Las Vegas Essentials

Check out these famous landmarks and quirky local hot spots.

Food and Drink Essentials: Best Places to ...

ENJOY AFFORDABLE FINE DINING

Bradley Ogden at Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Known for its organic, farm-fresh food, the meat and seafood fare here is creative and there’s not a loser on the menu. Keep in mind, “affordable” is relative in Las Vegas, and while Bradley Ogden is in no way IN-expensive, it’s less expensive than many fine-dining experiences in town, which can often cost you an entire paycheck.

FILL UP AT A BUFFET

The Buffet at Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Take a culinary tour of China, Japan, Italy and America. Live-action cooking stations and fresh seafood set this buffet apart from the others. The line gets extremely long on weekends so avoid peak eating times.

GRAB A BURGER

Burger Bar at Mandalay Place, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Sure you can have a Kobe beef burger topped with foie gras and lobster, but the plain old cheeseburgers are pretty darn good, too, at this upscale burger bistro.

EAT FAST FOOD

In-N-Out, multiple locations
This Western fast-food chain serves up the freshest of the fresh, from their ridiculously good Double Double burger to their fresh, made-to-order fries to the milkshakes made from real ice cream.

SIP A LATTE

Espresso Culture and Cuisine, 9555 S Eastern Ave., Suite 125
In a town of Starbucks and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaves, this homegrown shop is a welcome caffeinated jolt. They serve superior coffee (Illy) and food, and even provide comfortable lounging areas with which to enjoy their free Wi-Fi.

GRAB A LATE-NIGHT BITE

Firefly, 3900 Paradise Road, Suite A
With delicious tapas, delectable sangria and a late-night scene, Firefly is a not-so-well-kept locals’ secret. Try the bacon-wrapped dates. Open until 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Nightlife Essentials: Best Places to ...

GRAB A BEER

Town Square, Yard House, 6593 Las Vegas Blvd. South
With 137 different kinds of beer and an always ebullient bar scene, Yard House is the newest and most popular suds stop to hit Vegas. Stop in for great deals during happy hour, Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

SOAK IN CULTURE OVER A BEER

First Friday, downtown around the Charleston and Main Street area
Don that black turtleneck, and get artsy. Galleries stay open late, and bands play and vendors sell food at this monthly festival (offered the first Friday of each month). Go bar hopping at Dino’s, Art Bar and Downtown Cocktail Room afterward, where the after-parties are occasionally known to go until sunrise.

RIDE A BULL

Stoney’s Rockin Country Bar, 9151 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Can you last eight seconds? It’s actually possible at this quintessential country bar, where the mechanical bull operator is kind enough to slow the beast down when ladies ride. Men aren’t quite so lucky.

PEOPLE WATCH

Fremont Street Experience, 425 Fremont St.
Fremont Street is to the Strip as Dollywood is to Disney World; it's a sideshow to the main event, with down-home people-watching with the occasional freakshow twist. Expect the fanny-pack crowd mixed with the occasional drunk, vagrant and Las Vegas resident. Weeknights are slow, but on weekend nights the area is hopping.

HANG AT A DIVE BAR

Double Down Saloon, 4640 Paradise Road
You know you’ve stumbled into a dive bar when the conversational theme is off-color. Specialties here include the bacon martini, which comes complete with an oil slick on top.

DANCE

Pure at Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. South
This is where the Hilton sisters and a swarm of other celebrities come to boogie. The lines grow exponentially worse around 11 p.m., so arrive early or risk waiting for hours.

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