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One of our most surprising discoveries about Las Vegas was the thriving local culinary scene beyond the famous Las Vegas Strip.
Known nationwide for the comprehensive collection of celebrity chefs and world-class restaurants, Las Vegas is a culinary powerhouse.
During our three month stay in Vegas, while housesitting, we focused on discovering the best local Las Vegas restaurants off the Strip.
Our goal was to find the local, unique and affordable places to eat off the Strip.
Located in the less traveled part of the city, these restaurants in Las Vegas are easily accessible via Uber or Lyft.
We were amazed by the rich and varied growing culinary scene. Local chefs creating authentic “tastes of home” in the desert. Chefs using remarkably high-quality ingredients and rich flavors.
We also observed a high level of creativity where “everything is possible in Vegas”.
If you are looking to experience Las Vegas restaurants off the strip and immerse yourself in the local food scene, this is your perfect guide.
DTLV – Downtown Las Vegas Restaurants Off The Strip
Downtown Las Vegas (DTLV) has seen a complete rebirth in the last 10 years. The downtown project has helped fuel many local businesses including new local restaurants.
From Fremont Street to Container Park, the options are numerous. In downtown Las Vegas, you’ll find some of the best places to eat in Vegas on a budget.
1- Cheffini’s – The Cheffini Hot Dog
Container Park, an urban park, part of the downtown revitalization project, offers a mix of restaurants and bars, independently and locally owned.
Cheffini’s was one of the first businesses to open its doors in Container Park. The co-founders first started their business in 2010 with a hot dog cart in downtown Vegas.
Committed to putting a spotlight on this American food staple, everything they make is made from scratch.
Famous for their unique sauces and toppings, Cheffini’s combines the classic hot dog with international flavors. Cheffini’s became one of the local favorites in Container Park.
We sampled the classic Cheffini’s dog, which combines a nice bite from jalapeno peppers with a smooth finish from a tasty pineapple sauce.
This is a great local place to eat on a budget while strolling downtown and around the park.
Where to Eat The Best Hog Dog in Vegas
Container Park, 707 Fremont St #1050, Las Vegas, NV.
Sun – Thurs, 11:00 am – 11:00 pm; Fri – Sat, 11:00 am – 1:00 am
Updates: Cheffini’s downtown location is now permanently closed. Cheffini’s is now serving hot dogs in front of El Cortez Hotel, 600 E. Fremont St, Las Vegas NV in the evening. Check out their Facebook page for more information on the hours.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: If you are looking for a food tour in Las Vegas, check out our full review of The Best Las Vegas Food Tours. Find the food tour in Las Vegas that best suits your interest.
2- Project BBQ Food Truck
In the center of the pedestrian walkway of Fremont Street, Experience you’ll find Project BBQ Las Vegas food truck.
This permanent food truck stands out in the middle of the flashy casinos, entertainment area, and street performers.
Using high-quality ingredients, this local spot started with the simple idea of offering “a great BBQ experience” in the Las Vegas desert.
The barbecue sandwiches are made with either beef brisket, pulled chicken or pork. They are served with a side of homemade potato chips and coleslaw.
The meat is seasoned with a house made sauce which has beer and cheese in it.
This unique food truck is a great option for lunch or a snack on while checking out all the entertainment on Fremont Street. It ranks high on our list as one of the best places to eat in Las Vegas on a budget.
The barbecue sandwiches are delicious and overflowing with tender and juicy meat. The flavorful barbecue sandwiches reminded us of the best barbecue we had in Austin, Texas.
With the order of chips served on the side and with the freshly made coleslaw, you’ll be in for a treat.
Where to Eat BBQ in Vegas
Address: 4 Fremont Street Experience, Las Vegas, NV.
Hours: Mon – Sun., 11:00 am – 2:00 am.
The name says it all. At this local breakfast and lunch spot, chef, Natalie Young has a simple philosophy.
Eat is about local food and fresh ingredients. It is also about fostering communities and education through food.
Chef Natalie was one of the original chefs involved in the DTLV revitalization project. Her success has landed her many awards including one of the best restaurants for “seriously good comfort food”.
On the menu, you’ll find American comfort food with a creative twist. Eggs are served all days and locals rave about the delicious egg sandwiches and the crispy pancakes.
Locals rate this restaurant in Las Vegas as one of the best places to eat off the strip.
With her success, chef Natalie, recently opened up a second location in downtown Summerlin, a trendy local Vegas neighborhood.
While Eat caters mostly to breakfast and lunch eaters, we were interested in tasting her cuisine at dinner.
We chose to go to Chow, her other restaurant in downtown Las Vegas.
Unfortunately, we were misinformed and found the restaurant closed. Chow is now a space dedicated to catering events only.
Running out of time in Vegas, we sadly didn’t have the chance to try Eat. Needless to say, this restaurant is high on our list for our next Vegas stop, and it should be on your list as well.
Where to Eat Breakfast off the Strip in Vegas
Address: 707 E Carson Ave, Las Vegas, NV.
Hours: Mon – Fri , 8:00 am – 3:00 pm; Sat – Sun 8:00 am – 2:00 pm.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: For a surprising and unique thing to do in downtown Las Vegas, consider visiting the Mob Museum. Learn the fascinating history of gangsters in Las Vegas in an interactive and fun tour.
Classic Casinos in Downtown Vegas: A Unique Dining Experience Off the Strip
You can’t escape the casino experience in Las Vegas. If you are looking for a unique “old Las Vegas” dining experience, check out these Las Vegas restaurants off the strip.
Located in two historic Las Vegas casinos, they offer wildly different and unique dining options.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: If you are interested in a fun food adventure off the strip, check out our fun downtown Las Vegas food tour. In a small group, you get to taste Vegas off the strip and discover the iconic spots downtown Las Vegas.
4- Aloha Specialities Restaurant – California Hotel & Casino
California Hotel & Casino known as “The Cal” to locals, is home to the best Hawaiian food in Las Vegas.
The restaurant, Aloha Specialties located on the second floor offers traditional Hawaiian cuisine.
Expect to find local Hawaiian fare like teriyaki plates, Chicken Tou Saimin, oxtail, rice bowls and more.
This landmark hotel in downtown Las Vegas, just off Fremont Street, has a very loyal Hawaiian clientele. We were surprised to learn Las Vegas has a large Hawaiian population and it is often referred to as the 9th Hawaiian island.
One of the popular Hawaiian dishes to try is the Hawaiian-style marinated chicken teriyaki.
The chicken is cooked in chicken broth, ginger, and green onions. Served with a special house made Hawaiian sauce, you’ll be left craving for more.
For a taste of Hawaii in the Las Vegas Desert, this is one of the best places to eat in Las Vegas on a budget.
Where to Eat Hawaiian Cuisine in Las Vegas
Address: 12 E. Ogden Ave, Las Vegas, NV.
Hours: Sun – Thurs, 9:00 am – 9:00 pm; Fri – Sat, 9:00 am – 10:00 pm.
Pro Tip: Rated as one of the best places to eat breakfast in Las Vegas, this is a popular spot for locals. Stop in and try the loco moco (a ground beef patty with a fried egg on top over white rice). It is known to “cure” hangovers.
5- El Cortez Hotel & Casino
Opened in 1941, the El Cortez bills itself as “the longest continuously-running hotel and casino in Vegas.”
Located off the strip in the historic downtown area, El Cortez offers an authentic Vegas experience you just can’t get anywhere else.
Part of the notoriety of El Cortez comes from the infamous mobster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, who with three gangster partners owned the casino for a period of time in the 1940s.
After the sale of El Cortez, Bugsy used the funds to build the Flamingo Hotel & Casino in 1947.
In addition to its Illustrious history, the food at the 24/7 restaurant named Siegel’s 1941 is another draw.
While on a downtown Las Vegas Food Tour, we learned from our local guide that the Prime Rib special at El Cortez was pretty good.
Attracted by the casino’s historical significance and tempted by Prime Rib Special, we stopped in for dinner one evening.
Seated in the dimly lit, updated restaurant, we ordered the $10.95 prime rib special and a bottle of wine, which was on special that day.
This was a really nice piece of 8 oz. prime rib cooked perfectly medium rare, with a side of gravy and sour cream. For sides, you have a choice of french fries, baked or mashed potatoes.
The meal comes with vegetables of the day, and in our case, a mix of broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and peppers.
If you are looking for a reputable place to eat on a budget in Las Vegas, we recommend having the Prime Rib Special at El Cortez. The beef was cooked to our liking and the vegetables were fresh and crispy.
With the friendly and attentive staff, you’ll enjoy a slice of Las Vegas for what it was, and what it is today.
Where to Eat Prime Rib Steak in Vegas
Address: 600 E. Fremont Street, Las Vegas NV
Hours: Siegel’s 41 Restaurant open daily, 24/7
Pro Tip: El Cortez is the only casino to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Be sure to walk around after your meal.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: For a fun day trip from Las Vegas, check out our full review of the Las Vegas wineries. Read about wine tasting in Las Vegas and meeting the people behind Las Vegas wineries.
Authentic Asian Las Vegas Restaurants Off The Strip
Food from Asia is one of the most vibrant and authentic food scenes to Las Vegas. Chinatown is at the epicenter of this booming Las Vegas culinary scene.
There, you find a diverse Asian cuisine offering, with some of the best Asian restaurants nationwide.
6- Lotus of Siam: Long-Standing Thai Restaurant
Lotus of Siam has been serving authentic Thai food since 1999. The chef-owner Saipin Chutima brings the northern Thai style cuisine to Vegas.
After winning the James Beard award in 2011, her restaurant has been celebrated as one of the “best Thai restaurant in the United States”.
Khao Soi and Sai Oua are the highlights of the Northern Thai dishes on the menu.
The Khao Soi is a northern Thai soup with a rich and spicy coconut milk based curry. It is typically served with chicken or beef and two types of noodles.
Sai Oua are traditional Thai northern-style sausages infused with a blend of spices and herbs. The rich flavors from these northern Thai dishes transported us back to Thailand.
We were impressed by the taste and the quality of the ingredients of this award-winning restaurant.
After all this is a restaurant in the desert, far away from the lush mountains of Chiang Mai.
Where To Eat the Best Thai Food in Vegas
Address: 620 East Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV
Hours: Open daily, Lunch, Mon – Fri 11:00 am – 2:30 pm; Dinner, 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm, daily
Pro Tip: If you are uncomfortable with spicy food, do not worry. At Lotus of Siam you can choose your meal on a heat scale from 0 – 10. Go for lunch for a better chance of getting a table.
7- Hobak Korean BBQ
In Chinatown, Korean cuisine is gaining in popularity. At the moment, Korean barbecue is the most popular Korean food you’ll find in Las Vegas.
Hobak Korean BBQ is an authentic Korean restaurant, straight from South Korea where they operate several successful branches.
Hobak serves premium quality beef and pork cooked on a charcoal grill at your table. With their combo menu, you can taste different cuts of meats prepared in their own special marinade.
Each combo menu comes with an assortment of side dishes also called banchan. Freshly cooked in front of you, the meat is incredibly tender and flavorful. The sides are well seasoned and make for the perfect accompaniment to the meats.
This is one of the best places to eat off the Strip in Las Vegas and the delightful Korean BBQ feast is an experience not to be missed.
Where to Eat the Best Korean BBQ in Vegas
Address: 5808 Spring Mountain Rd. #101, Las Vegas, NV 89146
Hours: Open daily, 11:30 am – 1:00 am
Pro Tip: The portions are large, plan to go with a group of friends
8- District One Kitchen & Bar – Authentic Pho In Vegas
District One perfectly embodies the diverse and creative cuisine you’ll find in Chinatown. It is one of the best Las Vegas restaurants off the Strip.
While the menu is centered around Vietnamese cuisine, it also offers a mix of Southeast Asian inspired dishes.
Known for their Pho, District One offers traditional recipes like Pho Tai Nam and more inventive dishes such as the Whole Maine Lobster Pho.
We opted for the more traditional Pho Tai Nam that we enjoyed in Vietnam. This clear broth soup combines slices of ribeye and flank steak served with rice noodles.
The fragrant flavors of the lemongrass, Vietnamese cilantro, ginger, and green onions reminded us of the Pho in Vietnam we enjoyed.
With generous portions, Pho at District One certainly earns its recognition as the best Pho in Las Vegas.
Where to Eat the Best Pho in Vegas
Address: 3400 S Jones Blvd #8, Las Vegas, NV 89146
Hours: Monday to Sunday from 11:00 am to 2:00 am; Closed on Tuesdays
Pro Tip: The portion sizes are huge, go hungry
Local Buffets Off the Strip in Las Vegas
The buffet concept was pioneered by El Rancho Vegas in 1945. What started as a “chuck wagon” evolved to become the “all-you-can-eat” buffets.
Today, the buffet tradition is still very much a part of the local Vegas food culture. Buffets have now gone gourmet with casino’s competing against each other for the best buffet in town.
Many of the popular buffets can be found on the Las Vegas Strip and most come with a hefty price tag.
If you’re looking for a local and affordable buffet experience, wander off the Strip and go eat fat the following locations.
9- Feast Buffet at Red Rock Casino & Resort
Located in the Summerlin neighborhood, about a 30-minute ride from the Las Vegas Strip is Red Rock Casino & Resort, an oasis in the desert.
Feast buffet, at Red Rock, has been voted one of the best buffets by Las Vegas locals. It is one of the best places to eat off the Strip.
The diverse cuisine takes you on a culinary journey around the globe.
The wide range of selection of food stations at Feast buffet is impressive. From Italian, American, Sushi, Barbecue, Asian, Farmers Market, Wellbeing and Pastries & Desserts, you have everything you could possibly want.
With a personalized touch at each station, you can get your meal however you want it. At the carving area within the American Station, your meat can be cooked to your liking.
The Farmers Market station goes beyond salads and toppings. One of our favorites was thinly cut slices of smoked salmon, of which we had several helpings.
Find sugar-free options, and homemade gelato at the Pastries & Desserts station and you can also create your own perfect dessert.
For a leisurely experience go for the Weekend Brunch and get champagne or mimosas included in the price.
Where to Eat the Best Affordable Buffet in Vegas
Address: 11011 W. Charleston Blvd, Summerlin, Las Vegas, NV
Hours: Champagne Brunch – Sat & Sun from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Pro Tip: A local experience without the tourist “strip” prices. Be sure to walk around and enjoy the scenery at the nearby Red Rock Canyon on charleston blvd.
10- Mint Indian Bistro Buffet
Since 2008, Mint Indian Bistro has been bringing authentic Indian flavors to Las Vegas.
Even though Mint Bistro is not attached to a casino, it offers daily lunch buffets. Rated as one of the best places to eat in Vegas off the Strip, you don’t want to miss this local gem.
With two locations, Mint is very popular amongst locals and not widely known among visitors to Las Vegas.
Catering to carnivores, vegetarians and vegans, this is the perfect place to sample simple, colorful, and flavorful Indian food that appeals to all senses.
From the delightful start with freshly baked naan or Indian flatbread, you’ll be in for a sensorial journey.
Stations with a wide variety of Indian flavors are found alongside the back of the restaurant.
From favorites like the paneer tikka masala, a fresh goat cheese cooked in the creamy tikka masala sauce to classics like tandoori chicken, you will eagerly savor the rich flavors.
The food at Mint Indian Bistro is surprisingly fresh and very flavorful. The diversity of dishes from India will appeal to all tastes.
Don’t forgo this affordable unique buffet experience which is only about a 15-minute ride away from the Las Vegas Strip.
Where to Eat the Best Indian Food in Vegas
Address: 4246 S Durango Drive, Las Vegas, NV.
Hours: Open every day for lunch from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid of spicy food. The food is not spicy unless you ask for it, and the flavors are delightful.
Check Our Map of Las Vegas Restaurants Off The Strip
The food scene in Las Vegas is going through a transformation.
While you’ll find restaurants from celebrity chefs like Joël Robuchon, Guy Savoy, Jose Andres, Gordon Ramsay, Thomas Keller and more, there is a quiet revolution taking place.
A new local restaurant scene is burgeoning right off the Las Vegas Strip. You’ll find many of the best moderately priced restaurants in downtown Las Vegas, Chinatown and on the west side in neighborhoods like Summerlin.
For unique dining experiences, taste the flavors at any of these local Las Vegas restaurants off the strip.
Have you eaten at any restaurants off the Strip in Vegas?
In the comments below, please tell us your favorite Las Vegas restaurants off the strip.
Where to Stay off the Strip in Las Vegas
For unique hotels with affordable and culinary options, book your Las Vegas off the strip at any one of these places.
Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa
Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa – Featuring luxurious rooms and suites, sensuous spa treatments and delectable dining options, get off the strip when you book your stay at Red Rock Casino Resort. Enjoy the tranquility and charm of Vegas and the nearby gorgeous red rock mountains
Check prices and click to book your stay at: Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa
El Cortez Hotel & Casino
El Cortez – Located off the historic Fremont Street, this iconic downtown Las Vegas classic offers a unique and affordable experience. With recently renovated rooms and a convenient location, get the most from your downtown Las Vegas stay.
Check prices and click to book your stay at: El Cortez
California Hotel & Casino
California Hotel & Casino – Known as “The Cal” to locals, enjoy Hawaiian hospitality. In additional to Hawaiian cuisine at Aloha Specialties, enjoy a variety of options within the hotel. Get the Oxtail Soup at the Market Street Cafe, savor a steak at Redwood Steakhouse, or visit California Noodle House.
Check prices and click to book your stay at: California Hotel & Casino
More Local Food Experiences and Recipes
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Rosemary, ex-marketing and advertising strategist, is a digital nomad and content creator at Authentic Food Quest. Since 2015, with her partner, Claire, they travel the world in search of the best local food experiences. Their mission is to help you enjoy the best local specialties on your travels or via recipes in your home kitchen. Favorite country for food: Peru. Favorite local dish: Bacalhau. Favorite way to keep fit: Running. Rosemary is the chief content writer and strategist on Authentic Food Quest. She is also co-author of Authentic Food Quest Argentina and Authentic Food Quest Peru, available on Amazon.