It’s that time of year again, as millions around the world resolve to diet and eat right to ring in the New Year.
As a fellow who leans towards the larger side, I’ve played the resolution game a time or two in my day. But where self-imposed bans on fast food and commitments to cook healthy home meals have fallen by the wayside, one diet plan has managed to make an impression.
Known as the ketogenic diet or “keto” for short, this combination of low carbohydrates, adequate protein, and high fat has been in use hsince the 1920s. Back then, doctors used the unique dietary approach as an effective treatment for children suffering from epileptic seizures.
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I’m a gambler by trade, not a nutritionist, but after a quick consult with Wikipedia I’ll try my best to explain how the ketogenic diet works to reduce the occurrence of seizures.
Reviews on Keto in Las Vegas, NV - SkinnyFATS, The Gourmet Cave, The Guilt Free Glutton, ProteinHouse, Diced Kitchen, Foodie Fit - Summerlin, Brooklyn's Best Pizza and Pasta, The Protein Source, Birrieria Dimas, Greens and Proteins. MealPro is a Las Vegas keto food delivery company that specializes in tasty and affordable food made from all natural ingredients. From purveying fresh ingredients to cooking your meals and tracking your food's nutritional value MealPro makes the process easier and enjoyable. Seafood is a major pillar of a sound keto diet, so when you’re in need of the freshest fish and shellfish in Vegas, head south of the Strip to M Resort. In a TripAdvisor review titled Seafood Buffet is Worth the Wait, customer “DrZ0621” raved about the crab legs, a Las Vegas delicacy if prepared just right.
Basically, when on a normal diet consisting of bread, pasta, and sugars, the body generates energy by burning off carbohydrates to create glucose. The brain uses glucose as a form of fuel under normal circumstances, but that all changes with the keto diet. By cutting carbs out of the diet, the body is forced to convert fat into fatty acids along with something called “ketone bodies.”
Ketone bodies serve as a backup of sorts, giving the brain a secondary fuel source when carbs are in short supply. This ability to consume fat and turn it into ketone bodies is part of the reason why humans can manage to survive for up to three weeks without anything to eat.
When the level of ketone bodies in a person’s blood becomes elevated, the body enters a state known as “ketosis.” For those with epilepsy and other forms of involuntary spasm, the ketosis state naturally causes a reduction in seizures even after the special diet is discontinued.
The keto diet eventually waned in popularity as anticonvulsant medications were perfected, but by the late 1990s, a wider interest in weight loss via low carb diets had developed. Under names like the Atkins Diet or Paleo Diet, pop nutritionists revived the keto diet and espoused its virtues in books and seminars.
Like I said, I’m not a nutritional expert, and I’m quite aware of the criticism levelled at the modern keto diet. Self-enforced fasting from carbs can lead to issues like lightheadedness and fatigue, and the strict avoidance of wheat, bread, pasta, and sugars definitely isn’t for everybody.
But after decades of ruined weight loss resolutions, I finally found a way to shed the fat and lose pounds all without sacrificing the meat, fish, eggs, and other fatty foods I love. Even better, the keto diet was relatively easy to blend with my gambler’s lifestyle and its constant trips to Las Vegas.
Sin City is known best as the gambling capital of the world, and deservedly so, but Las Vegas is also home to one of the more eclectic culinary scenes in the country. From the massive buffets spread by mega resorts on the Strip to smaller “hole in the wall” establishments specializing in a select menu – Las Vegas knows how to eat. Even locally owned chains are full of delicious food choices.
During my most recent travels to Vegas, I’ve had the pleasure of exploring the area’s various keto friendly eateries. These restaurants and buffets don’t cater specifically to the keto diet, but their menus do manage to meet all of the low carb requirements.
I’ll discuss the venue in detail, paying special attention to dishes that are perfect for my fellow keto practitioners. And to help guide you there, I’ll also include an address to the location nearest to the Strip, Downtown, or another casino centric area of Vegas. Finally, you’ll find contact info for each venue, along with links to the full menu and Yelp review page, and even a quote from a satisfied keto dieter.
1 – Greens and Proteins
The name of this place says it all.
When you’re a on the keto diet for the first time, it can feel like you’re not allowed to eat anything. Sandwiches, spaghetti, pizza, and pastries – carbs are in the no go zone.
But one of the perks of the keto diet is the freedom to indulge freely in any of the other food groups – namely, meat and vegetables. That’s why the locally owned Greens and Proteins chain in Las Vegas has become one of my favorite places to stop before I hit the Strip.
With five locations scattered throughout the valley, you’ll always have a Greens and Proteins outlet nearby, no matter where you happen to be resting your head. Personally, I prefer the Juhl Tower location (address and info listed below), which can be found just a few minutes south of the Fremont Street district in Downtown Las Vegas.
But if you’re a fan of Red Rock Resort in the Summerlin area (Flamingo location)or frequent the south end of the Strip (Rainbow location), a Greens and Proteins store is always a short drive away.
When you get there, be sure to take a moment to learn about the restaurant’s unique menu construction and ordering procedures. Basically, this place allows you to take an a la carte approach to putting your meal together. The folks behind Greens and Proteins strive to satisfy any and all dietary plans including the low to no carb keto lifestyle. They have no problem with customers picking and choosing what goes on their plate.
In a blog post titled “What A Nutrition Educator Eats: Las Vegas Edition”, nutritionist and keto advocate Leanne Vogel praised Greens and Proteins as a low carb oasis when visiting Las Vegas:
“There are a couple of Greens & Proteins locations throughout the Las Vegas. Whether you’re gluten free, vegan, paleo, dairy free or grain free, these guys have options for you.
I ordered a turkey burger with turkey bacon on a lettuce wrap and jicama fries. Kevin ordered a bison burger with vegan cheese on a whole wheat bun, tofu fries on the side.
So good. So simple. So delicious.”
For breakfast, I love to start the day with scrambled egg whites and the homemade turkey sausage for just $6.99. Another keto friendly breakfast option is the tomato mozzarella and basil frittata, which comes with 41 grams of fat to just nine carbs, all for only $8.99.
One thing I appreciate about the menu at Greens and Proteins is how they list the calorie, carb, and fat content right there underneath each item. Many longtime keto enthusiasts have long since memorized the fat to carb ratio of their favorite foods, but listings like these can go a long way toward helping beginners get over the hump.
You’ll also find a wide selection of burgers (turkey, angus beef, bison, and veggie), wraps (California grilled chicken, bison cheese steak, etc.), and tacos (ahi tuna, steak, chicken) that can all be “keto-ized” by swapping out the bun, tortilla, or shell for lettuce instead.
To get a better idea of what Greens and Proteins is all about, take a whirl on their “Build Your Own Meal” tool to mix and match your favorite dishes.
Need to Know Info
- Address: 353 E Bonneville Ave #191, Las Vegas, NV 89101
- Phone: (702) 541-7800
- Website: http://www.greensandproteins.com
- Menu: http://places.singleplatform.com/greens-and-proteins-3/menu?ref=google
- Yelp Page: https://www.yelp.com/biz/greens-and-proteins-las-vegas-6
2 – Egg Works
Another locally owned chain, Egg Works began life back in 1988 as the Egg and I.
By 2005, a collection of sister restaurants called Egg Works emerged, and today, you’ll find five locations (plus the original Egg and I) throughout the valley. Once again, that means you’ll be able to find one no matter which casino you’re calling home.
I chose the Egg Works location on Rainbow Boulevard in the listing below, as it’s only a 15-minute drive from the center of the Strip. Just take the I 15 south, then hop on the 215 and head westbound before exiting on Rainbow.
However, if you’re staying on the north end of the Strip, or in the Downtown district, I’d head to the Egg and I on Sahara Avenue to shave a few minutes off that drive.
Whichever location you decide on, expect to find a bounty of keto friendly breakfast dishes on the menu. The omelet selection is a special treat for keto eaters, offering heaping portions of egg, vegetables, and meat for around $10 to $12. The same price range applies to the skillet breakfast section, where you’ll find everything from chicken, mushroom, and steak to the Cordon Bleu.
In a review posted to TripAdvisor in March of 2017, a happy Egg Works customer called the place Keto Breakfast Heaven:
“The menu feels like it was built for people on Keto / low-carb diets.
Keto Food In Las Vegas Locations
I had the Bacon and Sliced Avocado omelet: crumbled bacon and sliced avocado on the inside, cheddar and jack cheese on the outside, with sour cream on top. No problem getting cottage cheese instead of toast. Perfect.
They used a little more oil than I would have, but it was still wonderful. Lots of other low-carb options, too.”
The culinary delights aren’t limited to breakfast though, as Egg Works offers an expansive lunch menu consisting of burgers, sandwiches, wraps, soups, and salads. As always, just ask for a substitute for the bread or bun and your dish will be keto-approved.
Need to Know Info
- Address: 6960 S Rainbow Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89118
- Phone: (702) 361-3447
- Website: http://theeggworks.com
- Menu: http://theeggworks.com/?page_id=324
- Yelp Page: https://www.yelp.com/biz/egg-works-las-vegas-3
3 – MTO Café
Designed by Las Vegas locals to serve the Downtown crowd, MTO Café is a bistro style joint located a short walk away from the Fremont Street Experience.
Just head south on Main Street for a few blocks and you’ll find the place on the corner of Clark Avenue. Casino land online casino. Offering affordable diner fare (almost all dishes run between $10 and $15), MTO Café makes a conscious effort to serve keto enthusiasts what we need.
Take the Avocado Breakfast ($10.95) for example. This dish combines whole eggs prepared however you like them, plus a slew of veggies like cilantro, onion, and of course: avocado. Toss a handful of jack cheese and add a splash of tomatillo sauce to complete the southwestern style.
And as Yelp reviewer Rachel P. of Henderson, Nevada noted in her glowing recommendation, certain menu items are perfectly designed for the keto diet:
“Great place for lunch! Friendly service and let us add a couple things to our orders with no problems.
I’m eating keto right now so no carbs, they have a great selection of healthy options as well as keto options. Even have a “Bodybuilder’s Omelet” made with egg whites.
My husband had a salad. It was packed full with eggs, turkey, cheese and chicken breast.”
For lunch, I enjoy the B.L.T.A.E. ($10.95), which combines the classic BLT with avocado and a sunny side up egg (just make sure to swap out the grilled brioche bun for a lettuce wrap or another low carb replacement).
Same goes for the deliciously named Hangover Burger ($13.95), which adds an over medium egg to beef, bacon, cheddar cheese, and all the fixings.
And if you happen to be way out west near the Red Rock Resort and Suncoast casinos, check out the newly opened MTO Café location in Downtown Summerlin.
Need to Know Info
- Address: 500 S Main St, Las Vegas, NV 89101
- Phone: (702) 380-8229
- Website: http://mtocafe.com
- Menu: http://mtocafe.com/downtown-mto-menu
- Yelp Page: https://www.yelp.com/biz/mto-caf%C3%A9-las-vegas
4 – Wicked Spoon Buffet at The Cosmopolitan
While I’m obviously a bit partial to the smaller, locally owned chains that do right by keto dieters, Las Vegas is known for its bevy of buffets.
On that note, I’d like to recommend the Wicked Spoon Buffet at the Cosmopolitan, which has become one of my essential stops on any gambling excursion. I could go on and on about the seemingly endless menu of eclectic cuisine, but why don’t you take a visual tour of the Wicked Spoon Buffet and see for yourself?
Keto Friendly Desserts Las Vegas
As you may have noticed, this buffet moves past the tired display of food dished up in metal trays and pans. Instead, you’ll find individually crafted plates for every dish in the lineup, creating a “grab and go” aesthetic that replaces the cafeteria like vibe found at many casino buffets.
The highlight for keto eaters will undoubtedly be the traditional carving station, where trained chefs stand at the ready to serve up choice cuts of prime rib, pork loin, lamb shanks, and even roasted bone marrow. Sufficed to say, if you’re a carnivore who has a taste for finely prepared meats, the Wicked Spoon is your kind of buffet.
And keto enthusiasts regularly rave about the Wicked Spoon Buffet, as you can see from this TripAdvisor review titled Great for Keto & Paleo Eaters, which was posted by satisfied customer “OnThePlane1” last year:
“We went to Wicked Spoon for breakfast and it was delicious. They had a lot of dinner foods and desserts out even though it was 9 in the morning.
If you are Keto and Paleo, this would be a great spot for you. There are so many options.
There is, of course, a lot of temptations as well…”
The Wicked Spoon is regularly named as one of the Top 10 Buffets in Sin City by Vegas.com, but despite that status, you’ll get to eat your fill at an affordable price. The brunch menu begins at $28 for adults and $16 for kids aged 5 to 10, while the dinner menu runs from $42 for adults and $20 for kids.
Need to Know Info
- Address: 3708 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
- Phone: (702) 698-7870
- Website: https://www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/restaurants/wicked-spoon
- Menu: Variable
- Yelp Page: https://www.yelp.com/biz/wicked-spoon-las-vegas
5 – The Protein Source
Back to the chain restaurants I go, as The Protein Source more than lives up to its name.
Both locations are a bit of a journey from the Strip and Downtown, but taking just 20 minutes and two freeways will bring you to one of the best keto friendly restaurants in the valley.
Don’t believe me? Just ask the hardcore keto enthusiasts posting to the “Keto Restaurants in Las Vegas” forum on Reddit:
“Their sign says Paleo, Vegan, Gluten free, but they fully understand Keto.
I ate there Friday and ordered their Bison Burger. I wanted to test them, so I said to make it Keto friendly. They knew without even asking. Had that with spinach and broccoli.
They also serve all types of protein shakes as well as lots of animal protein dishes. The food was good. Long wait, though.”
Using the tagline “Energy, Performance, Wellbeing,” The Protein Source is a restaurant built specifically for modern dieters and their specialized meal plans. As the Reddit poster above mentioned, employees at The Protein Source are just as likely to be using low carb diets like keto and the Paleo method themselves, so they definitely know what your body needs to thrive.
I dig the simple Filet and Eggs to start my day ($12.99), which combines a juicy beef tenderloin steak with my choice of egg whites or whole eggs, a sweet potato hash, and homemade BBQ sauce.
Any of the inexpensive ($6 to $7), yet surprisingly large, salads are also keto compliant – and quite filling too. And if you’re looking for a pick me up before a long day of gambling, grab the American Muscle Bowl ($12.99) for 100% pure bison, locally sourced veggies, and a heaping helping of sliced avocado.
Need to Know Info
- Address: 7060 South Durango Drive, #115, Las Vegas, NV 89113
- Phone: (702) 701-7054
- Website: https://www.theproteinsource.kitchen/
- Menu: https://www.theproteinsource.kitchen/menu
- Yelp Page: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-protein-source-las-vegas-5
6 – SkinnyFATS
I’ve never been to SkinnyFATS myself (not yet anyhow), so I’ll keep this entry short and sweet, while letting Andrea G. of Santa Ana, California spread the good word:
“I had to adopt a new way of eating and that happened to be by going on the Ketogenic Diet. And as I was on vacation during Christmas out in Vegas, I didn’t know what to expect but doing a little research turned up this place.
It is seriously the most amazing place I’ve ever eaten at. Everything is either Keto friendly or they allow you to make changes and substitutions to make it that way. I had their Scrambowl on a bed of riced cauliflower with extra bacon and it was amazing!
This place will always be my go to every time I come to Vegas!”
Any restaurant that goes out of their way to serve keto friendly dishes deserves a recommendation, and I’ll be sure to try this place on my next Vegas vacation.
Need to Know Info
- Address: 6261 Dean Martin Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89118
- Phone: (702) 979-9797
- Website: https://www.skinnyfats.com/
- Menu: https://www.skinnyfats.com/menu-categories/
- Yelp Page: https://www.yelp.com/biz/skinnyfats-las-vegas
7 – Studio B Buffet at M Resort
I’ll leave you with another buffet option that seems to be perfectly suited for the keto diet, as the Studio B Buffet at M Resort specializes in meat and seafood dishes.
Seafood is a major pillar of a sound keto diet, so when you’re in need of the freshest fish and shellfish in Vegas, head south of the Strip to M Resort.
In a TripAdvisor review titled Seafood Buffet is Worth the Wait, customer “DrZ0621” raved about the crab legs, a Las Vegas delicacy if prepared just right:
“I piled my plate high with all sorts of seafood dishes, and came back for a full plate of crab legs with a side of melted butter. The best part about eating crab legs at a buffet is that you can enjoy your buffet experience for longer because it takes so long to eat just a little bit of meat from each leg.
I would come here hungry for seafood, and expect to enjoy yourselves for a long period of time.”
Finding a quality casino buffet is harder than it may seem, especially for folks like us with strict dietary needs, which is why I appreciate the chefs behind the counter at Studio B Buffet.
Need to Know Info
- Address: 12300 S Las Vegas Blvd, Henderson, NV 89044
- Phone: (702) 797-1000
- Website: http://www.themresort.com/dining/studio-b-buffet
- Menu: Variable
- Yelp Page: https://www.yelp.com/biz/studio-b-buffet-henderson-2
It can be challenging to find good places to eat when you’re on the keto diet.
Use this guide to the 7 best places to eat in Vegas on the keto diet for your next trip to sin city so you don’t have to worry about where you’re going to eat.