Written by Chris Cutler
Photo by Jan Craddock
Depending on which source you believe, there are between 1800 and 4400 restaurants in Las Vegas. When you consider that each hotel/casino has a number of restaurants, count the locally owned dining facilities, and factor in the numerous franchises, the 4400 number seems believable. Each year, a lot of new restaurants try to join the city’s line-up, but may of them fail. That’s not unexpected, though, as studies done by Ohio State and Cornell Universities show that 60% of restaurants fail within their first three years of business.
While many come and go, there are some that stay. How many of these “10” have you visited?
1. Bob Taylor’s Original Ranch House, 6250 Rio Vista St., Las Vegas. When Bob Taylor opened the Ranch House Supper Club in 1955, his menu was minimal—steak, lobster, shrimp. Mesquite-grilled steak and prime rib are favorites, but guests today can enjoy a more expansive menu in a setting that remains rustic.
2. Hugo’s Cellar, 202 Fremont St., Las Vegas. Not much has changed since Hugo’s opened in 1973, and that’s okay with the patrons of this gourmet supper club. The tuxedoed waiters provide table-side service; each dinner comes with salad and dessert; and each woman receives a rose.
3. Piero’s, 355 Convention Center Dr., Las Vegas. Piero’s has served locals and visitors alike for more than 30 years, and Gilbert Fetaz has been executive chef since opening day. The French chef’s philosophy that food should be fresh, simple, and consistent keeps patrons going back.
4. The Golden Steer Steakhouse, 308 W. Sahara Ave., Las Vegas. While the look of the restaurant was updated in the 90s, it has retained its quality offerings and is known for having memorable seafood and quality steaks. Many of the staff of this popular steakhouse have been with the restaurant for decades.
5. Lotus of Siam, 953 E. Sahara Ave., Las Vegas. When Chef Saipan Chutima took over Lotus of Siam in 1999, it was a little, out-of-the-way place in Commercial Center. Today, the restaurant is a James Beard Award winner. Chef Saipan serves her family’s northern Thai recipes that include using hearty herbs and spices, Thai style stews, and curries without coconuts.
6. DuPar’s, 1 Fremont St., Las Vegas. Locals and visitors alike head to DuPar’s for its diner-style food. The huge menu includes a plethora of entrees, but its pancakes and baked goods (Think homemade pie!) are popular. DuPar’s brought the iconic shrimp cocktail and still serves it in a sundae cup with spicy sauce and a lemon wedge.
7. Chicago Joe’s, 820 S. 4th St., Las Vegas. For more than 30 years, Chicago Joe’s has served classic Italian fare in an cozy brick cottage downtown. You’ll think you’re dining at Grandma’s house.
8. Peppermill, 2985 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas. The Peppermill Fireside Lounge is a 24-hour coffee shop that exudes vintage Vegas. One of the few freestanding restaurants on the Strip, the Peppermill is colorful, kitschy, and fun. Go hungry as the portions are huge.
9. Doña Maria’s Mexican Restaurant, 910 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, 89101. In a city rife with Mexican restaurants, Doña Maria’s is the place to go If you want to taste your grandmother’s Mexican cooking. The restaurant is famous for their tamales (flavors include red, green, cheese, and sweet), and they sell thousands during the holidays.
10. Pamplemousse, 400 E. Sahara Ave., Las Vegas. Open since 1976, Pamplemousse offers diners traditional French fare. A complimentary basket of crudités is a pleasant start to dinners. In addition to Provencal offerings such as Duck Mousse Terrine and Foie Gras, guests can also enjoy steak and seafood.
And we can’t forget…
The Huntridge Soda Fountain, 1144 E. Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas. The Huntridge might not be the place for a fancy dinner, but if you’re looking for burgers, salads, wraps, and fountain delights, it is the place to go. The restaurant, complete with vinyl stools and booths, is a throw-back to its 1960s roots.