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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Perks of Being A Local

The Perks of Being a Local

Las Vegas—Where a Local ID is Worth Flaunting

Story and photography by Nikki Villoria

Las Vegas—the city of neon lights, top-notch attractions and world-renowned epicurean experiences—is more than a retreat for tourists hungry to partake of the amenities. It’s a locals playground for some of the best deals around.

In addition to the hype of entertainment and gaming, Las Vegas serves as a melting pot of flavorful experiences. While many may have an inkling that the twinkling of neon lights is a mere lure for tourism, it also serves as a playground for the local palate. 

With a fusion of some of the most renowned chefs and epicurean experiences in the world, locals have more than proximity to use to their advantage when it comes to enjoying these culinary delights.

Step beyond the threshold of many restaurants and bars, display that beautiful plastic proof of being a local and enjoy the dining perks that so many offer.

For those looking to partake of something a little sweeter, Chef Wolfgang Puck fits in local perks at many of his Las Vegas restaurants. Among the lineup of Puck’s gracious local locations are Wolfgang Puck restaurants, including Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill inside the MGM Grand, Spago inside the Forum Shops at Caesars, and Postrio inside the Venetian’s Grand Canal Shoppes, which all offer locals the chance to enjoy a free dessert with the purchase of an entrée.

With the simple flash of a local ID, Las Vegas residents can continue the epicurean splurge in the typically tourist-dominated area of The Strip at Rí Rá Irish Pub inside the Shoppes at Mandalay Bay. The Pub presents locals with 40 percent off all food items every Friday night, and by displaying their local ID, and thus joining the Pub’s free green card loyalty program, locals receive 20 percent discounts on all food items all week long.

“For us, locals have been a fantastic force since day one and this has been a way to honor and thank them for coming in,” says Rí Rá General Manager Scott Sherman. “The most popular item taken advantage of with this offer is definitely the fish and chips, no doubt.”

Also inside the Shops at Mandalay Bay, Hussong’s Cantina Taqueria offers locals 15 percent off the entire check every night of the week on all menu items. 

Another continuous on-going perk can be found at Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar located at 4480 Paradise Rd., across from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. This Italian dining spot offers locals 25 percent off all menu items year-round.

If getting the most for your buck is what it’s all about, be sure to sign up for a casino rewards card and present that with your local ID at the Rio’s Carnival World Buffet to receive 25 percent off all week long.

At Dragon Noodle Co. and Sushi Bar inside the Monte Carlo, receive half off sushi and rolls on Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and half off the bar items on Sundays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m..  

For locals looking for a fine dining splurge during the summer, June 1 through August 31, one can enjoy 50 percent off bottles of wine at Morels Steakhouse and Bistro inside the Palazzo.

“Las Vegas is such a tourist destination that sometimes locals feel overlooked, especially when it comes to options on The Strip,” says Sal Casola Jr., co-owner of Morels French Steakhouse and Bistro at the Palazzo. “There’s the underlying notion that locals don’t go to The Strip unless they have visitors in town and we want to change that by offering a special discount to enjoy anytime during the summer.”

For those locals searching to whet their appetite in the late hours, Drop Bar inside the Green Valley Ranch Resort offers a local’s late night happy hour Friday and Saturday from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Here, locals can treat themselves to $3 Bud Light and half price specialty cocktails such as The Vesper and Basil Gimlet.  

For those local residents on the outskirts of Las Vegas, the Hacienda Hotel and Casino offers Boulder City-locals 25 percent off all menu items inside The Café.

While the finishing touches were still coming together for the June 8 grand opening of GIADA at The Cromwell as this article was being written, one thing is certain and that is the restaurant will feature a special, locals-only, call-in number to place dining orders.

Chef Q&A
Chef Name:
 James Sawyer

Chef's Restaurant: Rí Rá Las Vegas

How long have you been a chef? 2.5 years with Rí Rá, 13 years as a chef and cooking for 24 years.

When it comes to food in Las Vegas…

Variety is the word—there are so many options for every palate and budget. Don’t limit yourself to The Strip. You’ll find some gems tucked away off The Strip as well.

Where is your favorite place for breakfast in Vegas? 


Favorite dinner place? 

Stack at the Mirage. It serves comfort food brought to an upscale level.

Favorite dessert place? 

Chocolate and Spice bakery on West Sahara. It has tons of chocolaty desserts, but the banana vanilla bean cream pie is AMAZING!

Favorite bar? 

Gold Spike or Park on Fremont, both located downtown.

Favorite lunch spot? 

Hash House a Go Go. It has huge portions, is very filling and has good prices.


Favorite place to taste new menu options? 

It’s Vegas; every restaurant here is always trying something new or different, so really any place is a great place for inspiration or to try new items.


What is one restaurant that you think everyone should try at least once? 

Everyone should try either of Joël Robuchon’s restaurants or Gordon Ramsey’s restaurants at least once.


Who is your favorite local chef/restaurant? My favorite local spot is Pho So 1 on Spring Mountain. It’s open late so it’s perfect for chefs and the food is filling, but not heavy.

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