Top Tapas In Las Vegas

June 13, 2012 6:00 AM

Photo Credit: Jaleo

Turns out, size does matter. The tapas craze is still going strong in Las Vegas, and why not? Small plates are not only great for sharing, but also let you treat your palate to an explosion of different flavors. Here are five local restaurants that prove that good things do come in small packages — at least on small plates.

maple bacon popcorn Top Tapas In Las Vegas

Photo Credit: Heather Turk

RUMOR Las Vegas
455 E Harmon Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89169
(877) 997-8667

This sleek, intimate hideaway serves a menu of unique “tapatizers” for dinner nightly. From 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, guests can feast on scrumptious selections like the Buffalo Chicken Sliders: breaded fritters tossed in buffalo hot sauce and topped with lettuce, BBQ blue cheese aioli and tomato, then served chilled on a toasted white roll, and the Short & Sweet: three, eight-hour short ribs seared then braised, served over sweet-potato purée. Other memorable menu items include the Maple Bacon Popcorn: caramelized popcorn tossed with hickory-smoked bacon and topped with sea salt, and the chilled Pesto Pasta: penne pasta with creamy Parmesan pesto and sun-dried tomatoes.

la cave wine and food hideaway Top Tapas In Las Vegas

Photo Credit: La Cave Wine And Food Hideaway

La Cave Wine and Food Hideaway
Wynn Las Vegas
3131 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 770-7375

Nestled inside the posh strip resort, this stylish wine bar serves a menu of savory small plates from Executive Chef William DeMarco, as well as 50 wines by the glass. Guests can enjoy DeMarco’s delectable creations in one of the restaurant’s cozy nooks or outside on its garden-inspired patio. Must-tries include the Bacon Wrapped Dates with blue cheese fondue and the Nueske’s Bacon, Poached Quail Egg and Fontina Flatbread — it’s truly one of the best flatbreads you’ll ever have. While you’ll want to taste everything on the menu, be sure to save room for dessert; the Beignets with raspberry sauce and crème anglaise are simply to die for.

Related: Best Happy Hour Spots in Las Vegas

jaleo Top Tapas In Las Vegas

Photo Credit: Jaleo

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
3708 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 698-7950

One of the country’s first successful tapas restaurants, Jaleo’s Washington, DC location set the standard for Spanish cuisine in the United States. for almost two decades. Guests can now experience culinary mastermind José Andrés’ tasty tapas right here in Las Vegas. Jaleo’s extensive menu at The Cosmopolitan features everything from paellas to cured meats, including the most luxurious cured meat in the world: the Jamón Ibérico de bellota Fermin. One of Andrés’ signature items, Jaleo was the first restaurant in the United States to offer the cured ham, which comes from the acorn-fed, black-footed Ibérico pigs of Spain.

johnny smalls Top Tapas In Las Vegas

Photo Credit: Johnny Smalls

Johnny Smalls
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
4455 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV 89169
(702) 693-4414

The plates aren’t the only thing that’s small at this whimsical off-strip restaurant. For one small price, guests indulge in all-you-can-eat small plates: just $24.99 or $17.99 during late nights (after 11 p.m.) and lunch on the weekends (starting at noon). Diners can choose from a selection of tapas and classic American starters two at a time, with menu items ranging from “Salads and Such” to “Fried and Delicious.” When they’re done, they can order two more dishes to dig into until satisfyingly full. Items that won’t disappoint include the Classic Caprese: Roma tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and basil pistou, and the mini Corn Dogs served with ketchup and mustard. For those with lighter appetites, selections can be ordered à la carte, too, making Johnny Smalls perfect for hunger pangs of all sizes.

meatballs thinkstock for onda Top Tapas In Las Vegas

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Onda Ristorante & Wine Lounge
The Mirage
3400 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 791-7354

The cuisine at this classic, rustic Italian restaurant may leave taste buds saying “that’s amore,” but you might never know. Onda’s adjoining wine lounge is so inviting, and its small-plates menu is so enticing, that some guests never make it back into the dining room to experience the restaurant’s dinner menu. Just try to pass up tempting dishes like the Ricotta Potato Gnocchi with light-herb cream or the mouth-watering Meatballs topped with marinara and Parmesan — they’re truly the best meatballs in town. Guests can also choose from a selection of grilled flatbreads, artisanal cheeses, cured meats and even desserts. What more could hungry stomachs want?

Related: Best Cupcakes in Las Vegas

When she’s not interviewing some of Hollywood’s biggest celebs, Heather Turk can often be found visiting some of Las Vegas’ most popular restaurants and spas for She also covers the Las Vegas market for a variety of other media outlets, including Allegiant Air’s in-flight magazine, Sunseeker. Her work can be found at

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