Dine like a cowboy during NFR in Vegas

The National Finals Rodeo is in town and that means there are lots of hungry cowboys who have worked up an appetite and are looking for a place to get a good cut of steak or maybe some tasty barbecue. Whether you’re looking for NFR specials, a restaurant that’s close to all of the action at the Thomas & Mack Center or a spot to eat where you can catch a country concert afterwards, Vegas has the right restaurant for you.

Tender's wild game platter

Tender Steak & Seafood at Luxor Hotel and Casino will feature specialty menu items created by Executive Chef K.C. Fazel during the National Finals Rodeo from Thursday, Dec. 5, through Saturday, Dec. 14. Try a Tomahawk Chop paired with a Crown Royal Flight, priced at $95 per person. The Tomahawk Chop is a grilled 30-ounce Angus beef ribeye steak accompanied by roasted fingerling potatoes, exotic mushrooms and caramelized onions. The Crown Royal Flight includes pours of Crown XR, Crown Reserve and Crown Royal. The Tomahawk Chop and Crown Royal Flight are also available à la carte for $75 and $30, respectively.

Adventurous NFR fans also may enjoy the Game Meat Tasting Platter, a sampling of three rare American meats. Priced at $55 per person, the platter includes Wyoming range-fed American bison ribeye served with maple-flavored baked beans and duck bacon; Colorado Rocky Mountain elk medallion accompanied by huckleberry sauce and cherry fig chutney; and Texas hill-country wild boar spare ribs served with roasted white corn salad.

Vic & Anthony’s  – If you’re downtown at the Golden Nugget for one of their country concerts during NFR, stop into Vic & Anthony’s steakhouse. The restaurant offers a nice selection of USDA prime Midwest grain-fed beef including filet mignon, prime strip, bone-in ribeye and American-style Kobe beef. The Golden Nugget will welcome Gretchen Wilson Dec. 6 – 7, followed by Dwight Yoakam Dec. 8 – 9, Willie Nelson Dec. 10 – 11 and Merle Haggard Dec. 12 – 13.

35 Steaks + Martinis – The Hard Rock Hotel is located near the Thomas & Mack Center so it’s easy to pop over to 35 Steaks and Martinis for a meal. During NFR, the restaurant will offer specials like the Cowboy Porterhouse Steak for $89. The steak is a 24-ounce dry-aged porterhouse marinated in Chile 35 rub. Other specials include the double-cut Duroc pork chop, a 16-ounce BBQ broiled premium Duroc pork chop served with smashed red potatoes, honey roasted baby carrots and hard cider sauce for $39. If you have a big appetite, try the 35 Signature Tomahawk ($109), a 35-ounce dry-aged USDA prime bone-in rib chop complete with fried macaroni and cheese, asparagus and béarnaise sauce.

Mr. Lucky’s Cafe, also at the Hard Rock, will be serving a hearty Trailer Park Breakfast during NFR, which includes a 12-ounce grilled ham steak, scrambled eggs, potato skins, onion rings, Cheese Whiz and toast. Rodeo fans can also enjoy the cowboy steak & eggs for $9.99 – top sirloin steak, two eggs any style, hash browns and toast. For dessert, enjoy the funnel cake sundae, a crispy funnel cake with vanilla ice cream, seasonal strawberries, whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

SHe 12-ounce filet

SHe by Mortons at Crystals is known for offering smaller cuts of steak for women, but have no fear – they also serve “He” cuts big enough to satisfy anyone’s appetite. Among the “He” cuts are an 8-ounce center cut filet ($39); a 12-ounce center cut filet ($45); a 16-ounce prime strip ($48); a 16-ounce prime ribeye ($46) and a 22-ounce Chicago-style bone-in ribeye (market price). If you want to share, you can try the “We” cuts as well – a 32-ounce bone-in New York for $79 or a 40-ounce porterhouse for $96.

Billy Bob’sSam’s Town is a favorite spot to stay for the NFR crowd and it’s also home to Billy Bob’s, a restaurant with great steaks for a good value. Try the ribeye, porterhouse, filet mignon or prime rib of beef, all served in two sizes, based on your appetite. While you’re at Sam’s Town, enjoy the 3rd Annual Buckin’ Bull Mechanical Bull Riding competition, hosted by PRCA rodeo announcer Jody Carper Dec. 6 – 14.  There will be two riding sessions nightly at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. You can also buy your favorite Western clothes, gifts, boots and hats at Shepler’s Western Wear store, located on the second floor of Sam’s Town.

Gilley’s at Treasure Island offers everything a cowboy is looking for – bull riding, country music and dancing and hearty Southern food.

Gilley's Cowboy Burger

During NFR, Gilley’s will be serving favorites like the Cowboy Burger, an 8-ounce patty topped with pulled pork, jalapeño jack cheese, crispy onions and Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce. Another tasty dish to try is CT’s Award-Winning Pork Green Chili – tender chunks of pork simmered with hatch and poblano chilies, topped with crema fresca and served with flour tortillas. Wash it all down with the Cowboy Up!, a blend of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, sour apple schnapps, cranberry juice and Fever Tree ginger ale.

Top of Binion’s Steakhouse – If you’re downtown head to Binion’s for an old school steakhouse with a spectacular view. Enjoy Creekstone Farms Midwestern corn-fed Black Angus beef that has been aged a minimum of 28 days. Try cuts like ribeye, filet mignon, prime rib of beef, a 21-ounce porterhouse steak, Australian lobster tail, salmon, and the signature chicken fried lobster. All entrées are served with a choice of four side dishes and a vegetable.

Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak – The Mirage will host a variety of events over the 10-day NFR competition while serving as the official hotel of the NFR Steer Wrestling contestants. For a great steak at the hotel, try Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak. The restaurant focuses on meats prepared over an open flame on wood-burning ovens and charcoal grills. Colicchio uses a variety of specialized cooking methods when preparing the restaurant’s antibiotic-free meats, including Brandt Beef and Snake River Farms, which he sources from ranchers across the United States. Dishes include a New York strip steak with pepper chutney Bordelaise and duck breast with duck chorizo and smoked peaches, along with a selection of seasonal side dishes to accompany menu selections.

The Mirage also will be the home of the 10th annual “Rodeo Vegas,” the Official NFR After-Party of the PRCA, featuring free nightly live entertainment from artists like Dustin Lynch, Craig Morgan and Easton Corbin, drink specials and more.

Silverado Steakhouse – This restaurant is located at the South Point, which also has a Western gift show and the Benny Binion Bucking Horse and Bull Sale going on during NFR. Silverado Steakhouse is an elegant yet affordable restaurant serving traditional steakhouse fare including fine cuts of steaks, chops, seafood and chicken. Silverado Steakhouse offers a variety of cuts of steak including a 16-ounce bone-in ribeye, dry-aged New York strip, prime rib and more. Be sure to try the Kona-crusted flat iron steak with Café de Paris butter.

PBR Rock Bar & Grill – In addition to food, PBR Rock Bar at Planet Hollywood features a mechanical bull, live music and an outdoor patio. For main courses, the barbecue ribs are a great way to go. Tender meat is slathered in barbecue sauce and served with two sides. Speaking of sides, the Dorito-crusted mac ‘n’ cheese is a unique take on comfort food. Crispy Doritos line the outside of the dish, tender macaroni in a creamy cheese sauce is then topped with Dorito crumbs. A rich creamed corn, creamed spinach, deviled eggs and hush puppies are also on the menu. Other main courses include hearty Colorado-style chili, a bucket of chicken and various pizzas. Enjoy 10 percent off your dining experience by showing your NFR ticket stub.

Craftsteak at MGM Grand – MGM Grand is known as “Home of the Champions” and has a variety of rodeo events scheduled from cowboy appearances to autograph sessions, live rodeo feeds and more. If you’re at MGM you’ll want to stop into Craftsteak for a meal.  The steaks, from chef Tom Colicchio,  are aged to perfection, grain or grass-fed, and seared to lock the juices in.


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.