Vegas is a buffet town. When 99-cent all-you-can-eat options disappeared along with the Sahara, the luxury buffet took hold and now diners are paying upwards of $20 per person just for breakfast. The Bellagio Buffet, The Buffet at Wynn, The Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan, and the newly renovated Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace have all raised the bar for outlandish feasts in Sin City and I had high hopes for the SLS Buffet at the new SLS Hotel Las Vegas, but walked away with a distinct feeling of “meh.”
First things first, if you’re heading to the SLS Buffet, bring a map. While the rest of the culinary offerings at the brand new North Vegas Strip hotel are easily accessible on the ground floor (including the excellent Bazaar Meat from Jose Andres), the buffet has been tucked away from plain view on the second floor amongst conference rooms and photos of celebrities in the “Iconic Images Gallery.” Its location may be the first clue that it’s an after-thought, but the contents of the buffet are the real proof.
Breakfast costs $20.99 and for that, you get access to a full spread of American and Asian classics. Nearly half of the buffet skews Asian and that’s clearly a nod to the influx of overseas gamblers who fly to Vegas when Macau seems too pedestrian. There’s dim sum, congee, and an Asian carving station serving up roast duck and BBQ pork. On the American side of things, you’ve got an omelet bar, a carving station (ham, turkey), and traditional breakfast foods like egg dishes, multiple potatoes, and smoked salmon. You want pizza? They’ve got it. You want charcuterie? That’s here, too. There’s also a bread/dessert/crepe island with a really cute setup of breakfast cereals and pre-made yogurt/granola parfaits.
The highlights for me:
- The wet-cured salmon. It tasted almost like salmon sashimi, although there wasn’t a bagel anywhere nearby.
- The BBQ pork from the Chinese carving station was intensely flavorful without being overly sweet.
- The crepes were good, although not remarkable.
Outside of that, there was truly a sense of the average at this buffet. Everything was… fine. The service was fine, the food was fine, the room — sort of hunting lodge chic — was fine. Nothing special, nothing terrible. On top of that, the SLS Buffet only serves breakfast and dinner, so you can’t pull the classic Vegas brunch trick of showing up right before the breakfast-to-lunch changeover and paying the cheaper breakfast price while still getting access to the pricier lunch food.
It’s important to note that they close at 11am, but don’t start pulling food until 11:45am or so, which means you can still sleep in and eat a full buffet even if you arrive around 10:45. During my visit at 10am on a Friday morning, the entire buffet was only half-full (optimism!) so you may not need to worry about the long lines you face at other Vegas Strip hotel buffets.
I wish I had better news to report here. I think the SLS Hotel Las Vegas in general is a great addition to the Vegas Strip, especially on the North end which is hurting for foot traffic. I just wish the buffet had lived up to my experience in the rest of the hotel.
My trip to the SLS Buffet was compliments of the SLS Hotel Las Vegas. Despite the comp, I always aim to give fair, objective reviews.