With food now as much a part of the Las Vegas experience as gambling and other legitimized forms of debauchery, it should come as no surprise that the casino buffet, one of the city’s most iconic institutions, is no longer just a cheap way to fill up between stints at the slots.
From towers of pricey seafood to entrée selections catering to an increasingly global clientele, to desserts that deserve nothing less than a five-star rating, this is no longer just about all-you-can-eat, industrial-grade shrimp. Nope—the chefs (yes, chefs) at the best buffets in Las Vegas can be downright serious about food.
Of course, the good stuff doesn’t come cheap. With all this time, money and attention lavished on the buffet, don’t expect bargain pricing. But which ones are worth the money? They all have their good days and bad days, but here are the five that are least likely to let you down.
#1 The Buffet at Wynn Las Vegas
When it is good, it is very, very good—when it is less good, Wynn’s buffet still the best in town. Centered around the colorful, sun-drenched Conservatory (where you should absolutely insist on being seated, even if there’s a wait), this is the place for a leisurely, decadent weekend brunch ($35.99). That’s when it really seems to offer the best value, with lots of good seafood and a wide selection of meats, an overwhelming number of desserts and baked goods, not to mention cool adds such as dim sum, street tacos and very good renditions of all sorts of breakfast classics. From $24.99
#2 Wicked Spoon
An instant classic, this gem hides out in a blank spot at the back of the Cosmopolitan resort, but once you find it, you’ll never lose your way again—after all, it’s not every day you can grab the likes of all-you-can-eat bone marrow, or duck wings, or pho off of a buffet line. The food is generally some of the strongest in the top five, particularly at brunch; many people go for their all-you-can-drink-in-two-hours option, offered for an additional $15. Don’t miss the beautiful macaroons (and highly edible gelato) in the considerable dessert section. From $28
#3 Studio B at M Resort
One of the most attractive Las Vegas resorts built in recent years isn’t on the Strip at all; the sleek, modern M sits at the city’s southern gateway, luring in road weary weekenders and locals alike. One of the reasons they come? This reasonably priced buffet, known for its offer of unlimited beer and wine. That’s one way to get people to walk out smiling, but the prices and the selection (more than 200 items per day, including fresh sashimi and pizzas cooked in wood-fired ovens) help the cause immensely. Too bad they don’t do breakfast. From $16.99
#4 Bacchanal Buffet
Launched a few years back to the tune of $17 million, this 600-seat stunner at Caesars’ Palace has become awfully popular, even if the food is too often more clever than craveable. (If you come here after the Wynn and Wicked Spoon, it’s hard not to notice what feels like a rather dramatic drop-off in ingredient quality.) Still, Bacchanal does feature more than 500 dishes per day, served up at nine cooking stations—you’ll definitely find something to eat, from Nashville hot chicken to red velvet pancakes. The décor—modern, sleek, like a fine dining restaurant more than a mess hall—is half of the experience; food-wise, make a point of trying the fancy charcuterie, oysters, some good ceviche and authentic Mexican street food, plus mini soufflés for dessert and plenty of those crab legs you love. There’s no need to wait in line, either; check in at the kiosks up front and they’ll text you when it’s your turn. From $39.99
#5 The Buffet at Bellagio
Opened along with one of the Strip’s most iconic resorts back in 1998 and a pioneer of the gourmet buffet concept, this one’s old enough by Vegas standards to be considered vintage. Years later, you might not find this to be the flashiest setting or setup and some of the dishes feel like they belong back in 1998, but this, for all its shortcomings, is still a good buffet, featuring piles of king crab, prime rib and plenty of decadent desserts. (If you hit it right, there’s even a caviar station.) As with other buffets, weekend brunch tends to be one of the best times to be here, if you can beat the crowds. From $23.99
Ready to go? Before you lift a tong, read our Las Vegas buffet strategy guide.
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