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Since the early mob days, Vegas has always been known for its classy restaurants. In the early days, it was where you could take your girl for a traditional fine dining experience before checking out the Rat Pack or Paul Anka.

The OGs of Classic Vegas Dining

Before we start, note that we have left Oscar’s Steakhouse, Barry’s Downtown Prime, and Andiamo Italian Steakhouse off of this list because they all opened in more recent years. But they are great restaurants with old-school vibes. Check out our list of popular steakhouses and best desserts to learn more about them.

We also left off Sinatra at Encore Las Vegas for the same reason as the others, but you can check out a lot of great Frank Sinatra memorabilia while having some of the best Italian food in Vegas.

Classy Fine Dining the Vegas Way

Over the years, Vegas’ high-end food game has only stepped up further.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the influx of celebrity chefs brought in some great restaurants. That trend continued with the openings of several high-end hotels in the mid-2000s and the wave of new resorts in recent years. During that time, existing hotels have also upgraded the food lineups at their resorts.

But forget about the new celebrity chef and pretentious joints. We are going old-school and classy here. We got your Manhattans and dirty martinis ready. Let’s check out some of the top classy restaurants still around today.

Michael’s Gourmet Room (South Point)

This is an off-strip location in the South Point (about ten minutes ride south of Mandalay Bay), but you will not find a better symbol of old-school Vegas gourmet dining than Michael’s Gourmet Room.

Michael’s is named after Michael Gaughan of the legendary Vegas casino family (current owner of South Point), and this restaurant was once located at The Barbary Coast on the Strip (now The Cromwell). The Gaughans also had a fancy old-school restaurant called The Cortez Room at the Gold Coast, which is no longer there.

What to Expect

Meals at Michael’s Gourmet Room start with a greeting by what we now call a host. The host has to pull out booth tables to let diners sit. The menus are a throwback, with women being presented with menus without prices.

Before the meal, diners are presented with fresh bread, butter, and light veggies.

Business attire is required.


Salads are prepared tableside. Appetizers include classics such as French onion soup, escargot, and Coquille St. Jacques (scallops). Popular entrees include the rack of lamb, steaks, and lobster.

For dessert, the dessert cart will be rolled to the side of your table. Dessert options may include (but are not limited to) classics such as bananas foster, key lime pie, New York cheesecake, chocolate mousse cake, strawberry shortcake, creme brulee, and lady finger tiramisu.

After the dessert course, each table is brought complimentary fruit (who could eat by that point, though!).

Premier Tip: Save room for dessert and consider splitting an entree if necessary.

Hugo’s Cellar (Four Queens)

Hugo’s Cellar at the Four Queens in Downtown is another OG of old-school fine dining. Of all of the restaurants on this list, Hugo’s likely provides the best value for price.

What to Expect

When arriving at Hugo’s Cellar, located one level below the casino, women are presented with a long-stemmed rose. This is the restaurant’s signature touch.

Like Michael’s Gourmet Room, Hugo’s has many old-school touches, like deep, comfortable booths and a romantic ambiance.


Dinner starts with cheese lavash and freshly baked bread.

All entrees come with the tableside salad cart, where you can pick various toppings from three salad dressings, including Caesar. Appetizers include a seafood-tower type offering and Hugo’s Hot Rock Specialty for Two, which includes various meat diners that can cook on hot rocks.

Before the entrees, diners get a sorbet intermezzo. Popular entrees include the surf and turf, Beef Wellington, and a rack of lamb.

Similar to Michael’s, Hugo’s had an amazing dessert cart with options that may include, but are not limited to, a chocolate mousse tower, triple-layer chocolate cake, and a rotating cheesecake. The dessert that Hugo’s is probably most known for is the cherry jubilee.

Before desserts come, diners are brought hot towels.

After the dessert course, each table is brought complimentary chocolate-covered strawberries and fruit (our belt buckle just blew out!).

Premier Tip: This isn’t quite a tip, but something to look out for. During a visit that one of us had to Hugo’s back in 1994, a group of older women were seen shoveling salt shakers, utensils, and lobster tails – basically, anything that wasn’t nailed down into zip-loc bags in their purses. They must have been good gamblers…only in Vegas!

Golden Steer (off-Strip just west of Sahara and Las Vegas Blvd)

Opened in 1958, The Golden Steer Steakhouse is the next OG on our list.

The restaurant is located off the Strip, about a block west of Sahara and Las Vegas Boulevard, not far from Resorts World, The Strat, and The Sahara.

What to Expect

The decor is rustic, with reminders of the Gold Rush. Several tables are themed after celebrities such as John Wayne, Joey Bishop, Sammy Davis Jr, and Mohammed Ali. The restaurant has two private dining rooms for special events, including a mob-themed room.


As its name would imply, The Golden Steer is all about the cow…errr steaks. The menu has more than ten cuts of steaks, the surf and turf, and six sauces/accompaniments. There are more than ten side dishes.

In addition to the steaks, some seafood, Italian specialties, and garlic bread slipped onto the menu.

Before dinner, you can welcome the Caesar salad tableside. Like Michael’s and Hugo’s, The Steer has some classic desserts, including the bananas foster or cherries jubilee (both flambee).

Premier Tip: Reservations are basically impossible to get. If you don’t have a reservation and can go early in the evening, arrive at least 30 minutes before they open, get in line, and you might be able to snag a seat at the bar.

Circus Circus Steakhouse (Circus Circus)

Opened in 1982, Circus Circus Steakhouse rounds out our list of OG fine dining establishments.

You might be thinking to yourself. Circus Circus? Well, yes, Circus Circus, which primarily caters to price-conscious visitors, has had one of the best steakhouses in town for many years.

What to Expect

The decor has a lodge feel with very dark woods. But the overall decor transports you back to the 1970s with greens on the wooden walls, light carpet, and dark red leather booths.

The dress code is smart casual.


Dinner starts with fresh French bread and pretzel rolls. The appetizer lineup includes French onion soup, oysters, crab cakes, and jumbo shrimp.

Premier Tip: Get the baked potato as your side. It will come with chives, bacon, sour cream, and butter, which you can put on the potato yourself.

Entree options include five cuts of steak (all mesquite charcoal broiler), lobster tails, a rack of lamb, and more. When entering the restaurant, diners can see the steaks through a glass window in a dry-aged meat locker.

The entrees come with a choice of black bean soup or house salad, potato, and fresh vegetables (built into the entree prices). There is no dessert cart here, but there are plenty of great old-school dessert options, such as creme brulee, bananas foster, chocolate mousse, key lime pie, and cheesecake.

Premier Tip: Consider sharing if you and your date are not big eaters. They will charge a sharing fee, but you will get sides for both people and have more room for appetizers and dessert.

Choosing an old-school restaurant may depend on where you stay during your trip or where you live in town. However, all of these places are worth trying simply for the experience.

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