With an estimated 140,000 industry professionals coming to Vegas for CES there is no doubt that it can get a little crazy. As a member of the press especially we find ourselves running from booth to booth and even going from hotel to hotel for meetings. If you have never been to Vegas the only thing I can say is that no matter how close everything looks together, EVERYTHING is a long walk. With all of that walking not only are you left hungry, but also with very little time to find something to eat. As our resident fat guy, I decided to talk about a few of the places I have found over the past few years that have made my food experience at CES a little easier.
In the LVCC or the Las Vegas Convention Center you can find two restaurants with a total seating capacity of 1350 people and 18 permanent concession stands. Even then you will have a very hard time getting food during most of the day. So before you head out for your first trip to the LVCC for CES I have a few recommendations.
First, Bring cash. This may be Vegas but a lot of the concession stands around the LVCC do not take credit. There isn’t much worse than waiting through a long line with a growing stomach, but having to leave the line to go to the ATM and then start back at the back of the line would certainly qualify for being worse.
Second, plan for a meal. It’s easy to put your schedule together and figure you will just grab a 20 minute lunch but things never go as planned, especially at CES. No matter if you are planning for food at the LVCC or on the strip in between meetings make sure you plan for enough time to wait in line and eat your food.
Third, my best suggestion if time allows for it is to run, run while you can. A quick exit from the LVCC to the Hilton that is almost connected to the north hall will give you access to an outside eating area that you won’t be able to resist when walking by. All of the food is grilled out in the open and smells amazing, not only will you get outside for a little fresh air you also get good food. A second option is to keep going into the Hilton past their casino and grab a quick bit at the Pizza Hut express. It’s nothing amazing, but you can use your credit card and this is normally far enough away from the LVCC that it is lot quieter.
For a lot of people doing hotel suite meetings you will find yourself in the Venetian or the Palazzo. Well as luck would have it those hotels are home to a whole swarm of eateries of varying prices. Of course if you are a member of the press like me you will most likely find yourself avoiding the high end restaurants both because of their cost and the added time a place like that takes. We are looking for reasonable prices along with timely food, yes I said timely food, let’s be honest, none of its fast food.
There are only two places I go if I am looking for food in this area, one is the Grand Lux Café in the Venetian next to the Venetian’s casino area. In my experience this place has some of the slowest service that you will find, but if you have a full hour to hour and twenty minutes to wait you will find yourself eating one of the best burgers on the strip. Our staff also recommends the Short Rib Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Smoked Salmon with Scrambled Eggs and Onions. Both went over very well and didn’t break the bank. Your second and better option if you are looking to fill up quickly is to make your way to the food court. The only problem with the food court is if you don’t know where it is, you will NEVER find it. Follow the signs to the Venetian suite elevators and take the escalator up one level, go through the store in front of you then follow the hallway. Last you have to turn left while going down that hallway and you will find your way to a wide selection of foods. Here is a list of the eateries available
CAFE SANTA LUCIA
COFFEE BEAN & TEA LEAF®
GG SANTI VENETZIA
L.A. ITALIAN KITCHEN
ORIGINAL CALIFORNIA JUICE BAR
SAN GENNARO GRILLE (Grand Canal Shops)
SHAKE N’ BURGER
Hidden entrence to the food court
Any of them will fit the bill but I can recommend Panda Express for their drinks, they provide the largest cup and don’t charge for refills like most of the other locations. Nathan’s has amazing food but they cost more than the other burger joints in the food court. No matter what you decide you get to grab your food and eat at the tables in the middle. If you go as a group everyone will find something they like and then you can all sit together discussing interesting stories about CES to date.
If you find yourself away from the host hotels and I know you will, you should be able to find cheap food at any casino but you will normally have to look around for a while. If you know you have a meeting around lunch time it’s easier to poke around on the casino’s webpage, most will not only list what they have but sometimes will give you access to the full menu with prices.