotdog Burnt Ends and an Iron Chef Burger topped with prosciutto, onion jam and cheddar cheese.
Carson Kitchen is located at 124 S 6th Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101, USA.
Herbs & Rye
It would be easy to drive by Herbs & Rye’s generic exterior without knowing that owner Nectaly Mendoza has created a special space inside that fills up as soon as it opens each day. After all, there are no windows to see the clubby space where a team of crackerjack cooks and mixologists have been serving steaks and cocktails since 2009.
Locals and savvy food travelers already know that this off-strip strip mall spot serves juicy steaks, as well as selected appetizers, pastas and well drinks, at half price during an extended happy hour. They also know that Herbs & Rye was ranked #28 on William Reed’s inaugural North America’s 50 Best Bars list.
Maybe it’s a good thing that Herbs & Rye doesn’t have a flashy exterior.
Diners, including us, who fill the joint every night except Sunday, don’t care what the building looks like. They arrive to enjoy Herbs & Rye’s retro bar scene and what’s on the menu. And, as we discovered when we literally snagged the last two spots at the bar just five minutes after 5pm, seats inside the cocktail lounge are a hot commodity.
Herbs & Rye’s cocktail menu spans the centuries with the most classic cocktails found in its Gothic Age section. Other cocktail categories include the Golden Age, Old School, Prohibition, Years of Reform, Rat Pack Era and Tiki Boom. We ordered drinks from two categories – a bourbon-based Lion’s Tail from the Years of Reform category and a rum-based Weekend at the Waldorf from the Rat Pack Era category. Both cocktails were winners.
Food is equally solid. Some carnivores may find it difficult to choose from a half dozen steak options and even more sauces and sides. We, however, had no hesitation in ordering a Carpaccio starter that topped sliced beef with capers, balsamic glaze, cherry pepper aioli, arugula, truffle vinaigrette and parmesan cheese.
Herbs & Rye’s happy hour isn’t limited to 60 minutes. It currently goes from 5pm to 8pm and resumes at midnight. Happy hour times are subject to change.
Herbs & Rye is located at 3713 W Sahara Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89102, USA.
Between Cleaver and Herbs & Rye (see above), it’s clear that Nectaly Mendoza has figured out a winning hipster formula for serving relatively cheap steaks and top notch drinks off the strip. But his two steak restaurants aren’t exactly the same.
Cleaver offers a cheeky yet stark experience with its indoor/outdoor carpet, lots of dark wood paneling, fleur de lys wallpaper and tongue-in-cheek portraits of comic luminaries like Eddie Murphy and Chris Farley on its walls.
Do steaks and expertly crafted cocktails count as comfort food? You could say that in Vegas they do. Cleaver’s happy hour prices, currently an all-nigh night affair, make its food menu affordable enough to splurge on crafted cocktails. For some reason, maybe due to the fact that Daryl ordered a steak, we drank wine with our meal. We enjoyed drinking cocktails at Herbs & Rye so… maybe next time.
We’re always more focused on food anyway and Cleaver delivered solid stuff. Daryl enjoyed his steak topped with chimichurri though he regrets not opting for the red wine glaze since that’s how he usually rolls. Meanwhile, Mindi ordered Cleaver’s take on Clam Casino which arrived with clams swimming in a bed of pasta and andouille. The dish has since changed its name to Clams and Chorizo.
Sit at the bar. Much like Herbs & Rye, Cleaver’s bar offers front row seats to a mixology show with deft work at ‘the stick’ until midnight.
Cleaver is located in The Collective at 3900 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV 89169, USA.
It seems crazy to place a boulangerie filled with fine Bretonne pastries in an unadorned, somewhat sterile Summerlin strip mall. But that’s Vegas off the strip in a nutshell. It’s the kind of city where finding black and white patterned rattan chairs and viennoiseries that rival Paris and Vienna is more of a pleasant surprise than a shock. That’s assuming you get past the multicolored assortment of macarons next to the entrance.
It adds up if you understand the city’s position in the hospitality world which attracts esteemed European chefs to set up Las Vegas outposts. Cafe Breizh is no exception. Its chef, Pierre Gatel, a Brittany native, has a resume that includes working for Alain Ducasse and François Payard.
We started our day at Cafe Breizh with a flaky Brioche Nutella, a sparkly strawberry macaron and cups of coffee brewed with La Colombe beans. The pastries were great, especially the brioche, as we would expect from a world class pastry chef.
The cafe also offers a full menu with omelets, salads and, of course, crepes. Similar to cafes in Paris, Cafe Breizh offers both savory buckwheat Bretonne-style galettes and sweet flour crepes.
Pre-order a cake if you happen to be celebrating a birthday in Las Vegas.
Cafe Breizh is located in the Apache Center at 3555 S Fort Apache Road, Las Vegas, NV 89147, USA.
Bagelmania, a huge deli located near Vegas’ convention center, has an exterior decor that one could say was inspired by the NYC deli standard bearer Russ & Daughters. But, duplication issues aside, the restaurant serves a solid Jewish deli-style brunch.
The front of Bagelmania features a bakery counter filled with Pinkbox donuts (which re-appear in the menu’s popular Pretty in Pink Pancakes), a large selection of bagels and sweets like rugelach and black and white cookies. Diners who venture beyond the counter will encounter a menu where four entrees can easily feed eight people.
Its back room is a big space with lots of tables, many of which were filled with a combination of locals and tourists during our visit. Once we joined the party, we ordered three things – a bagel with cream cheese and tomato, challah french toast and a Dr. Brown’s black cherry soda.
That french toast was big. Really big. But we added fruit which we’ll pretend made it healthy. Our bagel, while not amazing, was solid enough that we’d likely buy them by the dozen if they were available in Lisbon.
If you go to Bagelmania, we say go for big plates like the aforementioned french toast plus fish platters, salami and eggs, matzo brei and blintzes. Not only are these dishes big enough to share, but they’re also ideal for curing hangover woes.
Consider walking to Siegel’s Bagelmania if you’re doing business at the Las Vegas convention center. Walking may not be everyone’s preferred mode of transport considering the heat; however, this deli is less than a 10-minute walk from the convention center. It’s also across the street from Resorts World.
Siegel’s Bagelmania is located at 252 Convention Center Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA.
Half Bird Chicken & Beer
Who doesn’t like chicken? That’s obviously a rhetorical question, especially when the popular poultry is cooked by a talented chef like Sparrow + Wolf’s Brian Howard (see above). With a menu filled with rotisserie birds, a slew of sauces, chicken sandwiches and plenty of sides, Howard’s fast casual concept is both tasty and fun.
You may be wondering what makes a restaurant like Half Bird different from typical fast food restaurants. We’d have to say sides, sauces, execution and conception. Then there’s the funky graffiti art on the walls next to sayings like “It’s so clucking good!” which you simply don’t get at Boston Market.
Open since the summer of 2022, Half Bird isn’t half baked. During our visit, we ate a wonderfully bronzed bird that was nicely cooked and not at all dry. But chicken wasn’t the only thing we enjoyed, starting with bold sauces in trendy ‘foodie friendly’ flavors like green curry ranch, yuzu hot honey and chili garlic crunch, Howard’s take on chili crisp.
Mindi loved the yuzu hot honey sauce while Daryl couldn’t stop eating a side of mac ‘n cheese made with al dente radiatori pasta as opposed to elbows, fusili or farfalle. That side was a creative rethink of an American food favorite that, while not earth shaking, separates a chef-driven joint like Half Bird from the rest of the fast casual flock.
Don’t go to bed half hungry. Half Bird is open until 2am on Friday and Saturday nights.
Half Bird Chicken & Beer is located in the Center at Spring Mountain at 3500 S Wynn Road, Las Vegas, NV 89103, USA.
Fukuburger rolled into Las Vegas in 2010. Literally. Originally a mobile operation, the burger joint graduated from food truck to brick and mortar status five years later. The concept of topping American-style burgers with Asian toppings resonated with Las Vegas locals and, on our recent visit, resonated with us too.
David Chang opened his Fuku sandwich shop in New York City five years after Las Vegas’ FukuBugers served its first burgers. The two food operations are unrelated.
Owner Colin Fukunaga didn’t lose his sense of whimsy after he parked the truck. While that truck is still rolling, the real action occurs at graffiti-decorated Fukuburger locations in Chinatown and on Buffalo Street near Black Sheep and Rainbow Kitchen (see both above). This action involves making burgers with American beef, Asian spices and fun toppings like fried eggs, crispy onion strings, pickled red ginger and shitake mushrooms.
We opted to share a seemingly simple Fuku Burger which wasn’t so simple thanks to its double whamy of wasabi mayo and Fuku sauce. After much thought (and a few burgers later), it turned out to be our favorite burger of the year.
Maybe we’ll try a loaded Naga Dog or an amped up Moco Loco sandwich appropriately called Fuko Moco next time. It could happen but why fix something that’s not broken? And the Fuku Burger definitely isn’t broken.
Order a combo with a burger, fries and a drink if you’re hungry. The fries will be tossed in togarashi garlic salt and you’ll still be in cheap eats territory.
Fukuburger has multiple locations. We chowed down at the Chinatown shop in the Spring Mountain Center at 3429 S Jones Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89146, USA.
Helmed by a culinary team led by accomplished Chef Yuri Szarzewski, Partage is an oasis for French enthusiasts who crave wine and food available in cities like Paris, Lyon and Strasbourg. But Partage isn’t in France. This fine dining establishment is located just off the strip in Chinatown right near Sparrow + Wolf (see above).
Though Partage offers multi-course meals and tasting menus, casual diners can order small plates and drinks at the bar which is what we did during our visit. We had no regret since Partage’s small plates aren’t typical bar food.
During our late afternoon (or was it early evening?) visit, we nibbled on a braised oxtail Croque Monsieur. We also shared a gorgeous ratatouille-stuffed squash blossom dish. It seemed like the right thing to do since partage literally translates to share.
While you can choose between five, seven and nine course tasting menus at Partage, be aware that this restaurant doesn’t “accommodate vegan, dairy free, celiac or garlic/onion free diets.”
Partage is located at 3839 Spring Mountain Road, Las Vegas, NV 89102, USA.
Island Sushi & Grill
Las Vegas is nicknamed the ninth island due to its popularity among Hawaiians, many of whom have relocated to the land-locked city while others simply visit the gambling mecca. Island Sushi and Grill is a fun spot to eat like you’re back in Hawaii whether you have ties to the 50th state or not.
This is the kind of restaurant where you can order spam-fried eggs to eat with your chunky tuna poke. We ate both during our lunchtime visit. We also ended our meal with malasadas since there’s no better way to end a sushi meal than with doughy Portuguese desserts. Are we right or are we right?
The only thing missing during our meal was the sweet sound of ukelele music but that can probably be arranged. Island Sushi is in Las Vegas where almost anything goes.
Check out Island Sushi’s daily specials either online or at the restaurant.
Island Sushi and Grill is located at 9400 S Eastern Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89123, USA.
Monzú Italian Oven + Bar
We’d heard about Monzú from our Las Vegas family well before we ate at the cavernous off-strip Italian restaurant. Open since 2018, the 2nd generation eatery is popular with locals who like to eat Italian food and a lot of it.
We’re not exaggerating when we call Monzú’s food big. Its epic Mega Board is a culinary show stopper topped with a generous selection of cured meats, cheese, olives, pickled veggies and nuts. It’s big enough to feed a large family. But, at this Las Vegas restaurant, it’s just a starter.
We ordered one of those steroidal boards plus two pastas and a pizza. It was a lot of food which worked at various levels of success. Paccheri alla Genovesa, with its chewy noodles and oniony meat sauce, was our favorite dish. Each bite reminded us why we love the food in Naples so much.
We can’t say we loved our family-sized pizza despite owner Giovanni Mauro’s naturally leavened dough made with a 300-year old mother starter imported from Ischia. While we liked the pepperoni side of our pizza, the “Vegas Meets Italy” side had too much going for us with toppings that included arugula, date cream, heirloom tomatoes, ricotta, prosciutto and scamorza.
Las Vegas has been experiencing a bit of a pizza renaissance in recent years with new pizzerias popping up both on and off the strip. Monzu is an excellent option for hungry families and groups seeking solid pizza as well as authentic Italian pasta.
Make an advance reservation to avoid dining disappointment. As noted above, Monzú is a local favorite.
Monzú Italian Oven + Bar is located in Flamingo Verde at 6020 W Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89103, USA.
Monta Ramen is a hole-in-the-wall ramen shop located in a strip mall that’s two miles from the Strip and more than five thousand miles from Tokyo. Despite these many miles, slurping bowls of funky miso ramen broth with firm noodles and savory chashu pork reminded us of our meals on Ramen Street in Tokyo Station and that’s saying a lot.
The ramen bar is open until 11 pm on a daily basis. It’s a cheap eats favorite for both families and chefs. And, even though we don’t fit into either category, we like it too.
Order a bowl of ramen with fiery chili paste if you like your soup spicy.
Monta Ramen has two ramen shops in Vegas. We ate at both including the Chinatown location in the Seoul Plaza at 5030 Spring Mountain Road, Las Vegas, NV 89146, USA.
Las Vegas may be the only city in America where you can start your meal with a luscious pork belly bun or a hearty plate of fried rice and end it with an outstanding pub-style burger cooked to order. Originally a food truck and now located in the Eureka Casino off the strip, Fat Choy is the place to eat all of these things and more.
Don’t let the run-down, smoky casino deter you from eating at this casual joint with an old-school Vegas vibe. it’s inevitable that you’ll enter a historic Las Vegas casino at some point, even if you’re not a gambler. You may as well enter this one in the quest for good food.
Fat Choy is located at 595 E Sahara Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89104, USA.
SomiSomi arrived in Las Vegas in 2020, four years after its original location opened in Los Angeles’ Koreatown. And, while we typically eschew chain restaurants in Las Vegas, we can’t deny that SomiSomi is our favorite spot to eat ice cream off the strip.
SomiSomi fills fish-shaped waffle cones called bungeo-ppang with soft serve ice cream to create a dessert called ah-boong. While it’s a fun treat on its own, adding toppings like fresh fruit and fruity pebbles cereal takes the ice cream dessert to next level status.
As a bonus, SomiSomi’s Asian influence makes its ice cream an ideal dessert to eat after dining at Asian restaurants like Monta Ramen, Rainbow Kitchen and Raku (see all above).
Order a swirl if you can’t choose one flavor from choices that include black sesame, chocolate, coffee, cookies ‘n cream, horchata, matcha, milk, milk tea, strawberry and ube.
SomiSomi has multiple Las Vegas locations. We visited the ice cream shop located at 9500 S Eastern Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89123, USA.
The Golden Tiki
While many people, including us, exclusively order liquid libations at The Golden Tiki, this off the strip bar has a food menu which technically makes it a restaurant. Food items include various appetizers, tuna sashimi, salmon poke, spam fried rice and baby back ribs. The over-the-top tiki bar has a brunch menu too.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s cut to the chase. The Golden Tiki is a must stop for its cacophony of color and kitschy decor. Add strong cocktails like the Spiked Dole Soft Serve and 3 Dots and a Dash we drank to the mix and you’re practically guaranteed a fun time so long as you’re at least 21 and have a designated driver in tow.
Check out the wallpaper in the restrooms. Trust us on this tip and let us know what you think.
The Golden Tiki is located in the Center at Spring Mountain at 3939 Spring Mountain Road, Las Vegas, NV 89102, United States.
More Off the Strip Restaurants
The food Off the Strip in Las Vegas keeps getting better and better! Consider the following restaurants if you’re craving more great food including burgers, BBQ and more Asian cuisine:
Las Vegas Off the Strip Restaurant FAQs
Top Off the Strip restaurants include Black Sheep, EDO, Esther’s Kitchen, Herbs & Rye, Other Mama, Rainbow Kitchen, Raku and Sparrow + Wolf.
Asian food and steak are the two ‘must eats’ Off the Strip in Asia. That being said, you can find a range of cuisines that include French, Mexican, Spanish and so much more.
Anthony Bourdain ate and drank at the following spots on the first season of No Reservations and the third season of Parts Unknown: The Bootlegger, Double Down Saloon, eat, Huntridge Tavern, Lotus of Siam, Oscar’s Steakhouse, Peppermill Fireside Lounge and Raku.
Off the Strip restaurants range from cheap eats to luxury dining. Prices vary accordingly.
Yes. Tipping is mandatory for table service. However, tipping for counter service is optional.
People eat dinner whenever they feel hungry in Las Vegas. It’s a true 24-hour city! That being said, many of the best Off the Strip restaurants stop serving food before midnight.
Reservations are required at the top Off the Strip restaurants. However, some of the more casual restaurants and Asian eateries welcome walk-ins.
Things to Do in Las Vegas
To nobody’s surprise, there are plenty of things to do in Las Vegas both on and off the strip. Here are some fun things to consider doing during your vacation:
Hungry for More in Las Vegas?
Check out back soon to discover of our Las Vegas favorites including Asian eateries, bars, brunches, cheap eats and food favorites.
About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
Original Publication Date: September 5, 2015
Republish Dates: August 12, 2018 and January 16, 2023