Secret Pizza at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is so secret that you won't find it on the hotel's restaurant website listings. Located on the third floor, this little pizza joint is unmarked. Walk down a hallway decorated with album covers, and you'll find it at the end of the hallway. Slices start at about $5 and whole pies start at around $25. While the prices might be a little higher than you'll find off the Strip, Secret Pizza offers a deal compared to most other dining options on the Strip. You won't find anything incredibly fancy here as far as flavors, but you will find a solid slice of pizza and as a bonus you can stop in for a post-evening-out slice of pizza until at least 4 a.m. Beer, wine, soda and dessert are also available.
Recommended for Lunch because: Secret Pizza serves simple, NYC-style pizza without frills or pretense.
Terrisa's expert tip: Secret Pizza doesn't have much in the way of seating, so once you get your slice and a drink, you may want to see if there's anywhere to sit in the central open area (where the pool tables are).
Nacho Daddy's signature dish is in its name, and you can count on nachos with every kind of topping you can imagine, and then some. The average person might not think about making nachos with lobster and crab, but Nacho Daddy certainly has. Don't be fooled into thinking this restaurant only serves one thing, however--Nacho Daddy also offers a menu full of tasty non-nacho items like their great street tacos and Margaritas. This Vegas-grown restaurant started out in Downtown Las Vegas but has since opened locations in Summerlin and at the Miracle Mile Shops on the Strip. Nachos were the original "shared plate" food, and the cheerful, laid-back atmosphere at Nacho Daddy invites hanging out with a group of friends.
Recommended for Lunch because: Nacho Daddy offers a fun, welcoming atmosphere and a menu full of nachos, tacos and other Mexican dishes.
Terrisa's expert tip: If you're craving breakfast food, Nacho Daddy's got you covered even if morning is long gone. Their all-day breakfast includes Mexican dishes like huevos rancheros and a hearty breakfast burrito, plus American-style dishes like omelets or bacon and eggs.
Located west of the Strip in Chinatown, Monta Ramen has a devoted following for its distinctive types of ramen. In addition to Shoyu Ramen, which comes with a chicken or vegetable-based broth, Monta serves "Kurume" style Tonkotsu ramen with a broth made from pork bones and imported soy sauce from Japan. This style of ramen is distinguished by its rich pork broth and thin noodles. Miso Ramen, a heartier soup, is prepared with miso and oily pork broth. Basic toppings are green onions, chashu, bamboo shoots and kikurage, and special toppings include roasted pork, nori, nitamago and mustard leaf. Other dishes include fried rice and rice bowls.
Food courts are ubiquitous along the Strip, but the new Block 16 Urban Food Hall at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas takes the concept up a notch. The six restaurants and bars give diners a well-rounded roster of dining options at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. The interestingly named District: Donuts. Sliders. Brew hails from New Orleans and the name alone gives you a glimpse of what you'll find on the menu, although the offers go beyond doughnuts, sliders or beer. Ghost Donkey specializes in mescal and tequila. Hattie B's Hot Chicken will satisfy any hankerings for Southern food and fried chicken, plus they serve local beer. Lardo offers sandwiches (primarily pork). Pok Pok Wing comes from Portland with a bit of a cult following for its wings and Tekka Bar: Handroll & Sake features handrolls prepared at the counter and a selection of sake.
Recommended for Lunch because: The wide-ranging assortment of casual restaurants at the Block 16 Urban Food Hall gives diners several choices, with restaurants serving everything from sandwiches to sushi.
Terrisa's expert tip: With its collection of restaurants covering a variety of cuisines, Block 16 is a good choice if you have a group of hungry people all craving something different.
Downtown Las Vegas has been attracting some great local restaurants, and Le Thai was among the first to arrive with its first location. Since then, they've opened a second restaurant nearby, giving diners another place to stop for their reasonably priced, delicious Thai food. Servers are friendly and happy to give suggestions. Lunch specials include several types of curry, vegetable stir fry or spicy eggplant, all with a choice of protein and a drink for $9.95. The menu also offers soup, salad and noodle dishes. Take out is available. Appetizers are inexpensive and easy to share, like the tasty chicken satay or the ever-popular crispy spring rolls.
Recommended for Lunch because: The authentic Thai dishes at Le Thai are full of flavor and reasonably priced.
Terrisa's expert tip: Le Thai's original location on Fremont Street closed during late summer and early fall of 2018 for remodeling and is set to reopen sometime in fall.
The Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay has been around a while, having been one of the first upscale burger restaurants in Las Vegas--and it continues to serve delicious burgers, fries, and shakes. Renown Chef Hubert Keller, known not only for his award-winning food but also for his appearances on Top Chef (and his cooking show on PBS), is the mind behind Burger Bar. You'll find plenty of gourmet touches to these quality hamburgers. Patties made from beef, buffalo, or lamb can be topped with things like grilled pineapple, a fried egg or some shrimp--choose from the Chef's Burgers or make your own. The American Classic is everything most burger lovers could want--Angus beef, cheese, bacon, tomato and onion--but the long list of menu options might make it hard to stick with your standard order.
Recommended for Lunch because: The gourmet burgers at Burger Bar range from the standard beef-and-bun arrangement to buffalo, salmon and veggie burgers.
Terrisa's expert tip: The dessert selections at Burger Bar include retro-inspired favorites like a banana split, a smores station and the very original beer (not root beer) float.
Juicy brisket, spicy hot links, fried catfish, ribs--Rollin Smoke offers up meals with a Southern twist. The locally owned barbeque restaurant now has three locations, which is a testament to the popularity of their food. In addition to traditional barbeque servings of deliciously smoky meats in the restaurant's wonderful sauce, the menu includes sandwiches, burgers and a host of traditional sides like the tasty bacon potato salad, Kick'n BBQ Beans, collard greens and cornbread. For dessert, don't miss the homemade peach cobbler or "Mama's" banana pudding. Rollin Smoke is the place for down-home comfort food, served in a unpretentious space. Unless you have a specific dish in mind, try one of the combos or plates that come with more than once choice of meat so you can try a few of Rollin Smoke's offerings. Delivery and take out is also available.
Recommended for Lunch because: The deeply flavored meats and sauces at Rollin Smoke Barbeque are some of the best in Las Vegas.
Terrisa's expert tip: Rollin Smoke has three locations in town. In addition to the first, which is on Highland just west of the Strip, they also have restaurants in Summerlin and Downtown in Pawn Plaza, which is next to the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop of "Pawn Stars" fame.
The Italian food at Cucina by Wolfgang Puck is authentic, but with a slight twist. It's the little touches in the dishes, like the tiramisu that's created with espresso soaked chiffon cake instead of lady fingers, that set the food apart here. Look for traditional Italian pasta dishes like spaghetti, ravioli and rigatoni, all prepared with the best ingredients, like San Marzano tomatoes. Pizza and appetizers are also offered. Entrees include eggplant parmesan, brick chicken and seabass. Cucina is located in The Shops by Crystals, the upscale shopping center next to Aria. It's open design gives diners a wide view around the restaurant, which features a comfortable, casual atmosphere.
Recommended for Lunch because: The Italian food at Cucina by Wolfgang Puck is artfully prepared and served in an upscale, yet casual, setting.
Terrisa's expert tip: A three-course prix fixe menu is offered for lunch at Cucina, with selections like salmon cakes, shrimp scampi, gnocchi, steak salad, tiramisu and vanilla zeppole. Cost is $32 per person.
The small, charming Carson Kitchen in Downtown Las Vegas was among the first restaurants to take root in the on-going efforts to transform the downtown area in a chic, trendy place to hang out. Carson Kitchen's quiet ambiance is wonderful for lunch when you'd like to have a conversation and a glass of great wine. The late chef Kerry Simon opened Carson Kitchen, and after its opening, the restaurant's innovative dishes quickly gained positive attention. "Social Plates" include "Devil's" Eggs, topped with crispy pancetta and caviar, and Veal Meatballs with sherry foie gras cream. The flatbreads are ideal for lunchtime sharing and go well with a few shared plates. The drink menu includes a wide selection of wines and beers, along with a selection of finely crafted cocktails.
Recommended for Lunch because: Carson Kitchen's deliciously inventive menu offers new takes on favorites and memorable, innovative originals.
Terrisa's expert tip: Carson Kitchen is in the thriving Downtown area east of the Fremont Street Experience and is within easy walking distance from the FSE as well as Container Park and other area attractions.
Black Tap Burgers & Beer specializes in big, juicy burgers with all the extras. Located next to the Venetian's poker room, this casual eatery features both a bar, an indoor dining area and a patio overlooking the Strip. In addition to its quality burgers, Black Tap also offers chicken dishes, salads, milkshakes (with an option to add booze) and craft beer. Their tasty burgers range from the standard All-American Burger, a generously sized burger made with Prime beef sourced from Pat Lafrieda--it's a humanely raised, hormone and antibiotic free beef--to The Greg Norman, made with Wagyu, aged cheddar, a crispy onion ring, bacon, Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce and mayonnaise. The relaxed atmosphere is great for quick meals at any time of day.
Recommended for Lunch because: Black Tap Burgers & Beer is the perfect place to satisfy a craving for burgers, plus it offers a great selection of beer and shakes.
Terrisa's expert tip: For diners looking for vegan and gluten free options, Black Tap offers a vegan burger and gluten free buns are available for an extra charge.