The Best Cultural Restaurants in Las Vegas

Vegas might be most famous for its high-rolling casinos and bright lights, but a wealth of cultural cuisine awaits
Vegas might be most famous for its high-rolling casinos and bright lights, but a wealth of cultural cuisine awaits | Courtesy of L'Atelier Joël Robuchon
Photo of Lilian Diarra
9 February 2017
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A labyrinth of hotels, casinos, shops and nightclubs offering unrivalled entertainment all night long, Las Vegas is also renowned for its fabulous culinary scene, particularly the city’s outstanding array of contemporary fine dining restaurants led by internationally-acclaimed chefs. These cultural restaurants showcase Las Vegas and Nevada as a great foodie destination, from local hot dogs to exclusive venues, on and off the Las Vegas Strip.

Picasso

Restaurant, French, European, Vegetarian, $$$
Picasso Interior with Windows
Courtesy of Bellagio / Expedia.com
Picasso offers an extraordinary fine dining experience with an artistic touch. Run by Executive Chef Julian Serrano, 13-time recipient of the AAA Five Diamond Awards, Picasso serves a delectable selection of dishes inspired by Mediterranean cuisine with influences from France and Spain – two countries where Pablo Picasso spent most of his life. The restaurant has its own wine cellar with more than 1,500 world-class wines from Europe’s finest vineyards. The Picasso experience is enhanced by the myriad of original Picasso paintings, ceramic tiles and hand-painted plates decorating the restaurant’s interior. With an unbeatable location overlooking the bustling Las Vegas Strip, diners can watch the Bellagio Hotel’s spectacular musical fountain show from the restaurant’s outdoor terrace.

Lotus of Siam

Restaurant, Thai, $$$
Often cited as the best Thai restaurant in Las Vegas, the Lotus of Siam serves authentic Thai food with a home-cooked feel in a simple, family-style setting. Hidden away in the inconspicuous Village Square Mall, away from the glamour of the Las Vegas Strip, the Lotus of Siam is a true culinary treasure. From classic curries and soups to noodle and seafood dishes, the restaurant offers over 150 choices of Thai platters, including lesser-known specialty dishes from northern Thailand. Lotus of Siam is also known for its impressive wine list of international and local wines. Bring a big appetite and be ready to experience some of the spiciest food in town.

L’Atelier Joël Robuchon

Restaurant, French, European, Vegetarian, $$$
The red and black themed bar area at L’Atelier
© Joël Robuchon
A gastronomic workshop created by the best French chef of the century Joël Robuchon, L’Atelier Joël’s Robuchon is nothing short of outstanding French cuisine with a dramatic, original flair. Diners can watch every step of the exquisite culinary craftsmanship from the restaurant’s open-plan kitchen and interactive counter-style seating. Specialties include quail stuffed with foie gras, mashed potatoes and steak tartare. The restaurant offers a variety of dazzling dishes from its tasting, seasonal discovery, à la carte and dessert menus, coupled with a superb collection of wines from around the world. A visit to L’Atelier Joël Robuchon, situated in the legendary MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, is bound to be an unforgettable culinary adventure.

Aburiya Raku

Restaurant, Japanese, Vegan, Gluten-free, $$$
Cooked meat with beans and a selection of sauces at Aburiya Raku
Courtesy of Aburiya Raku
Situated off the Las Vegas Strip in Chinatown, Aburiya Raku is renowned for its authentic Japanese cuisine, serving a delicious selection of meat, fish and vegetables, expertly robata-style grilled. Offering a mix of complex and simple dishes, Raku is committed to food quality and its grilled menu ranges from Kobe beef and duck with soy sauce to asparagus with bacon and flamed eggplant. The menu also includes dishes such as sashimi salad and homemade tofu, and every month the restaurant features three new sakes from Japan. The name Aburiya Raku means ‘charcoal grill house enjoyment’, and Raku seeks to live up to its name by guaranteeing diners the best of grilled Japanese delicacies in a traditional setting. Opened until 2 a.m. every night, stop by for a charming late dinner or a midnight snack.

Off The Strip Bistro

Bistro, Restaurant, American
The exterior of the Off the Strip bar with many television screens showing sports
© Charles O. Cecil / Alamy Stock Photo
For affordable gourmet food of American and Italian origin, the Off The Strip Bistro is an absolute must. With its off scene location, hence its name, the Bistro is a popular spot to dine among local residents offering great food in a friendly relaxed atmosphere away from the rush of the Las Vegas Strip. From tasty salmon with asparagus and eggplant Parmigiana to juicy lemon pork chops, the restaurant’s variety of dishes and changing daily specials displayed on its chalkboard menus appeal to a range of food tastes. Do not hesitate to ask for the secret menu that is only presented on demand, and is based on ingredients hard to source or for guests with special dietary needs.

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