My birthday last year ended up being a trip to Vegas, courtesy of Boyfriend (now Fiancé). The Las Vegas food scene has an odd reputation. In one hotel you can find elegant Michelin starred restaurant not far from a greasy fast food joints famous for massive burgers or pizza. Famous chefs open their chains or run hotel buffets. There’s an insane number of options to choose from, but here are some of the places we tried!
#1: Black Tap
Black Tap’s mother restaurant in New York earned its fame on Instagram. Their popularity started with Crazyshakes, milkshakes with “extras” like pieces of cake and candies around the rim. For my birthday, I wanted to have one of these giant milkshakes. Out of the many choices, we picked the Cookie Shake: a vanilla frosted rim with cookie crumbles topped with a ‘cookiewich,’ crumbled cookies, chocolate chips, whipped cream & chocolate drizzle.
The milkshake lives up to its “crazy” reputation. It was huge and covered in sugar. I wasn’t able to finish it by myself or with the help of Boyfriend. Was it worth $15? I’m not so sure, but I did it for the ‘gram.
We ordered some fries with gochugang ketchup (my favorite!) to off-set the intense sweetness.
Boyfriend ordered a burger, as “craft” burgers are supposed to be Black Tap’s specialty. There was nothing particularly special about the burger, though Boyfriend enjoyed it and finished the whole thing.
#2: Sprinkles + Margaritaville
Wandering around the strip, you’ll walk by plenty of shops with snacks and drinks. Las Vegas allows for open containers, so I grabbed a delicious mango margarita from Margaritaville. They were generous with the alcohol, but the flavors covered up any harshness.
While sipping from my souvenir cup, we came across Sprinkle Cupcakes. Sprinkles has a Phoenix location and is owned by one of the judges from Cupcake Wars. As a rewards member, I get a free cupcake on my birthday. I probably should have considered a flavor better matched to my drink, but I loved this Cuban Coffee Chocolate cupcake.
Sprinkles cupcakes are rich and flavorful. The menu changes frequently (even offering special edition cupcakes for holidays and events).
#3: Hash House A-Go-Go
It’s no surprise that Vegas is home to some intense hangover food. I heard about this place from Guy Fieri’s Triple D show, and it just so happened to be in our hotel. This restaurant describes their fare as “twisted farm food.” They make country breakfast on a Vegas scale.
I ordered a single apple pancake. The entire pancake was even bigger than my normal dinner plate. I probably would have appreciated more cinnamon and spices, but I was happy to recover from the night before with this carb monstrosity.
I think Boyfriend should have won a T-shirt for finishing his tower of chicken and waffles. He might have preferred fewer fried green onions, but the chicken was moist and flavorful. I thought the waffles were a bit dry, but that was easily remedied with maple syrup.
#4: Bardot Brassiere
Birthdays usually mean fancy dinners, at least for me. I reserved a table at this lovely restaurant inside the Aria, run by famous chef Michael Mina. As a high class restaurant, the menu changes often so what we ate may not be available if you visit.
We started our meal with a spin on chicken wings, duck wings a l’orange. For the entreé, I enjoyed my favorite protein – lamb – with crisp veggies and smooth potatoes (underneath). Though I probably should have had red wine, I tried Chablis for the first time and loved it.
I wish I could find more pictures of this meal because it was truly lovely. I’m glad we booked early, because later in the evening the place was packed! The ambience is like a Parisian café set in the post-WWII era, stunningly beautiful. The food was fantastic and the service was great. This a great
I’ve been to other restaurants in Las Vegas (including my favorite: Sage in the Aria), but I always love to try new places! What’s your favorite restaurant in Vegas?