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Thanks to the Food Network and reality television shows such as “MasterChef Junior,” today’s top chefs are household names and, as a result, many kids have become foodies — even if they still won’t eat all their vegetables.
Food tours are always a great way for families to experience a city’s unique culture, but in Las Vegas, Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes visitors on food-driven adventures through a town where nearly every celebrity chef has a restaurant.
“Lip Smacking Foodie Tours are great for families,” said Donald Contursi, president of the operator. “There is no age restriction on most tours, so it’s the perfect way for parents to introduce their kids to gourmet dishes and restaurants.” Contursi also describes the tours as a form of education because tour-goers not only learn about Las Vegas sights along the way, but knowledgeable guides also expose them to the latest trends in dining.
The tour I recently took with my 15-year-old son — and perhaps the best choice for families — is the Afternoon Culinary Adventure, a daytime excursion that allows families to visit several popular Vegas restaurants at an affordable price ($125 per person), and without battling the evening crowds.
We started with amazing enchiladas at Javier’s in the Aria hotel, where we had the opportunity to sit in the exclusive Marcos Room that the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team dines in whenever they’re in town. With a minimum of $4,000 for the table, only VIPs like the Lakers can afford it.
Next, in The Cosmopolitan hotel, we visited three distinct restaurants. At Estiatorio Milos, we sampled octopus so delicious that even picky eaters were willing to give it a try. At Jaleo, a Spanish tapas-style restaurant from world-famous chef Jose Andres, we drank lemonade from a traditional Spanish pitcher called a porron; sampled paella made on an open-fire wood-burning grill; and tried “liquid olives” created with molecular gastronomy. Finally, we sampled three desserts at China Poblano, including Terra-Cotta Soldier, its signature chocolate treat.
“Dining in Vegas with your family shouldn’t have to mean eating in an environment full of distractions, jockeying for the best seats or wrangling a reservation at a crowded restaurant,” Contursi said. “Instead, on a Lip Smacking Foodie Tours excursion, you’ll be whisked to the best seats in the house at some of the city’s most acclaimed restaurants so you can enjoy quality time with your family.”
Travel agents can earn 12 percent commission by contacting Lip Smacking Foodie Tours before booking.
More Tour OptionsFor families with older kids, or those looking for something more, Lip Smacking Foodie Tours offers several other opportunities to see what makes the food scene in Las Vegas so exciting.
- Downtown Lip Smacking Tour ($125 per person): This tour gives families the chance to explore the newly revitalized downtown area of Las Vegas with visits to chef-driven restaurants that focus on seasonal ingredients and farm-to-table dishes.
- Savors of the Strip ($199 per person): Best suited for families with older kids, this evening tour takes a look at the glamorous side of the Las Vegas restaurant scene with stops at five of the city’s most exclusive dining hot spots.
- Lip Smacking Boozy Brunch ($149 per person): This morning tour includes cocktails at every stop, so it’s a great choice for families with grown kids (though mocktails are also available for non-drinkers). This tour, featuring signature brunch dishes ranging from sweet pastries to savory benedicts, is a great way to start any day in Las Vegas.
- Savory Bites & Neon Lights ($299 per person): For a truly extravagant experience, Lip Smacking Foodie Tours offers a special package where guests will experience delicious dishes prepared by award-winning chefs on the Savors of the Strip Tour, and then take off on a nighttime helicopter flight over the Las Vegas Strip.
(An optional additional cocktail package is available on some tours for guests 21 years old and up.)