I’ve been to Las Vegas a few times now, and I’m comfortable enough with the lay of the land that I’m not too worried about finding decent food. We went for three nights last month, and I made it my mission to try some restaurants that I’d never been to.
We got into town late Friday night, and it was around midnight by the time we arrived at the hotel. I was starving, and this was the only time on the trip I had to settle since most places were closed and we were exhausted. We ate at the 24 hour coffee shop in TI, where we stayed, and I had a blt with no b and french fries.
The next morning I went for an early run on the strip, which I would highly recommend for anyone who likes to run. Just make sure to get out there before 9AM so that the sidewalks aren’t too crowded and it’s not too hot. Breakfast was a Larabar, a banana and iced coffee.
For lunch we decided to check out The Wicked Spoon Buffet at Cosmopolitan. Looking around online I had seen that it was rated as well as or higher than the Bellagio and Wynn buffets, which are both excellent. I had no idea what kind of vegan food might be available, but you can always at least find something at a giant buffet.
The line for the buffet was very long, but they had cool food art on the walls. I really liked this purple and green asparagus photo. (As with most buffets, I didn’t get to verify that this is all vegan, but used my best judgement.)
First plate: watermelon gazpacho, heirloom tomatoes, cucumber salad, grilled asparagus, cantaloupe, pretzel roll, green gazpacho. This was all tasty, and the green gazpacho was the stand out dish. It tasted like it had tomatillos and jalapeno, and was really bright and fresh.
Second: seaweed with plain tofu and hot sauce, curried tofu and fall vegetables, veggie sushi. There wasn’t any veggie sushi on display but the sushi chef was right there making more rolls, so I asked him to make it for me. I had another little pot of the curry after this plate to make sure I got my money’s worth.
The dessert section had a whole case of gelato, and luckily for me the fruit-based ones were dairy free! These are pink grapefruit and mango flavors. The pink grapefruit was really delicious, tart and not too sweet.
That night we hung out at The Wynn. I think by now all good vegans have heard that Steve Wynn is vegan and made sure that all of his restaurants offered vegan and allergen-free menus, but in case you didn’t know until now – every restaurant at The Wynn has vegan options! And good ones, too, not like token vegan options that nobody actually wants to eat.
I can’t resist a vegan pizza with “cheese”, so I grabbed dinner at Pizza Place. This beauty included red onion, red bell pepper and mushrooms, and what I believe to be Daiya. The crust was really delicious, both chewy and crispy.
Breakfast the next morning was another protein bar, an apple and coffee. Breakfast seems like it’s usually the hardest thing to find as a vegan, so I always travel with protein bars and fruit.
In addition to its proximity to The Wynn, TI is also right across the street from The Fashion Show Mall, an unlikely source of delicious vegan food. However, it pays to do your research!
The Red Velvet Cafe is nestled between two escalators in the mall. Their original location is way far from the strip, and I think this location is fairly new. Their menu isn’t strictly vegan or vegetarian, but there are plenty of savory options and most of the desserts are vegan.
While waiting for my meal, I enjoyed this dry lemon grass soda. It was like a less sweet, natural version of Sprite.
For my lunch I ordered the vegan version of the Cuban Press sandwich, which included vegan turkey and cheese, pickles and mustard on hearty sliced wheat bread. It was hot and melty and wonderful.
The “turkey” was thickly sliced and grilled, and it seemed like a soy product. It had that meat-like graininess that Tofurkey has, and I really liked it. I asked the waitress what brand it was, and she said that she thinks they have it specially made. Too bad, I would love to be able to buy some!
Dessert was a difficult choice considering how many of the cakes, breads and cookies were vegan, but in the end I went with the signature red velvet cake. The display case was filled with chilled desserts, but this cake came to the table warm. The icing was surprisingly crumbly yet sweet, and a tasty counterpoint to the rich cake. I would definitely visit the Red Velvet Cafe again.
For dinner that night we went to the pho restaurant in TI. This is the vegetarian noodle bowl, which came with fried tofu and onions, a few kinds of mushrooms, peanuts and lots of raw veggies. I don’t know what they put in this business, but it was fantastically tasty and filling.
Walking back to our room, the v word jumped out at me where I least expected it, on the steak house menu. It certainly seems that Vegas has become much more vegan friendly over the past few years! Tal Ronnen and Gardein are taking over. Fine with me.
For brunch the last day, we headed to The Wynn buffet. I had heard a rumor that vegan buffet items were actually labeled as such.
The rumors were true! The downside of food being labeled vegan was that there was sort of a gray area for things that should have been naturally vegan. The fruit was an easy call, but I was less sure about this cream of wheat, which I think should have been cooked without dairy.
For my second trip through I picked up buckwheat pancakes and rice and bean enchiladas. I was so excited that I forgot to take a picture before chowing down. Here is the proof.
Every good breakfast needs dessert! Grapefruit with mint and a small chocolate chip cookie.
Brunch kept me full for a long while, so I got this burrito in the airport just before boarding. I was pretty excited to see tofu and broccoli on the menu, but in honesty this burrito was BLAND. Bland but filling, at least.
In summary, do not be afraid of trying to find vegan food in Vegas. It is seemingly everywhere! We’re going back next month and I hope to try out even more restaurants, maybe even a fancy one at The Wynn.