The Las Vegas Strip conjures up so many different reactions in people.
What is it for you?
For some, the reactions are negative. Gambling, decadence and downright debauchery.
For others, the Las Vegas Strip is a time to unwind, relax and have fun with no constraints. Where everything that happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
What if there was another way to experience the Las Vegas Strip? To actually taste the Las Vegas Strip and experience the innovative flavors and cuisines.
Discover what it’s like to take a culinary adventure of the Las Vegas Strip.
Starting out at the Cosmopolitan Hotel
The Cosmopolitan Hotel, one of the hippest resorts on the Strip was our meeting point for the tour. We are excited to discover this new Las Vegas Strip hotel that opened in 2010.
Joining us on the intimate food tour was a couple from Texas. The tour was led by Kathryn, owner, and founder of Taste Buzz Food Tours.
To get started, Kathryn introduced us to the concept of the Cosmopolitan Hotel. This hotel is oriented toward culinary experiences and the arts rather than gaming and gambling.
First Stop – The Juice Standard
Even though this tour was in the evening, the temperatures were still elevated. Our first stop for a juice tasting at The Juice Standard could not have been more perfect.
As we have never had a juice tasting before, we were curious about the experience. The Juice Standard offers 100-percent organic juices of the highest quality. The juices are pressed RAW and served fresh, daily, with no pasteurization.
In addition to the cold-pressed juices, you’ll also find nut milks, “super-food” smoothies, raw juices spiked with alcohol and “chewables”, many of which are vegan.
The Juice Standard was founded by Las Vegas natives and best friends, Jamie Stephenson Goguen and Marcella Williams. As we tasted a variety of juices, Kathryn told us the story of Jamie’s stepfather than led to the creation of the company.
In 2004, Jamie’s stepfather was diagnosed with advanced cancer. In an effort to save her new husband, Jamie’s mom turned to food, good food!
When Jamie came back home after college, her mother had one rule, no one could eat outside the house. Everyone had to eat what mom made.
The family went completely macrobiotic and vegan, for a while. Juicing was an everyday part of their lives. Her stepfather eventually passed, but he lived longer and stronger through proper nutrition.
The juices cover a range of flavors. From very green and earthy, to nutty, light and citrusy.
Everyone found their preferred flavors. The staff was friendly and explained the health benefits of each juice sample.
One of the best parts of the experience was the special treat at the end. Everyone on the tour was offered one full cup of their favorite juice. A totally unexpected and healthy way to start the food tour.
Second Stop – Secret Pizza
As we made our way to the second stop on the food tour, we were introduced to Beauty & Essex a working pawn shop and a hidden bar, lounge, and restaurant. The restaurant brings style and attitude from their New York origins and is a place worth checking out in Las Vegas.
Hidden on the third floor of the hotel is Secret Pizza, one of the best-kept secrets, serving New York style pizza, with pizza dough made fresh daily. With no signage, it is not easy to spot.
Kathryn led us through a hallway lined up with album covers featuring Frank Sinatra, Elvis and other music notables, all the way to end.
Everything at Secret Pizza is made from scratch. While you’ll find your typical pizza flavors, including cheese, pepperoni and more, the White Pizza specialty is not to be missed.
Made with three different kinds of cheese, the pizza was rich and tasty. The combination of the mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan cheese with a drizzle of with garlic oil was superb. The foldable, crisp and chewy crust gives a nice finish to the pizza. This was one of our favorite stops on the tour.
Art and Savory bites at the Bellagio
Sculptures and Gardens
On our way to our third tasting, we stopped to admire the glass flowers “Fiori di Como” by Dale Chihuly at the entrance of the Bellagio.
This impressive sculpture is made of 2,000 hand-blown glass flowers hanging from the ceiling and is said to weigh about 40,000 pounds. What an amazing piece of art illuminating the entrance.
Next to the lobby, we made our way to the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. The theme for Summer 2018 was Italian. We learned that each season, including Chinese New Year, brings a new theme to this beautiful floral playground.
An incredible staff of 120 horticulturalists and designers make and maintain the gardens. Some flowers are changed every day, while the whole garden changes every season.
One of the most impressive displays was the intricately designed picnic table, with plates and a rug made from nuts, seeds, herbs and dried fruits.
Before reaching out next tasting, we stopped at Jean-Philippe Patisserie to admire the Largest Chocolate Fountain in the World. This 27-foot tall fountain has more than 2,000 pounds of chocolate including white, milk and dark chocolate circulating over your head.
Created by the pastry chef himself, this tempting piece of art is, unfortunately, only for a feast for the eyes. The chocolate is not edible and no dipping allowed! However, the Bellagio Patisserie next door conveniently awaits to tempt your tastebuds.
Third Stop: Snack Wagon Surprise at Harvest by Roy Ellamar
When we finally reached Harvest, we were ready to savor our next bites. At Harvest, the menu is inspired by ingredients coming from local farmers and producers with a sustainable philosophy.
Before discovering the “Snack Wagon” surprise, we had the chance to meet with the chef, Roy Ellamar. Roy welcomed us in the open kitchen with glass windows centrally located in the restaurant.
After discussing the challenges of sourcing local ingredients in the desert, we were guided to our table. The chef brought us the “Snack Wagon” surprise composed of small plates on a thick wood board.
We tasted salmon rillettes on a brioche, potato and sweet potato chips, pest, and onion marmalades as well as crackling pork meat on a lettuce wrap. Each bite was tasty and the flavors complementary.
Our favorite was the pork wrap with the combination of the crackling meat with the slightly sour vinegar taste from the lettuce wrap. A tasty local experience.
Fourth Stop: Dirt Dog for Dirty Dog & Fried Oreo
The Las Vegas Strip also features unique and affordable eateries. Dirt Dog, a Los Angeles based street food eatery was a fun stop on the Las Vegas Strip food tour. Located at the Grand Bazaar Shops at the entrance of Bally’s Casino, this small store offers big flavors.
Known as the Official Hot Dog of Los Angeles, Dirt Dog offers the ultimate bacon-wrapped hot dog. The name comes from the owner’s childhood memories of enjoying mouthwatering bacon-wrapped hot dogs served late in the night at the end of sports games and concerts in Los Angeles. His mother called them dirt dogs.
The menu offers “dirty” dogs, “dirty” sides, “dirty” desserts and even Vegan dogs and Vegan dirty fries.
Everyone on the tour enjoyed this unique dog. We found it a little spicy and quite filling due to all the toppings. Overall, a good quality hot dog with loads of flavors.
To go along with it, we sampled Deep Fried Oreos, one of their dirty desserts. This over the top dessert had interesting flavors and textures. Rosemary loves hotdogs and rated this one of her top favorite dogs.
Off the Strip Restaurant at the LINQ Promenade
As we made our way further north on the Strip, we walked through the Flamingo Casino. Known for its tropical oasis, we walked through the garden to admire the beautiful flamingos sleeping while standing on one leg. The gardens offer a quiet break from the high energy vibe of the Strip.
After cooling off inside the Flamingo Casino, we exited onto the LINQ Promenade. This open-air shopping and entertainment district joins the Strip to the Linq Casino and high-roller since 2014. A zip line attraction is expected to open later in 2018, making it the first and only zipline on the Las Vegas Strip.
Fifth Stop: Savory Bites at Off The Strip Bistro
We made our last savory stop at Off the Strip Bistro & Bar. This local steakhouse restaurant started off selling real food off the strip. After challenging beginnings, the restaurant became popular with locals for their steak.
That’s when the Caesar team in charge of the LINQ development project contacted the owners and offered them the opportunity to move to the Strip. Ready for a new adventure, the owners took on this new challenge to grow their popularity, this time on the Las Vegas Strip
Once seated in the dimly lit casual restaurant, the waiter presented their signature appetizer. The NY strip steak wrap filled with cheese and asparagus. A definitively unusual combination.
While the steak was really tender and tasty, the cheese overpowered the taste of the wrap. After this brief stop, we were ready for the sweets & treats part of the Las Vegas food tour.
Sixth Stop: Amorino for Affogato
Stuffed at this point, Kathryn urged us to make room for two unique dessert stops. The first was a cool treat at the flagship store of Amorino, one of the best European gelato brands.
Originating in Paris, Amorino was created by two friends with an Italian childhood. Their goal was to make the highest quality gelato as naturally as possible with no artificial colors or flavorings.
Their first store opened in 2002 in Paris and having lived in France, we were already quite familiar with the chain. While the store is known for their unique flower shaped, gelato designed as “roses”, our stop was for affogato with a choice of gelato.
We had never heard of affogato, an Italian coffee-based dessert. This dessert takes a scoop of gelato “drowned” in a shot of hot espresso.
To start, everyone on the tour got to sample different gelato flavors in pursuit of their favorite flavor to have with their hot espresso. After trying several flavors from the extensive options available at Amorino, we both settled on the classic stracciatella gelato, vanilla with fine chocolate shavings.
We really enjoyed the affogato and the combination of hot and cold with a smooth finish.
The Seventh and Final Stop: Cookies from Hawaii at Honolulu Cookie Company
Honolulu Cookie Company was a very surprising finish and one of our favorite stops on this Las Vegas Strip food tour.
As we discovered during our delightful food tour of downtown Las Vegas, the Hawaiian culture is very much a part of Las Vegas. The owners wanted to create shortbread cookies in a pineapple shape inspired by the flavors of Hawaii. A sweet that represents the true Hawaiian hospitality.
As we stepped into the store, we were warmly welcomed. Our hostess introduced us to an extensive self-serving sampling display with all the different premium shortbread cookies made by the company.
We sampled all of the delicious Hawaiian shortbread cookies. From white chocolate, Kona coffee, coconut, passion fruit and more. This tasting was a real treat.
With our bellies full from the Las Vegas food tour, we were each given a bag with five cookies of different flavors. A nice surprise, one that we savored preciously the following week.
Taking a Las Vegas Food Tour with Taste Buzz introduces you to the culinary scene on the Strip. Regardless of your descriptor of Las Vegas or “Sin City”, you’ll find a new appreciation of the Strip, different from the shows, overpriced restaurants, and gaming experience.
You’ll discover local and trendy eateries and see a side of the Las Vegas Strip, you probably have not seen before.
With Taste Buzz Food Tours, you’ll get an insider view from Las Vegas natives and the unique stories behind each restaurant and stop. Meeting the chef at Harvest was a wonderful touch and not something you find on all food tours. The juice tasting and the treats from Honolulu Cookie Company were unexpected delights that added to the overall experience.
If your travels take you to Las Vegas, we’d highly recommend one of Taste Buzz Food Tours. Experience the Strip in a new way with a Las Vegas food tour.
Savor The Adventure!
About Taste Buzz Food Tours
Created by a Las Vegas native, Taste Buzz Food Tours offers a variety of unique food tour experiences in Las Vegas.
Choose from three different types of tours. You can take a downtown foodie tour, choose a food tour of the Las Vegas Strip, or dine like the stars at the trendiest and most exciting restaurants on the strip.
Click the link to book your: Las Vegas Strip Walking Food Tour
Special thanks to Taste Buzz Food Tours for having us on this tour. All views and opinions expressed are our own. Full bellies and happy taste buds too!
Where to Stay for on the Strip for Your Las Vegas Food Tour
Taste the best of the Las Vegas when you stay at these culinary oriented hotels on the Las Vegas Strip.
The Cosmopolitan Hotel – Stylish resort with an artistic sensibility offering a vibrant nightlife in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. Diverse culinary offerings featuring eateries from world-class chefs like José Andrés and Costas Spiliadis, as well as the first Las Vegas locations of trendsetting outlets like Eggslut, Beauty & Essex, Momofuku and Milk Bar.
Book your stay – at The Cosmopolitan Hotel
Bellagio Hotel & Casino – This luxury hotel in the Las Vegas Strip offers an upscale experience with multiple dining options, the famous fountains, elegant rooms, The Cirque du Soleil show “O” and more. The wide range of dining options includes Harvest by Roy Ellamar, Lago by Julian Serrano, Michael Mina’s fine dining restaurant, al fresco dining with fountain views at Picasso and contemporary Japanese dishes at Yellowtail.
Book your stay at Bellagio Hotel & Casino
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Rosemary is a writer and culinary explorer. Together with her partner, Claire, they created Authentic Food Quest to inspire people to travel deeper through authentic food. Through food, they believe, people can have more meaningful connections on their travels. Prior to creating Authentic Food Quest, Rosemary worked as a director of strategy in advertising for over 15 years. Take the quiz and find out your Food Traveler Profile.