While I’m all for fine dining as a showcase for thoughtful mastery of culinary techniques and dainty, bite-sized portions, I must admit: Sometimes I just want to eat good food — and lots of it. Among my favorite Las Vegas indulgences, gluttony is at the top of my list. Where else can you find so many dining options and tastes so easily? And where else can you go back for seconds — or thirds and fourths — without feeling guilty? Herewith, five of my favorite Las Vegas hotel/resort buffets in no particular order:
The Buffet, Wynn Las Vegas
Wynn Buffet Atrium
// © Barbara Kraft
If I could only choose one buffet to eat at throughout the entirety of my Las Vegas stay it would likely be The Buffet at Wynn Las Vegas. For a buffet, the quality is pretty impeccable and I’m not alone in my opinion — the Las Vegas Review-Journal
named it the Best Buffet in Las Vegas, 2009. While it offers many of the traditional buffet options we’ve come to expect — prime rib for lunch and dinner, omelet stations for breakfast and a massive salad bar — The Buffet excels in quality where others sometimes stumble. Even the dinnerware is top-notch; I got a work out just from carrying my plate from station to station (I know what you’re thinking: sad). I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I definitely helped myself to a few helpings of crepes from the dessert station. While the price is a bit steep compared to other buffets, it’s well worth the investment.www.wynnlasvegas.com
Le Village Buffet, Paris Las Vegas
In my younger days, I distinctly remember making a nighttime drive out to Las Vegas with a group of friends on the spur of the moment — not something I plan on doing again anytime soon. And while our weekend trip was something of a snap decision, our very first choice of buffets was not. In fact, we made a beeline right for Le Village Buffet, and I’m glad we did. Nothing satiated our weary selves better than generous helpings of fresh lox and cream cheese and made-to-order omelets. This year, the buffet was awarded an Editor’s Pick for Best Brunch by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The emphasis on French-inspired cuisine also translates to the decor, which resembles a quaint and homespun French village. A word of advice for your clients? Get there early; wait times for dinner can get long — very long.
Carnival World Buffet and Village Seafood Buffet, Rio Las Vegas
The Rio is home to not only one, but two of my favorite Las Vegas buffets. Each is a shining spectacle of all that an excellent Las Vegas buffet should offer: quality and variety. While both excel in quality, it’s the variety that’s the kicker. Every day, the Carnival World Buffet offers more than 300 dishes in cuisines from around the world — Italian, Japanese and Chinese, to name a few — and that’s not even including the 70 some varieties of desserts. The recently remodeled Village Seafood Buffet specializes in seafood, including all-you-can-eat lobster, snow crab legs, shrimp, freshly shucked oysters, sushi and more, decked out in the flavors of the Mediterranean, Pacific Rim, Baja, South America and North America. So, if your clients want to taste a little bit of everything, from everywhere, the Rio is a sure bet.
The Buffet, Bellagio Las Vegas
I’ve only eaten once at this buffet, but it was a buffet experience I won’t soon forget. Maybe it was the wait to get in — a full 40 minutes, if I remember correctly — but brunch never tasted so sweet. Here, my friends and I indulged in a Sunday morning champagne brunch, complete with endless flutes of mimosas and bubbly. And when we weren’t busy imbibing, we were occupied with devouring delectable brunch offerings and staples, from French toast to Eggs Benedict. www.bellagio.com
Spice Market Buffet, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Las Vegas
Picky eaters don’t fare well when they try to dine with me. I get bored easily if I only eat the same type of food day in and day out. Because of this, the Spice Market Buffet at Planet Hollywood is perfect for me, especially when I get a little tired of the typical buffet station options. Here, clients can feast on all the usual buffet flavors — Italian, American and Mexican — as well as the more uncommon, such as Middle Eastern and Asian, which includes flavors from India and even the Philippines. Last year, I stayed at Planet Hollywood during the Oscar De La Hoya- Manny Pacquiao fight and noticed they served one of my favorite Filipino dishes, lumpia (savory egg rolls), no doubt in honor of the “Pac Man.”