A Complete Las Vegas Itinerary Perfect for A Couples or Girls Trip to Vegas
I’ll be honest, visiting Las Vegas was never high on my travel bucket list. I don’t really know why. I think I just always assumed it was overhyped and expensive. But after visiting I realized that while a trip to Las Vegas is sure to do some damage to your wallet, it is definitely a place I’m glad I experienced and it’s now somewhere I’m now aching to visit again and again!
On my first trip to Las Vegas, I went on a different kind of trip than most people picture when they plan to visit Vegas… with my parents! My dad was going there for a business trip so my mom and I decided to go with him to have a quality girls trip to Vegas! It’s not often that it’s just us so it was nice to be able to enjoy this trip together.
In saying that, my mom and I spent some of our time visiting some of the typical tourist things to do in Vegas as well as some unique things to do in Vegas too! Since this was our first time visiting Las Vegas we spent a lot of time on the main strip but did do a day trip to the Grand Canyon and visited a few places off Las Vegas Boulevard!
On my next trip to Las Vegas, I went with Logan so I was able to enjoy Vegas from another perspective, this time as a couples trip to Vegas! Here are some of my favorite things to do in Las Vegas besides gambling plus a few other Las Vegas travel tips! 😉
One last thing before we get started, while these ideas are catered towards a girls trip to Vegas or a couples trip to Vegas, anyone could enjoy this Las Vegas itinerary!
When is the Best Time to Visit & Plan A Las Vegas Itinerary?
The first time I visited Las Vegas was in February and although it is technically wintertime in the United States, Las Vegas usually has average temperatures of 66 F (high) to 33 F (low). So decently mild during the day. However, when we visited we did not experience those nice, cool temperatures. It was downright FREEZING. Thus, I was slightly underprepared because the cool front that took place was record-breaking and wasn’t accurately predicted.
In fact, the day we were supposed to fly out of Las Vegas our flight was canceled due to ice storms and we couldn’t get another flight until 2-3 days later! Thus, we ended up getting to spend quite a bit of extra time in Vegas.
Anyway, now that you’ve read this saga you probably won’t believe me when I say that the winter is a great time to visit Vegas! It’s less crowded, the weather is USUALLY cool during the day and chilly during the evenings but much better than other areas of the U.S. during that time. However, others typically say that the best time to visit Las Vegas is March to May or September to November due to the mild temperatures.
On my next trip to Las Vegas with Logan, we visited in mid-September. The weather was still very hot then but it’s a different kind of hot than where we live in Florida (bye-bye, humidity!) so it felt really lovely in the mornings and evenings. So if you want to enjoy the pool still and have fewer crowds, I’d recommend visiting Las Vegas in September.
How to Get Around Las Vegas
Las Vegas Monorail
If you’re staying on the strip then using the Las Vegas Monorail is a great way to get to a few different places in Las Vegas. It operates on the east side of the strip and trains arrive every 4-8 minutes.
Although it costs money to ride the monorail it’s pretty affordable and you can buy unlimited ride day passes to save money. I recommend downloading the Las Vegas Monorail app so you can use the mobile ticket feature. It saves paper and you don’t have to keep track of your ticket.
The monorail runs to seven different stations on Las Vegas Boulevard making it a convenient way to travel from place to place.
- SAHARA Las Vegas Station
- Westgate Station
- Convention Center Station
- Harrah’s & The LINQ Station
- Flamingo & Caesars Palace Station
- Bally’s & Paris Station
- MGM Grand Station
Monorail Ticket Pricing
Free Trams in Las Vegas
While the Las Vegas Monorail costs money to ride there are three free trams that operate between Mandalay Bay and Treasure Island. These trams are independently operated by the casinos they serve and typically run every five minutes or so. We used these trams a lot while hopping in between hotels.
- Mandalay Bay to Luxor to Excalibur: This tram begins at Mandalay Bay, makes a quick stop at Luxor, and ends at Excalibur. It is important to note that there is no stop at Luxor on the way back. Instead, there is an express tram that takes you from Excalibur to Mandalay Bay.
- Hours of Operation: Sunday-Wednesday from 9am-12:30am and Thursday-Saturday 9am-2:30am.
- Park MGM to Aria to Bellagio: The tram begins at Park MGM (near the Aria Entrance) then stops at the Crystals Shopping Mall near the Cosmopolitan and ends at South Tower of the Bellagio where the spa is located.
- Hours of Operation: daily from 8am-4am.
- Mirage to Treasure Island: This tram runs between the Mirage and Treasure Island with no stops in between
- Hours of Operation: Monday-Thursday 9am-1am and Friday & Saturday 9am-3am.
Las Vegas Shuttle
Another way to get around Las Vegas is by using the free shuttle service that has a number of different stops.
Las Vegas Shuttle Stops
- Sam’s Town Shuttle: Picks up at Harrah’s Las Vegas daily from 9:30am to 9:10pm.
- Orleans/Gold Coast Shuttle: Picks up at the High Roller every 30-45 minutes from 9am to 12:30am.
- M Resort Spa & Casino: Picks up daily at the Tropicana at 12:30pm, 2:30pm, 6:30pm, 10:30pm and 11:30pm.
- Orleans/Gold Coast Shuttle: This shuttle offers service to the Gold Coast Hotel & Casino and the Las Vegas Strip. It picks up daily at the Tropicana every 30-45 minutes from 9am-12:30am. It drops off at The High Roller and the Linq.
- Palace Station: Shuttle picks up daily at the Fashion Show Mall in front of Forever 21 at 10:15am, 11:45am, 1:45pm, 3:15pm, 4:45pm, 6:15pm, 8:15pm, 9:45pm and 11:15pm.
- Green Valley Ranch: Shuttle picks up daily at Mandalay Bay on the lower level in the Tour & Travel Lobby at 12:30pm, 2:30pm, 4:30pm and 8:30pm.
- South Point Hotel: Picks up daily at Excalibur, City Center/Aria at the tour bus lobby. This shuttle costs $8.50 (cash only).
If you are in a hurry or don’t want to ride the trams or shuttles I recommend getting around Las Vegas by using a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft. My mom and I used both Uber and Lyft a lot while in Las Vegas and while most of the time it was simple, there were some hotels that had really confusing pick-up locations or had more than one pick-up location. Using Uber or Lyft is also more expensive than riding the Las Vegas Monorail if you happen to be going to places that are Monorail stops. So keep this in mind!
Walking Las Vegas Boulevard
So here’s the deal, yes you CAN walk the entire Las Vegas Strip. But… It’s also 4.2 miles long. Hence why I’ve included so many other transportation options. That being said, if you are staying on Las Vegas Boulevard there are many walkable activities and restaurants you can visit. For example, we stayed towards the center of Las Vegas Boulevard and easily walked to Paris Las Vegas, Caesars Palace, and other locations. There are also a number of pedestrian bridges and escalators that make walking safer and easier.
Places to Stay in Las Vegas
The Mirage Hotel & Casino
During our girl’s trip to Vegas, we stayed at The Mirage Hotel & Casino which is located in roughly the center of Las Vegas Boulevard. The Mirage is one of the MGM properties in Las Vegas. We stayed in one of the two-bedroom suites that had a fabulous view of Las Vegas Boulevard and a large living room area. This room would be perfect for those traveling in a group or with a family!
The Venetian Resort
I haven’t personally stayed at The Venetian but my mom went back for another girl’s trip to Vegas with a friend shortly after we went together and raved about her experience there so I had to include it in my recommended places to stay in Las Vegas. It is in a convenient location and also has beautiful rooms.
If you are looking for a more budget-friendly hotel on Las Vegas Boulevard that is clean, centrally located, and spacious I recommend The Linq. This is where Logan and I stayed on our couples trip to Las Vegas and we found it to be perfect for half the price of some of the hotels above. It isn’t as lux but it is located in the center of the strip, has access to the monorail, and is very comfortable!
Things to Do in Las Vegas
Visit the Conservatory at The Bellagio
If you have watched the Big Flower Fight on Netflix then you can get a glimpse of what the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio is like. This fun and free thing to do in Las Vegas changes with each season using extremely talented architects, designers, and horticulturalists to create a 14,000-square-foot exceptional floral design. Since the exhibits are changed frequently it’s bound to be different each time you visit! Another fun fact? With each changing exhibit 90% of the trees, plants, flowers, and more are recycled.
My mom and I visited during the Lunar New Year display which utilized the work and talents of 115 people to assemble the entire exhibit. It featured over 32,000 flowers, a massive 12-foot-tall pig, beautiful lanterns, and a 20-foot-tall Jade coin amongst other features.
When I visited again in September they had just put up their fall harvest scene which was a very whimsical, “cottagecore” scene complete with mushrooms, foxes, and other woodland creatures!
Location: 3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas // MAP (Inside The Bellagio)
Hours: Open 24 hours
Watch the Outdoor Fountain Show at The Bellagio
Another free thing to add to your Las Vegas itinerary is watching the fountain show that is on display outside at the Bellagio. We first saw the fountain show when we dined on Spago’s outdoor patio – which offers a great view from above! But I also recommend watching it at night because the fountain lit up is really pretty.
You might be wondering “why would I want to watch a fountain of water?” Well, this isn’t JUST a water fountain, it’s a thoughtfully choreographed performance showing the movement of water as high as 460 ft in connection with music and light. Each performance is different from the rest and includes a variety of musical connections to classical, opera, pop tunes, rock, and even Broadway.
Location: 3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas // MAP
Fountain Show Times
Monday-Friday: 3pm-8pm (every 30 minutes), 8pm-12am (every 15 minutes)
Saturday & Sunday: 12pm-8pm (every 30 minutes), 8pm-12am (every 15 minutes)
Go on a Gondola Ride at The Venetian
Las Vegas allows visitors to get a hint of so many different cities from around the world so going on a gondola ride at the Venetian is like getting a touch of Venice as you float down the Grand Canal.
There are two gondola ride experiences that you can do at The Venetian. The first is an outdoor gondola ride and the second is an indoor one. If you have the ability to pick (no inclement weather etc) then I would recommend the outdoor ride! It’s longer, prettier, and money better spent in my opinion.
One semi-secret tip is to head to the Venetian for the Gondolier March that happens twice a day at 9:50am and 4:20pm. This short performance features the team of gondoliers singing in unison as they walk beside the indoor canal near the Grand Canal Shoppes.
Location: 3355 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas // MAP (Located at the Venetian)
Hours: INDOOR: Monday-Thursday, Sunday: 10am-11pm, Friday-Saturday: 10am-12am OUTDOOR: 11am-12am daily (weather permitting)
Cost: Monday-Thursday $29, Friday-Sunday $36 (Prices may vary on holidays)
Experience Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
I know, I know what you’re thinking. A wax museum? Really. But I had never been to one and found a half-price deal online for Madame Tussauds Wax Museum so it happened. To be honest, yes, they’re a bit overhyped. However, if you’re like me and have never been to a wax museum before, you might find it intriguing!
Inside Madame Tussauds, you’ll find lifelike wax figures of celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Beyonce, Elvis, and Snoop Dogg but you’ll also find interactive experiences like a Marvel 4D film that makes you feel like you’re a part of the action in your own Avengers movie. Overall I found this experience to be interesting and I’m glad I was able to go once.
Location: 3377 S Las Vegas Blvd Ste. 2001, Las Vegas // MAP (Outside of the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian)
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11am-7pm, Friday-Sunday 11am-8pm
Cost: $30 (Save $4 if you book online!)
Attend A Cirque du Soleil Performance
When I first visited Las Vegas I attended the three-time Grammy Award-winning show LOVE which brings to life the music from one of the most iconic bands of all time, The Beatles. Since we attended, the show has been revamped with new acts, costumes, choreography, and more.
To be honest, I can’t imagine how they made it even better because it was already amazing. I might have to go see it again! The entire performance is full of so much beauty and talent that will take you on a raw, emotional journey. I can say with certainty that you’ll be left wanting even more.
If you aren’t a Beatles fan or are looking for something different, there are a number of other Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas to choose from. Logan and I went to Mystère at Treasure Island and I personally felt like the LOVE show was much better. However, I’ve heard raving reviews about O and KÀ. Personally, I think it would be a mistake to not attend one of the Cirque du Soleil performances on your Las Vegas itinerary!
Location: 3400 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas // MAP (Located inside The Mirage)
Cost: Starting at $79 (check their website for discounted tickets)
Check-Out the View from the Eiffel Tower
In my opinion, the Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck has one of the best paid views of the Las Vegas Strip. This half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower has a 460 ft.-high observation deck where you can see a beautiful view of the strip, especially at night!
After you enjoy the views above make sure you also stop to watch the free synchronized light show that occurs every 30 minutes from sunset until midnight. This twinkling light show of more than 800 lights is another feature that makes this replica similar to its counterpart in Paris.
Location: 3655 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas // MAP (Inside of Paris Las Vegas)
Hours: 4pm-12am daily
Go Shopping On and Off Las Vegas Boulevard
My mom loves shopping and I love helping her shop so we TORE UP many of the shopping malls in Las Vegas. I mean, what better for a girls trip to Vegas right? Honestly, I could probably write a guide to all the malls there we spent so much time in them (especially with those extra days we acquired due to snow/ice). But I’ll spare you from that and keep this section brief.
Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace
We went to the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace a few times for our Las Vegas itinerary because it was right next door to The Mirage (where I stayed on my first trip). It has a lot of different stores ranging from more budget-friendly stores to high-end luxury brand stores. A few of the stores you’ll find in Caesar’s Palace are Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Tumi, Gucci, H&M, and Christian Louboutin.
Location: 3500 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas // MAP
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11am-8pm, Friday & Saturday 11am-10pm
Las Vegas Premium Outlets
If you are shopping on a budget (hi, it’s me) you might enjoy shopping at the Las Vegas Premium Outlets which are one of the best outlet chains with locations all over the world. There are two Premium Outlets in Las Vegas. We visited the Las Vegas Premium Outlets North because it had a few more stores we were interested in visiting but they do have many similarities. Be sure to sign-up for their VIP rewards program prior to visiting to get extra email discounts and coupons.
Location: 875 S Grand Central Pkwy, Las Vegas // MAP
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11am-7pm, Friday & Saturday 11am-8pm
Fashion Show Mall
If you want to visit a shopping mall that feels like the malls you might be familiar with, the Fashion Show Mall is an incredible Las Vegas experience. It has three levels of over 250 stores, 30 restaurants, and eight department stores. There are also a number of events that take place at the mall including actual runway shows!
Location: 3200 Las Vegas Blvd S Ste. 600, Las Vegas // MAP
Hours: Sunday 11am-7pm, Monday-Saturday 11am-8pm
The Shops at Crystals
The Shops at Crystals are another higher-end, luxury shopping mall that definitely fits more of the “window shopping” category for me. However, seeing all of the luxury goods I’ve heard about up close and in person was really fun! Some of the stores you’ll find at The Shops at Crystals include Celine, Cartier, Gucci, Prada, Fendi, Tom Ford, Saint Laurent Paris, and Rolex.
Location: 3720 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas // MAP
Hours: Sunday 12am-6pm, Monday-Saturday 11am-7pm
Visit Old Las Vegas on Fremont Street
After the Las Vegas Strip, Fremont Street is probably the second most popular place to visit in Las Vegas. Some people love it, some people hate it. But one thing’s for sure, Fremont Street will definitely be memorable.
Before Las Vegas Boulevard hit its peak Fremont Street was the place to be and home to many famous hotels and casinos such as the iconic Binion’s Horseshoe, Golden Nugget, Pioneer Club, and Golden Gate Hotel and Casino.
This part of Las Vegas dates back to 1905 when Las Vegas was originally founded. Prior to its reconstruction, this part of old Las Vegas was featured in many movies and tv shows noted by the glittery neon signs.
If you want to take a tour, then consider going on the Fremont Street Experience which has different kinds of walking tours with a guide who explains the history of Fremont Street in detail.
Learn About the History Behind the Mob Museum
If you’re fascinated by Old Hollywood, true crime, and history you’ll definitely want to check out The Mob Museum located in a former courthouse near Fremont Street. This museum is a nonprofit that has three floors of historical artifacts, videos, and stories to inform visitors of the history and impact of organized crime in America.
The museum starts on the 3rd floor with the birth of the mob and travels through time to organized crime today. After visiting the museum be sure to head to The Underground which takes you through the history of the prohibition area to a modernized speakeasy and distillery you can get a drink.
Location: 300 Stewart Ave, Las Vegas // MAP
Hours: 9am-9pm daily
Cost: Starting at $30 (Save $10 if you book happy hour tickets after 5pm)
Check Out Signs at the Neon Museum
The Neon Museum has a large collection of Las Vegas signage, some of which date back as far as the 1930s. As you explore the main collection you’ll find over 200 neon signs that are illuminated at sunset making the experience even more beautiful at night.
Location: 770 Las Vegas Blvd N, Las Vegas // MAP
Cost: Starting at $20
Take A Day Trip to the Grand Canyon
Most people don’t realize that a day trip to the Hoover Dam or the Grand Canyon is easy to access from Las Vegas. Since we had some extra time in Vegas we decided to do a day trip tour of the west rim of the Grand Canyon with Grand Vegas Tours.
Our day trip started with a short, 45-minute drive past the Hoover Dam which is a large, concrete arch-gravity dam that was constructed between 1931 and 1936 on the Colorado River between Nevada and Arizona. Although we didn’t get to stop to see it, we did get to hear about the history of the Hoover Dam as well as get a decent view of it!
After driving past the Hoover Dam we drive to a small town to stop and get lunches (included in your tour price). They offered a ham, turkey, or vegetarian sandwich which I’ll be honest was pretty mediocre but did the job. If you’re a picky eater you might want to bring something different to snack on.
Once we got to the Grand Canyon we had a few hours to explore. My mom and I first went across the Skywalk Bridge which is a horseshoe-shaped clear bottom bridge that hangs over the Colorado River at 4,000 feet above. In order to go across the Skywalk Bridge, you have to book a ticket in advance and place your belongings in a locker. You’re also given booties to wear over your shoes so you don’t scratch or scuff the bridge.
After we went across the Skywalk Bridge we decided to walk around the Grand Canyon to take more photos and visit the Yavapai Gift Shop where I purchased a beautiful handcrafted Navajo pottery ornament. There were many other beautiful pieces I wanted to purchase but I only came with a carry-on for this trip.
On our way back to Las Vegas we stopped by Hualapai Ranch which is a cute, historic town that you can actually stay in should you want to stay the night!
A few tips for visiting the Grand Canyon:
- The weather at the Grand Canyon is typically cooler in the winter months than Las Vegas so be sure to dress in layers! If you’re visiting during the summer be sure to bring a hat for extra sun protection.
- Wear sunscreen! No matter the season the sun can be somewhat harsh so be sure to put on at last an SPF 30 to help with sun exposure.
In addition to the West Rim tour that we did with Grand Vegas Tours, they also offer trips to the Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon South Rim, and helicopter tours.
We want to acknowledge that the Grand Canyon West Rim is the native land of the Hualapai Nation.
Get Afternoon Tea at the Waldorf Astoria
Although getting afternoon tea at the Waldorf Astoria technically was our lunch one day, it was an experience too. Hence why I’m including it with the things to do in Las Vegas instead of the places to eat in Las Vegas. But really it could fit in either one.
I’m kind of picky when it comes to afternoon tea. Not because I’m a tea snob. But afternoon tea can be a pretty pricey experience and if the sandwiches and sweets are just okay, it’s not worth it. In fact, my best afternoon tea experience was at Ashford Castle in Ireland. But the Waldorf Astoria exceeded my expectations. Although I shared this experience with my mom I would take Logan here in a heartbeat so don’t be opposed to having an afternoon tea experience on a romantic couples trip to Vegas!
Also, can I just say that the sugar stir sticks for tea look just like rock candy, I mean is there a difference really?
My mom and I were first served a tray of finger sandwiches which included:
- Porchetta sandwich with brie cream and apple compote on white bread
- Gougère sandwich with spinach and mushroom filling
- Salmon sandwich with cucumber, capers, and cream cheese on marble rye bread
- Chicken sandwich with curry chicken, pecans, and bibb lettuce on a hoagie roll.
After we received some small desserts including:
- Chocolate passion tart with passion fruit gel, crunchy chocolate pearls, and chocolate mousse
- Pistachio macaron with pistachio ganache
- Canelé with Tahitian vanilla and rum custard
- Strawberry choux with white chocolate cream and strawberry cremeux
Alongside these delicate sandwiches and desserts were some freshly baked scones accompanied by clotted cream, homemade jams, and marmalades.
Also, I think it’s important to note that they can accommodate food allergies and dietary restrictions if you let them know in advance!
Travel Tip: When booking your reservation ask if you can sit near the window. It has a lovely view!
Location: 3752 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas // MAP
Go on A Las Vegas Food Tour
I LOVE going on food tours when I travel because it often gives me ideas for where to eat and allows me to try small bites from many different restaurants. My mom and I went on a Lip Smacking Foodie Tour on our trip and I enjoyed it so much that I booked another one when Logan and I visited Las Vegas together. Technically I could have also included this in my places to eat in Las Vegas because the portions of food were enough for a heavy meal but again… the experience can’t be matched.
I also want to note that Lip Smacking Foodie Tour did a wonderful job accommodating my dietary and allergy restrictions which I always appreciate whenever possible.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours has four different tours to choose from:
- Savors of the Strip: Which takes you to VIP tables to four of the city’s most glamorous high-demand restaurants.
- Downtown Lip Smacking Tour: This takes you to downtown Vegas for a tour of locally-owned chef-driven restaurants that have seasonally focused menus.
- Lip Smacking Boozy Brunch: Enjoy the ultimate brunch experience from dim sum to French pastries.
- Afternoon Culinary Adventures: This is the tour that we did. It provides such a great introduction to the city!
I don’t want to give too much away but here are the places we visited on the tour. But trust me, you definitely want to take the tour to learn more about the history behind these restaurants, the signature dishes, and some other fun surprises along the way!
Stop One: Javier’s
Our first stop on the Lip Smacking Foodie Tour was Javier’s which is located in ARIA and is one of the most popular Mexican restaurants in Las Vegas. In fact, A LOT of celebrities dine here. Everything is made from scratch daily, from the chips to the pressed juices for mixed drinks. When we entered Javier’s we were led to Marco’s Room which is normally $4,000 to rent UNLESS you’re on this food tour.
We started with some fresh tortilla chips accompanied by their three signature salsas – Javier’s house salsa, roasted tomato, and roasted green tomatillo. All of them were so good I wanted to literally drink them.
After chips and salsa, we tried two different styles of enchiladas. The first was enchiladas de mariscos which were enchiladas stuffed with shrimp and Dungeness crab sauteed in butter, garlic, onion, and wine. Then they’re covered with a tomatillo sauce, melted Monterey Jack cheese, and garnished with avocado slices and sour cream.
The second enchilada was a chicken enchilada with guajillo sauce which was topped with melted Monterey Jack cheese and also garnished with avocado slices and sour cream. Both of these enchiladas were accompanied by refried beans and Mexican rice.
I’m being 100% honest when I say that I loved these enchiladas so much that I often think about them. In fact, when I went to Dallas with my mom and one of my sisters we thought we found another Javier’s but sadly it wasn’t the same.
Stop Two: Julian Serrano Tapas
Our next stop was Julian Serrano Tapas which is also located inside ARIA. It features a number of Spanish tapas and is considered to be the best tapas restaurant in Las Vegas. Here we tried traditional Spanish croquetas with chicken and a béchamel sauce, tuna cones that had ahi tartare, cucumbers, crispy wonton, avocado, and ponzu, and stuffed Medjool dates with goat cheese, bacon, and apple puree.
But the real show stopper was, of course, the paella. This particular paella was their Valenciana dish with chicken, Spanish pork chorizo, vegetables, and saffron.
Stop Three: Momofuku
After some tapas, we headed to Momofuku which is located in the Cosmopolitan. I was really excited about this stop! David Chang hosts some of my favorite foodie shows on Netflix so I’ve been dying to try one of his restaurants. Not to mention, Momofuku has won 14 awards in just 7 years!
At Momofuku, we tried the pork belly buns (shiitake buns for me!) which were garnished with hoisin, cucumber, and green onion. Then we tried the chickpea ramen which had fried chickpeas, bok choy, and a garnish of green onion as well. My favorite thing we tried at Momofuku was the spicy cucumber salad which had toasted almonds and togarashi seasoning.
Stop Four: Cucina by Wolfgang Puck
Our last stop on the food tour was to Cucina by Wolfgang Puck which was inside the Shops at Crystals but has since closed. This restaurant once provided desserts for the Oscars and the current pastry chef won the best pastry chef in the world in 2018.
We stopped there for a medley of delicious desserts and while I assumed all of the pastries would be teeny tiny portions, much like the rest of this tour, I was surprised. You know I’m full if I can’t manage to finish my desserts but dang, that’s how it had to be! *Cue my tears*
Anyways, the desserts we tried were a honey panna cotta with orange marmalade and shortbread crust. A Tiramisu with espresso-soaked ladyfingers and a mascarpone mousse. A citrus-infused cannoli (this was new to me!) with sweet ricotta cream and brandy raisins. The last dessert was a torta Caprese with a rich dark chocolate cake and candied pistachios. Every. Single. One. was AMAZING. Hence why I’m still sad I couldn’t manage to finish them and even more sad that they are no longer open!
Places to Eat in Las Vegas (On and Off the Strip!)
Besides that afternoon tea at the Waldorf Astoria and our food tour with Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, there are many other fabulous places to eat while in Las Vegas.
A Few Tips for Eating in Las Vegas
- If you go with another person, order different things! My mom and I ordered separate things from each other at most restaurants and then shared them together so we could try more than one thing. Honestly, this is just how I dine now – but this advice is super helpful in Vegas!
- Make reservations in advance. Nearly every single restaurant in Las Vegas accepts reservations. If you can plan ahead this will make your experience so much better!
- If you plan to eat off the strip consider planning around some other “off the strip” activities to save on rideshare costs.
If you want a good place to get coffee or a light breakfast, Sambalatte has a few locations in Las Vegas. But I won’t lie… I totally went there to get a rainbow latte. I half expected it to just be “ok” coffee but was pleasantly surprised by how delicious my latte was. I got a lavender latte while my mom ordered a rose petal latte.
Location: 6555 S Jones Blvd #9, Las Vegas // MAP (There are three other locations too!)
Hours: 8am-3pm daily
Gäbi Coffee and Bakery
My favorite coffee shop in Las Vegas was Gäbi Coffee and Bakery. They had the best coffee and pastries as well as a lovely setting. The artwork, mismatched decor, and industrial architecture made me wish I could transport this chic coffee shop back home. I honestly could see myself working here on the daily. We both ordered specialty coffee drinks and a few pastries to share for breakfast however they also have lunch items as well!
Location: 5808 Spring Mountain Rd #104, Las Vegas // MAP
Hours: 9am-9pm daily
Mon Ami Gabi
Mon Ami Gabi has classic French bistro dining with classic entrees. While they serve lunch and dinner we decided to head here for breakfast – we’d heard excellent things. I ordered the french toast which came with blueberries and whipped cream on top along with blueberry syrup! My mom ordered a cinnamon apple crepe. Both were perfectly filling and not overly sweet. If you can swing it, I also recommend sitting on their patio if it’s a nice day!
Location: 3655 S Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas // MAP (Inside Paris Las Vegas)
Hours: 7:30am-10pm daily
Another spot we stopped for breakfast was The Pantry. The Pantry is a casual American restaurant that has breakfast and lunch options. I must have been on a french toast kick because I ordered it again. This time it was a white chocolate brioche french toast that came with a mixed berry compote and whipped mascarpone on top. Definitely more decadent than the one I ordered a few days prior at Mon Ami Gabi.
Location: 3400 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas // MAP (Inside The Mirage)
Hours: Monday-Friday 7am-2pm, Saturday & Sunday 7am-3pm
One of my favorite restaurants we dined at in Las Vegas was Spago. We went there for lunch but from the food to the view, everything was exceptional. I ordered the Miso-Glazed Salmon Salad which came with mustard greens, pickled vegetables and had a sweet-onion soy dressing.
My mom ordered the Chinois Chicken Salad which had candied cashews, crisp wontons, and a ginger-soy vinaigrette. I’m a big salad for lunch gal, especially when someone else does it for me (I don’t know why it always tastes better when someone else does it) and I loved both of these!
One last tip I have for this restaurant is to order a dessert. I know it’s probably indulgent but hey, you’re in Vegas. Plus, Spago is known for having some of the most unique and delicious desserts in Las Vegas.
We ordered the Spiked Lemon to share which was a chiffon cake with citrus mousse and Japanese yuzu cream all encased in a thin layer of chocolate and topped with meringue. In order to eat it, our waiter cracked it open! Honestly, this dessert was an experience – it was beautiful, fun, and SO YUMMY.
Location: 3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas // MAP (Inside The Bellagio)
Hours: Friday-Tuesday 5-10pm, Closed Wednesday & Thursday (Currently their hours are limited to only dinner, normally they are also open for lunch)
Il Mulino New York
When we first arrived in Las Vegas it was late afternoon so we checked into The Mirage and headed over to Il Mulino New York for dinner. This place is quite the dining experience, and let me just say… go hungry.
First, the staff brought over a giant hunk of parmesan and cut us each a cube to eat alongside some other complimentary small plates of bruschetta, braised zucchini, salami, and a selection of bread.
I went ALL OUT for this meal and ordered the Frutti di Marre with spaghetti. It had assorted seafood like shrimp, squid, scallops, mussels, and clams in a light red sauce that had a slight spice. My mom ordered the Scampi alla Francese which was jumbo shrimp that were egg-battered in a lemon white wine sauce with risotto.
At the end of our meal, we were served a small glass of grappa which is a pomace brandy made from the grape seeds, stalks, and other parts of the grape leftover from the wine-making process. It is strong, yet sweet – a perfect refresher!
Location: 3500 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas // MAP (Inside Caesars Palace)
Another Italian restaurant we dined at in Las Vegas was Rao’s which is the sister location to the original in New York City. My mom and I decided to split a salad to start and loved the roasted beet salad which had baby arugula, golden raisins, roasted beets, pistachios, goat cheese crumbles, and balsamic vinaigrette.
For entrees, I ordered the ravioli purses that were filled with Bartlett pears and Ricotta cheese then topped with brown butter, sage, and dried cranberries. This entree was unique but so delicious. I thought the contrast between subtly sweet and savory was honestly perfection. My mom wanted to try something more traditional so she ordered the chicken parmesan which had a robust red sauce and tons of bubbling cheese!
Location: 3570 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas // MAP (Inside Caesars Palace)
Beijing Noodle No 9
Let me start this review of Beijing Noodle No 9 by saying, it’s a mixed one. The interior and the staff were exceptional but the dishes we ordered were honestly half and a half for both my mom and me. We started with some dumplings which were delicious and got me so excited for the rest of the meal.
But once our entrees came, we were both left a little disappointed. My main complaint is that neither of them hardly had any flavor. I ordered the seafood chow mein which had shrimp and scallops in an abalone sauce.
My error was being so hangry after being at the Grand Canyon all day that my mind was screaming “carbs carbs carbs.” If it helps – I’d try it again, just order something different. So my take is to go here and order the dumplings, steamed buns, or one of their more specialty meat dishes!
Location: 3570 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas // MAP (Inside Caesars Palace)
Hours: 11am-10pm daily
Bouchon has traditional French bistro fare similar to Mon Ami Gabi but has a somewhat rotating menu with specials. To start my mom and I once again split a salad and weren’t disappointed. We had the Salade Maraîchère au Chèvre Chaud which had mixed greens, warm goat cheese, herbes de Provence, and a red wine vinaigrette. We also ordered the Oeufs Mimosa per the waiter’s recommendation which was deviled eggs with a kick of horseradish.
For entrees, my mom ordered the Poulet Rôti which was a roasted chicken with corn, bacon, forest mushrooms, surrounded in a chicken broth. She shared a bit of her chicken with me and it was so tender I honestly wished I had ordered it myself.
I ended up ordering one of the specials, the truffle gnudi, which is kind of like gnocchi in the sense they’re a dumpling but are made with ricotta cheese instead of potato. They were also more airy or fluffy than gnocchi. The shaved truffles on top added to the flavor and I do love truffle, however, it was such a rich dish I felt like I could have easily shared this as a starter instead of eating it as my meal. But if you are someone who would put black truffles on everything you can then you’d love this!
Location: 3355 Las Vegas Blvd S 10th Floor, Las Vegas // MAP (Inside The Venetian – 10th floor)
Hours: Friday-Sunday 9am-2pm, 5pm-10pm
HEXX Kitchen + Bar
HEXX Kitchen + Bar came to me per the recommendation of someone we met on our tour of the Grand Canyon. It was one of our favorite places in Las Vegas too! It is an American restaurant that has a large variety of menu options including pizza, sandwiches, steaks, fish, and pasta. I ordered the roasted chicken which was surrounded by creamy mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables. My mom ordered a steak with a side of Brussel sprouts and their specialty mac & cheese which had manchego, cheddar, and was garnished with flakes of roasted red pepper.
Location: Hotel, Paris, 3655 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas // MAP (Inside Paris Las Vegas)
Hours: 8am-9pm daily
To me, Carlo’s Bakery is “just a place to get a pastry” and I had much better ones at Spago, Cucina, and Gabi Coffee and Bakery. But, I did want to include it here because it is a pretty popular place to get a dessert in Vegas! The line was long when we went but we didn’t mind because it gave us time to browse the pastry cases from a distance.
We ordered a few small desserts to-go that we could share including the dark chocolate mousse which had a thin layer of dark chocolate cake filled with chocolate mousse, dipped in ganache, and topped with milk chocolate drizzle and dark chocolate shavings. This was our favorite!
The other pastry we purchased was the infamous lobster tail which is a flaky pastry, filled with cream and a hint of Baileys liqueur, topped with powdered sugar. I think this would have been delicious if it was SO dry. It just didn’t taste as fresh as the dark chocolate cake!
Location: 3327 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas // MAP (Inside the Grand Canal Shoppes – The Venetian)
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11am-7pm, Friday & Saturday 11am-9pm
Last, while I didn’t gamble on this trip, I did enjoy a cocktail or two. One unique cocktail to get in Las Vegas is the Verbena at The Chandelier which is nestled inside a stunning crystal chandelier on the 2nd Floor of the Cosmopolitan. What makes the Verbena such an interesting drink? It comes with a mouth-numbing Buzz Button Flower which adds an interesting sensation to this one-of-a-kind cocktail.
After visiting Las Vegas a few times now, I still can’t wait to go back someday soon to experience even more that this fun city has to offer! Have you been to Las Vegas? What are your favorite places to eat and favorite things to do in Las Vegas?