If it’s been a few years (or decades) since you’ve been to Las Vegas, the word “buffet” may evoke images of sad-looking food sitting listlessly in steam-table trays for hours, there to satisfy your hunger rather than inspire your tastebuds. Thankfully, things have drastically changed for the better in the desert oasis. In fact, Sin City’s food scene is so good, it’s become a global destination for food tourism and home to some of the most lavish chef-driven cuisine you can imagine—and buffets are no exception.
Whether you’re craving classic weekend brunch dishes, sushi made fresh right in front of you, or decadent desserts, you’re likely to find it (and so much more) at a Vegas buffet. And while it’s true you get what you pay for—the most expensive Las Vegas buffets tend to be the most highly-rated—you can still find great deals here and there.
Since there are dozens of options to choose from, we asked local experts to weigh in on the best buffets in Las Vegas to help you narrow it down.
The Top Three Las Vegas Buffets
“My general advice is to go to the better hotels to get the better buffets,” says John Curtas, long-time local food critic and author of “Eating Las Vegas 2019: The 52 Essential Restaurants”. “‘You get what you pay for’ is never more accurate than when you’re talking about food. Bellagio, Wynn, and The Cosmopolitan are known as foodie-centric hotels.”
“I personally like The Wicked Spoon at the Cosmo quite a bit,” Curtas adds. “They have lots of small plates you might find at a fancy gastropub.” Perhaps it’s a sign of how the Vegas food scene—including buffets—has evolved. “We’ve become a food-savvy society, everyone is much more educated about good and fresh food,” explains Curtas. “Everything from tacos to sushi, food to order, being made in front of your eyes…you get a lot of handmade food that was never there 20 years ago.”
Eating Las Vegas 2019: The 52 Essential Restaurants, $14.95 on Amazon
Don't gamble on bad food—let John Curtas show you the best of Sin City!
Lindsay Stewart, who goes by the handle @thelasvegasfoodie on Instagram, describes the buffet at Wynn Las Vegas as exquisite and pristine. “Everything is to the nines,” she states. “It’s top-notch, very white glove.” And of course, she says, the food is incredible. “Nothing is discounted, it’s not that kind of place,” she adds, “but it’s worth the price.”
Stewart’s top pick is Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace. “It has everything,” she enthuses. “When you think of a Vegas buffet, this is what it should be. I love dessert, and it has a chocolate fountain, homemade cupcakes…they have fresh lobster, crab—the seafood is insane. It’s everything a gourmet restaurant would have, but made almost right in front of you. As far as quality, presentation, cleanliness, and just the overall wow factor, it’s Bacchanal. That’s definitely number one for me.”
Know Before You Go
Wondering what the most popular item at a Vegas buffet might be? “King crab legs, baby, king crab legs!” says Curtas with a laugh.
Stewart agrees that seafood is a huge draw for buffet-goers. ”It’s crazy to think we’re in the middle of nowhere and foods are flown in the hour before to be on our plates,” she says. “It’s remarkable.”
When you’re in the buffet line, don’t be surprised to find dishes from around the world, many of which are made to order. The nicest hotels on the Strip make it a point to cater to the taste of their foreign clientele. According to Curtas, in addition to the cassoulet, the Asian food at Wynn is definitely worth seeking out. The best buffets are also more likely to have a wide range of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free offerings.
While you may be able to make a reservation at some places, you’ll have to wait in line at others, including Bacchanal. However, insists Stewart, it’s well worth it. “People have caught on that buffets don’t mean bad food,” she explains. “They’re a nice place to go if you have a big group or a family gathering, especially for the holidays.”
Of course, the most important piece of advice to enjoy the best buffets in Vegas is perhaps the most obvious: go on an empty stomach!
Related Video: How to Set Up a Buffet Table
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