Don't gamble on your wake-up meal
Las Vegas is a city built on breakfast. Whether it's noon or midnight, tourist or shift worker, deluxe casino buffet or Off-Strip minimalist diner, we count on that first—or last—meal of the day to keep us rolling. And it should come as no surprise that a town where you can sleep in a castle and shoot craps in a pyramid would offer a vast array of breakfasting options, from frosting-drenched doughnuts and righteous pancakes to vitamin-packed juices and lovely lattes. But there’s no need to risk your precious dining dollars, because we’ve got nine Las Vegas breakfast dishes that are all total winners.
Blueberry Hill, Pancakes
Three things that matter in a breakfast joint are big booths, big hair, and big menus. Blueberry Hill offers all three with tables big enough to hold an entire family, waitresses coiffed like country singers and multi-page, poster-sized menus. Homemade pancakes put Blueberry Hill on the map back in the ’60s and they're still state-of-the-art. The banana has sliced bananas baked in and heaped on top, along with whipped cream, and maple pecan sauce, while the namesake blueberry variation is also a fluffy, fruity delight.
Al’s Donuts, Doughnut
Al’s Donuts has been serving up sweet breakfast goodness to Las Vegas since the 1970s. While they offer a variety of tasty treats, the menu’s zenith is the Maple Bacon Kronut, which is every bit as divinely, decadently delicious as it sounds. An enormous puff of pastry, filled with Bavarian crème, slathered with maple-glaze frosting and smothered with chunks of crisp bacon: It’s like every kind of breakfast food at once, plus dessert.
PublicUs has only been pouring coffee for about two years, but they've won awards and a devoted following for unique caffeinated creations such as the Coffee Old-Fashioned and the Macadamia Nut Latte. The Iced Shaken Almond Milk Latte is a deluxe version of iced coffee, with the sweetness of almond milk and the light foam balancing the strength of the brew.
Juice Standard, Juice
Cold-pressed, organic, made with local honey, the juices of the Juice Standard are designed to revitalize. The Bee Grateful is a sunshiney blend of carrot, pineapple, apple, ginger and lemon that will revitalize even the most bourbon-and-craps depleted soul; you can feel the vitamins flow through you. Not quite up to a complete detox? The Juice Standard's outpost at the Cosmopolitan offers booze-spiked versions.
Double Down Saloon, Bacon Bloody Mary
In these times of overdressed bloody marys, topped with chicken wings and sliders and doughnuts, sometimes it's best to go back to basics. A heap of garnishes can conceal a weak spice or watered-down texture, but legendary dive bar the Double Down Saloon keeps it simple and strong, using their house-infused bacon vodka as a base for their bartenders to make it as spicy as you like. No gilding the lily—or the mary—needed.
Some of the best baked goods on the Strip come out of the ovens of Bouchon. Baguettes, beignets, and macarons that are to die for. But it also produces a croissant that borders on Platonic ideal: a delicate confection that seems to take a thousand tiny flakes of dough and whip them together into a perfect crescent, light as chiffon, but able to stand up to a generous dollop of Nutella.
The Peppermill, Fruit Salad
The Peppermill is legendary for its ginormous servings: hubcap-sized burgers and four-inch-thick sandwiches. And they don't skimp on their fruit salad, either, a mass of fresh melon, berries, bananas, oranges, seemingly an entire garden's worth of produce on one plate. It's a sight so impressive that foreign tourists have been known to snap photos of it as a prime example of American excess. Did we mention that it comes with a loaf of banana bread? A whole freaking loaf!
The Egg & I, Eggs Benedict
Practically an official dish in this town, everyone makes a Benedict, but few stand out. The Egg & I will make 'em scrambled, fried, or sunny side, but they also rock five versions of the Benny. The blackened prime rib rendition subs beef for the conventional sausage, a croissant for the English muffin, and adds roasted red peppers and sautéed spinach for a taste that feels a little more dinner than breakfast.
Omelet House, Omelet
The don’t call it Omelet House for nothing, with over thirty distinctive renditions to choose, from the light and vegetarian (The Egg White Special) to more weighty cheese-and-kielbasa options (The Polack). The Plymouth Rock rides somewhere in-between, with turkey, guacamole, and jack cheese, making a harmonious combination of stick-to-your-ribs and fuel-you-up.
Harrie’s Bagelmania, Everything Bagel
You would think that when Bugsy Siegel came from New York City to build the Flamingo, he would have brought some decent bagels with him. Decades later, Bagelmania remedies that oversight with old-school bagels. Not the chewy dough hoops that pass for bagels in most of Vegas, but the boiled and baked real deal, in every variety from plain to poppyseed to pumpernickel. Bagelmania also carries an assortment of cream cheeses as well as lox. Because what's a bagel without a schmear?
Lissa Townsend Rodgers moved from New York City to Las Vegas over a decade ago in search of a place where both bourbon and bacon-egg sandwiches are available 24-7. By day, she is a senior writer for Vegas Seven magazine. By night she can be found fighting injustice and leaping tall neon signs in a single bound or sitting on her couch watching Kojak reruns.