A Vegan in Vegas
Hi everyone! I’m back from a short hiatus this week and in lieu of a Sandwich Queen post I’m going to give you a quick run down of Las Vegas restaurants to check out and to skip!
I’ve been in Vegas 8 of the last 14 days and while I’ve been there before, this was my first couple of trips as a vegan. I know there are some great vegan spots in Vegas, however, my dining choices have been at the mercy of my bosses and clients for both trips so I wasn’t able to really visit any of the popular vegan spots. I have to say that I’m sort of over Vegas itself. I used to really like it as I was very much into gambling and going out, but these days I find myself pretty bored with most of the common Vegas attractions. Unfortunately while I was there recently I ate at some pretty gross places, but I also had a few highlights – some of which were unexpected. Here’s an abbreviated list of vegan food options in Las Vegas – starting with places you should be sure to skip:
Mandalay Bay Food Court – This is where your taste buds go to die. Seriously. Nothing here has any flavor, which is to be expected for a food court, I guess. There are a few options you can make vegan: I had a veggie sandwich one day and a veggie burger another day. The veggie sandwich was ok, but the ‘grilled veggies’ were grilled and then refrigerated, which made them mushy. The veggie burger was disgusting – only eat it if you are dying of starvation.
Hard Rock Cafe – I was very disappointed with the Hard Rock. There were only a few vegetarian options and they were mostly appetizers. All of the salads were covered with meat and cheese and not much else and the spring rolls were pre-made so they couldn’t make them without the cheese. I ended up getting the veggie burger, which was eggless (I asked), with no mayo. It was truly gross. I ate the fries and about 1/4 of the burger. Also, we asked for the cheese on the side for the bruschetta and it came out with cheese on it and on the side, so I couldn’t even eat that. Big bummer.
Paradise Cafe at the LVH – The LVH is pretty lacking the food department as it is, but the paradise cafe was the worst. As a place to stay, I really enjoyed the LVH because it’s off the strip and quiet (and super cheap), but as a vegan it was pretty bad for food. The Paradise Cafe has a huge menu, but barely any of it is even vegetarian, let alone vegan. I had to eat there twice and one time I got a veggie burger that not only was tasteless, but I’m not sure if it had egg in it or not. The other time I had a starter salad with a side of toast (it was a late breakfast) and the toast came out pre-buttered. I did find some vegan candy bars in the gift shop, but I wouldn’t recommend ever going to the LVH to eat.
Sushi at the LVH – So, the LVH isn’t all bad as far as food is concerned. Right outside of Benihana’s they had a sushi bar that had a veggie roll. The roll was pretty decent (though rolled a bit big for me) and the side of edamame helped to fill me up. The food was ok, but the two things I got were the only veg options on the menu (aside from the rice and tempura veggies). Not a bad option if you are at the LVH – it’s also well-priced.
Planet Dailies at Planet Hollywood – There isn’t one vegan dish on the menu, but there are some vegetarian options that can be made vegan by just asking them to hold the cheese. It seems like a diner, so I didn’t have high expectations when I ordered the strawberry-peach spinach salad (hold the bleu cheese), but it came out beautifully plated looking like a fine-dining dish. The taste was equally as good as it looked. I was pleasantly surprised by this salad and would actually go back just to order it. Though it was probably the only thing on the menu that I would order – ever.
Buffet at the Wynn – All of Steve Wynn’s restaurants (at the Wynn and the Encore) have vegan dishes, but the buffet is where it’s at. It’s expensive, just like every buffet in Vegas, but it is well worth it. I literally didn’t even make it out of the salad section because there were so many delicious vegan options. One of my favorites was a couscous salad that I put some grilled veggies on top of. Yum! If you are super hungry then I definitely suggest this buffet – you won’t be disappointed.
Texas de Brazil – This is a steakhouse. Of the Brazilian variety. The kind where they walk around with meat on sticks and shave it off onto your plate. But if you can get past that part, you are in for a treat. I went there with a vendor and was very worried that there wouldn’t be anything for me to eat. I was so wrong. They have a salad bar The size of a small house and it is filled with all kind of veggies and salads including things such as hearts of palm and grilled eggplant. I filled my plate up and could only eat 3/4 of it! I was super impressed by this restaurant even though it’s centered around meat – so that’s saying something. One word of caution is that it’s very expensive. I wouldn’t have eaten there if we hadn’t been taken out, but if you are looking to indulge and you are with some hungry omnis, then this might be a good place to go.
I hope you’ll find this helpful if you find yourself in Las Vegas! If I get a chance to go back on my own I’d like to visit some more of the Wynn restaurants and a few other popular vegan places. I’ll be back next week with a new Sandwich Queen post!