Man does not live on booze and nightclubs alone. And any good night on the town usually means either a post- or pre-club meal. Fortunately, the downtown area has experienced a restaurant renaissance in recent years on par with the resurgence of its club and bar scene. So there are plenty of great places to grab a meal in the midst of your next downtown bar crawl.
First and foremost is Firefly, in The Plaza. The place’s original Paradise Road location has been a Vegas institution for years. The downtown version offers the same great tapas and affordable prices as well as a view that almost makes the otherwise lame Fremont Street Experience look cool.
If you’re hanging closer to the arts district, you might want to throw a little support to Bar + Bistro. The Arts Factory space had a run of bad luck after Tinoco’s packed up its kitchen and moved into the Las Vegas Club, and a brief experiment re-opening as a third Paymon’s location never really got off the ground. But owner Wes Myles has re-opened the kitchen, expanded the dining room and finished an outdoor patio that’s great for people watching, or taking in one of his weekly Friday night movies.
For some of the best Italian food in town, as well as one of the strangest dining rooms, visit Chicago Joe’s, which is located in a converted old house on 4th Street. Or if your taste runs toward Mexcian, Mundo serves up a creative avante garde take on south-of-the-border fare in the World Market Center. In the meantime, The Triple George Grill remains the go-to spot for steaks and chops just a few blocks north of Fremont, and right next door to Hogs and Heifers.
Like the rest of this town, casino coffee shops dominate the late-night dining scene downtown. Beauty Bar crowd tends to favor El Cortez where most dishes are priced below $10 and nearly nothing is over $15. (A Vienna hotdog will only set you back $3.25, and the $7.25 barbecue rib appetizer is massive!) Sadly, Du-Par’s in the Golden Gate has doubled the price of the hotel’s signature shrimp cocktails. They now run $1.99 and $3.99 — which still isn’t bad. But you’ll get more bang for your buck from the $2.99 hot dogs or the $6.99 hand-carved sandwiches.