What To Eat in Nevada
Las Vegas has some of everything, from high-dollar celebrity chef cuisine to affordable soul food, but Nevada’s personality north of Vegas takes on a distinct Basque accent. Meaty, garlicky, hotel banquet meals once enjoyed by shepherds when they came to town still are the highlight of a road trip across Interstate 80.
Three questions: 1. Are you extremely hungry? 2. Do you like garlic? 3. Do you really like garlic? If you answer yes to all of the above, you need to sit down for a traditional Basque dinner in northern Nevada. Legacy of shepherds who came to the American west in the late 19th century, they are big feeds designed to satisfy hungry men who have spent months living solitary lives and eating off the land. When these guys came to town, they brought formidable appetites.
There are chicken-fried steaks throughout the West. Most are bad. When we come across a good one, we shout hallelujah. That is why we list it as a Nevada specialty, which it isn't. But tuck into one at the Cracker Box in Carson City and you will understand. Flavorful chuck steak, hand-cut and pounded tender, is battered and griddle-fried and served with from-scratch gravy. A meal to remember!
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Mary's Hash House is a Las Vegas, Nevada, restaurant serving from-scratch hash-browns, sausage & biscuits, jams & jellies, and yes, hash.
Mochiko is a locally spun teriyaki bowl concept where Hawaiian fried chicken and char-broiled teriyaki combine with homemade sauces to fill rice bowls.
Southwest diner provides hearty dishes with regional identity, including Santa Fe pancakes & chiles rellenos. Plus hefty pies and giant mason jar cocktails.
Fox Smokehouse is a charming little BBQ dive where competition pit-masters serve excellent wings, rings & slow-cooked brisket.
Childish comfort food attains maturity thanks to fresh ingredients and sharp execution. MTO Café is a must stop, if only for its apple rings.
Jammed into the corner of a Las Vegas service-station convenience store, Chile Verde Express is a little counter serving sensationally good Mexican food.
Viva Las Arepas is an oasis of Venezuelan excellence at the end of the Las Vegas Strip. Mesquite grilled meats are not to be missed.
El Coyote Charro is a Utah/Nevada trio of eateries making unique asada fries and other Mexican fast food favorites in gas station convenience store settings.
Vegas locals don’t go to casino buffets as much these days. This is the way they do all-you-can-eat: Unlimited fresh sushi rolls made to order.