When we work in travel we are blessed to have access to some truly wonderful experiences all over the world. But, rarely, do you hear an array of travel professionals consistently recommending the same tour. Before my trip to Las Vegas I was told about the Lip Smacking Foodie Tour by different travel pros at different events so I knew this must be a tour I had to experience.
I took a look at the website and spoke to the head office of The Lip Smacking Foodie Tour in Vegas. There was such a range of choice. As much as the experience is a food tour there are a vast range of tours you can choose from:
Downtown Lip Smacking Tour, Bright Lights and Lip Smacking Bites, Ultimate Steakhouse Tour, Art District Lip Smacking Tour, Lip Smacking Boozy Brunch, Vegas Sights and Worldly Bites, Savoury Bites and Neon Lights, Afternoon Culinary Delights and the one we chose to do – Savours of The Strip.
We soon discovered that this may be a food tour but it is a wonderful vehicle to see parts and sites of Vegas you would never even know were there.
Our guide Allen met us outside The Aria, (which, by the way, is most definitely one of my new favourite hotels in Vegas.) Allen introduced each of us in the group and everyone was lovely. From the first moment, we met Allen he made it clear that his mission for the whole tour was to ensure each of us had the most wonderful experience and his energy and customer service was just outstanding. Furthermore, he had an extensive culinary background and had travelled the world as a chef. Allen’s skill set and I understand that the other guides are the same, led to us all experiencing and understanding signature dishes and also experiencing the history, artwork, hidden passages and intricate details about every point throughout the tour.
Bardot Brasserie was our first stop and it was a beautiful French brasserie in the middle of Vegas. The food and service were outstanding. We tried an array of beautiful French dishes and we chose to add the cocktail package to our tour. This is absolutely a top tip for all. The cocktails were as outstanding as the food – simply divine.
We then walked through the beautiful hotels to Manzo in Eataly. Now for many Europeans we may have experienced an Eataly but for those who haven’t, it’s just fantastic. The idea is based on Italian or Spanish food halls. Allen, walked us round Eataly and showed us the different areas where fresh pasta was being made, aperitifs were being served, incredible cheese stalls and so much more. Just the walk around here was a foodie’s dream. We were then taken to a private dining area in Manzo. The tasting menu was delicious and the steak alone will always stay in my mind. The servers explained the history and detail of each dish which added to the experience.
Now on to Best Friend and do keep in mind we are now in the Park MGM and haven’t stepped outside. Just weaving through the indoor passages and seeing the artwork on route was something to behold.
In the words of Best Friend’s founder – Roy Choi – “It’s Koreatown in a capsule – a portal to the streets of LA, but also rooted in what makes Las Vegas… VEGAS. Hip hop-to-bibimbop. Kimchi-to-spaghetti. BBQ and late-night food. My neighbourhood mixed with the Vegas good-good.”
Best Friend was funky, it was delicious, it was fun, it made us feel like we were in LA. Such a wonderful experience in every way.
Now leaving Best friend we walked through “The Rabbit Hole” and past some incredible neon artwork where Alan took the time to take group pictures. And, just when we thought the tour couldn’t get any better we arrived in NoMad. The NoMad Restaurant is set in a soaring space, inspired by the iconic Library of NoMad New York. The robust menu celebrates American classics in a grand and continental way.
The cocktails were served with champagne bottles and Barbie dolls – a sight to behold and they were scrumptious.
Some of the party went on to take the night helicopter tour of the strip and I very much wish we had booked this. It was only another $100 and it would have been worth it. But, even without this great addition I can honestly say this was our favourite experience we booked in Las Vegas. I would actually go as far to say that The Lip Smacking Foodie Tour is one of my all time favourite travel experiences.
Recent honors include: “Best Tour”, “Best Food Tour”, and “Best Date Night Spot” by Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2019 and 2018; “Best Food/Beverage Tour Operations (Land)” by The World Food Travel Association 2018; “Best Tour”, “Best Fine Dining”, and “Best Brunch” by Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2017; “Best Tour” by Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2016; “Best Tour” by INVEGAS Magazine in 2015 and 2016; and “Best New Tour” by Thrillist in 2015; as well as inclusion in TripAdvisor’s “Top 3” tours in Las Vegas, and ranked #1 tour on Yelp.
Las Vegas is a popular destination for many UK travellers and yet the Lip Smacking Foodie Tour is undiscovered by UK consumers. So, as I discovered this hidden gem I wanted to share with you all so that you too can spread the word about the Lip Smacking Foodie Tour. For any traveller going to Vegas this should be an absolute must!
To book The Lip Smacking Foodie Tour you can book through many of the PTS Suppliers including JTA Travel and Do Something Different.