Las Vegas, Nevada. What are your thoughts? I know some people just aren't into it, while others go yearly. Personally, I love Vegas and won't ever pass up an opportunity to visit! Three days is just right when it comes to how much time to spend there.
Just a few weeks ago we spent a long weekend in Vegas, celebrating Bryce's brother Brandon and his new bride Renee. We spent a few hours at a wedding chapel and never stepped foot in a nightclub. I still don't really "get" gambling and will probably stop trying now! Our time was spent eating, drinking, walking around, and enjoying each others' company in the desert and under the neon lights.
Don't take a gamble in Vegas, set your sights on my fav 5 places to eat and/or drink:
We stayed at the Paris hotel, which I'd highly recommend. It's beautiful, centrally located, and includes casinos, a sports bar, and plenty of stores, restaurants, and bars.
Each little detail is just perfectly European, right down to the beautiful pastries at the patisserie.
1. Our very first meal was dinner at Hash House A Go Go, our favorite Vegas restaurant. There are a few locations of "Hash House" in Vegas and we visited the one in the LINQ hotel. Years ago we went to one a few miles off of the strip, so we were so excited that there's now a location in walking distance of the strip. Perhaps half of the fun in Vegas is not dealing with transportation and parking, but casually walking everywhere!
Bryce kicked things off with the O'Hare of the Dog - a 25 oz Budweiser beer, complete with paper bag, and 5 slices of bacon!
We shared a few apps, the all blue crab cakes, crispy cornmeal fried tiger prawns, and homemade guacamole, salsa and chips being the most memorable.
Weston and Brandon, pictured, are both big eaters. For dinner Weston went for the Big O' Chicken Pot Pie with cracker crust, roasted chicken, sweet corn, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, red potato, and gravy while Brandon took on the famous Sage Fried Chicken and Waffles made with sage fried chicken breasts, hardwood smoked bacon, and fried leeks. They both worked hard on their dinners but nobody earned a clean-plate-club-badge. Sharing may be a better idea than going it alone!
...after a night in Paris, let's go for breakfast...
2. Le Village Buffet is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner inside the Paris Hotel. The price for breakfast is reasonable at $23.99 on weekends and $21.99 on weekdays. You can add alcohol (Bloody Mary's!) or opt for the 24 hour buffet, too. If you plan it right, you can eat enough at the buffet and skip your next meal.
The setting looks just like the opening scene in Beauty and the Beast, where Belle is running around France, signing about books! Vegas is Disney for adults, after all!
There are food stations everywhere, located in each of the 5 "provinces of France." The crepe station was the reason we went to this buffet. There is a crepe restaurant in the hotel, but we wanted more than just one thing. The truffle mushroom crepe was incredible! I'd meant to go back for [breakfast dessert of] the strawberry ricotta, and/or the banana Nutella, but I got too full. Say it with me now "first world problems!"
My second round of breakfast included a bit of everything, justifying the money well spent on the buffet option beyond crepes. You can see the cheese blintz with blueberry sauce, sweet potato and some other potatoes, cheese and crackers, a vegetarian mini quiche, lox (smoked salmon, cream cheese, and bagel), and 2 types of macaroons. Not pictured was my final breakfast dessert of a chocolate/vanilla swirl ice cream cone!
3. Speaking of ice cream, you cannot miss the Milk Bar Las Vegas in the Cosmopolitan resort. If you've filled up at Hash House A Go Go or at a buffet, you won't soon be hungry for a meal. Ice cream, on the other hand, is always an option.
I saw a billboard for "Milk" and just had to go. I don't remember when or where I'd heard of it before, but I knew it would be worth the trip. Did I make my selection based on wanting something pink? Maybe. Thankfully the Fruity Cereal Milk Soft Serve turned out to be crazy awesome! Imagine the creamy, artificially fruity milk left over in your childhood breakfast cereal bowl, then marry it to soft serve ice cream. Being an adult is fun sometimes, isn't it? Ice cream isn't the only option, you can use this in a boozy milkshake, too!
Note: The compost cookie was just OK. Go for the soft serve.
4. Le Cafe Ile St. Louis is also located inside the Paris hotel. Based purely on convenience we went there for lunch. The dining room is right near the hustle and bustle of the casino, lending itself to great people watching and quick runs to slot machines between food items, for a few of our friends.
While I prefer to plan for vacation activities and meals in advance, our crew in Vegas was not that way! I got over myself and just went with the flow and so many of our spur-of-the-moment meal decisions, like this one, turned out to be great. If you're reading this, you're probably like me [planning, planning, planning], just know it will be OK if you don't map out your whole trip, too!
Lunch was great. This trempette d'jambon or smoked bacon cheddar dip, made with applewood smoked bacon and served with celery and pretzel bites, was quickly demolished by our table. Once the dippers were gone we got creative with all other food items to get the most of the cheesy goodness.
My lunch was a salade cesar or Caesar salad, made with herb croutons, white anchovy, Parmesan cheese, and shrimp. Simple and delicious. It felt good to eat something made of fresh greens and healthy in the middle of Sin City, just one time HA.
5. Sambalatte in the Monte Carlo hotel was the 1 and only must-visit spot on my list for this trip to Vegas. I'd first seen their rainbow latte art on Instagram from a high school friend of mine. A few folks I met who live in Vegas didn't know about the rainbow art, but did say the coffee was excellent, so it seemed it was going to be worth the trip for form AND function!
People watching in coffee shops is fun, people watching in Vegas is fun. People watching in coffee shops in Vegas is extra fun! We overheard a job interview, speculated if people were working, fueling hangovers with caffiene, grabbing coffee after pulling an all nighter in a casino, and so on.
As a cappuccino drinker, I was delighted when the barista let me know I could have a rainbow cappuccino! It was adorable and delicious.
What's the difference between a cappuccino and a latte, you ask? Both made with espresso, latte include steamed milk, and a lot of it. Cappuccino has milk that's steamed and foamy, and less of it than a latte. Cappuccino is a little more bitter from the espresso flavor, while latte is more sweet from the milk and/or flavoring. Cappuccino comes in a smaller cup, latte cups are bigger and more like a bowl.
While I prefer cappuccino, I wish I got a rainbow latte because they're bigger and prettier! Beware "non-coffee-drinkers" who always steal a sip.
Sambalatte was certainly worthwhile, my only regret is not going daily!
Our little trip to Vegas was awesome, even without being planned detail by detail for weeks in advance. I don't know when we'll go again, but hope you're able to take advantage of one of our fav five spots on your next trip!
Some of our other favorite Vegas activities, which we weren't able to do on this trip, include:
Hello, I'm Angela.
Figs and Flights is all about traveling near and far & eating great food both at home and away.