The Las Vegas Strip may be known for its many delectable restaurants, but that doesn't mean it's the only place in town guests can enjoy a great meal. Some of the city's best restaurants are actually found off-Strip, and usually at a fraction of the price of their costly Strip counterparts. From casual gastropubs like Culinary Dropout and Poppy Den to elegant steakhouses like Oscar's Beef Booze Broads and Vic & Anthony's, there's sure to be something to please diners of all types no matter what side of town they're on.
Those looking for an unlikely Vegas dining experience needn't look any further than Marche Bacchus French Bistro & Wine Shop, which offers a serene lakeside dining environment that's only 10 minutes from the Strip, yet feels worlds away. Or, for those who want the Vegas backdrop without the hassles associated with dining on the Strip, Panevino and SC Prime Steakhouse & Bar both boast stunning Strip views far away from the hustle and bustle.
For a more classic Vegas dining experience, Piero's has been serving the city for more than 30 years while the intimate Barrymore may be relatively new, but feels like an old favorite already. And speaking of old favorites, the chefs at Benihana never disappoint with their jaw-dropping culinary skills and flavorful fare. Regardless of which restaurant you choose, diners will find these off-Strip favorites are all Strip worthy.
10 Vic & Anthony's
Vic & Anthony's in Houston is routinely voted one of America's 10 best steakhouses, and its second location lives up to its predecessor. The classic downtown steakhouse features a menu of succulent beef dishes, as well as seafood and chicken. Guests can start off their meal with one of the restaurant's remarkable appetizers, like the Maple Glazed Quail or Steak Tartare, or dig in to the hearty Steakhouse Chopped Salad: mixed greens tossed with white and cheddar cheese, salami and vinaigrette. All dishes come accompanied by an eclectic wine selection and Vic & Anthony's impeccable service, providing a truly memorable dining experience that's off the Vegas Strip. (702-386-8399)
9 SC Prime Steakhouse & Bar
One of the city's best off-Strip restaurants, this classic steakhouse boasts an unforgettable view of the Las Vegas Valley. The breathtaking atmosphere is complemented nicely by a succulent selection of USDA Prime aged beef dishes, as well as seafood, lamb, pork and poultry, all prepared to perfection. Whether you're a wine connoisseur or not, you'll find the perfect accompaniment to your dinner on SC Prime's extensive wine list. When your celebration requires a bit more intimacy, a private dining room is available for parties of 6 to 14. For guests on a budget, the bar offers a fabulous happy hour from 4:30-7 p.m. featuring a selection of beers, wines by the glass and small bites, while the restaurant offers a great prime rib special: a 14-ounce prime rib, house salad and choice of potato for only $25. (702-636-7111)
8 Poppy Den
Not surprisingly, one of the city's most talked about new restaurants is also one of its best. Poppy Den, a unique Asian gastropub, offers guests a distinctive and exciting dining experience by infusing familiar and comforting dishes with rich Asian flavors. Menu standouts include the refreshing Watermelon Salad with Goat Cheese, Amma's Homemade Tomato Soup (which has just a bit of a kick to it) and the acclaimed Poppy Burger with fried egg and sriracha. If the weather's nice, guests can dine on the secluded outside Poppy Garden area just off the main dining room or on the balcony upstairs. Regardless of where you eat, though, guests are sure to enjoy a memorable dining experience they won't soon forget. (702-802-2480)
Relive the days of the Rat Pack at this retro-styled Vegas mainstay, where leather booths and plenty of attitude-infused atmosphere set the scene. A recipient of many prestigious awards including the American Express Platinum Fine Dining Award and the DiRona Award (Distinguished Restaurants of North America), Piero's is as popular today as it was more than 30 years ago when it was the new, hip dining spot in town. In fact, its menu of traditional Italian cuisine is so legendary, it hasn't changed since the restaurant opened! Signature dishes include the Scaloppine Milanese and Linguine All'Aragosta. Piero's also boasts a superb wine list--1,900 wines and another 10,000 bottles--making it the meeting place for Las Vegas' high-powered decision makers, politicians and even Hollywood stars. (702-369-2305)
Benihana is the first name in exhibition-style, Japanese cuisine, offering guests a true feast for the senses. Masterful chefs demonstrate their skills nightly on hibachi tables, where a full-range of unique and traditional dishes are cooked to order. Sip authentic sake and listen to the sounds of gentle rains in the two-story "village" that recreates an ancient Japanese setting complete with burbling streams and occasional rainstorms. Appetizers include fresh sushi and sashimi, while entree selections range from the flavorful Hibachi Chicken to the savory Filet Mignon. All entrees are served with a combination of fresh mushrooms, onion and zucchini, as well as hibachi shrimp, Japanese onion soup, salad, steamed rice and hot green tea. Even though stomachs are sure to leave satisfied, taste buds will always be left salivating for more! (702-732-5755, 702-732-5821)
5 Culinary Dropout
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has been undergoing some major changes as of late, but if there's only one reason to visit, it's this hip gastropub. Six-time James Beard Foundation semi-finalist for Outstanding Restaurateur Sam Fox redefines traditional pub grub with Culinary Dropout's mouth-watering menu, offering such delicious dishes as the juicy Fried Chicken and tender meatloaf. There's even an extensive antipasti menu, showcasing tasty and hard-to-find meat and cheese selections like the flavorful Jamon Iberico. The restaurant also features an outdoor patio, complete with fire pits and a view of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino's infamous pool. It's the perfect place to enjoy drink, and what gastropub experience would be complete without an alcoholic beverage in your hand? Luckily, two-thirds of Culinary Dropout's menu is dedicated to beer, wine and cocktails, so there's sure to be something to quench everyone's thirst. (702-522-8100)
4 The Barrymore restaurant
The Royal Resort is quietly gaining acclaim for its renovated Old Vegas-meets-Old Hollywood style, and The Barrymore is one of the major reasons why. This hidden gem of a restaurant is right off the lobby, and from the velvety booths to the film reels on the ceiling, the ambiance oozes vintage in all the right ways. The real draw, however, is the food, which is reasonably priced and delicious. You'll find classic American cuisine like steaks and seafood alongside more unique dishes like Muscovy Duck and Vadouvan Squash Curry. The restaurant also boasts an extensive wine list, featuring 50 selections under $50. For a truly unforgettable evening, check out the restaurant's Social Hour every Tue.-Fri. from 5-7 p.m. Available at the bar, lounge and on The Barrymore's quaint fireside patio, guests can enjoy 50% off wines by the bottle as well as select drinks and small bites for only $5 each. (702-407-5303)
Worth the trip no matter what side of town you're on, Panevino serves a menu that appeals to those seeking authentic, traditional Italian cuisine. With unrivaled views of the Las Vegas Strip framed by slanted window walls, Panevino sustains the elusive and sexy vibe of classic Las Vegas dining. Intimate booths and tables make up the main dining room while couches, low-top tables and plush chairs provide a relaxed and inviting atmosphere in the bar and lounge area. The service is as remarkable as the menu, which also includes plenty of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. A continuously updated, extensive world-class wine list rounds out the exquisite dining experience. (702-222-2400, 702-222-2407)
2 Oscar's Beef Booze Broads
Named one of the "Five Hot New Las Vegas Restaurants Not to Miss" by Fodor's, this downtown steakhouse (named after former mayor Oscar Goodman) is the very definition of "meal with a view." Located inside the Plaza's iconic dome, the restaurant provides diners with a stunning view of Fremont Street and downtown Las Vegas. Inside, Oscar's décor incorporates memorabilia from Goodman's 12-year tenure as mayor, including personal artifacts, photographs and news clips. While the atmosphere is truly unmatched, Oscar's perfectly aged steaks cooked over a 600-degree grill and made-from-scratch sides also keep guests coming back for more. Be sure to try the juicy Prime Rib, which goes great with Jose Leonardo's Roasted Corn Brulee, and don't forget to start your dinner with the Alpine Village Famous Chicken Supreme Soup--it's Mayor Carolyn Goodman's favorite. Just remember to squeeze some fresh lemon into it like she does! (702-38-OSCAR)
1 Marche Bacchus French Bistro & Wine Shop
Serving up the city's most unforgettable dining experience, Marché Bacchus is just a short 10-minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip, but feels worlds away. Located in the Desert Shores community of Summerlin, guests can watch the swans swim by as they dine on the restaurant's romantic patio along Lake Jacqueline feasting on fabulous French cuisine. In addition to cheese and charcuterie selections, the bistro serves soups, salads, appetizers and an array of specialty sandwiches and entrees. From Seared Sea Scallops to Steak Frites, there's sure to be something on its diverse menu to please palates of all types! (702-804-8008)
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 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.