No matter where you stay in Las Vegas, you will be surrounded by an almost overwhelming number of dining choices—each one glittering with the possibility of the best meal you’ve ever had. If you’re a gambler, you know that they can’t all be winners. How do you separate the restaurants that are merely spectacle from the ones that are actually worth your time? Simple. Go where the city’s foodies go. 

You could ask local servers and bartenders where they go for a good meal (and you will almost certainly get an answer that’s off-Strip), or you could start by checking out the menus at these places:

Mordeo
Located in Chinatown, this sleek wine bar boasts an impressive collection of bottles displayed behind a glass wall. Stop by for happy hour and have a few glasses along with Spanish style tapas followed by gelato topped with caviar.

Esther’s Kitchen
It seems like Esther’s Kitchen has been busy since the day it opened in the Arts District. Venture Downtown and find out why at this Italian restaurant which is known for its house made pasta. The seemingly simple chitarra with cacio e pepe is absolute heaven. 

Hatsumi
One of the coolest things about Hatsumi is its location inside the reimagined Ferguson's Downtown complex. Come find this izakaya (a Japanese term which basically means gastropub) in the shadow of a towering art installation made of 18-wheeler trucks. Order skewers and cocktails. 

La Strega
After a day of hiking in Red Rock Canyon, carbo-load at Summerlin’s La Strega. This beautifully decorated Italian spot serves cocktails inspired by powerful women (La Strega is Italian for witch) plus pizza, pasta, and protein. Pesto lovers should get the bucatini genovese which is made with dandelion pesto, green beans, and potatoes.

The Black Sheep
Make the trip to Las Vegas’ Rhodes Ranch neighborhood for Vietnamese-American fare including sauteed glass noodles with spicy gochujang, crispy chicken on honey toast, and ahi tuna with tangerine gazpacho.

Partage
Partage offers upscale French dishes made with creativity. In other words, don’t expect cordon bleu. Instead, you’ll find a tasting menu with customized courses and wine pairings, plus braised octopus, oxtail croque monsieur, and seared foie gras in a puff pastry. A private dining room dazzles with unique lighting effects.

Sparrow + Wolf
Adventurous diners love this Chinatown haunt, which offers a protein-forward menu including roasted bone marrow, braised lamb neck, osso buco tortellini, and grilled octopus. The cocktails here are also not to be missed.

é by José Andrés
Famed chef José Andrés has several restaurants in Las Vegas where you can certainly expect an incredible meal, but if a memorable experience is what you crave, nab a coveted reservation at é by José Andrés. Offering only two seatings per night, this exclusive restaurant wows with a 20+ course tasting event that is well worth the hefty price tag ($275 per diner). Plan on booking several months in advance if you want a seat at this chef’s table.