If you want to find the best place to eat, ask a local. It’s a tried-and-true travel trip and it applies to the footwear industry’s twice-yearly journey to Las Vegas for MAGIC.
Vamp caught up with three Zappos employees based at the e-tailer’s Downtown Las Vegas headquaters, who know the ins and outs of Sin City better than Yelp.
Best place to eat on the Strip.
Natalie, ZapposU: It is pretty casual, but I love Holsteins at The Cosmopolitian. I’ve never had anything from their menu that I didn’t like, their boozy milkshakes are life changing and it’s fun to grab a drink before and/or after at The Chandelier bar.
Amy, Fashion Footwear Buyer: Bouchon at The Venetian. It has been around for years, but is still consistently amazing for breakfast, pastries or dinner.
Bill, Merchandising: Holsteins. It’s casual, affordable, great comfort food and it’s a great place to eat with friends before a night out.
Best place to eat off the Strip.
Natalie: Pot Liquor CAS at Town Square. This barbeque is out of control! Best in Vegas—hands down—and the service is always spot on.
Amy: Lotus of Siam. It’s the best Thai food in Vegas, hands down. When you can find a James Beard-winning chef in a strip mall, you should probably take advantage.
Bill: Egg Works for breakfast, Weiss Restaurant Deli & Bakery for lunch and any place in Chinatown for dinner because restaurants stay open late.
Best pool scene.
Natalie: I love the M Resort pool—great cabana service, great atmosphere and almost no one is wearing 6-inch platform heels with their swim attire, and the water is always safe to swim in.
Amy: Liquid at Aria. It’s not as crazy as some of the other day clubs.
What is your guaranteed fun night out?
Natalie: I love wandering around the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. Stores stay open until 10 p.m. or later, there are a million bars and restaurants to duck into for sustenance and the people watching is killer. Plus, parking is super easy there, and if you don’t find yourself having fun, it’s pretty centrally located on the Strip and easy to move onto the next place.
Amy: I’ve never not had a good time at The Golden Tiki.
Bill: Start at Frankie’s Tiki Room with two drinks and you’ll have fun no matter where you go after.
Shoe people need good pedicures. Where’s the best place to go without spending a fortune?
Natalie: Pretty much any place off the Strip. I go to Serenity Nails & Skincare on Marks Street in Henderson. Their massage chairs are always broken, but those pedicures last me for more than a month if I need it.
Amy: Lex’s Lounge on Town Center is the best.
Natalie: Frankie’s Tiki Room. It is a dark and mysterious lounge, open 24 hours.
Amy: Pretty much any cocktail at Herbs & Rye, especially the Vieux Carré or French 75. Velveteen Rabbit always has really fun and inventive cocktails too.
Bill: The Zombie at Frankie’s Tiki Room. You only need one.
Best “off the beaten path” attraction.
Natalie: I could spend days at The Mob Museum in Downtown Vegas—so much interesting history.
Amy: Not necessarily an attraction, but the hot springs hikes around Lake Mead (Goldstrike Hot Springs and Arizona Hot Springs) are really unexpected and fun—just not in the summer!
Bill: Pinball Hall of Fame. It’s a fun place to play some classic video games and tilt a couple pinball machines. It’s a couple blocks from the Crown & Anchor so you can grab a cold one after.
Best guilty pleasure.
Natalie: Any rinky-dink bar that serves those frozen drinks out of the “washing machine” type things on the wall. Mostly only tourists drink them—and you will never catch me drinking a yard worth—but on these hot summer days and nights in Vegas, it can just hit the spot.
Amy: The Fireside Lounge at the Peppermill—you know you love it too.
Bill: M&M Soul Food Café’s fried chicken and Kool-Aid, and the indoor amusement park at Circus Circus.
Best place to cool off.
Natalie: Las Vegas is up-and-coming on the craft beer scene, and I love cooling off with a beer! Downtown has Banger Brewing and Tenaya Creek Brewery, and if you feel like taking a Lyft a little bit south, Bad Beat Brewing, CraftHaus Brewery and Lovelady Brewing are all within a mile of each other in Henderson.
Amy: Mount Charleston.
Bill: Mount Charleston. It’s 30-degrees cooler and only 45 minutes from downtown.
You miss your flight and you have an extra 24 hours in Las Vegas. How should you spend it?
Natalie: Go get a Bloody Mary at The Coffee Cup in Boulder City, and then just walking around their little Main Street area, full of interesting shops to duck in and out of, and a beautiful park to just relax and get some fresh air.
Amy: High tea and a spa day at the Mandarin Oriental.
Bill: Check into the Hard Rock, hit up Frankie’s Tiki Lounge and end it all at the craps table in the Hard Rock. Wake up, grab your luggage and have a Bloody Mary with your English breakfast at the Crown & Anchor. The restaurant is four minutes from the airport so you can always make your flight in time.