The best Las Vegas Buffets
Though celebrity chef restaurants are appealing, there are a lot of other options that won’t hurt your wallet if your budget is a little smaller. Buffets are the most popular dining venue in Las Vegas, likely because of how many there are in the different casinos. Most buffets serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner so there’s always a place to get some refreshments.
What used to be considered a cost-effective and valuable way to feed guests looking more for a meal than a dining “experience,” has evolved into an experience that satisfies both those who only look to food for sustenance and food aficionados alike. Some might say they’re looking for quantity over quality when it comes to all-you-can-eat, but the Las Vegas buffet has willingly raised the quality so that even if you’re there to simply eat all you can, you’re also eating the best you can.
Here are three of the best Las Vegas Buffets:
Bacchanal Buffet, Wicked Spoon and the Buffet at Aria
When The Cosmopolitan opened in 2009, it raised the bar for the Vegas aesthetic, which included elevating the concept of the buffet. The $20-million Wicked Spoon was modeled after food courts in Asia, where food is portioned for individual servings rather than served from giant trays in steam tables behind sneeze glass. In a nutshell, Cosmo classed up the buffet, with grown-up dishes such as bone marrow, oysters Rockefeller, and short rib cavatelli. The single-serving pulled-pork eggs Benedicts are mandatory for breakfast, as are the chicken-apple sausages. At $33 for brunch and $38 for dinner, Wicked Spoon is reasonably priced for a dining experience of this caliber.
While Wicked Spoon may have been the rising tide that lifted all ships, Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace has sailed ahead of the fleet. Bacchanal ascribes to both quality and quantity, with more than 500 items offered each day spread over three main dining rooms. Live-action stations include a smoked barbecue line, with sausages and meats hanging overhead, and a rotating comal, or tortilla griddle, for the Mexican cuisine. Like Wicked Spoon, Bacchanal offers dishes in individual portions, such as servings of fried chicken or sweet potato fries in mini, paper-lined wire baskets. Even more interesting are the ever-evolving specials—almost unheard of when you’re cooking for volume. But the Bacchanal back of the house—which for buffet chefs, has a surprising number of toques that came from Michelin-starred kitchens—puts out around 15 daily, seasonal specials, such as chilled pea soup with crab or chicken marsala. Desserts are legendary, if tiny, so that you can eat many of them, including cookies, cake pops, tarts, and cupcakes, with a fun assortment of gelato, all made in-house. A true bacchanalia—festivals in honor of the Greek god Bacchus, god of wine—never comes cheap, and neither does this one: breakfast starts at $25, lunch at $35, weekend brunch at $44, and dinner will set you back $50–$53.
Bumped up the list this year is the only buffet at CityCenter. Thanks to a recent renovation that brightened up the decor and added some more ethnic options, Buffet at Aria is now one of the more diverse buffets. With one of the few tandoor ovens on the Strip, this is an unsung spot for Indian food, and you can watch as fresh naan bread is baked for you in the oven, along with kabobs and other Indian fare. Mediterranean cuisine goes beyond Greece, including bites from North Africa and the Middle East, while the humble pizza even sees multiple preparations: deep dish, New York style, and Stromboli. There’s even variety during breakfast, with made-to-order classic, snow crab, or salmon eggs Benedicts. While the pricing at The Buffet at Aria—$19 for breakfast, $23 for lunch, and $34 for dinner ($40 on weekends)—might make it seem like a middle-of-the-road buffet, it excels in freshness and service, and delivers lots of bang for the buck.
In The Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas, we profile all the best Las Vegas buffets and much more.
Read also our recommendation for the Best Celebrity Restaurants in Las Vegas.
Credits for pictures:
Wicked Spoon by FASTILY (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Aria Hotel by Colin Rose (Flickr: Aria Lobby Las Vegas) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons