Blossom at Aria

After lots of research (read: yummy vegetarian dinners in Vegas) Aria has quickly moved to the top of my list for most vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Vegas, and Blossom is just one of the reasons. Located on the first level, just off the casino floor and near Lemongrass, Aria’s Blossom has a large menu built for sharing and full of vegetarian and vegan dining options for dinner in Vegas.

After looking over the menu I had a good idea of what I wanted, but I checked with the server to make sure my options were indeed vegetarian. I started with the egg rolls, which didn’t list meat, but aren’t always all-veggie. As soon as I inquired about the ingredients, she immediately asked if i was vegetarian or vegan and assured me that these were a good choice. I was very impressed with her knowledge of the menu, as well as different diets and how to recognize and anticipate questions to provide recommendations.

I also ordered the salt and pepper tofu and vegetable chow mein. Both were amazing; I even took home leftovers, which I never do. This also means that yes, most dishes are sized for sharing and family-style is encouraged here. That makes it easy to create a meal that vegetarians and meat-eaters can both enjoy. I can’t wait to go back and try even more vegetarian dishes at Blossom.


Posted in Aria, Asian, Dinner, Vegan, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Sirio at Aria

I love Italian food. I know a lot of vegetarians may get sick of pasta, but as long as you jazz mine up a little, I’d eat pasta every night. (Just kidding. That’s a lot of carbs. But sooooo yummy.) Sirio, an Italian restaurant at Aria, had been on my list to try for awhile. And after eating there once, I’m kicking myself for not visiting sooner.

Sirio is tucked away on the second floor of Aria, near the buffet and theater. Their menu is helpfully labeled with a vegetarian (v) next to every menu item that’s already vegetarian, which is a huge help for vegans and basically a giant neon “welcome” sign for vegetarians in Vegas. They invite you to build your own antipasto platter of vegetarian bites, which sounds like an awesome idea for groups. I went with a salad instead, and it was one of the best salads I’ve ever had. Trust me, as a vegetarian, that’s saying something, especially with an average name like Mixed Garden Salad. I want a garden like that! There was enough “stuff” to keep it interesting, but not too much that I felt stuffed.

Not feeling stuffed was key here, as I next had a small side dish of asparagus and the Capellaci, a spinach and ricotta pasta pocket. Again, I was blown away by something that sounded simple and was full of flavor, texture and interesting presentation.

Not to be outdone, the dessert was an art piece that tasted almost as good as it looked. The sommelier was exceedingly helpful, guiding us to the perfect wine at a reasonable price. All around the food and service was exceptional. I can’t wait to try Sirio again for another amazing vegetarian dinner in Vegas.

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Andrea’s at Encore

Picking up where Switch left off, Andrea’s is the newest addition to Wynn and Encore’s restaurant directory. The vibe is more nightclub than restaurant, but the vegetarian menu is extensive, including sushi and both hot and cold Asian-inspired dishes. Keep in mind that they do not allow children after 9pm and reservations are recommended as Andrea’s just opened at Encore a few weeks ago.

Since Andrea’s is a) new and b) sporting a serious vegetarian menu, I went all out and ordered waaaay more food than necessary. First up, we got the truffle edamame, since I can never resist truffle anything. Then I may or may not have (but definitely did) jump for joy when I saw inari on their vegetarian sushi menu. If you haven’t had it, it’s a must try, but not as readily available in Vegas as other cities. Basically, it’s a think pocket of tofu filled with rice and brushed with sugar water. It might sound a little weird, but it’s yummy. (And vegan.) There were other vegetarian sushi rolls on the menu, but I was so excited I forgot what they were.

Next up were vegan smashed potatoes with spicy aioli, and snap peas with ginger. These were side options meant to accompany other dishes, but I had them on their own and was quite happy. Meat-eaters might want them to go with a steak, or they would be great for a table to share tapas-style. For my last course (told you I ordered too much) I had tofu and edamame fried rice with broccoli. It was enough to share, especially all my other dishes, so I would recommend grabbing some vegetarian buddies and ordering family-style.

Of course, I couldn’t help myself from dessert, which offers 7 or 8 dim sum options (choose 3) or an ice cream cone tree. The ice cream tree presentation is amazing, and they also offer vegan sorbets, but I went for the dim sum. You must try the coconut roll, after 1 bite I wished I got 3 of those instead of trying anything else! If you’re visiting Las Vegas soon, stop by Andrea’s at Encore for a delicious vegetarian meal.

Posted in Asian, Dinner, Encore, Fancy, Sushi, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wynn | Leave a comment

DW Bistro (Off The Strip)

More delicious vegetarian options away from Las Vegas Blvd! Are you ready? DW Bistro. This adorable restaurant fuses Jamaican flavors into classic dishes for a delightfully spicy cuisine that is very vegetarian friendly.

I’ve only tried them for lunch, where my go-to is the vegetable curry, which is perfectly spiced without being overwhelming. A mix of fresh vegetables tops your choice of rice or couscous. It’s heaven in a bowl, and I always have leftovers for later, so it’s win-win. If I wasn’t so anti-mushroom I would try the veggie burger, always a classic vegetarian favorite. The signature salad is also really good, with enough extra veggies and nuts to be a satisfying meat-free meal.

If I make it there for dinner, truffle mac and cheese will be on my plate without even looking at the menu. Let me know if you get there first, and what vegetarian dishes you tried for lunch or dinner!

Posted in American, Casual, Dinner, Lunch, Off Strip, Vegan, Vegetarian, Veggie Burgers | Leave a comment

Il Fornaio at New York, New York

As a vegetarian, I’m no stranger to pasta dinners, and I bet you’re not either. So I’ve had my fair share of boring marinara and primavera, as well as some pretty delicious plates of pasta. (Side note: I hate spaghetti. It’s too hard to eat. I like to stab shapes, not twirl strands.) When my mother-in-law suggested we carb up before the Las Vegas marathon, I was psyched to try Il Forniao at New York, New York.

Their large menu offered plenty of options right away, as well as some reassuring vegan and vegetarian notes on certain dishes. They even offer to make vegan, cheeseless pizza! Sadly, I could not convince the hubby to go for pizza so I could try it, but they were more than happy to accommodate his request for dairy-free sides. Despite the many vegetarian dishes, I opted for a pasta that originally came with chicken, Conchiglie Al Pollo, and simply said no meat. I was rewarded with double vegetables and a delicious meal. Score!

I counted 16 vegetarian items on the Il Fornaio menu with no substitutions required, plus quite a few that could easily be modified to be vegan or vegetarian. Italian is always a crowd pleaser, and the menu includes plenty to satisfy meat eaters as well. A great option for any group in Vegas!

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A Vegetarian New Year’s Eve in Vegas

Vegas is a hotspot for New Year’s Eve celebrations, and New Year’s Eve 2012/2013 will bring people from all around the world to experience everything that Las Vegas has to offer. This includes dining, dancing, drinking and, because it is New Year’s Eve, fireworks! There are countless DJs and musical acts to be seen, and dozens of special New Year’s Eve menus to try. But are tasting menus worth it? What about buffets? And where do vegetarians fit into all this? Fear not, I’ve got you covered.

New Year’s Eve Traffic & Weather In Vegas

First, a word on New Year’s Eve in Vegas. It’s crazy. Lots of fun, tons to do, but there are a lot of other people trying to do the same thing. So plan ahead. The Las Vegas Strip is closed to cars starting around 5pm, so you’re going to need to stay nearby to all your activities for the evening, or plan to do some walking. Ladies, that means choose your shoes carefully, and understand that while Vegas is warmer than many places, it is still winter. And no matter how cute your dress is, shivering is never a good look.

Nightclubs On New Year’s Eve In Vegas

As for dinner, drinks and dancing, you need to make reservations. If you’re looking to go to a nightclub, I recommend getting a table. Yes, it’s pricey, but it will pay for itself in the time not spent waiting in line to get in or at the bar to get a drink. If you can’t do a table, arrive early and buy tickets in advance.

Tasting Menus and Special New Year’s Eve Dinners

New Year’s Eve can get very expensive, very quickly. So it’s important to figure out what you want to spend on, and what you don’t. If you love food, a multi-course chef’s tasting menu is often the way to go. Vegetarian menu are available at many restaurants, including holiday menus like New Year’s Eve. Michael Mina and Picasso, both at the Bellagio, always offer vegetarian tasting menus, and Alize at Palms, as well as China Poblano at The Cosmopolitan, have special New Year’s Eve vegetarian menus. Wynn and Encore are also likely to offer some seasonal, vegan or vegetarian options to celebrate the holiday.

These tasting menus can be anywhere from 3 to 10 courses, with the added option of wine pairings. Some restaurants will require everyone in the party to do a tasting menu, and you will definitely need a reservation, so call ahead. Many restaurants offer a choice of seatings, an early and a late, so you only have 2 options for when you dine.

Casino Entry for New Year’s Eve Guests

Since there are so many people in Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve, the casinos can’t possibly let everyone in. So if you want to visit a casino and you do not have a room there, you’re going to need to either arrive early, or make dinner/nightclub reservations. This will allow you access to the hotel, but make sure to give yourself extra time to get there (no cabs on The Strip) and to make your way through the crowds and the doormen.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks Display

Finally, there are the fireworks. It’s amazing to see the sky lit up over the lights of Las Vegas, but the show tends to be short, so stake out your spot ahead of time. They usually go off from near Caesars Palace and can be seen up and down Las Vegas Boulevard. For the best view, head to a bar that’s high up, like at Mandarin Bar at The Mandarin Oriental or Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay. Or you can try for a nightclub with outdoor space, like Pure at Caesars Palace or Chateau at Paris.

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Bartolotta at Wynn

Once again, Wynn proves they know how to keep vegetarians and vegans happy in Las Vegas. We recently dined at Bartolotta inside Wynn, and it was incredible. As always, the service was impeccable, and the vegetarian menu rivaled the “regular” one in terms of variety of dishes, as well as the sheer number of choices. Just one caveat: this is a seafood restaurant, and they do bring the day’s specials to your table via a fish cart for presentation. So if your whole table is not vegetarian, you may want to look away.

Despite our server being obviously very excited about the fish (which the hubby was more than happy to try) he was also very understanding of my vegetarian diet and never made me feel awkward. Now, back to the vegetarian options. Remember when I said there were a lot? I’m talking 15-20 choices. No joke. So you can understand how hard it was to choose and why I actually opted for 3 courses and skipped dessert. Yup, it was so good I said no to chocolate in favor of vegetables.

I started with a chickpea cake, which was incredible, then got the grilled vegetables. This was a huge portion, meant for sharing, and while it was incredibly simple it was also delicious. Finally I had the gnocchi, which were perfectly cooked little pillows of heaven. The menu changes seasonally, so your vegetarian and vegan options may be different depending on when you visit Las Vegas, but it’s sure to be good no matter when you go to Bartolotta.  Enjoy!

Posted in Dinner, Encore, Fancy, Italian, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wynn | Leave a comment

Switch at Encore (CLOSED)

While I wouldn’t go so far as to call Switch a “theme” restaurant, the walls and ceiling do change throughout the evening (hence the name), so it’s a bit of dinner and a show. But by no means do they let the food skate by while the decor takes center stage. As always, vegan and vegetarian options abound at Switch in Encore, as with all Wynn and Encore restaurants.

We went here for a group dinner. If you’ve ever tired to wrangle 7 people to decide where to go for dinner, you know it can be a challenge. So the fact that everyone (including this picky vegetarian) couldn’t stop raving about their meal speaks volumes.

I started with a quinoa salad that had lots of great texture. Then since it’s a steak house, I decided to go with the meat theme and try the vegan meatloaf. (Sidenote: one of my meathead friends almost ordered it as well, glossing over the fact that it said both vegetarian and vegan right near it. I think he thought it was “Vegas” meatloaf. But it goes to show you how delicious the description made it sound.) The mashed potatoes were super creamy (and vegan) and I had to fight my husband off to let me eat my own dinner.

All around, definitely one of my top 10 meals in Vegas. The food alone is worth going for, and the vegetarian entreés do not disappoint, but the decor is also something to see.

Posted in American, Dinner, Encore, Fancy, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wynn | 3 Comments

Tacos and Tequila at Luxor

By now, you know I love Mexican food. Which is perfect, as there are tons of delicious Mexican restaurants at all price points in Las Vegas, full of vegan and vegetarian offerings. For my latest trip south of the border, I visited Tacos & Tequila, T & T for short, on the second level of the Luxor. And while I can’t speak to their tequila, the food was delicious.

We went here with a big group, so it’s worth noting that they are not scared of large parties. The servers have a great attitude and are really fun, while still knowledgeable about the menu, including their extensive drink list. Since I don’t do tequila I had a sangria. (OK, maybe 2.)

For dinner I went with the vegetable quesadilla, from the appetizers menu. It was plenty for a full meal and one of the best quesadillas I’ve ever had. Enough cheese without being too gooey, and the veggies were cooked to perfection. I had spotted a few vegetarian dishes before we arrived, but I double-checked with the server and he confirmed that I was good to go. Another vegetarian in our group had the veggie tacos and they also looked good, and an excellent option for vegans if you omit the crema.

The laidback attitude and excellent food make Tacos & Tequila a great spot for a casual bite and some cocktails with vegetarians, vegans or carnivores. I highly recommend it for groups. Next time I might have to try their mariachi brunch. Olé!

Posted in Casual, Dinner, Lunch, Luxor, Mexican, Vegetarian | 3 Comments

Late Night Vegetarian Dining in Vegas

You’re in Vegas. It’s late. And as you leave the bar there is only one thing on your mind: food! We’ve all been there. But, as a vegetarian in Las Vegas, it can be a bit difficult to find a restaurant with vegetarian options–let alone a vegetarian restaurant that’s open all night. But have no fear, meat-free sustenance can be found on The Strip, even at 3am. Here’s where:

Cafe Vettro at Aria

This is a huge, sit down restaurant that is open 24 hours and rarely has a wait. Located at the back of the casino floor, it’s the perfect spot for a late night (or early morning) omelette with your choice of fillings. They’ve also got salads, an ooey-gooey grilled cheese and an amazing Belgian waffle.

The Henry at The Cosmopolitan

This is another 24 hour sit down restaurant, conveniently located right inside the doors facing Las Vegas Boulevard. Breakfast features prominently on the late night menu, including omelettes with your choice of filling and a to-die-for cinnamon roll french toast. Deep fried mac ‘n beer cheese or their signature truffle tots also make a great snack.

Sugar Factory at Paris

While this may sound like a dessert-only place (and they do desserts quite well) Sugar Factory also offers quite a few vegetarian dishes and is blissfully open 24 hours a day. With breakfast served 11pm-1pm, crepes and omelettes make a great late night meal, as well as their 24 hour offerings, including a double-decker veggie burger, deep fried mac ‘n cheese and salads.

America at New York, New York

When it’s late and you don’t know what you want, head here: they’ve got a little bit of everything. From edamame and salads to veggie burgers and pizza (and of course, breakfast faves like pancakes and omelettes) there are lots of vegetarian and vegan  options at all hours of the day and night.

Planet Dailies at Planet Hollywood

Per usual, breakfast abounds at this 24-hour spot, but there are also some pasta options and sandwiches that could easily be made vegetarian. Vegan eats are slim, but there are salads and sides served all night so you’ll always find something to eat.

Carnegie Deli at Mirage

Their menu is a large and can be hard to sift through (especially late at night) but this 24 hour deli serves enormous portions and has plenty of vegetarian and vegan eats. Breakfast abounds, as well as traditional deli sides and salads. Meat eaters will love their oversized sandwiches, so everyone goes home happy.

Café at Bellagio

The 24/7 menu at this upscale late-night eatery includes eggs any style, a grilled portobello sandwich, pancakes and a bananas foster waffle. It’s a bit off the beaten path; head towards the meeting rooms past the Conservatory to find this late-night vegetarian dining haven.

Posted in 24 Hour, American, Aria, Bellagio, Breakfast, Late Night, New York New York, Paris, The Cosmopolitan, The Mirage, Vegetarian | 6 Comments