In Las Vegas we like to implode things. There’s always something newer and bigger being built. When it comes to restaurants we have exciting new concepts opening all the time. That’s cool, but sometimes you just want to eat somewhere that has that classic old Vegas feeling or someplace that’s been reliably serving food since the ’60s. (Hey, that’s old in Vegas terms.)
Here are 10 restaurants where you can still find vintage Vegas flavor:
The Steak House at Circus Circus: This restaurant opened more than 30 years ago and still has some staff members who have been there almost that long. You can feel the retro vibe here with the wood décor, dim lighting and a glass enclosed meat locker where beef is dry aged for 21 days. There’s also an open-hearth mesquite charcoal grill where you can watch your steak being cooked. We love that the steak comes with a choice of potato, vegetable and salad included in the price. That’s definitely old school compared with most places today where everything is sold à la carte.
Golden Steer, 308 W. Sahara Ave.: This venerable steakhouse has been in business in Las Vegas since 1958 and has staff members who have been with the restaurant for more than 40 years. It’s still decorated with old-style wood paneled walls, red leather booths and Western art. Members of the Rat Pack were regular customers at the Golden Steer and other famous guests included Elvis Presley, Joe DiMaggio, Tony Spilotro and more. So if you want to eat like Elvis, go here and order the USDA Prime aged and corn-fed beef. Options include bone-in ribeye, top sirloin, prime rib and an 18-ounce porterhouse with Calvados apple brandy sauce.
Joe Vicari’s Andiamo Italian Steakhouse at the D: OK, this place isn’t old, but it has that retro atmosphere that we love. The restaurant, which is open nightly for dinner, is a bit of a hidden gem tucked into a corner of the second floor of the D. The entrance is a brick-lined hallway that leads into a warm room decorated with dark woods and romantic semi-private leather booths. Joe Vicari’s offers a large selection of steaks and chops. The beef is aged a minimum of 30 days and is all-natural, free-raised and hormone-free. A variety of cuts are available including melt-in-your-mouth filet mignon, a 24-ounce porterhouse and the Andiamo Tomahawk — a 32-ounce ribeye charred to perfection.
Hugo’s Cellar at the Four Queens: Hugo’s Cellar is where to go if you’re looking for the ’60s and ’70s Vegas gourmet room vibe. Everything is nostalgic here from the brick lined walls to the booths to the fact that all ladies are presented with a rose when they arrive. Hugo’s which opened in 1973, also offers great tableside services you just don’t see in many restaurants today. The restaurant serves hearty steaks, lamb, chicken and more. Included with your main course is Hugo’s tableside salad, made with romaine lettuce and topped with your choice of tomato, artichokes, mushrooms, chopped hard-boiled eggs, blue cheese and bay shrimp.
We also love the old-school value of Hugo’s Cellar. In addition to the salad, Hugo’s entrees include bottled water, assorted breads, sorbet to cleanse your palate, vegetable, potato and chocolate dipped strawberries, apricots and baby figs with a fresh cream dip for dessert.
Pamplemousse, 400 E. Sahara Ave.: Georges LaForge opened Pamplemousse, the oldest French restaurant in town, in 1976. Photos of celebrities line the walls of the French cottage-like space. You’ll find plenty of candlelight, a fireplace, tuxedo-clad waiters and classic French Provençal fare like steaks, seafood, foie gras, escargots and duck confit. Be sure to indulge in the complimentary trademark basket of crudités with homemade vinaigrette and fresh bread.
Peppermill, 2985 S. Las Vegas Blvd.: The iconic Peppermill restaurant on the Strip opened its doors in 1972 and has been serving up coffee shop favorites, low prices and big portions 24 hours a day ever since. The décor hasn’t changed much either. Think neon lights, dayglow colors and velvet booths. Be sure to check out the adjacent Fireside Lounge with its sunken fire pit and potent cocktails.
Piero’s Italian Cuisine, 355 Convention Center Dr.: Piero’s opened its original location in 1982 on Karen Avenue and five years later moved to its current spot. Over the years it has been a hangout for celebrities, politicians and other, shall we say “colorful,” Vegas figures. It’s so Vegas-y that part of the movie “Casino” was shot there. Be sure to try the classic osso buco and stick around for the old Vegas lounge-style entertainment.
Battista’s Hole in the Wall, 4041 Linq Lane: This traditional Italian restaurant, located a block off the Strip, opened in 1970 and is a local favorite. Vegas memorabilia and photos line every square inch of the walls, patrons are seated at red leather booths and a strolling accordion player makes the atmosphere festive. We love that the dinners come with all-you-can-drink house wine, soup or salad, garlic bread, a pasta side and cappuccino.
Michael’s Gourmet Room at the South Point: Michael’s, a AAA Four Diamond Award restaurant, was originally located at the Barbary Coast and is now located at the South Point. It’s been a popular gourmet room in Vegas for more than 20 years with a menu of steaks, seafood, chops and more. The intimate 50-seat room features red colors and intimate booths and you’ll find old-school menu items like cherries jubilee and bananas Foster prepared tableside.
Top of Binion’s Steakhouse: This classic restaurant was originally part of The Mint hotel (which was built in 1957) and was called Top of the Mint. In 1988 the hotel became Binion’s Horseshoe but you can still find the restaurant, decorated in vintage Vegas décor, on the 24th floor. Enjoy views of downtown as you dine on charbroiled steaks, seafood, lamb, pork chops and chicken dishes.