Million-dollar slot machine payouts. Hotel suites with private infinity pools. Las Vegas is a place of excess, and nowhere can this be better observed than at a casino buffet. Endless portions of steak, lobster, champagne and more have been a part of Las Vegas history since the 1940s, when the Strip’s first resort, El Rancho Vegas, created the Buckaroo Buffet, which allowed famished gamblers to enjoy all-you-can-eat cold sandwiches and hot items for just a dollar.
Today, there are over 70 buffets in Las Vegas, including classics on the Strip, under-the-radar spots Downtown and a smattering of smaller – and cheaper – options throughout the valley.
If you’ve never experienced the decadence of a Las Vegas buffet, here are seven tips to whet your appetite.
Consider Budget Options…
If you’re fond of the phrase “my eyes are bigger than my stomach,” get your money’s worth by opting for a cheaper buffet. The Feast Buffets, located throughout Las Vegas, are inexpensive, with most meals priced at under $20. The Garden Court Buffet in Downtown Las Vegas at Main Street Station is another cheap option. You’ll find breakfast for just $8.99, lunch for $9.99 and dinner for $12.99.
...But Don’t Be Afraid to Go For Luxury
On the other hand, how often are you in Vegas? Even if the answer is all the time, splurging on a classic, high-end Vegas buffet is a memorable experience. From the iconic Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars, which offers over 500 dishes and is the largest in town, to the ridiculously fancy Sterling Brunch which is held once a week at Bally’s and includes endless champagne, oysters, lobster and lamb served by tuxedo-clad servers, Vegas buffets offer a literal taste of the good life.
Or Opt for a Less Popular Spot
Well-known buffets like the aforementioned Bacchanal, as well as The Buffet at Bellagio, Le Village Buffet at Paris and The Buffet at Aria can be crowded. To dine without the lines, the crowds and the rapidly disappearing tray of those chicken fingers that you really, really wanted, head to a less popular spot. Off-Strip options, including The Buffet at the Golden Nugget and Seasons Live Action Buffet at Silverton Casino are always good options for this. The Studio B Buffet at the M Resort is also a solid choice.
Pay to Skip the Line
Unfortunately, crazy long wait times for Las Vegas buffets have become as famous as the buffets themselves. If you’re insanely hungry or just don’t want to wait two hours to eat (understandable!) some buffets, such as Bacchanal and the Buffet at Wynn allow you to pay to skip the line. It’s usually around $20, and if you’re starving, it’s worth it.
Remember to Tip
A Vegas buffet is nothing like the strip mall buffets that you might be used to. They’re self-serve, but you will still have a server taking your cocktail order, clearing your plates and generally making sure you’re happy. As such, it’s customary to tip. Many buffets will allow you to tip in advance when you pay with a credit card, but cash on the table works too.
Think Like an Early Bird Diner
Take a look at the hours for your buffet of choice and plan on arriving in between meals. This allows you to get cheaper pricing (i.e. breakfast pricing on lunch), and will also help you beat the crowds.
Take a Lap
Here’s the big thing about Las Vegas buffets: There are a lot of choices. Almost too many choices. You’ve got to strategize. Before you dig in, take a lap to see what’s available. That way you don’t miss anything. Some buffets, like the Wicked Spoon at The Cosmopolitan are celebrated for their amazing dessert selections, so have an idea of exactly how many gelato flavors you want to try so that you’ll have room for each and every one when the time comes.