Let's Do Lunch: The Strip's 10 Most Memorable Afternoon Dining Experiences
By Heather Turk
Las Vegas Local Expert
If breakfast is the most important meal of the day and dinner the most extravagant, lunch frequently has to be the most disregarded. Admit it: usually you're eating something out of a brown paper bag or fast food. But lunch in Las Vegas is truly an extraordinary experience, offering everything from picturesque views to mouth-watering menus at a moderate price.
Two of the Strip's most exquisite lunch spots can be found at Paris Las Vegas. The Eiffel Tower Restaurant boasts one of the most romantic views in town as well as a lunch menu that features Chef J. Joho's remarkable French fare at a fraction of the dinner menu price. Mon Ami Gabi, meanwhile, not only has one of the most popular patios in the city, but also a delectable French bistro menu that's often regarded as one of the Strip's best values.
Several restaurants on the Strip also offer affordable lunchtime specials, like Gilley's Saloon, Dance Hall & BBQ, which just introduced a lunch happy hour for $9.95. The Palm Restaurant is home to a great lunch special, too: a filling three-course prix fixe menu for just $25.90. Its new lunch menu also guarantees guests will be in and out in an hour, perfect for those in a time crunch.
So whether you're hungry for a lavish, leisurely lunch or just a great deal, our list of the Strip's 10 best lunch spots has it all. Who knows--soon you could be skipping breakfast altogether just so you can fill up on lunch!
10 Gilley's Saloon, Dance Hall & BBQ
Bringing some honky-tonk to the Las Vegas Strip, Gilley's is one of the city's most popular BBQ joints. Home to the famous Gilley Girls (sexy servers donning bikinis, chaps, cowgirl boots and cowboy hats), the restaurant/bar is known for its finger-lickin' favorites, like the BBQ Pulled Pork and Baby Back Ribs. Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant recently introduced a new lunch happy hour Mon.-Fri. from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. where guests can enjoy three of its most popular dishes--the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich with fries, Gilley's Chopped Salad or the Chipotle Chicken Sandwich with fries--with a fountain drink for just $9.95. Both palates and pocketbooks are sure to be left saying, "Yee-haw!" (702-894-7111)
9 Ri Ra Irish Pub
Offering an authentic Irish experience, Ri Ra Irish Pub features a multitude of artifacts that were carefully restored in Wicklow, Ireland, and shipped to Las Vegas, like an authentic Victorian Shop bar that began its life in Ireland in the 1880s and an oak floor from a whiskey distillery. Not only are the surroundings from Ireland, but majority of Ri Ra's staff is too. While the pub is jumping at night when it features live entertainment, it also boasts a delicious lunch menu Mon.-Fri. from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. featuring dinner favorites like the Grilled Atlantic Salmon alongside new additions like the tasty Grilled Guinness Bratwurst served on a pretzel bun with house chili, diced fresh onions and Irish cheddar. Truthfully, the bratwurst is so flavorful, it doesn't need anything on top! The restaurant also recently introduced a new breakfast menu, making Ri Ra worth visiting at any time of day! (702-632-7771)
8 Hash House A Go Go at The Quad
You'll definitely want to skip breakfast--and possibly dinner--when you dine at this hearty diner, known for its "twisted farm food." Portions are huge, to say the least, and include menu selections like the Famous One Pound Stuffed Burgers: two patties with items stuffed in-between them like apple-smoked bacon and mashed potatoes. While the Big O'Crispy Hand Hammered Pork Tenderloin Sandwich with onion, pickles and ketchup is a must, there's a reason it comes served with a knife and fork--trying to eat it with your hands is impossible! Other filling lunchtime selections include the restaurant's tasty take on chicken and waffles: juicy sage-fried chicken stacked on top of Hash House A Go Go's famous bacon waffles and served with a hot maple caramel reduction and crowned with fried leeks. It's so good, you might even attempt to eat the whole thing by yourself! (702-254-4646)
7 The Palm Restaurant
This famed Italian-American steakhouse, known for its prime aged steaks and jumbo Nova Scotia lobsters, recently introduced a new lunch menu that allows customers to be in and out in an hour. Guests can dine on the indoor patio and watch shoppers pass by or eat inside the main dining room, famous for its many caricatures on the walls. The affordable menu features both à la carte options, like the new Nova Scotia Lobster BLT Sandwich, as well as a filling three-course prix fixe menu, offering an array of hearty dishes like The Palm's signature Chicken Parmigiana with soup or salad, a single-portion side and dessert for just $25.90. It's a great way to experience The Palm's mouth-watering menu for a fraction of the dinner price. (702-732-7256)
6 Sushi Roku
With its striking Strip views and daily lunch specials, it's no wonder sushi fanatics love Sushi Roku. Guests can enjoy one of several lunch specials without breaking the bank, like the popular Chef's Sushi Assortment--seven pieces of sushi and a spicy tuna roll for only $19. Diners can also build their own lunchtime combinations, choosing from chicken, beef or salmon teriyaki and pairing their selection with assorted tempura, sashimi or a California roll. Having attracted everyone from Usher to Kris Jenner to its tables, one bite and it's easy to see why Sushi Roku is a star in its own right. (702-733-7373)
Offering a dining experience unlike any other, Todd English's Olives lets guests eat outside on its picturesque patio above Lake Bellagio, providing a view of the Fountains of Bellagio few ever get to see. Guests can take in the iconic Vegas attraction as they devour a menu of Mediterranean specialties, including tasty starter dishes like the Grilled Squid & Octopus and Chilled Crab Salad. Other lunchtime selections include a variety of flatbreads, house-made pastas and entrées ranging from the Pulled Short Rib to the Chicken Margherita. Whatever you decide on, be sure to try the popular Beef Carpaccio with Gorgonzola polenta, Parmesan, cipollini onions, balsamic reduction, scallion cream and garlic aioli--it's one of the restaurant's signature lunch dishes. (702-693-7223, 866-259-7111)
4 Top of the World
One of Las Vegas' most celebrated restaurants, Top of the World truly takes the traditional lunch experience to new heights. Located 844 feet in the air, it is the only revolving restaurant in Las Vegas, providing breathtaking panoramic city views while guests dine on its seasonal, mouthwatering fare. Lunch specials include an assortment of delectable dishes from the Lamb Chopped Salad with Mediterranean Flavors to the Seafood Omelet with Scallop, Shrimp & Lobster. There's also a three-course prix fixe menu featuring your choice of soup or salad, the Surf & Turf with Petit Filet with choice of baby Canadian lobster tail or crab cake and a dessert duo for $45. To top off the exquisite experience, guests can wash everything down with a selection from the restaurant's impressive wine list, winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the past 17 years. (702-380-7711, 800-998-6937)
A favorite among the city's many performers, Verandah is truly one of Las Vegas' hidden gems. Guests have the option of dining on an expansive garden terrace that overlooks the resort's lushly landscaped private pool during warmer months (generally March-December), providing an oasis of calm among the frenzy found on the Las Vegas Strip. Even if you can't dine outside, Verandah's mouth-watering Italian menu is enough to create an unforgettable dining experience. Lunchtime selections vary from entrées like the Seafood Mac-n-Cheese to a selection of Paninis and wood-fired pizzas; there are even several farm-to-table items on the menu. Regardless of what you choose, none of the dishes disappoint! (702-632-5121)
2 Mon Ami Gabi
One of the Strip's most memorable dining experiences at any time of day, Mon Ami Gabi is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a weekend brunch. Known for its Strip-front patio facing the Fountains of Bellagio, the classic French bistro boasts one of the best people-watching spots in town. Lunchtime favorites include the restaurant's trademark Steak Frites, the Onion Soup au Gratin with bubbling baked Gruyere and the heavenly Baked Goat Cheese. To complement the cuisine, an extensive selection of more than 80 boutique French wine varietals--handpicked by Gabino Sotelino himself--are served by the glass or bottle from the restaurant's signature rolling wine cart. Bon appetit! (702-944-4224)
1 Eiffel Tower Restaurant
Located on the 11th floor of Paris Las Vegas' Eiffel Tower replica, the Eiffel Tower Restaurant truly takes midday dining experiences to new heights. Serving an exquisite menu by acclaimed chef J. Joho, the French restaurant not only features breathtaking views of the Las Vegas Strip, but also one of the best views of the Fountains of Bellagio in town given its location just across the street. While the atmosphere is truly remarkable, the fare is just as fantastic, featuring an assortment of salads, sandwiches and main courses sure to please even the most discerning diner. Start your meal with the Creamy French Onion Soup before digging in to the flavorful New York Strip Steak with Cabernet butter. For those getting a late start on lunch, the restaurant recently introduced a Late Lunch menu from 2-4 p.m. featuring some of its most popular lunchtime items like the French BLT Tower. (702-948-6937)
About Heather Turk
A graduate of the University of Southern California, Heather's byline has appeared everywhere from The Los Angeles Times to Playboy.com--with her review of The Truman Show making the front page of The Detroit News' movie section when she was just 16 years old. When she's not at her computer writing a story for one of the many outlets she freelances for (including Allegiant Air's in-flight magazine Sunseeker, the Los Angeles Times Las Vegas Guide and CBS Las Vegas), she can often be found at the movies, on the Strip checking out the latest restaurant/show/spa/hotel opening or at Disneyland.
Read more about Heather Turk here.