Inventive and Delicious: Las Vegas' New and Popular Restaurants

By Terrisa Meeks, Las Vegas Local Expert

Las Vegas has become a major dining destination, with a steady stream of new and popular restaurants appearing both on and off the Strip. The culinary creativity in the city keeps local and visiting foodies busy finding the latest gems.

Two of the most highly anticipated new restaurants are at the Monte Carlo, which is being transformed into Park MGM. Bavette’s Steakhouse & Bar offers perfectly prepared steaks and an array of other dishes in an ambiance with French overtones. Primrose, also at the Monte Carlo/Park MGM, is French inspired but its wide menu has plenty of dishes, both French and otherwise.

Although the Strip continuously attracts new restaurants, you’ll find new eateries throughout Las Vegas serving fresh, innovative dishes of all styles. Going off the Strip can turn up wonderful finds at prices that are consistently less than the hottest and most popular places on the Strip. Healthy options and quality locally-sourced ingredients drive the menus at many of these newer restaurants.

Interesting interior designs and unique, creative flavor combinations are some of the best parts of new restaurants, especially the popular ones. Be sure to check well ahead for reservations, especially if you’d like a table during peak times on the weekends.

Las Vegas is filled with great restaurants, but you’ll want to check out our list for ideas on the newest and most popular.

10. Bavette's Steakhouse & Bar
Photo courtesy of Bavette's Steakhouse

The chic, sexy setting at Bavette's is certainly part of its charm, but the food and drinks are the true stars. The underpinnings of the menu are French, but without a trace of stuffiness. Starting with the hors d'oeuvres, diners are presented with an abundance of delicious dishes. Baked goat cheese, shrimp cocktail or steak tartare all make a great start to a memorable meal. While entrees include chicken, salmon, pork chops and lamb chops, the succulent steaks are very popular. Three cuts of filet are offered and include a bone-in filet, an unusual cut. Other cuts are the ribeye (in a couple of variations) and the New York. Bavette's has locations in Chicago and New York, and their new location in Las Vegas has been drawing diners since its opening.

9. The Black Sheep
Photo courtesy of The Black Sheep

The Black Sheep brings American-Vietnamese food to Las Vegas in a modern, comfortable setting on the south side of the valley. Chef Jamie Tran is a veteran of the Las Vegas Strip restaurant scene, and she brings her considerable talents to the table at The Black Sheep. The food is crafted carefully to be both delicious and a new version of Vietnamese comfort food. The popular Vietnamese Imperial Rolls are made with Duroc pork, shrimp, pickled heirloom carrots, ninja daikon and yellow frisee salad. The Braised Duroc Pork Belly also earns high marks from diners, with a creamy cauliflower puree, saut�ed kabocha squash and crispy pig ear salad. A full wine list gives guests plenty of options to pair with their meal.

8. Boteco
Photo courtesy of Boteco

Boteco wants diners to know their establishment isn't a bar, a pub or a restaurant. Boteco instead identifies itself as a part of the tradition of local Brazilian meeting places for friends and family, known as boteco or botequim. The food here is small-plate style, or tapas, and it's meant to be shared. The selection of dishes is well-rounded, with offerings like escargot croquetas, caviar, truffled mac and cheese, braised beef and seared ahi tuna steak with avocado, cucumber, yakitori sauce and wasabi cream. The charcuterie gets a make-over here as a Boteco Board with selections of meats, cheeses, house pickles and preserved fruits, wild honey, nuts and whole grain mustard. The cocktail, spirits, beer and wine menu offers both a wine tasting flight and a Prosecco flight. Boteco's cozy, comfortable dining room invites you to enjoy the food and sample some drinks with friends--and that's the goal.

7. Salud Mexican Bistro and Tequileria
Photo courtesy of Salud Mexican Bistro

Salud Mexican Bistro and Tequileria offers diners its own interpretation of Mexican food. While you will find combination plates, burritos and tacos, it would be a shame not to venture out of your comfort zone here. The menu is full of tempting creations like Duck Carnitas, with red wine citrus braised duck, crackling, berry jalape�o chutney, cilantro rice and black beans. The vegetarian Gnocchi Mexicano is house-made gnocchi with guajillo mushroom cream sauce queso fresco. The sirloin is rubbed with ancho chile and finished with cilantro butter, roasted corn puree and charro beans. Of course, as the restaurant's name implies, their selection of tequila is not to be missed. Plenty of Margaritas are offered as well as tequila based cocktails and flights of top-shelf tequila. The atmosphere is casual and modern, and Salud's location away from the Strip means guests can expect more reasonable prices and smaller crowds.

6. Hamptons
Photo courtesy of Hamptons Las Vegas

Hamptons recently opened in the Summlerin shopping center of Tivoli Village in a delightful two-story space with a patio. The restaurant isn't that far from the Strip, and the ambiance here is laid-back and local. You probably won't find any neon around, but you will find a small shopping and dining center that invites a walk either before or after your meal. The dishes at Hamptons highlight taste and originality, like the Wild Isles Salmon Mignon, which comes with roasted cauliflower, honey and garlic-braised carrots, rosemary cauliflower sauce and a caper and raisin emulsion. A 40 ounce, 34-day aged Tomahawk Ribeye takes center stage in the menu with aged Black Angus, caramelized shallots, garlic and rosemary salt, bearnaise and au poivre sauces, crispy Yukon gold potatoes and lemon aioli. A full selection of cocktails, spirits, beer and wine is available.

5. Primrose
Photo courtesy of Primrose

Primrose arrives at the Monte Carlo as a part of the hotel's transformation into Park MGM and NoMad Las Vegas. The menu and cuisine are largely French inspired, but the wide-ranging menu covers dishes from bouillabaisse to spaghetti. Primrose is designed to feel like a country home, which is just the setting you'd imagine for the dishes. Start your meal with an appetizer like beef tartare or fried Chicken Provencal before moving on to a hearty sandwich or something grilled. Sandwiches include a few varieties of that wintertime favorite, grilled cheese, with lots of ham and gruyere to be found. Filet, chicken and two types of fish are available from the grill. Vegan options include ratatouille and fire-roasted eggplant. A full menu of cocktails, wine and beer is offered. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

4. Americana Las Vegas
Photo courtesy of Americana Las Vegas

Americana is located off-the-Strip, overlooking small Lake Jacqueline in the Desert Shores community. The serene ambiance feels worlds away from the Strip, although it's only about a 20 minute drive. In addition to a dinner, lunch and Sunday brunch menu, Americana also offers a five-course menu and the Weekly Harvest menu, featuring seasonal dishes. For dinner, start off your meal with something like oysters, sashimi or foie gras. Choose from entrees like the Ora King Salmon with pickled artichokes, tart cherry and citrus emulsion, or the Braised All Day Short Rib with potato cube and heirloom carrots. Each dish is prepared with the care you would expect from a chef with a history of working in the Strip's most prestigious restaurants. The food is defined as American cuisine, with dishes that combine both familiar elements and original, deep flavors. The peaceful setting and friendly but upscale ambiance make it easy to stay and linger.

3. Robert Irvine's Public House
Photo courtesy of Robert Irvine's Public House at Tropicana Las Vegas

Chef Robert Irvine is probably best-known for his television show, and now fans have the chance to experience his cuisine in person. His new 9,000 square foot restaurant at Tropicana Las Vegas seats 275 and includes a bar, open kitchen, private dining and views of The Strip. Comfort food is the theme here, and the chef has taken inspiration for his dishes from around the world. Poutine, a relative new-comer on Las Vegas menus, comes in two varieties here: one with Tater Tots, pulled pork, shiitake-onion gravy, peppered goat cheese and red vein sorrel, and one prepared traditionally. Diners will find hamburgers, pizza and salad along with hearty pub fare like the Rabbit Pie with maple braised rabbit, rabbit sausage, braised Swiss chard and sweet potato, or the fish and chips prepared with beer battered cod, malted curry aioli, green onion, bacon, feta and green cabbage slaw.

2. 7th & Carson
Photo courtesy of 7 & Carson

7th & Carson's pub vibe shows through every aspect of the restaurant, with an original menu of both drinks and food. Selections from the bar include tempting cocktail creations like the Downtown Buzz, with Tanqueray, local honey and lemon. On the beer side, you'll find three selections from local brewery Tenaya Creek to round out the offerings. Wine lovers will find everything from red and white standards to Dom Perignon. The food ranges from delicious dishes like the Lamb Sausage Pizzetta with feta, picked red onion, yogurt and dill to fabulous burgers and one of the restaurant's specialties, C.F.C. Wings: fried chicken, house "dust," honey and hot sauce. This restaurant's comfortable, casual atmosphere provides the perfect background for a flavorful and memorable brunch, lunch or dinner. The brunch menu is one of 7th & Carson's most popular, with dishes like a Crab Benedict, chicken and waffles and avocado toast.

1. Chica Las Vegas
Photo courtesy of Chica Las Vegas

Chica brings together flavors from throughout Latin America, and the dishes reflect influences from Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. You'll find guacamole, as you might expect, but also grilled Peruvian octopus, Brazilian beef tenderloin and porchetta with crispy yuca hash. Latina chef Lorena Garcia's menu at Chica is a Latin Fusion mash-up of flavors and dishes with its roots in Central and South America home cooking, like the Meyer Lemon Rotisserie Chicken, one of Chica's most well-known dishes. Chicken marinated in Meyer lemon is slow roasted and served with Peruvian purple potato salad and chimichurri. A full menu of drinks, including specialty cocktails, is available, and the comfortable, stylish interior sets the scene to enjoy your meal. Chica is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.