November is World Vegan Month. The term “vegan” dates only to 1944, but the concept traces to ancient eastern Mediterranean and Indian practices. As a food philosophy, it was an outlier for decades yet now is practically mainstream. Have your doubts? Then how else to explain the profusion of vegan choices in that bastion of unhealthy excess—Las Vegas. Where once you would have been lucky to come upon a weary vegetable medley at a casino buffet, enticing plant-based dishes can be had today throughout the neon-lit desert city. There are some dozen vegan restaurants in town, and the celebrity-chef-led culinary awakening along The Strip has yielded countless enticing meatless, dairyless choices.
Wynn and its sister property, Encore, are the undisputed vegan meccas of The Strip, with vegan options de rigueur at every one of their restaurants. At Wynn’s Allegro, for instance, the menu’s dedicated vegan section touts Baked Vegan Lasagna Bolognese, made with almond ricotta, and Vegan Citrus Panna Cotta with soy yogurt Italian custard for dessert.
At Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar, Morgan’s Veggie Burger is made from scratch of black beans, chickpeas, white beans, artichoke hearts, garlic, black olives and other plant-based ingredients, then stacked impossibly high with LTOP (lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle), donkey sauce and onion straws. Get it served on a toasted bun (sans garlic butter) or a lettuce wrap.
Nobu Restaurant & Lounge offers several a la carte vegan options like edamame and vegan tacos, but for the ultimate Vegas vegan feast, the vegetable omakase experience is not to be missed. This customizable, seasonal menu can encompass myoga (Japanese ginger) sushi, yuba (tofu skin) sashimi topped with jalapeno, avocado tartar, grilled onion steak with aged balsamic reduction and plenty more.
On the casino floor of this faux Italian palace, Mott 32 (the name is an homage to Manhattan’s Mott Street, epicenter of the city’s Chinatown) is a Hong Kong-style restaurant that presents upscale, often organic fare from Cantonese, Sichuan and Beijing traditions. Vegan dim sum features wild mushroom and water chestnut steamed dumplings. Stir-fried Shanghainese noodles with veggies is another meat-free fave.