Self-guided Las Vegas Foodie Tours: A Tasty Alternative During Pandemic
The coronavirus can’t stop Las Vegas, but it certainly crashed the party. When it comes to our world-class dining scene, many restaurants and venues remain closed while others have limited tables and capacities.
One Las Vegas tour company has turned these obstacles into opportunities. Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, through its companion company, Finger Licking Foodie Tours, is now offering a self-guided alternative to its acclaimed guided culinary tours.
Designed for your own bite-sized group of friends and family (as few as two), the self-guided, e-assisted culinary tours are more intimate than the original. You still avoid the hassle of research and reservations. You still support trendsetting Las Vegas eateries. But now the VIP dining experience is private and socially distanced.
Each tour includes three signature dishes at three different top-rated restaurants, all of which are located within a specific Las Vegas neighborhood. Sans the traditional tour guide, guests are equipped with a map and itinerary, as well as a virtual tour guide who shares details about the neighborhood.
Just follow your map to your destinations, arrive at your scheduled time, sit down and get served like a superstar. When it’s time for your next restaurant, you’ll find it less than a 5-minute walk (or short, pre-arranged Uber ride) away.
“Everyone loves to eat, but they also value bang for the buck, especially now as we’ve come through an unprecedented time in this country,’’ said Donald Contursi, founder of the foodie tours. “I wanted to create a way for people to celebrate dining out again without breaking the bank. I wanted to make them feel special after all they’ve been through.”
Here’s a look at self-guided tours currently offered by Finger Licking Foodie Tours.
Self-Guided Foodie Tour – Downtown Las Vegas
- Who: Two-person minimum
- What: Three signature dishes at three restaurants with immediate VIP seating upon arrival; online map; virtual tour guide; detailed itinerary; list of nearby hotspots to check out after the tour
- When: 2.5 hours, booked between 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.
- Where: Downtown Las Vegas
- How Much: $79 per person (covers gratuities), plus 15 percent off any other regular price menu items; optional cocktail package available for a fee
Downtown Las Vegas near Fremont Street is a strange mixture of old Vegas and new Vegas. The more traditional trappings of Sin City like gaming, showgirls and spectacle are found to the west of Las Vegas Boulevard; to the east are hip bars and restaurants, murals, public art, local-owned shops, and a neighborhood vibe. All these eclectic elements peacefully coexist within walking distance of one another.
The self-guided culinary tour of Downtown Las Vegas focuses on the area’s flourishing food scene. It takes you to a trio of flavorful restaurants for a trio of signature dishes. The specific eateries on your itinerary are a surprise for the day of the tour, but each is a sought-after, chef-helmed foodie haven.
From unique Burning Man sculptures to a shopping mall made out of shipping containers, there’s plenty in Downtown Las Vegas to check out after your tour, so be sure to leave yourself some extra time.
Self-Guided Foodie Tour – Las Vegas Arts District
- Who: Two-person minimum
- What: Three signature dishes at three restaurants with immediate VIP seating upon arrival; an online map; a virtual tour guide; detailed itinerary; a list of nearby hotspots worth checking out after the tour
- When: 2.5-hours, booked between 5 and 7 p.m.
- Where: Downtown Las Vegas Arts District
- How Much: From $79 per person (covers gratuities), plus 15 percent off any other regular price menu items; optional cocktail package for a fee
The Las Vegas 18b Arts District is considered the gateway between the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Las Vegas, located across several blocks near Charleston and Las Vegas boulevard. The heart of the city’s First Friday art and culture festival, this antiquated area has been refreshed and revitalized into a vibrant neighborhood. It features tons of stores, theaters, galleries, bars and restaurants.
On the self-guided Arts District tour, you’ll visit three Art District eateries for three signature dishes, each a short stroll from the other. You’ll also gain insight from your virtual guide on some of the city’s most formative and inspirational artwork along the way.
The eateries on your itinerary are a surprise, but they will be worth the wait. You may want to bring along some spending money for after the tour. There are tons of one-of-a-kind finds at the many antique shops and vintage boutiques in the area.
Self-Guided Foodie Tour – Chinatown Las Vegas
- Who: Two-person minimum
- What: Three signature dishes at three restaurants with immediate VIP seating upon arrival; an online map; a virtual tour guide; detailed itinerary; and a prearranged, prepaid Uber ride
- When: 2.5 hours, booked between 5 and 8 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday
- Where: Chinatown Las Vegas
- How Much: $125 per person (gratuities included), plus 15 percent off any other regular price menu items; optional cocktail package for a fee
Chinatown often evokes thoughts of big cities like New York or San Francisco. But, as it turns out, Las Vegas is home to its own growing and thriving Chinatown as well.
Located along Spring Mountain Road, less than 10 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, this cultural mecca of restaurants, bars and businesses range from laid-back dives to world-class establishments. There’s dining, shopping, drinking and tons of karaoke.
The self-guided Chinatown tour takes you to three of the area’s most renowned restaurants, where you’ll enjoy three signature dishes at each stop, including a dessert finale:
- EDO Tapas: Owned by Chef Oscar Amador, Edo offers a unique fusion of small Spanish plates in a lively atmosphere. Following your three dishes at EDO Tapas, you’ll take a pre-arranged Uber ride to Lamaii.
- Lamaii: Owned by Chef Bank Atcharawan, the elegant Lamaii serves up a twist on traditional Thai cuisine. It is followed by a short walk to Sparrow + Wolf
- Sparrow + Wolf: Chef Brian Howard cohesively melds Asian, Mediterranean and Latin American at this offbeat eatery.
Be sure to leave yourself some extra time for after the tour to explore Chinatown on your own!