Though I’m always up for a juicy, mouth-watering cut of Angus beef served rare and practically still mooing—I understand not everyone always is.
A few of my friends in Las Vegas are vegetarians and for these meatless friends, I have taken note of places that have exceptional vegetarian cuisine on their menus.
I know there are varying degrees of vegetarianism—some don’t eat red meat but eat chicken, some eat fish but not chicken, some don’t eat anything with a face and some seem to not eat anything at all. For all intents and purposes, these picks are for those who simply don’t eat meat or seafood, but can still have dairy products.
Here are some of my favorite veggie-friendly restaurants where I (almost) didn’t miss the meat.
Border Grill in Mandalay Bay does it right. It’s serves savory Mexican-style food and uses fresh ingredients. Many of their recipes are also made from scratch. Border Grill has lots of vegetable options. They are even in the process of implementing the “80% / 20%” program where 80 percent of the dishes served are vegetable-based.
Continuing with the south-of-the-border theme, Mesa Grill in Caesars Palace has an amazing stuffed pepper entrée. The tender grilled poblano pepper is generously stuffed with rice, and topped with hot and bubbly cheese.
If you’re hungry in Caesars and Italian is more your slice of pizza, try Rao’s. The legendary New York based Italian restaurant has a nice selection of pastas, appetizers, sides and entrées that either are or can be specially requested to be served vegetarian-style.
Canaletto serves a variety of appetizers, pizzas, pastas and risottos that are all vegetarian friendly. The atmosphere is also heavenly, overlooking St. Mark’s Square in the Venetian.
If burgers are your thing, both LBS: A Burger Joint at Red Rock and Lucille’s at The District are favorites among my vegetarian cronies. They rave about Lucillie’s veggie burger and swear by its rich flavor and juicy texture. LBS has an assortment of veggie burgers to choose from and you can also substitute a veggie burger for any regular burger with special toppings.
The Palazzo has several vegetarian-friendly restaurants. Canyon Ranch Grill, located in front of the spa, features spa cuisine with an emphasis on fresh vegetable dishes. Named one of the 10 best Chinese restaurants by Chinese Restaurant News, Zine has vegetarian options and can substitute other meat-based dishes for tofu or veggies.
Restaurant Charlie, the Michelin Star-rated restaurant at the Palazzo offers guests one of the only vegetarian tasting menus in town, where guests can be taken through a course-by-course herbivorous meal. Chef Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago was the first restaurant in America to conceptualize and implement a whole vegetarian tasting menu. Trotter brings the same style and quality to Las Vegas with Restaurant Charlie’s light and health-conscious cuisine.
I have found these places to have menu items that are hearty, satisfying and not just a few side dishes pieced together but a full meal—even sans steak.