When it comes to Vegas, we can confirm that bright lights are gonna set your soul on fire—but team, there is so. Much. More. When I told my galpals I was headed to a city sans wall clocks (guys, the rumours are true) I received one cocked eyebrow, ‘that’ look and about 147 references to girls gone wild.
Now, full disclosure, day clubs are 100% my jam. But I’m a millennial of the most paradoxical kind, and I myself, like Vegas should also not be judged at first glance, or first stereotype. So, if you’re after a hot tip (I thought you’d never ask) when it comes to adding this desert oasis to your next vacay I’ll give you three—pencil in some history, a side of culture and a whole lot of food to those plans (yes, by culture we also mean margaritas).
Viva Las Foodie
ICYMI (and we’re willing to bet you did) Vegas is going through a culinary renaissance of sorts and the food scene here is serious business. Where else do you find this many celebrity chefs in under seven kilometres? Exactly. From the likes of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen, Lorena Garcia’s Chica, to Morimoto by the Iron Chef himself, and new fit-outs like Primrose at Park MGM that’s oozing chic palm springs vibes, your belly is in safe hands here.
But what we really love about Vegas is that so much of their culinary gold is hiding in plain sight. Think total inception vibes—is this a casino, a restaurant, a speakeasy, a hidden private tasting room? See for yourself at Rose.Rabbit.Lie (if you can find it) and definitely let your server feed you, you won’t regret it.
In yet another plot twist, Vegas is also home to food festivals and Uncork’d (now in its 12th year) is worth adding to your itinerary (and to your waistline). Bringing together the best celebrity chefs across the strip and with one-of-a-kind culinary experiences, this is three days of eats, dranks and mermaids—now that got your attention, didn’t it?
Things Will Be Great When You’re Downtown
Gather ‘round team, because we’re about to let you in on a little secret. The Vegas Strip isn’t the only place to find epic eats and hidden gems when you next find yourself at the centre of this neon dream. Downtown, the original site for the town of Las Vegas, is where all the cool kids hang out, and by cool we mean locals, so this is obviously where you also belong. The area has a rich history and some incredible eats.
Aptly named Eat is one spot doing great things on this burgeoning foodie scene. The self-titled breakfast and lunch joint serves, you guessed it, American faves with a French twist and we can confirm their sandwich menu is off the charts. Side note: you want all of the sides.
The best way to really experience Downtown (surprise, not really) is on foot, and we suggest you book yourself a spot on the Lip Smacking Foodie Tour. Led by locals, you’ll check out all the best spots from Fremont St to the container park where literal containers have been converted into a one-stop shop for eats, drinks and even music. There are restaurants aplenty, with Carson Kitchen founded by celeb chef Kerry Simon and bursting with farm-to-table deliciousness, to share plates at 7th & Carson, and a hidden tipple at The Varnish.
Old School Vegas Charm
You’ve seen the movies, you’ve heard the songs and hopefully a few cheeky tales or two. Don’t get me wrong, there is so much glitz going on in these parts you definitely need your sunnies, but there are also some clever nods to yesteryear that make for a solid day trip and more importantly, epic Instagram fodder. Our top pick is the Neon Museum, housed in the famous La Concha (FYI that’s Spanish for clam) building on Las Vegas Boulevard. Book yourself into a nighttime tour for added music and projections where they light up the strip’s most famous neon signs and give you serious nostalgia overload.
Elvis was right, the moment you touch down in Las Vegas you’ll definitely wish there were more than 24 hours in a day—so you can stuff yourself silly for longer, obvs.
The writer of this article was hosted by Tourism Las Vegas but as always, the views are our own.
Image Credit: Claire Jones.