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viva las vegan

So I decided we needed to get out of cold toronto and I surprised Lauren with a valentine’s getaway to las vegas! I know, I’m the world’s best boyfriend. Besides the warm weather, I picked vegas because it’s one of the top 10 most vegan friendly cities in america. We couldn’t eat it all in vegas, but we were happy enough to spend most of our waking hours chowing down at the wynn las vegas & encore resort hotel where all 14 restaurants have vegan menus and they even offer vegan room service!

 wynn las vegas - 3131 south las vegas blvd, las vegas wynn las vegas – 3131 south las vegas blvd, las vegas

When we landed in vegas on friday night we couldn’t wait to get out and eat. Thankfully I thought ahead and made a reservation at la cave; a very intimate spot with an outdoor patio and a great view. When you’re vegan you forget how nice it is to experience fine dining. And all of our dining experiences at the wynn’s many restaurants were definitely a step up from what we’re used to. It was nice. The small sharing plates at la cave made it a great first stop and very easy to order because we just ordered one of everything off of the vegan menu!  The fresh hand made mushroom tortellini with cashew cream sauce was the best of all the dishes and we actually couldn’t believe it was vegan! The gardein chick’n cutlet was also a favourite; it was cooked perfectly, moist inside, with a crispy crust on the outside.

verdict: not the best meal of the trip but definitely go for a plate (or two) of the mushroom tortellini

We woke up bright and early the next day and headed back to the wynn to see how they tackled my favourite meal of the day… breakfast! society cafe, in the adjacent encore resort, was the spot. There were only 2 vegan options on the menu, but the comfort food looked amazing so we were sure the vegan options had to be well done! The french toast was mind blowing. It was so moist inside with crunchy coating on the outside. If that doesn’t get ya, it’s also covered in super sticky sweet caramelized bananas. We also got the savoury option, a tofu florentine smothered in a beautiful creamy romesco sauce on a bed of buttery spinach. The meal was almost perfect but it was missing something. Then seconds later our saviour showed up with a cart asking if he could make us caesers. He was very accommodating and offered to make us a vegan version with tomato juice instead of clam juice. It was a nice touch.

verdict: why aren’t you eating there right now?

Nestled in the heart of the fashion show mall right on the strip, was the quaint red velvet cafe that had a huge selection of vegan and gluten free sandwiches, salads, desserts, and smoothies. The menu really was extensive which made our indecisive hangry vegan brains exhausted. But we ordered the buffalo chicken wrap with a side caesar salad. It had the absolute best creamy vegan dressing. The nachos came smothered in a generous helping of daiya cheddar and mozzarella and wasn’t short of other fresh toppings. They were delicious, but rather than corn tortilla chips they used baked flour tortillas cut into chips. It made them a bit soggy and flimsy. After much debating we grabbed the chocolate peanut butter cake to-go for a late night treat at the hotel… it was obviously incredible!

verdict: it’s a great place to eat if you need some energy for shopping but don’t go out of your way, unless you really really want dessert and coffee. They pretty much have anything you could think of

The next day we went back to the wynn for some more brunch fare at tableau. We were luckily seated on the beautiful patio in the sun. Lauren was in love with the almond milk latte that came with a raw sugar stick (cute). We each got a savoury and sweet dish to share. The gardein sausage “eggs” benny with a side of marble potato hash was awesome. They even had a house made chipotle hot sauce that kicked things up. And the multigrain blueberry pancakes were fluffy and delicate in a way we couldn’t believe. Let’s just say we were in brunch heaven!

verdict: a solid brunch spot with more options than society cafe. It was really good but out of the three breakfasts we ate, this would be last on the list

If you go to vegas you definitely need to hit up “old vegas” or fremont street! It’s a very different vibe from the strip. There’s still tons of casinos, neon signs, and live music in the streets, but with a much more local vibe. We headed to le thai for some late night eats. Heads up, they don’t advertise their vegan menu but some of the dishes can be made vegan if you ask your server. After a long day of walking the strip our eyes were definitely bigger than our stomachs and we ordered a ton of (too much) food! We started with the sweet and sour tom kah soup. It is probably close to the best thing we’ve ever tasted! It was packed full of flavour with the perfect balance of fresh, sweet, spicy, and creamy. We could have ordered this with a side of rice and had more than enough for us to share. But we also got 2 entrees which included the drunken noodles and mixed vegetables. I would honestly skip this. They were both very saucy and a bit on the salty side.

verdict: the tom kah soup at le thai is really really incredible. But there’s definitely a lot of vegan options in fremont that we didn’t have time to check out. There’s lots of great stuff to eat and likely a place with more options

We spent the rest of the night hitting up local bars. We recommend hanging out at beauty bar and the griffin for some drinks. Then we found the gem. There’s a bar/club called insert coins where you can play old arcade style video games and dance to some good tunes! And Lauren kicked my butt in a few rounds of mortal kombat. She was pretty pleased with herself.

The next day was spent at the caesars palace pool and in the evening we headed back to the wynn (surprise surprise) and stumbled upon lakeside. It’s a seafood restaurant and they didn’t disappoint with their vegan versions! We were absolutely famished and super excited when they showed up to the table with vegan dinner rolls and a side of earth balance butter for us to munch on while we waited. Then it was amazing plate after amazing plate of delicious vegan fare like the super creamy clam chowder which was even topped with cheesy oyster crackers, truffle arancini with garlic aioli dipping sauce, and lastly these incredible old bay “crab” cakes. As you can see by the picture they actually pulled apart like real crab and tasted like it too!

verdict: it’s one of the more expensive stops on the trip but totally worth the money and definitely cures a seafood craving!

Sadly our last day came far too fast and we had to make our last meal count! The whole trip I couldn’t stop talking about the vegan room service at the wynn and more specifically their cheeseburger, french fries, and milkshake combo… all for only $9!? What!?! Once I found out that terrace pointe cafe had this on their menu I knew it had to me my last meal in vegas. Lauren ordered the chick’n and waffles which was the perfect marriage of sweet and savoury. The gardein chick’n was super crunchy (maybe even cornflake crumbs?) and moist on the inside, it had fresh green onion baked into the waffles, and the maple syrup was spiced up with hot sauce. It made the dish a perfect 10! As if that wouldn’t be enough, she just had to try the vegan caesar salad. I think she thought she needed some greens, but it was pretty much a perfect salad. The cheeseburger combo I’d been drooling over was exactly what I wanted. I haven’t had a real cheeseburger in a very long time, but this was so close to that real fast food kind I remember. Plus the salty fries and super sweet chocolatey milkshake made the perfect sides. Sometimes you just gotta eat vegan junk!

verdict: this was our favourite meal, favourite atmosphere, and best service. Definitely eat more than one meal here

This was our first trip to vegas and we had a blast, despite our missed connection on the way down and a snowy near death experience driving home from buffalo! We’ll be back again and we’ll eat our vegan hearts out at all the places we didn’t have time to see in this vegan friendly city. Until next time… viva las vegan!

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