Under-the-Radar Eats – Don’t Miss These Hidden Gems in Downtown Las Vegas

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By Yvonne Newman

Noshing is a popular Vegas pastime. For scrumptious pizza, barbecued ribs, fried chicken and island delights, these four eateries—beloved by locals and visitors alike—are worth a trip to downtown Las Vegas.

Aloha Specialties at California Hotel & Casino. Photo courtesy of Boyd Gaming.

Aloha Specialties at California Hotel & Casino

ALOHA SPECIALTIES AT CALIFORNIA HOTEL & CASINO

This laid-back restaurant, known for its huge portions, will take your taste buds on a trip to Hawaii. Located on the mezzanine level, Aloha Specialties received a makeover last year, but is still serving favorites like saimins (noodle broths), stews and curries. You can’t go wrong with the Teriyaki Combo featuring steak, chicken and pork loin—just be sure to save room for the Haupia, a traditional coconut milk pudding. thecal.com/dine/aloha-specialties

BIG ERN’S BBQ AT DOWNTOWN CONTAINER PARK

Three words: everything is awesome! If you are craving meat smoked to perfection, drop by for a delicious plate of Beef Brisket, Rib Tips, Pulled Pork, Beef Hot Links or St. Louis Spare Ribs. Besides these items (many of which you can also get in sandwiches), Big Ern’s offers always-good-for-the-soul sides such as fried okra, BBQ pork & beans, smoked corn on the cob and macaroni & cheese. bigernsbbq.com

CHOW – THE CHINESE & CHICKEN JOINT

For a mix of hearty, Southern-style dishes and Chinese favorites head to 1020 Fremont St. Chow is the sister restaurant to Eat, both of which are operated by local culinary star Chef Natalie Young. Prepare to devour the Crispy Southern Fried Chicken, which is brined overnight and fried to order, along with mouthwatering goodies like Shrimp Dumplings, Kinda Chinese Riblets and Street-Cart Noodle. chowdtlv.com

Mouthwatering pizzas and more from Pizza Lotto at El Cortez. Photo courtesy of El Cortez.

Mouthwatering pizzas and more from Pizza Lotto at El Cortez

PIZZA LOTTO AT EL CORTEZ

Savor pizza cooked in a brick-fired oven using the time-honored traditions of Naples, Italy, in this charming nook tucked off the casino floor. Direct from Long Island, Pizza Lotto is famed for its Margherita made with San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil. In addition to artisan-crafted specialty pies, you can build your own combination or opt for other wonderful Italian fare such as Mama Della’s Meatballs and Chef Leonardo’s Italian Sausage. Tip: be sure to get a batch of the fluffy World Famous Hand Rolled Garlic Rolls! pizzalotto.com  

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