Vegas may be known as the greatest gambling city in the world, but its buffets are pretty high up on the list of things that make the city great. Buffets have grown by leaps and bounds since the El Rancho days, offering customers more luxurious offerings that pale in comparison to the early unadventurous buffet menu options.
Today, the buffet experience has undergone a resurgence of sorts. Originally inexpensive options, buffets in Vegas today emphasize quality over quantity. And although some of the all you-can-eat-buffets are not exactly the cheapest thing you will ever spend money on, they still promise to deliver great value.
Where else can you dish up for one affordable price with several plates of pan-seared, deep-fried, sautéed and freshly baked offerings? Sometimes referred to as the buffet capital of the world, punters that have worked up a hearty desire for food at the casino floor know exactly where to head after all the chips are down.
The original buffet was heralded by the El Rancho Vegas; the Strip’s first-ever resort, in the 40s. Before then, there were no casino resorts, just boring gambling halls. Casino resorts like El Rancho helped to add a touch of luxury to an otherwise lackluster dining scene.
Quantity and not quality was the order of the day, enticing punters and tourists with cheap steaks and free-flowing drinks as a means of encouraging them to gamble. Although the first buffets were not fancy by any means, they did the job of satisfying the guests’ palates.
Buffets have come a long way since then; gone are the days of finding substandard food. Now, everything is sophisticatedly upstaged with the majority of the offerings available being prepared right before the customer.
Buffet food is even served in single plate options as a means of reducing waste and ensuring freshness. You will find food from all over the world in today’s buffet and the live cooking stations offer everything under the sun including sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan options to suit many. Plus, in a city where exclusivity is the name of the game, you will even find private and VIP buffet options.
According to Kate Huber, chief editor at NJGamblingFun, ’’Times are tough. And in these belts tightening days that we live in, buffets are appealing because they allow you to stretch your hard-earned dollars. At a buffet, you are completely in control of what you want to eat and in what quantities, unlike when you sit down to eat at a traditional restaurant’’.
Yet, not all buffets are created equal. High-end establishments obviously cost more, with menu items consisting of expensive and rare items such as Kobe and Wagyu beef. Some buffets, however, are breeding grounds of germs and bacteria that can make you seriously ill. Needless to say, such buffets should be avoided at all costs.
So, which are the best buffets in Vegas? Here are some buffets that you should totally check out the best time you are in town:
The Wynn Buffet
If you are going to eat from the buffet in Vegas, you want to do it at The Wynn. Renowned for its legendary offerings, the buffet at the Wynn has been voted the best Vegas buffet by top publications such as USA Today. You will have over 120 menu items to choose from that run the gamut from the typical to the trendy.
The international cuisine is served from any one of the 16 live-action cooking stations. The highlight, however, is that you will have plenty of vegan and vegetarian options to choose from. If there is an item that you are craving that is not available on the menu, don’t fret; just ask and the chefs will whip it up for you in no time. Now that’s great service!
The Wicked Spoon
When The Cosmopolitan’s Wicked Spoon opened its doors in 2010, it did so with a new buffet concept. Guests could enjoy buffet made to order and individual meals served in small stove pots, Chinese takeout boxes, and cute little ramekins, effectively putting an end to the traditional steam tray buffet system.
Some of what is on offer include a bespoke mac and cheese bar, fried chicken served in individual fryer baskets, squid ink pasta, culotte steak that has been curved to order and more. You will love that the dining room is located separately from the buffet area, which will allow you to eat in a nice, peaceful environment.
Caesars Palace’s Bacchanal
The buffet at the Bacchanal is simply outstanding. Created to cater to fine dining patrons, you will have over 500 menu items to try out, each of which has been curated by the best chefs. The meals are made in 9 available kitchens ranging from Japanese, American, Italian, Mexican, and more.
The meals are cooked right in front of the guests in both full portion sizes as well as miniature ones. The Bacchanal Buffet is so good that it has won several awards over the years, including being named the best buffet by Las Vegas Weekly.
The Bellagio Buffet
The Bellagio buffet is easily the biggest in Vegas, but it is also among the top buffets. Offering the widest selection of food from all over the world, the buffet at The Bellagio is not one to miss. The meals served range from Japanese and Chinese cuisine to American and everything in between. As you would expect, everything is prepared at a live cooking station so that you can know exactly how your food is made.
While here, be sure to try out the seafood selection. If you arrive early, you can skip the line altogether and opt for a seat at the bar. However, if there is a special event to celebrate, ask to experience the chef’s table, which requires a party of at least 8. At the chef’s table, you will receive bespoke menu items from the chef himself but reservations must be made.
Nothing spells indulgence like a good all you can eat buffet, and Vegas, the home of excess has some of the best buffets in the world. The appeal of buffets is apparent; why have one menu item when you can have five?
From the first-ever rendition of buffets held at El Rancho Vegas in the 40s, Vegas buffets have become worthy attractions in their own right. Vegas buffets are now as ubiquitous as blackjack tables and they are not going anywhere anytime soon.