While Las Vegas is more famous for prime rib steak than portobello steak, vegetarian visitors now have many more restaurant options so they can experience Sin City without compromising their way of life. There are even enough options to make it possible for vegetarians to have a range of interesting eating possibilities during their stay in Las Vegas without eating in the same restaurant twice.
The Buffet at the Wynn
The most lauded option for non-meat eaters is The Buffet at the Wynn, though all of the Wynn’s restaurants include vegetarian options because owner Steve Wynn is a vegan. Perfect for visiting in a group that includes some non-vegetarians, The Buffet includes 15 cooking stations and offers both meat-filled and meatless dishes in a variety of styles, including Italian and Japanese.
Vegans also have some options, though not as many as you might hope. If you adhere to a strict vegan diet, or if you are a raw foodist, discuss your needs with The Buffet staff before making plans.
Sinatra at the Encore Hotel
Another of Wynn’s properties, Sinatra at the Encore Hotel is a fine dining restaurant dedicated to the memory of Las Vegas’s iconic singer, Frank Sinatra. The restaurant has a meat menu and a vegan menu, and the menus complement one another — just because your meat-eating friend is having a super entree doesn’t mean you can’t have a vegan version that will taste just as delicious.
The menu is heavily Italian and thus incorporates many recipes that would traditionally be made with cream or cheese. Vegan diners say transitioning the ingredients to non–dairy–based items has still maintained the flavours, textures and satisfaction of the originals while eliminating the animal products.
For Thai-influenced vegetarian and vegan options, go to local favourite Komol. This award-winning restaurant is located off the Strip, in Village Square on East Sahara Avenue near the Las Vegas Country Club. It serves lunch and dinner and offers mainly Thai food, which you can customise by ordering meatless or with varying degrees of spice. Komol is open daily for lunch and dinner. This is one of the most affordable vegetarian and vegan options in town; main courses will cost around $10.
Picasso at the Bellagio
If you’re in the mood for high-quality French cuisine, a trip to the Picasso at the Bellagio will feel and taste elegant. Part of the delight of this restaurant — for any diner, vegetarian or not — is the view of the famous Bellagio fountains and Picasso’s artwork that adorns the walls.
On the table, the food is inspired by Pablo’s life in Spain and France. While these two cuisines are often quite meaty, the chef has designed a vegetarian menu. Vegan options are also available, though it’s best to call ahead to be sure.
The Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay
Hamburgers are quintessentially American, but they’re not quintessentially vegetarian, right? Well, at the Mandalay Bay’s Burger Bar, there are some fantastic meatless options that will allow you the juicy satisfaction of this classic U.S. meal without the actual meat. A perfect place to come when your group includes non-vegetarians or children who want that American hamburger experience, Burger Bar’s veggie options include a garden burger, a ‘Vegas Vegan’ burger, several salads and a whole array of chips with different seasonings and toppings. As is normal in Las Vegas, they serve alcoholic milkshakes for those ovo-lacto vegetarians over age 21 (the legal drinking age in the United States).
If you’re in the mood for some self-catering, or wish to have some vegetarian-friendly snacks on hand when you return from the casinos late at night, try stopping by the Las Vegas Farmer’s Market to stock up on some local produce. This and other markets pop up in the Las Vegas area throughout the year; check their schedule to see where to find them when you’re in town.
Additionally, the Sprouts Farmer’s Market on South Rainbow Boulevard or the Trader Joe’s on South Decatur Boulevard might be an easy place to go to get fresh, organic produce and other snacks. There’s also a Whole Foods grocer’s on Las Vegas Boulevard.
Vegetarians and vegans do not have to go hungry or break their beliefs — well, food-related ones, anyway — in Sin City. Even if you haven’t sworn off animal products, try some vegetarian options on your next trip to Las Vegas; these practiced chefs might just open your eyes to a world of meatless wonder.