06 August 2013

Vegetarian in Vegas

Las Vegas is a city where money can by just about any pleasure that a person can imagine. The food, in particular, is an extraordinary array of international flavors prepared by some of the world's most talented chefs. Vegetarian dining, though, can sometimes be a little tougher than average when considering the hedonistic reputation of Sin City.

Luckily, when you know where to look, vegetarian and vegan diners can find meatless breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks that can easily fuel whatever type of bender is underway (check out other Las Vegas reviews here). While most places will be able to cater to dietary restrictions, these places go above and beyond with their fare, or are just too good to otherwise pass by.

Breakfast - hands down, the one place that vegetarian diners must stop is 
Ronald's Donuts. The small doughnut shop tucked into Chinatown makes delicious fried breakfast pastries, two-thirds of which are vegan.  

Most of the non-cake doughnuts are vegan, including the heralded apple fritter. A dozen costs $7.50. Save money on the Strip resort breakfast and eat vegan doughnuts for a few mornings. 

Chinatown is a great area for vegetarians who are adventurous eaters. There is a wide range of Asian cuisines in the neighborhood, and some places are exclusively vegetarian.

In Chinatown, the other most famous item is the house-made tofu at Raku. It was on an episode of the Food Network's Best Thing I Ever Ate. Every visiting chef talks about it. It is part of why Raku is one of the most talked about restaurants in Las Vegas.

The tofu is set in a round basket, and it carries visible basket ridges on its faces. Diners should be careful because some of the dishes are prepared with bonito fish flakes.

Lotus of Siam is one of the nation's premiere Thai restaurants. Its flavors are deeply authentic, and they take care with vegetarian dining requests.

Chef/owner Saipin Chutima prepares traditional recipes that have been passed down in her family for 100 years. It is a worthwhile stop for lunch or dinner seven days a week.

Go Raw Cafe is Las Vegas' resident old-fashioned hippie vegan restaurant. It has two locations, and offers raw, vegan fare.

Luv-It Frozen Custard is not vegan-friendly, but it is a good old-fashioned way to cool yourself in the hot desert sun. The favorite sundae is the Western, topped with hot fudge, caramel, pecans and a cherry. It is located North of the Stratosphere near The Strip.

I also had a great experience at Ferraro's, an Italian restaurant on the city's East Side. It was a great environment and the staff took great care of a large party. It offers pretty traditional Italian vegetarian options, but it's fresh and carefully prepared. The Italian singers are an added bonus.

Those that want to make their meat-eating friends jealous can also get a grilled cheese from In-N-Out Burger. This is the West Coast retro burger operation with a rabid fan base. The menu is minimal, augmented by a secret menu that allows for full order customization.

The grilled cheese is essentially a cheeseburger without the burger. Accompanied by greasy animal fries, thin fries topped with melted cheese, grilled onions and Thousand Island dressing. If it is washed down by a milkshake, a vegetarian diner can be provided with a vegetarian (in the loosest sense of the word) artery-stopping unhealthy calorie bomb from 10 in the morning until after midnight.

1 comment:

deraj1013 said...

I also totally forgot - Wynn resorts have vegan options at all of their dining spots because Steve Wynn is/was a vegan.