Aburiya Raku is a popular spot for local chefs thanks to dishes like its agedashi tofu. // © 2016 Creative Commons user mmm-yoso
Feature image (above): Honey Salt’s menu features a wide variety of New American dishes. // © 2016 Honey Salt
It can be hard to tear yourself away from the slot machines, yard-long margaritas and constant chaos of the Las Vegas Strip, but travelers who dare to venture into the rest of the city will be duly rewarded with amazing sights and even more noteworthy food. While the casinos house restaurants created by world-renowned chefs, the rest of Vegas is no slouch either.
Below are six restaurants that won’t make you sorry to leave the Strip.
Located in an unassuming strip mall, Aburiya Raku offers up homemade tofu, udon noodles with foie gras and egg custard soup and green tea creme brulee. The eatery is the favorite of many local chefs and was even featured on celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain’s CNN show. In fact, Aburiya Raku is so good that it has already expanded its space since it first opened in 2008, and chef and owner Mitsuo Endo intends to open a second location in Los Angeles.
Cugino’s Italian Deli
Cugino’s Italian Deli is a short 15-minute drive from the Vegas Strip and can be found near the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. With its cheap prices and filling Italian food, Cugino’s is the perfect place for both college students and those whose luck ran out on the Strip. You can’t go wrong with their Italian No. 2 Sandwich or classic spaghetti and meatballs, but Cugino’s daily specials provide the real deals.
If you’re looking for authentic German food, look no further than Hofbrauhaus. The restaurant is a complete replica of its original Munich location — they even had to get permission from the German government to build it. The standouts are the schnitzel wiener art, bierkutscher steak and nurnberger rostbratwurst. Those looking to save should hit up Hofbrauhaus at noontime for its Power Hour lunch menu, which runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A farm-to-table restaurant in the middle of the desert might seem a little far-fetched to some, but not to the proprietors of Honey Salt. Featuring a varied menu full of New American dishes, Honey Salt serves homemade desserts and handcrafted cocktails. You can order everything from an Italian sausage pizza to herb gnocchi. The kids will also love the children’s menu, which features a fun “grow-your-own” sundae option.
Lotus of Siam
Lotus of Siam is another local secret that has since gotten out to the masses. The restaurant is widely considered to be the best Thai restaurant in Las Vegas — if not one of the best in the U.S. — and offers a menu of Northern Thai classics. Check out the drunken noodles with minced chicken or the “nua nam tok,” charbroiled beef mixed with onions, cilantro and chilies. The spice level of every dish can be adjusted on a scale of one to 10, but be forewarned: Ten is not for the faint of heart.
After a night of partying on the Strip, chances are you’re going to need a hearty breakfast the next morning. Mr. Mamas, which is just a short drive away, is the perfect choice. The restaurant was listed in the top 100 places to eat in the U.S. on Yelp in 2015 and 2016 and surely deserves the ranking with its delicious spread of classic American breakfast food. Personal favorites include the white-chocolate-chip pancakes (one of Mr. Mamas’ specials), any of the available omelets and the breakfast egg sandwich.
Naked City Pizza Shop
A visit from celebrity chef Guy Fieri only confirmed one thing to patrons of Naked City Pizza Shop: The best pizza in Las Vegas is found within its slightly scary-looking four walls. Fieri’s show “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” spotlighted the restaurant’s guinea pie: a combination of meatballs, various cheeses, white garlic sauce, spinach and the store’s “suicide” sauce, a mix of hot peppers and habanero sauce. Other must-tries are the royal hot sandwich, with sausage and capicola, and the steak-and-cheese pizza.