Survivg as a Vegetarian in Las Vegas Note: I haven't had the time to do the research to update this page in many years. If you know of good places not listed here, or places I list which are no longer good, please let me know! The message from Las Vegas casinos is loud and clear: They don't care about vegetarians. All other metro areas in the U.S. accommodate vegetarians readily, but for some reason most restaurant managers on the Vegas Strip remain clueless. Maybe they think vegetarianism is a fringe interest, but the reality is that around 10% of Americans are vegetarian or nearly so, and the figure is even higher for many other countries (and we all know how many foreign tourists come to Vegas.) And when notable figures like Mike Tyson, Bill Clinton, Paul McCartney, poker pro Daniel Negreanu, and even Steve Wynn going vegan, it's clear that this idea has definitely entered the mainstream. (see the BusinessWeek article) So you're going to have to put a little more effort into getting fed here than you would in other places. If you've traveled as a vegetarian before, you probably know some of the tricks, such as to look for ethnic restaurants. Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern, and usually Italian restaurants all offer veggie options. In a Chinese restaurant, they'll at least have one vegetarian dish called "Buddha's Delight", which is just vegetables and rice. (Just ask the server to make sure there's no chicken or fish broth, or chicken powder.) Middle Eastern fare for veggies includes hummus, tabouli, falafel (if not fried with meats), and dolmas, which are stuffed grape leaves. For Italian food, there's always pasta, as long as the sauce doesn't have meat or fish. In a pinch you can always order a pizza without meat (and without cheese, if you're vegan). Just stay away from Mr. Gatti's, which uses meat in their tomato sauce. Incidentally, no Strip casino buffet is especially good for vegetarians. Be warned that the buffets typically put chicken powder in the Asian vegetables, lard or meat in the refried beans, and chicken stock in the Spanish rice—and they never label it as such. This page is divided into two sections: Truly veggie-friendly places with several choices, where you might actually want to go to eat. Places with only 1 or 2 veggie "options", useful only for avoiding starvation. In each section, the places are listed roughly in order from North to South. My Vegas Strip Map will help you get oriented. I also made a special Google map of Indian lunch buffets. Please let me know of any corrections or worthy additions to this list. (e.g., If it's not on the Strip or downtown, then it should be way better or way more vegetarian than what you can get on the Strip or downtown.) Truly veggie-friendly (multiple and/or exceptional vegetarian offerings) Of these, only Go Vegan Café, Veggie Delight, and Rainbow's End are completely vegetarian. NEAR the Strip listed from North to South Komol Restaurant (Thai) • 953 E. Sahara Ave.(0.75 mi. E. of the Strip) • 702-731-6542, 11am-10pm x7, website Komol has a generous vegetarian section on their menu. Vegetarians used to having to pick the one veggie item at a restaurant will be overwhelmed with the choices here. The atmosphere is also nice and the food is satisfying. A warning, I got one of the dinner sets (#3, I think) and it came with a soup that was mostly oil. It looked like they used four parts oil and one part water. The waiter noticed I didn't eat it and he graciously offered to bring me a normal soup, which I was happy to accept. Note that Namaste Indian (below) is in the same shopping center. Rainbow's End Natural Foods Cafe • 1100 E. Sahara (1.5 mi. W. of the Strip), 702-737-7282 Cafe: M-F 10-5, Sat 11-4, closed Sunday; Store: M-F 9-9, Sat 9-8, Sun 11-6 Not quite what you'd expect from a natural foods place—there is no bicycle rack, and in the café your smoothie will be served in a styrofoam cup and your meal will come with plastic utensils. Although there's sit-down seating, you order at the counter. In some places of the store the shelves are only half-stocked, and the cooler doors list prices for products which aren't inside. I saw a staffer snap at a woman who asked for advice on what kind of supplements she should get. However, the café food is completely vegetarian, largely vegan, and delicious. My taro burger was everything you'd want in a taro burger. Do note the limited hours! Veggie Delight • Spring Mountain & Wynn Road (1.5 miles W. of the Strip; get on the #203 bus at Sands/Spring Mountain next to the Fashion Show Mall or the Wynn) • 702-310-6565 • 11am-9pm A little-known, tiny Vietnamese/Chinese café, specializing in faux meats. Everything on the menu is at least vegetarian, and can be made vegan for $1.00 to $1.50 extra. The menu is extensive and the food is good, and brown rice is an option. Vegans should note that the smoothies are made with milk unless you specifically request otherwise. Also note that this place is just a block away from Ronald's Donuts (see below). Ronald's Donuts • 4600 Spring Mountain Road (1.5 miles West of the Strip, near Arville St.), 702-873-1032 If you're not a veg*n for health reasons, you'll love this place, since you can't get more junk food than white flour, sugar, and oil. Most of the donuts and pastries here are vegan, and are on two completely separate shelves from the non-vegan stuff. Also note that Veggie Delight is only a block away from Ronald's, so if you're already making a trip out for one of these places, the other one is close. Note that they tend to close EARLY, like around 4pm. India Palace • 505 E. Twain Ave (1 mile E. of the Strip; on Spring Mtn./Sands/Twain, which is all the same street. Get on the #203 bus on Spring Mtn. or Sands. It runs about every 30 mins. and gets there in 5 mins.) • 702-796-4177, website The vegetarian section of their menu boasts a whopping 17 vegetarian entrees, not even counting the veggie options on the South Indian part of their menu like dosas. Mint Indian Bistro ★★★ • 730 E. Flamingo (1.5 miles E. of the Strip; cach the #202 bus on Flamingo) 702-894-9334, website Editor's pick! Their menu explicitly lists seven vegan entrees, as well as an additional two more vegetarian entrees. They also have vegan naan (!), and explicitly list which appetizers and breads are vegan. Wow! Why can't all restaurants be like this? But I'm not done yet: their $10.99 lunch buffet is almost entirely vegetarian and has several explicitly-labeled vegan items. Eighteen thumbs up. Gandhi India's Cuisine • 4080 Paradise Rd. (1 mile E. of the Strip along Flamingo; catch the #202 bus on Flamingo) 702-734-0094, 11am-2:30, 5-10:30 x7 A whoping 19 vegetarian choices are listed explicitly on their menu. And like just about every Indian restaurant in town, they have a lunch buffet. Paymon's Mediterranean Café • 4147 S. Maryland Parkway (just S. of Flamingo; 2 mi. E. of the Strip), 702-731-6030, website Offering Greek, Italian, Persian, Middle Eastern, and Indian fare, much of it vegetarian, and much of that vegan. The vegan & vegetarian items are clearly identified on the menu, leaving out the guesswork. A 26-time "Best of Las Vegas Winner" from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. P.F. Chang's • 4165 S. Paradise Rd. (1.5 miles E. of the Strip along Flamingo), 702-792-2207, website Menu has a vegetarian section with five separate entrees. Also has five veggie sides and four appetizers. Everything on the menu that's vegetarian is denoted with a special mark. And brown rice is available instead of white! Abyssinia Ethiopian • 4780 W. Tropicana (next to Orleans casino; take the #201 Tropicana bus) 702-220-5304 • Open 11am-4am daily • website One of the better Ethiopian restaurants, with a large vegetarian section. Most dishes are $5, and the veggie combo is $10. East India Oven + India Masala • 1040 E. Flamingo Rd. (2 mi. E. of the Strip; take the #202 Flamingo bus) 702-431-8313, 11:30-3pm, 5:30-10pm These two restaurants merged. Serves north + south Indian cuisine. South Whole Foods Market • 6689 Las Vegas Blvd. S (in Town Square Shopping Center • Take the Deuce or Strip Xpress bus) 702-589-7711, 8am-10pm every day Large organic / natural foods grocery store. West Go Vegan Café • 5875 S. Rainbow Blvd. #104 Las Vegas, NV 89118 • website This is it, baby. Mount Everest India Cuisine • 3641 Sahara @ Rainbow (2 miles West of the Strip; take the #204 bus from Sahara Casino) 702-892-0950, hours not listed on their website; website Offers a whopping 18 vegetarian items on their menu. Viva Mercado • 3553 S. Rainbow (4 miles West of the Strip) 702-871-8826, M-W 11-10, Th-Sat 11-11, Sun 11-10, website A veggie-friendly Mexican restaurant. Their sopa and rice contain chicken broth, but at least they tell you that in large bold letters on the menu so you know what not to order. Their beans are fried in canola oil and they have a vegetarian section on their menu with six different entrees. The overwhelming majority of the menu is meat-laden, but it's still nice when a restaurant takes specific notice of vegetarian diners by printing a note about ingredients and offering a complete vegetarian section on its menu. Paymon's Mediterranean Café • 8380 W. Sahara Ave. (6 miles W. of the Strip), 702-804-0293, website Offering Greek, Italian, Persian, Middle Eastern, and Indian fare, much of it vegetarian, and much of that vegan. The vegan & vegetarian items are clearly identified on the menu, leaving out the guesswork. A 26-time "Best of Las Vegas Winner" from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Whole Foods Market • 8855 W. Charleston (9 miles West of the Strip), 702-254-8655, 8am-10pm every day AND 7250 W. Lake Mead. @ Tenaya (9 miles West of downtown; map),• 702-942-1500, 7am-10pm x7 Two West locations for this large organic/natural foods grocery store. Out of Business if you can no longer find these on the web, that's why Cottage Café Erby's Vegetarian Cafe & Juice Bar 4596 W. Spring Mntn. (2 mi. W. of the Strip) Gaylord's Indian Go Raw Café Long Life Vege Restaurant 4130 S. Sandhill; closed in 2011 Miko's Izakaya Namaste Indian Origin India Raw Truth Cafe East Red Velvet Café Shalimar Fine Indian Cuisine 3900 Paradise Rd On the Strip listed from North to South Fashion Show Mall 3200 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; near Nordstrom & Bloomingdales California Pizza Kitchen. Four veggie pizzas and several veggie pastas, including portobello mushroom-stuffed ravioli(!) (unfortunately for vegans, it's also stuffed with cheese). The mall's Food Court also offers wraps, subway sandwiches, and Asian food. Wynn/Encore In the shopping center just north of Encore 702-240-6363 Bombay Indian Cuisine. The North Strip got a lot more veggie friendly when Bombay opened in Nov. 2010. They have a large veg. section on their menu, vegan roti, and a lunch buffet with about 8 of the 20 items being vegetarian. Note the mixed reviews on Yelp, though. Mirage 3400 Las Vegas Blvd. S. California Pizza Kitchen. (see review above) Caeser's Palace 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S. Cheesecake Factory. Despite the name, it's a full-service restaurant. PETA says: "This savvy purveyor of fine fare offers no fewer than 16 vegetarian entrées on its menu. Included in the animal-friendly lineup: roasted artichokes served with a vinaigrette, grilled vegetable pizza, portobello mushroom burgers, Asian vegetable stir-fries, roasted vegetable pasta dishes, and grilled eggplant sandwiches!" Planet Hollywood (formerly Aladdin) P. F. Chang's (Chinese). Menu has a vegetarian section with five separate entrees. Also has five veggie sides and four appetizers. Everything on the menu that's vegetarian is denoted with a special mark. And brown rice is available instead of white! Spice Market Buffet. No Strip casino buffet is particularly good for vegetarians, but Planet Hollywood's isn't as bad as most. It features Mediterranean station with falafel, hummus, dolmas, baba ganoush, and tabouleh. Monte Carlo In Hawaiian Marketplace, 3743 S. Las Vegas Blvd. (702) 798-7889 Tamba, an Indian restaurant in the Hawaiian Marketplace across the street from the Monte Carlo. About 10 of their 30 entrees are vegetarian, and they have a lunch buffet. They can also boast about winning a fistful of awards. Mandalay Bay The Border Grill has Portabello Mushroom Mulitas ("grilled marinated mushrooms layered with black beans, roasted peppers, and pickled onions served with roasted tomato sauce braised greens, and guacamole"). Kind of pricey at $16, but on the South Strip your options are limited. They also have Chile Relleno ("roasted poblano peppers stuffed with manchego, panela, and cotija cheeses, served with roja and tomatillo salsas, rice, and black beans"). Survival only (typically only one or two veg. options on the menu) On the Strip listed from North to South Most Strip hotel restaurants now have at least one thing that's vegetarian. I'm not going to list the one or two vegetarian options for each the dozens of Strip restaurants out there, but instead I'll list (1) entrees that are a little more interesting than normal, (2) cheap eats, esp. familiar fast food. Circus Circus (across the street from Circus Circus at 322 W. Sahara; cross Sahara to get to it) Capriotti's Sandwich Shop offers a Soy Turkey Sandwich, a Veggie Burger, and a Veggie Dog. Slots-A-Fun (between Circus Circus and Westward Ho) Has a Subway sandwich shop. Fashion Show Mall 3200 S. Las Vegas Blvd. Has a Subway on the third level, and a place that serves veggie wraps. Treasure Island / Venetian Subway across the street from Treasure Island, next to the Venetian. Beware of the Grand Lux Café which perverts things you'd expect to be vegetarian. (e.g., the Crispy Sesame Tofu has oyster sauce, that fact isn't disclosed on the menu, and not all of the staff are even aware of this and might give you the wrong answer if you ask about it). Casino Royale Subway inside the Casino Royale. Harrah's Chipotle (burritos) between Harrah's and Casino Royale O'Sheas Subway inside O'Sheas. Bally's Sidewalk Café has a portobello mushroom sandwich. Planet Hollywood (formerly Aladdin) No Vegas buffet is good for vegetarians, but the Spice Market Buffet has many Mediterranean options that the others don't. Yolo's restaurant has portobello mushroom fajitas. Harley Davidson Café 3725 Las Vegas Blvd. S. Harley Davidson Café has an $11 Veggie Wrap with roasted carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, shredded lettuce, and portobello mushrooms, wrappend in a tomato basil tortilla with a cream cheese ranch spread, served with seasonal fruit. Also has a $9 veggie burger, grilled on the same grill as the meat. New York New York Food Court across the street from NY NY, 24 hours In the food court across from NY NY, Del Taco offers cheap 1/2-lb. bean & cheese burritos. Vegans should ask them to hold the cheese and sour cream.) There's also a Subway here (and a Panda Express, which looks vegetarian, but has secret meat and fish ingredients). In NY NY itself, their burger shop has veggie burgers on the menu. And I found this on a messageboard: "Il Fornaio at New York NY has vegan minestrone and a vegan salad. Everything is made on site, and they are very good about answering questions." MGM Grand Subway Sandwiches in the Grand Canyon Shops next to the MGM Grand. Airport Subway Sandwiches in Terminal C. Downtown The Beat Coffeehouse (520 Fremont) Roasted veggie sandwich and veggie pizza on the menu. Walgreens Has a Subway sandwich shop. Four Queens (Fremont & 3rd) Has a Subway sandwich shop. The Plaza (Fremont & Main) Has a Subway sandwich shop. East Merkato & Axum Ethiopian Restaurants • 855 & 8630 E. Twain (2 mi. E. of the Strip), 702-796-1231 & 640-9440 If you want Ethiopian, Abyssinia (above) is a much better choice. Merkato and Axum are right across the street from each other, in a not-so-great neighborhood, and the atmosphere and food are both below average. At Merkato the cooked greens were quite rancid. (Leave a bag of frozen vegetables on the counter for a couple of days and then open it, and it's the same smell.) Merkato's food was also super-greasy. I saw a roach scurry across the bar. The vegetarian section of the menu was rather sparse, and the description for one of the items there was vegetables and beef! At Axum, I've never had drier, nastier injera in my life. Related articles & Sites Vegans Baby. A guide much like the page you're reading now, but way more current. The Vegas Vegan. Blog of a local resident, with restaurant reviews.