Las Vegas is one of the world’s best places to find amazing food. From Michelin star restaurants on the Strip to hole-in-the-wall options on the outskirts of town, if you are a foodie, there’s more than enough for you in Vegas.
Professional athletes tend to be some of the best barometers when it comes to food. Think about it, they have to keep their bodies in perfect shape, they eat out at restaurants all the time because they are on the road a lot, and pretty much all of them are millionaires so money is no object when it comes to dinner.
So, I went around the locker room and asked one simple question, “what’s your favorite restaurant in Vegas?”
Not surprisingly, most of the answers were high-end restaurants on the Strip, but there were a few hidden gems off the Strip, specifically in the Summerlin area.
For privacy reasons, and because we don’t need any restaurant owners getting mad at players for not picking their place, I’ve decided to list only the names of the restaurants and not who picked them. I spoke to a total of 15 players for this article, but I did not force them to pick only one restaurant. They are listed in order of how often they were named by a player, including the #1 restaurant on the list which was named by FIVE different guys. (I also linked to the menus by clicking each restaurant name so you can drool while reading this.)
Mainly a seafood and sushi place, Catch has all sorts of options including steaks, skewers, and a few incredible desserts. Catch also has locations in Los Angeles and New York. One defenseman said they love to eat at the one in Manhattan in NYC, but he prefers the location at Aria because “it’s not as bougee.”
Five separate Golden Knights mentioned Catch including one forward who said he special orders the toro nigiri which is a raw piece of tuna belly that he claimed is to die for.
A Japanese restaurant most known for its sushi, Zuma was named by three different Golden Knights. There could be a little recency bias here as the pre-season team meal was held here and it wooed two of the rookies. However, as you’ll see later, I had a lot to talk about with the guys about Zuma, and no one backed down when saying it’s one of the best in any city they’ve been to.
The world-famous Italian steakhouse at The D is a VGK favorite, especially since the owner of the hotel is a diehard Golden Knights fan (look at him going nuts on the glass right above Martin Jones in this picture). Mentioned by two different Golden Knights, one goalie told me he eats something different every time he goes there and each dish is better than the last.
Beauty and Essex
You’ll have to walk through a pawn shop to get to this one, but according to multiple VGK forwards, it’s the best in the city. An upscale American restaurant that serves classics in unexpected ways is a favorite for players because of the variety. One forward told me he’s had sushi, pasta, and a prime steak all in the same meal.
If you haven’t noticed by now, the Golden Knights love sushi. This is the final restaurant on the listed that had multiple votes, but it did receive the quickest response to the question from a forward. He instantly said, “Yellowtail!” and then started naming off a bunch of different sushi rolls he eats there.
Charleston and Rampart
A farm-to-table Summerlin staple was the first restaurant named by one of the highest-profile Golden Knights.
This Strip steakhouse is known for the sauces, which is exactly what one defenseman mentioned when we were chatting about the restaurant. He said the steaks here are the best in the city.
Sahara and Fort Apache
An all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant received the highest of praise from a VGK defenseman. He said he brings the whole family in and they “go to town” on sushi.
The steakhouse at Bellagio is known as much for the view as it is for the incredibly good steaks. A forward told me it’s his go-to place after games. He probably hides away from the view, but if you go, sit on the patio located out on the Bellagio lake. I’ve been there myself, and the soy-glazed NY Strip is better than the view of the fountains.
A defenseman said this is the best Italian restaurant in the city and added an excellent recommendation. He said, “their specialty is just a simple spaghetti with red sauce and if they can make that what they are known for, you know it has to be amazing.” He went on to recommend a few other dishes but said you have to try the spaghetti the first time you go.
Echo & Rig, Tivoli Villiage
My favorite place used to be BarMASA which happens to be in the same location as Catch at Aria, but they closed up shop about two years ago. It’s where we ate after Miss Abby and I got engaged and then every anniversary after, they had an udon noodle dish that I’ve never seen anyone even come close to replicating. However, after it closed we had to find a new place, and that place was Zuma. Unlike the Golden Knights, I’m not a sushi fan, but that doesn’t mean Zuma isn’t for me. My favorite dish is the spicy soy beef tenderloin medallions. It’s out of this world.
But, I also love the miso-glazed baby chicken and the pork belly skewers. If you gave me the selection to eat at any restaurant in the city, there’s zero hesitation for me, it’s Zuma every single time.
If the Strip is off-limits, the place to go is Echo & Rig. They have a nice patio that overlooks Tivoli Village and steaks that are as good as any steakhouse on the Strip. I love the filet mignon with their charred onion sauce.
Lawry’s Prime Rib, Hughes Center, Flamingo and Paradise-ish
Chef Marc’s Trattoria, Sahara and Durango
Johnny Mac’s, Boulder Highway and Palo Verde in Henderson
Hammer’s Grill, Horizon and College in Henderson
Obviously, Las Vegas has a ton of great places to eat. You live somewhere for 32 years, you develop some favorites. I’ll break mine down to four choices.
If it’s a special occasion and you’re celebrating, Lawry’s always delivers. The meat, which they’re obviously known for, is always good. But the mashed potatoes are simply the best I’ve ever had anywhere.
For a casual night or date night, Chef Marc’s has great Italian dishes, a great wine selection, and fabulous desserts. The service is always spot on and Chef Marc himself comes out to get you. The Maloof brothers are regulars at this place.
To watch a Golden Knights game or any sporting event for that matter, either Johnny Mac’s or Hammer’s in Henderson always has the game on, the food is reasonably priced and they’re both Buffalo joints, which is weird for me since I’m originally from the other end of New York State — Brooklyn. The Beef on Weck at Johnny’s Mac’s crushes as does the pizza and the wings at Hammer’s are better than anything you’ll find in Buffalo, so the Buffalonians who live here tell me. Both also have plenty of beer selections to wash it all down.
How good are these two joints? I’ll drive from Summerlin to hang and eat there.
Gordon Ramsay’s Steak, Paris
There’s nothing like a traditional holiday dinner with your friends and family. Which is why my favorite Las Vegas restaurant is Gordon Ramsey’s Steak. A few years back, my wife and I decided to go to Ramsey’s Steak on Christmas Eve. We ordered Ramsey’s signature Beef Wellington and have enjoyed going back every Christmas season. We’ve been on other occasions but there’s nothing better than a traditional holiday Wellington.