I live in New York City and just spent two weeks in Las Vegas for various events and took a break from the standard and overpriced hotel restaurants on the strip. Instead, decided to search for high quality "excellent" finds both near and off the strip. I've been a "user" of Chowhound for many years, finally time for me to give back with this summary. The first entry below (Pura Vida Bakery & Bystro) is perhaps my favorite find of the last 10 years (and I travel quite a bit, always looking for good vegetarian/vegan restaurants).
I am spending another week in Vegas in late spring.... if you can reply to this post with similar "finds" so we can try them !!
Thanks and enjoy these....
1) Pura Vida Bakery & Bystro - WOW WOW WOW - - if you are a vegetarian or vegan (or neither!) and are anywhere near Las Vegas this place is a MUST. The chef is the eccentric Chef Mayra who is passionate about food and flavors and her dishes are nothing short of AMAZING. I am a vegetarian (not Vegan) but while in Vegas I brought non-vegetarians/non-vegans with me to this place and they are the ones who kept suggesting we go back to Pura Vida!! How often has a vegetarian heard that request from non-vegetarians?!? It's an extensive menu with a ton of options. Ingredients are all fresh, and every dish is so creative and flavorful. Portion sizes are great (for table sharing) and beautifully presented. We tended to over-order just to sample more dishes (the servers were great in helping us pack food to go). They are open till just past lunch (their website has the hours, closed Thursdays). The building and decor are basic...but Tell Chef Mayra that you found out about her restaurant from Chowhound (like I did) and she will really go all out...she loves people who are as passionate about food as she is !! You should have seen her excitement to come out of the kitchen and design a menu for us !! Take her (or the server's) suggestions... they will steer you in the right direction. Over the course of our visits, we tried about 10 dishes and all were excellent !!! It's a short drive from the strip and it's really not to be missed !!!!
2) India Palace - While not a vegetarian restaurant, there is a big selection of vegetarian friendly food (any questions, ask the staff as they are accustomed to catering to vegetarians). Have only gone here for lunch which is buffet style and while the decor is quite basic, the food is outstanding. Really stands out as an excellent quality Indian restaurant - - vegetarians will not leave here hungry !!!
3) Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana - Actually located in Henderson. As a self-proclaimed pizza aficionado, I always make it a point to research and try what people claim to be "the best pizza" anywhere I travel. Having spent a fair amount of time in Italy (Napoli and other parts) as well as living in New York City, I have a decent benchmark to measure against. This place really does make excellent authentic Italian style pizza. While not exactly the same that you would get in Italy, it's pretty close!! Actually better than almost all NYC Italian style pizza places, and far better than anything I have had anywhere else in the U.S. (I've been to about 40 U.S. states). Only 15-20 minute ride from the strip, and really worth the trip if you love pizza as much as I do !!
4) Lotus of Siam - This is not an intrinsically vegetarian friendly place, but worth a visit nonetheless. I ordered a vegetarian version of the Pad Thai (make sure to remind the server to order with "no fish sauce"). This was BY FAR the best Pad Thai I have every had outside of Thailand (I spent a month in Thailand not too long ago). It's different than any other Thai restaurant you probably have ever tried (they stick to the authentic way of Thai cooking). Incredible flavors and what a huge menu. While the restaurant is not fancy, they have an incredibly impressive wine list, particularly as it relates to Rieslings, which go great with Thai food. Came here with a larger group and everyone was blown away.
5) Firefly Tapas - This is also not an intrinsically vegetarian friendly place but has a great evening scene/crowd and there are enough tapas options on the menu to keep a vegetarian satisfied ! They have two locations (went to Paradise Road location) and was not disappointed. Great for sharing and great sangria!!
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