NOTE: DUE TO COVID-19, MOST LAS VEGAS BUFFETS ARE CLOSED. THE LONE EXECPTION IS WICKED SPOOK AT COSMOPOLITAN, WHICH DOES SEATED, STAFF SERVICE.
Great buffets in Las Vegas are mot just about all-you-can-eat excess. No longer low-brow cafeterias, in many cases Vegas buffets have gone upscale. But yes, most of them still have a pile of shrimp somewhere amid the offerings.
Roughly a dozen years ago, I came up with the bright idea to write an in-depth feature story about Sin City’s buffets. My plan: to eat at one for every meal for three straight days. Six meals in a row were scheduled.
Yes, I packed my elastic-waistband sweatpants. No…I couldn’t make it to a half a dozen all-you-can-eaters during a long weekend visit. I managed four smorgasbords, showed up at the fifth…and gave up. As the Monty Python line goes, I couldn’t even eat one more wafer-thin mint.
Don’t get me wrong: I enjoyed the challenge. There are some great buffets in Las Vegas–up, down and off The Strip. But the best advice came unsolicited from an adjacent table while I was eating at The Buffet at Bellagio: “Don’t just put anything on your plate until you’ve looked at everything.”
Indeed. With those sage words in mind, here’s a peek at 10 great buffets in Las Vegas (in alphabetical order). They’re all worth a visit. Just not during the same trip to town.
Aria: The Buffet
The Buffet offers quality over quantity, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There are stations designated for Asian, Italian, Mediterranean, Latin and Indian cuisine. Spend some time looking over the latter space—smell the chicken tikka masala and the oven-baked tandoor naan bread. If you don’t over-indulge, there’s a gelato station.
Bellagio: The Buffet
Because this is the very upscale Bellagio, the décor is warm and very un-cafeteria. The offerings are unique, too. Look for ahi poke, tofu glass noodle salad and a white chocolate Nutella parfait in a waffle cone in the dessert section.
Caesars Palace: Bacchanal Buffet
USA Today has picked Bacchanal as the top buffet in years past. One reason: 15 daily chef’s specials—so you can find different entrees every time you dine. The room is staffed by chefs who will create culinary creations there on the spot, including American, Chinese, Italian, Japanese and Mexican offerings.
Cosmopolitan: Wicked Spoon
You might disagree at first glance, but the small plates available at Wicked Spoon are actually a good idea. Portion control, people. The room is divided into stations—for salads, carved meat, seafood, Asian and Italian. If you save room—is that possible?—there’s a flavorful desert station with cake pops, cookies and gelato.
M Resort: Studio B Buffet
As if a prime rib dinner was all they are plating at Studio B. Yes, you can get that classic Vegas meal here, but the kitchen also puts out more than 200 different items every day. Build your own nachos. Go for sushi, wood-fired pizza or barbecued ribs. Oh, and while you’re eating, beer and wine are complimentary.
Main Street Station: Garden Court Buffet
Of course, it’s okay to wander downtown and fill up on buffet. On the budget end of the spectrum, Garden Court Buffet is happily airy and comfortable. This isn’t Wynn, but come for the Hawaiian Isle-styled faves like oxtail soup and lau-lau.
Cravings was one of the first places I dined during my buffet-o-rama adventure, and it left a very positive memory. Stations include Italian, Latin, American, Carving, Wok, Fishmonger and Crab Legs. Each meal also comes with unlimited beer (seasonal and Bud Lite) and wine (Liberty Creek’s Cabernet Sauvignon and White Zinfandel).
Paris Las Vegas: Paris Le Village
Le Village was also one of the early stops during buffet-o-rama. I sat at a table next to a fake tree under a faux blue sky. Hokey—but pleasant. The waitress offered a hearty “bon jour,” and I was off and eating. Faves included the sherry shrimp bisque and spicy clams marinière. Oui, oui.
Rio All-Suite: Carnival World & Seafood Buffet
Carnival World is casual and comfy, yet sets out 300 vast selections of foods from around the world. Basics like pizza, omelets and cared meat are all here, along with 70 varieties of homemade pies and cakes. The gelatos are made from scratch; and there are dairy-free sorbets offered, too.
Wynn Las Vegas: The Buffet at Wynn
If dramatic décor is part of your requirement for gorging on buffet food, find your way to the floral fantasy that is Wynn. The former owner was into vegan/vegetarian offerings, so those are in abundance. Don’t fret, you can still fill your fancy plate with things like Alaskan crab legs and Wagyu beef lasagna. J&J