So many restaurants in Las Vegas, so little time! The easiest way to discover the best of dining in the entertainment capital of the world is to indulge in a fabulous food walking tour. Las Vegas is known for its innovative cuisine, ethnic choices, and elegant restaurant atmosphere you just won’t find anywhere else. On a food walking tour, you’ll visit iconic hotels you may not have experienced as well as a chance to learn more about the restaurants and the master chefs, many of them world-renowned. Not to mention it’s good exercise, too.
The best food walking tour I’ve ever experienced is the Savory Bites and Neon Lights Tour of Las Vegas from the award-winning Lip-Smacking Foodie Tours. This amazing dining experience features a selection of cutting-edge appetizers, main courses, and desserts that ensure you won’t leave hungry!
This is the ultimate experience that reaches for the skies. You’ll get exclusive tastings at four of Las Vegas’s finest dining establishments with VIP seating and three-to-four signature dishes at each restaurant — all in 5 hours. You can add an optional beverage package and have a cool cocktail waiting for you at most of the stops.
I was a guest of Lip-Smacking Foodie Tours in Las Vegas, but my opinions are my own.
1. NoMad In The Park At The MGM
The group met at the ARIA Resort & Casino Hotel and walked over to NoMad in the Park MGM with Alex, our knowledgeable guide. At NoMad, we started with a variety of gourmet appetizers that whet our appetite for what was to come. The three selections were hamachi ceviche, created with smoked red onion, white soy with jalapeno, watermelon radish, citrus, and butter lettuce cups; burrata Caprese made with heirloom tomatoes marinated with olive oil, sea salt, and fresh basil; and my personal favorite, the chicken French dip with gruyere cheese and black truffle sherry jus, which was savory and satisfying. The optional beverage package offered a “Nod to Nothing” front and center waiting for me, which featured London dry gin, lemon, green tea, apricot liqueur, yuzu, and sage.
Alex told us that NoMad stands for “North of Madison Square Park,” a Manhattan neighborhood where the original NoMad restaurant has earned a Michelin star every year since its 2012 opening.
2. Javier’s Finest Foods Of Mexico
For our next stop, we walked back to Javier’s on the floor of the Aria Casino, which is considered the best Mexican restaurant in Las Vegas and is still family-owned and operated. We watched with anticipation as we were served enchiladas de mariscos, stuffed with Dungeness crab and shrimp and covered in tomatillo sauce, melted Monterey Jack cheese, avocado, and sour cream. We also sampled chicken enchiladas packed with organic free-range chicken and covered with Guajillo, a mild Mexican chili sauce. Here, the optional beverage package featured a “Margarita Piña” with fresh pineapple, tequila, agave nectar, lime juice, and St. Germain — the perfect accompaniment.
We learned that Javier Sosa was born in Tijuana, Mexico, but moved to sunny California and worked at two different Mexican restaurants. His best friend’s father encouraged him to open his own restaurant in Laguna Beach, which then relocated to Newport Beach. Today, it’s a hotspot frequented by the L.A. Lakers and other top-name superstars.
Javier is very particular about his ingredients, serving only the freshest foods and making salsa in small batches throughout the day. How spicy is the salsa? Depends on what kind of peppers came that day, I was told.
3. Julian Serrano Tapas
Then we moved to another spot in Aria, Julian Serrano Tapas, for an authentic taste of the most delicious Spanish-influenced cuisine. I loved the tostada Manchego made with Manchego cheese, pan de cristal, and fresh tomato. The bacon-wrapped Medjool dates stuffed with herb goat cheese, pancetta, and apple puree provided a delectable blend of different tastes. The Spanish chicken croquettes were over-the-top, while the paella “Valenciana” gave the group a flavorful sampling of Spain’s national dish. You can taste the chef’s passion for his native cuisine in every bite. Those with the optional beverage package got to savor the “3-Day Red Sangria” made with Merlot, New Amsterdam gin, Myers rum, and Cointreau and infused for 3-days with red apple, oranges, and cinnamon.
4. Mastro’s Ocean Club
Finally, it was time for dessert, and Mastro’s Ocean Club did the honors with three out-of-this-world selections. Their signature warm butter cake, which I’ve enjoyed at other Mastro’s restaurants, was to die for. The luscious dessert starts out with warm butter cake enhanced with sweet cream cheese, vanilla bean ice cream, raspberry sauce, sliced strawberries, and house-made whipped cream. Cheesecake lovers savored the New York-style cheesecake and chocoholics dug into the Chocolate Sin Cake, made with flourless chocolate torte, crème anglaise, and fresh raspberry.
The table service is rather unique, more like a choreographed ballet, with the waitstaff circling each table and setting down plates simultaneously in unison. You’ve got to see it to appreciate the culinary drama. Alex explained that Mastro’s has been named “one of the top 10 steakhouses in the U.S.’’ The “wow” factor began as soon as we stepped inside to discover a dramatic, 80-foot-tall sculptural African mahogany treehouse. It made me feel like I was dining on the deck of a palatial ocean liner. Wow is right!
After dinner, guests get to experience the piece de resistance. You’ll be whisked away in a limo coach to the Maverick helicopter private terminal for the ride of your life. Toast with a glass of champagne as you board ECO-Star Helicopter and then you’re up, up, and away as you ooh and aah at the glittering lights of the Las Vegas Strip below. The 12 to 15-minute flight soars above both east and west ends of the Strip, providing a heart-stopping view of iconic landmarks such as the Bellagio, Caesars Palace, the Eiffel Tower, Wynn, Venetian, and home venues for the Vegas Golden Knights and the Las Vegas Raiders. Each ECO-Star helicopter offers stunning, panoramic views high above the pulsating neon lights. Then, it’s time to reboard the limo coach back to your hotel, savoring an unforgettable evening of gourmet dining and “flightseeing.”
There were several aspects of the tour that really made the whole adventure so fantastic. I loved the stop at Mastro’s Ocean Club and made a point to go back there on my own to experience the full menu. Others in the group mentioned their preferences and desire to try additional signature items. Secondly, being with an interesting group of people from all over the world made the experience that much richer and a lot more fun. These international guests offered their take on current events. It made for lively dinner conversation as well as a chance to make new friends and network. Guide Alex encouraged the group to sit with someone new at each stop, so I felt like I had talked to everyone by the end of the tour. Lastly, I really felt like an A-lister celebrity when I would walk into a crowded restaurant with a huge line of customers, and our group was seated at the table right away. How’s that for V.I.P. treatment?
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours offers several other food walking tours such as the Boozie Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays; Savors of the Strip, a three-hour extravaganza of dazzling restaurants and sites; a walking tour of downtown Las Vegas which highlights the history and architecture of Fremont Street; and the new Afternoon Culinary Adventures.
Those with food allergies or dietary restrictions can indicate their preferences on the website when they book a tour. The company will do its best to accommodate special requests.