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Gobble 'Til Ya Wobble: The Three Best Buffets in Vegas

July 8, 2014 at 8:03 PM | by | Comments (12)

If you ask most what the defining cuisine is for our lovely metropolis, you will start a fierce debate on whether that lofty crown goes to steakhouses or buffets. To the rest of the world, and for good reason, Las Vegas is the city of buffets.

In fact, the modern concept of an "all-you-can-eat" buffet is said to have been created in 1950s Las Vegas by Herbert "Herb" Cobb McDonald, a publicity and entertainment manager. He is also credited with cementing Vegas as a national convention destination, the key to early Vegas success. In the 1956 novel The Muses of Ruin, William Pearson wrote in apt words his feelings on the new phenomenon:

At midnight every self-respecting casino premières its buffet — the eighth wonder of the world, the one true art form this androgynous harlot of cities has delivered herself of.... We marvel at the Great Pyramids, but they were built over decades; the midnight buffet is built daily. Crushed-ice castles and grottoes chill the shrimp and lobster. Sculptured aspic is scrolled with Paisley arabesques. They are, laid out with reverent artistry: hors d'oeuvres, relish, salads, and sauces; crab, herring oyster, sturgeon, octopus, and salmon; turkey, ham, roast beef, casseroles, fondues, and curries; cheeses, fruits and pastries. How many times you go through the line is a private matter between you and your capacity, and then between your capacity and the chef's evil eye.

Today, the Vegas buffet has evolved into a generally homogeneous entity, but there are a few that go above and beyond the norm.

Wicked Spoon at The Cosmopolitan

This is the buffet that flies the closest to the sun. The lay of the land is similar to all buffets; there is a station of Asian foods, a large Italian section, desserts, fresh fruit, etc. Yet the dishes they churn out are all as unique as any fine dining establishment. They do things like Gnoicchi with Black Garlic Pesto, or even a build-your-own Mac n' Cheese bar. If you try the brunch buffet, you are in for a serious treat at the carving station: whole house-cured slabs of bacon, sliced to your desired thickness.

Brunch ($26): 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday
Weekend Brunch ($34): 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday
Dinner ($38): 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday
Weekend Dinner ($41): 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday; 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday; 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday

Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace

When Caesars rebranded itself as a collection of the greatest celebrity chefs and dining destinations, they put $17 million into creating the be-all, end-all buffet. Bacchanal features specialized stations you just don't see in buffets, like hand-made sushi, a fresh oyster bar, a rotating spit of Adobada Al Pastor, and a world-class selection of fine cheeses and charcuterie. The much-coveted crabs legs are perched on a bed of ice, but guests have the option of having theirs steamed and served with butter. The buffet even offers mini-souffles, baked to order. (Just be sure to order early and save room!)

Breakfast ($25.99): 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Monday through Friday
Lunch ($32.99): 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday
Dinner ($45.99 weekdays, $50.99 weekends): 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Champagne Brunch ($40.99): 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday

The Buffet at Bellagio

Many will argue the merits between the Steve Wynn creations that are The Buffet at Bellagio and The Buffet at Wynn. Both are beautiful, but Bellagio still goes the extra mile with the food. They put out fine things better than most any other buffet can, like Steak Tartare, "Kobe" Top-Round (a lofty claim, but a definite point if true) and even a caviar and blini bar on the weekends. This buffet isn't exactly the Sterling Brunch (which didn't make the cut here because there are only two services a week), but it definitely captures what a Vegas buffet is without venturing into the scary territory of $1 shrimp cocktails.

Breakfast ($18.99): 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., Monday through Friday
Lunch ($22.99): 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
Dinner ($33.99): 3:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday
Weekend Brunch ($29.99): 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday
Weekend Gourmet Dinner ($39.99): 3:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday

(PHOTOS: Foursquare)

Comments (12)

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I only enjoyed two buffets in Vegas

The Buffet at Bellagio was good for lunch. I would like to try it for dinner sometime.

I really enjoyed the seafood buffet at The Rio. A bit spendy, but if you like seafood it is worth it. Also they had great prime rib.

the good ol' days

my days of buffet gorging are largely over. some day i might splurge for one of these fancy buffets, but it's not worth it for me to spend $30+ on a meal and then eat sensibly, which is what i tend to do these days. my body can't handle over indulgence any  more.

Negative @ Bacchanal Buffet

Man I was so HYPED to try this place I was dancing as I was walking in. Studio B at M Resort much better. BB did not live up to the hype for me. It's small and they didnt even have the lil chicken and waffles in the baskets. So mad. Bellagio was good. Waiting on line for 2 hrs while preg a few years ago but went for bfast into lunch. I think buffets are best at dinner

Part 2 @ Negative @ Bacchanal Buffet

This place is for seafood lovers which I am not. My sis and lil cuz loved it. Hubs and I dont rock with seafood too much.

+1 for Studio B

It's a drive, but the buffet is well worth it.

Studio B

I concur on Studio B, best buffet for the money in town... plus unlimited beer and wine

Wynn

The buffet at the Wynn is a solid choice.  The desert station is outstanding.

Studio B

I concur about Studio B being worth the drive.  I've been there twice, both times with free buffet offers, which made it even that much better.

Free is always best!

I got a "free" buffet at The Mirage using myVegas points, I NEVER spend more than $10 or $15 on a buffet and don't go to one unless I have a free, or 2 for 1 coupon!  To me those are the best buffets!  I save my $$ for gambling and drinking!

AGREE WITH YOU ABOUT STERLING

It is, hands down, the best weekend buffet brunch in Vegas.  But you're right, it is only offered for the one meal on the weekends.  What a shame!

Bacchnal Buffet Rocks!!!

While I have enjoyed Studio B several times, I think the BB is the superior of the two. BB had ribeye sliced off the bone that was FAR better than the $60 steak I had at Gordon Ramsey or the $100 Lolipop rib eye at Old Homestead.

Disapointed at Wynn

We stayed at Encore during Memorial Day week, had dinner at Wynn Buffet the first night.  For nearly $90 (was with tip), seemed bland and uninspired compared with when we were there 3 years ago.

Breakfast, however, is awesome - had it nearly every day.  In addition to the eats, OJ and coffee were stellar.

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