I love food, but hate to cook, which means our family ends up eating at restaurants quite often. It’s no secret that Las Vegas has a plethora of fabulous restaurants, from casual and family-friendly to ultra-swanky. Our culinary excursions tend to be the more down-to-earth variety since we’re almost always dining out with our five-year-old daughter. But don’t let the term “family-friendly” fool you…there are plenty of great restaurants that welcome children, yet offer up excellent, imaginative food. Here are our four favorites in four different categories:
When we’re in the mood for pizza, there’s no question where we’re heading: Dom Demarco’s. When President Obama visited Las Vegas last winter, he ordered carry-out from this pizza-and-pasta establishment. Having eaten plenty of pizza in my day, I can tell you that he made an excellent choice. Demarco’s offers both New York style pizza and deep dish pies. Our absolute favorite is the deep dish pepperoni pizza: thick, crisp crust is covered in sauce, cheese, fresh basil, and pepperoni. The deep dish pizzas are baked well-done, which makes them a hit with our family. I love how the pepperoni is nice and crispy. I’m also a big fan of the 15th Street BLT salad, which consists of butter leaf lettuce, cherry tomatoes, bacon, and avocado in a gorgonzola dressing.
Our family loves Thai food. Yes, even our daughter. She gobbles up pad prik king the way most kids dive into a cheeseburger or chicken nuggets. When we’re in the mood for Thai food, our go-to is Archi’s. I almost always order the panang curry with tofu. In order to keep your street cred, I suggest you order your food at a spice level of at least 5 or 6 (on a scale of 1-10). Just be prepared with a tall glass of ice water!
For Father’s Day, my daughter and I took my husband out to brunch at Mon Ami Gabi, located at the Paris Hotel and Casino. I love that this restaurant has a slightly more formal atmosphere…it’s a place where we can go in our Sunday best, which is fun. Guests who choose to sit outside on the patio will enjoy a great view of the Strip. My favorite dish at the Mon Ami Gabi brunch is the strawberry waffles. The waffles are nice and crisp, the strawberries are fresh, and the whipped cream is to die for. After brunch, you can take the elevator ride up to the top of the Eiffel Tower and enjoy fantastic views of the entire Strip, including the Bellagio fountains across the street.
I know there are going to be some folks who vehemently disagree with me on this pick. Keep in my mind that my husband and I spent most of our lives in the Midwest, so our favorite burger spot is a bit of a sentimental choice. We love Steak ‘n Shake, located at South Point. Yes, this is a chain. Yes, the burgers are thin. But we love the crisp edges of the burgers, the shoestring fries, the delicious milkshakes, and the reminder that there is a little bit of home here in Las Vegas.
The best part about these restaurants? Not only do they serve delicious food, they make families feel welcome. These restaurants strike that perfect balance between the preferences of the kids and those of the parents.
What do you think? What are your favorite Vegas restaurants?