When in Vegas, it’s easy to make bad decisions. Indeed, with the bright lights twinkling, music blaring and the iconic sound of coins crashing, it’s pretty difficult not to get carried away, be it by spending all your money in one night or reenacting a scene from The Hangover.  

These bad decisions can also extend to your stomach. With around 4.2 million tourists visiting Sin City every year, there are hundreds of restaurants catering for the onslaught, some of them brilliant and some of them only with making a quick buck in mind; just terrible. You don’t want to be gambling with your dinner, that’s for sure, so with this in mind, here are 5 IDEAL tips for eating out in Vegas.

OFF-MENU SPECIALS

As the pledge of a thousand regretful hangovers goes…‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’. Indeed, secrets are what legendary Las Vegas trips are made of, and for those in the know, one of the biggest culinary secrets is that some of the best dishes in the best Vegas restaurants aren’t actually on the menu. But with a sly wink and a whisper to the waiter and a nod of affirmation in return, you can impress your fellow dining companions with decadent dishes, shrouded in secrecy.

AVOID THE BUFFETS

We all know that Vegas is about gluttony and overindulgence, and nothing says excess like an all-you-can-eat buffet. Since the 1940s, when resorts found they could keep gamblers inside by plying them with cheap food and drink, these extravaganzas have been synonymous with Sin City and are still an iconic part of the Vegas dining scene. Today the city has over 70 buffets and it’s a common sight to see people waiting for over an hour for that never ending spread. You can even get a buffet pass that gives you access to around 5 buffets in 24 hours, for one, set price. Gout is also included.

However, while the buffets in Vegas are undeniably good value for money, we say steer clear. Indeed, there are some sinister things lurking in those giant pans full of food kept at questionable temperatures. You don’t want to be hotel bed (and bog) bound, only able to stare at the walls, watch CNN and play online bingo.

EAT CHINESE

Las Vegas is an increasingly popular tourist destination for the Chinese and the restaurant industry in Vegas has caught on, catering for Eastern tastes with ever growing enthusiasm. While of course you’ll find the usual Chinese restaurants serving American/Chinese classics like egg rolls and General Tso’s, Las Vegas is also the place to get real deal delicious Chinese food. From hand-pulled noodles at Beijing Noodle No. 9 to delectable dim sum and dumplings at Chang’s Hong Kong, Sin City is one of the best places in the U.S for Chinese cuisine.

VENTURE BEYOND THE STRIP

While The Strip is of course home to an array of all-encompassing eateries, there’s more to the food in Vegas than this three-mile stretch. What’s more, if you venture beyond the main drag, you’re less likely to be paying sky high prices. The Fremont East District of Downtown Vegas is home to the city’s up and coming, on-trend food scene. This culinary hotspot has had an explosion of new restaurants opening in recent years with many innovative chefs trying out new concepts here and serving up some of the best food in the city, in the process.

Like any place, anywhere in the world, the best food is where the locals are at. Las Vegas is a huge city and a place over 2 million people call home. Check out the residential areas and see what they have to offer, specifically Summerlin in the west of the city which is renowned for its solid restaurant scene.  

Chinatown, which covers more than a dozen blocks, is another area for foodies to explore – it’s home to just about every Asian cuisine under the rising sun. The Viet Noodle Bar is a particular local favourite and a delicious bowl of pho will cure any ills from the night before.

TRY SOME OF THE CLASSICS

You haven’t eaten in Vegas until you’ve had a shrimp cocktail. Indeed, the city is famous for this 60s classic and gets through 60,000lbs of shrimp each day. While the days of the 99 cents Vegas shrimp cocktail are gone, it’s still a cheap and cheerful option found on every corner. Prime rib is another staple of Vegas and the legendary Lawry’s (in the beef game since 1938) is the place to try it.