A guide to all of the latest dining changes in Vegas

There’s one thing you can count on about the dining scene in Vegas. It’s always changing.

Las Vegas has had a steady stream of new restaurants opening over the past couple of months and there are several more on the horizon that we’re really excited about. From upscale Italian to burger joints and gastropubs, there’s something for everyone. Here’s a quick guide to all of the latest happenings on the Vegas dining scene:

Recently opened

The new Rivea restaurant at The Delano, photo courtesty of The Delano

The new Rivea restaurant at The Delano, photo courtesty of The Delano

Rivea at The Delano: Rivea is the latest restaurant from renowned chef Alain Ducasse. The restaurant, which opened last month, is situated high atop the Delano hotel and offers breathtaking 180-degree views of the Strip below. Rivea replaces Ducasse’s Mix restaurant. The new concept serves his take on French and Italian cuisine with menu items inspired by the food markets of Provence and Italy.

Flippin’ Good Burgers & Shakes, 505 Fremont St.: Flippin’ Good Burgers & Shakes lives up to its name. Located in downtown’s Fremont East District, the restaurant, which also opened last month, serves fresh burgers, hand-cut fries and delicious custard shakes. Burgers are made with 100 percent Angus beef ground with chuck, brisket and short rib.  Save room for the frozen specialty custard concretes. They come in flavors like Macadamia Crunch, Brownie Delight and Banana Monkey.

Pawn Plaza, 725 S. Las Vegas Blvd.: Next time you work up an appetite after checking out the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, head next door to Pawn Plaza, the latest venture from the Pawn Stars. There are several small restaurants in the plaza.  We love Smoke’s Poutinerie, which serves several varieties of the cheesy Canadian goodness. There’s also Inna Gadda di Pizza, Rita’s Italian Ice, Pawn Donut & Coffee and Rick’s Rollin’ Smoke BBQ & Tavern. That’s Rick as in Rick Harrison, who you just might see bartending at the tavern on any given night. The BBQ is pretty darn good too.

Pete's Chicken, photo courtesy of Pete Rose Bar & Grill

Pete’s Chicken, photo courtesy of Pete Rose Bar & Grill

Pete Rose Bar & Grill, at Hawaiian Marketplace: Baseball icon Pete Rose serves American breakfast, lunch and dinner favorites daily at his new sports bar, which opened in October. The menu includes signature “Pete Rose Specials” that honor the three cities that Rose played for, including Cincinnati Chili on spaghetti for the Cincinnati Reds; a classic Philly Cheese Steak for the Philadelphia Phillies; and a spin on poutine for the Montreal Expos, topped with brown gravy and cheese curds. The 6,700-square-foot bar and dining room is also filled with historic pieces from Rose’s iconic baseball moments.

Buffalo Wild Wings at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood: Buffalo Wild Wings opened its first restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood last month. Guests can dine on the signature Buffalo wings and boneless wings with a wide variety of sauces and seasonings.  The 7,200-square-foot restaurant has 63 HDTVs for sports fans and a retail shop.

Paris Baugette Café at Grand Canal Shoppes: You’ll feel like you’re in a French cafe in Paris as you order classic baguettes, chocolate bread, sweet potato bread or apple cream cheese bread at the new Paris Baugette Café. There are also a variety of hot and cold sandwiches. Dessert is always the best part of a Paris café and you’ll find plenty here including cakes, croissants, éclairs, fruit pastries and Danish cream cheese.

The Red Room at Carbone, photo courtesy of Aria

The Red Room at Carbone, photo courtesy of Aria

Carbone at Aria: New York’s celebrated Carbone restaurant pays homage to the Italian-American restaurants of the mid-20th century, an era of glamour and tableside service. Think “Mad Men” style. The famous Captains, who serve at the restaurant, wear burgundy-colored tuxedos created by fashion designer Zac Posen. The beautifully designed restaurant features a Blue Room with walls composed of tiles from New York subway stations. The Red Room was inspired by the Milan Opera and features a floor-to-ceiling Murano glass chandelier that was originally commissioned for a Ferrari showroom in the 1960s.

The cuisine is classic New York Italian with dishes like spicy rigatoni vodka, linguini vognole,  branzino and lobster fra diavolo. Be sure to stick around after dessert for the rum cart, which is rolled tableside and offers some of the rarest rums in the world.

Photo courtesy of Killer Shrimp

Photo courtesy of Killer Shrimp

Killer Shrimp, Town Square: Killer Shrimp, which opened over Halloween weekend, serves its signature shrimp in a secret spicy sauce, as well as other seafood favorites. The restaurant simmers its special sauce for 10 hours. When you order shrimp, it’s added to the sauce and cooked quickly. You’ll get your shrimp delivered to your table piping hot with a side of French bread for dunking.

For the land lubbers, there are a variety of options including salads, a pork belly sloppy Joe, cheese tortellini and slow-braised beef short rib.

Fresco Italiano at Westgate: This new Italian restaurant opened last night and serves hearty favorites family-style. You’ll find things like homemade pizzas, signature pastas, entrees and classic desserts. Start with selections of hot and cold antipasto, served tableside from dim sum inspired rolling carts. Entrees also include a diverse selection of meats, seafood, pasta and risotto, along with gluten free and whole grain pasta offerings.

Coming Soon

Photo courtesy of Luke's Lobster

Photo courtesy of Luke’s Lobster

Luke’s Lobster at Fashion Show Mall: Luke’s Lobster, the Maine-based seafood shack known for its simple menu and sustainable ingredients, will open its first Las Vegas outpost on Thursday.  The outdoor shack with al fresco seating will serve fresh lobster, shrimp and crab rolls, along with a selection of chowders and bisques. Beverages also hail from Maine, including craft drinks from Maine Root and Green Bee, a soda lightly sweetened with pure honey.

The Smashed Pig Gastropub, 509 Fremont St.: This intimate English-inspired gastropub is set to open soon in the Fremont East District. The restaurant will serve British pub dishes and comfort foods. You’ll also find soccer games on the TVs and artisanal beers and wines. Just look for the tipsy neon pig mascot above the door.

A rendering of the outdoor area at Herringbone, courtesy of Aria

A rendering of the outdoor area at Herringbone, courtesy of Aria

Herringbone at Aria: Brian Malarkey’s acclaimed ocean-to-table concept, Herringbone, will open Dec. 28 under the direction of Executive Chef Geno Bernardo. The popular restaurant will bring its California-inspired coastal cuisine to Las Vegas with dishes like skate wing schnitzel (spätzle, sea beans, Hen of the Woods mushrooms and mustard jus) and a roasted Colorado lamb rack with squash, corn, basil, piquillos, padrons, and harissa aioli.

Inspired by trips to the shore, the sophisticated space will use a variety of light woods and warm, layered textiles, accented with eclectic, rustic touches. Outside, a patio surrounded by a lush garden landscape will provide the ideal backdrop for an al fresco meal.

Harvest by Roy Ellamar at Bellagio: Las Vegas chef Roy Ellamar will debut his farm-to-table restaurant in December. Harvest will feature regional American dishes that include sustainable and locally grown products.  The menu will include extensive charcuterie selections and artisanal American cheeses, complemented with house-made breads and preserves; vegetarian dishes such as ancient grain risotto; sustainable seafood cooked in a special stone oven; and grass-fed beef, organic poultry, pork and game birds complemented by market-driven side dishes. “Snack Wagons” traveling from table to table with interesting bites and small selections will allow guests to try Ellamar’s “creations of the moment.”

Green prawns at MR CHOW, photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment

Green prawns at MR CHOW, photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment

MR CHOW at Caesars Palace: MR CHOW plans to open its seventh restaurant location in December at Caesars Palace. The Beijing cuisine eatery will serve family-style dishes including chicken satay, green prawns and hand-pulled MR CHOW noodles.

There will also be a selection of premium champagne and specialty cocktails made with fresh ingredients. The infamous MR CHOW champagne trolley is one of the many shows put on during guests’ dining experience. The Caesars Palace location will have a unique champagne arrival experience at the entrance. The restaurant will overlook the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis and will include terrace seating and two private dining spaces.

Wahlburgers at the Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally’s: Fans of the A&E reality show “Wahlburgers” will be excited to learn a branch of the restaurant is coming to Las Vegas in late 2015. The popular, fast-casual burger restaurant founded by brothers Mark, Donnie and Paul Wahlberg will feature gourmet burgers and specialty drinks. The restaurant will have a walk-up window and a 600-square foot outdoor patio. Menu highlights include a BBQ Bacon Burger; the Thanksgiving Day made with fresh ground seasoned turkey, stuffing, Paul’s orange-cranberry sauce, roasted butternut squash and mayo; and Jenn’s Chicken Sandwich, topped with caramelized and crispy onions, lettuce and Jenn’s honey-garlic sauce.

A retail shop, located on the Strip sidewalk, will open prior to the restaurant and offer branded Wahlburgers merchandise, including T-shirts, key chains, shot glasses and more.

Hong Kong Cafe, photo courtesy of Palazzo

Hong Kong Cafe, photo courtesy of Palazzo

Hong Kong Café at Palazzo: This new restaurant, which replaces Zine Noodles at the Palazzo, will serve a fusion of Asian cuisine and Western fare. With a nod to the city’s Western influence, the Hong Kong Café menu will include items like a Macau-Style crispy pork chop sandwich, curry beef stew with steamed white rice, Hong Kong-style French toast, oven-baked spaghetti with black truffle and chicken, and a pineapple bun with iced butter. The restaurant will also feature regional Chinese cuisine, drawing from Cantonese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Szechuan and other Asian cooking styles.

Sugar Factory at Fashion Show Mall: Sugar Factory American Brasserie has announced plans to open its largest restaurant and retail complex early next year.

The new Sugar Factory American Brasserie will encompass two levels and nearly 16,000 square feet of space on the Strip as part of Fashion Show’s expansion on the Plaza. The lower level will be divided between the main dining room and a retail store. The restaurant will serve Sugar Factory American Brasserie’s signature items along with classic favorites such as pizzas, pastas, salads, fresh seafood, steaks and sandwiches. Sugar Factory is also known for its over-the-top desserts and drink menu, including the 36-ounce alcohol-infused smoking candy goblets.

The upper level will feature a 3,000-square-foot open-air Chocolate Lounge, which will offer a vast selection of chocolate fondues, accompanied by wine, champagne and liquor pairings.

El Burro Borracho at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino:  Chef and television host Guy Fieri plans to open his second Las Vegas restaurant in early 2016.  El Burro Borracho will serve authentically prepared Mexican dishes with upscale touches and the signature, flavorful flair you would expect from Fieri. Crispy Mahi Mahi Juan Tacos, Flaming Queso Fundido, Acapulco Gold Salad, Drunken Fish Tacos, Lava Rock Shrimp, signature tortas, enchiladas, burritos and an array of house made, signature salsas are just a few of the items that will be available on the menu.


Bartolotta at Wynn: While this restaurant doesn’t look any different, Chef Paul Bartolotta has left and the name was switched to Costa di Mare. Under new Chef Mark LoRusso you’ll find fresh Mediterranean seafood and Italian coastal cuisine. The restaurant works with local fisherman and markets from every region in Italy to offer things like langoustines, Mediterranean blue, spiny, and slipper lobsters, imperial red prawns and daily specials like Venetian soft-shell crab.

Martorano’s at the Rio: While this outpost of the Italian eatery has closed, don’t worry. You can still eat those famous meatballs and pastas at the Paris Las Vegas location.

Botero at Encore: This steakhouse has shuttered and will be remodeled and turned into a new concept that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Todai at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood: The all-you-can-eat sushi buffet closed and will be replaced with Texas Land & Cattle Steakhouse. The restaurant will serve traditional favorites with a Texas twist. You’ll see things like brisket stuffed jalapenos, country fried sirloin, sweet and spicy enchiladas and baby back ribs on the menu.


It’s not that warm in Minnesota. I know this from spending half my life freezing in the northern part of the state. So 20 years ago, I decided to thaw out and traded in scarves and mittens for tank tops and flip-flops (Take that, polar vortex!). I swapped snow for 300 days of sun a year. I may not have been born here, but there are hotels that haven’t lasted in Vegas as long as I have. The Sands, Hacienda, Aladdin, Desert Inn and the Stardust too. I've been to my fair share of implosion parties. (Yeah, that’s a thing.) As a writer for Vegas.com, I've applauded hundreds of shows, explored every major hotel in town and raised a few glasses at most of the city's bars and clubs. Now I'm the resident foodie here. I write about all things dining — from $3.99 shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate to the finest sushi at Nobu, and everything in between.