Las Vegas isn't just about the gambling and free drinks; it's also about food, glorious food ... more specifically, the buffets.
We're not talking soggy corn on the cob and lifeless hunks of mystery meat swimming in gooey gravy buffets.
Vegas has some of the best buffet spreads in the country, each boasting an array of foods that'll take you on a culinary tour of the world. You can indulge in everything from freshly sliced Kobe beef, nigiri sushi and duck braised with Riesling, to American staples like pizza, barbecue ribs and, yes, even (crisp!) corn on the cob.
The only gamble here is whether to go back for that third plate and risk being wheeled out of the dining room after slipping into a food coma.
With so many buffets to choose from, how do you narrow it down to the best of the best? Follow our hungry lead:
One of the most luxurious and popular hotels on the Strip also has one of the best buffets around, particularly when it rolls out its gourmet menu on Friday and Saturday nights.
It's well worth the weekend dinner tab if you're looking for 5-star food, though the ambiance at the Bellagio still feels more like a typical buffet dining hall (albeit a really nice one).
Adventurous eaters can find plenty to keep them satisfied, including foie gras, buffalo, duck, quail and other exotic meats, a large sushi station, and a selection of seafood that includes fantastic lime-soaked ceviche, mussels and sometimes even shark.
The crab legs are hands-down the best on the Strip, and be sure to load up on the mozzarella balls, freshly baked breads and pesto mashed potatoes. You can also get your fill of pizza, some even sprinkled with non-traditional toppings such as shrimp.
The desserts are plentiful - although they're certainly not the highlight of the buffet - and you can choose from a wide selection of unique cocktails.
Le Village Buffet
Paris Las Vegas
What sets Le Village at Paris Las Vegas apart from every other buffet in Vegas is its enchanting ambiance, unique spin on food and legendary brunch.
Guests enter the Vegas incarnation of a small French village, complete with cobblestone walkways, old-fashioned lamp posts, and faux homes and store fronts, set under a ceiling painted to resemble a blue sky.
While most Vegas buffets more or less feature variations of the same types of foods, Le Village adds a French flair to many of its dishes. The buffet is structured around five regions of France, with one area focusing on kabobs stacked with seafood and sausages, and another specializing in melted cheeses paired with potatoes, meats and vegetables.
Ask a chef to cook you up a fresh fruit-filled crepe, or select from prepared duck, chicken apple sausage, quiche, cheeses, vegetables, soups and traditional crusty French breads.
he dessert spread is one of the best in town. We recommend the Bananas Foster, creme brulee and flan.
Carnival World Buffet
Rio Las Vegas
If you're looking for the biggest possible selection of food, don't miss this popular global smorgasbord.
The Rio is also considered the best buffet to take kids, who will find all their favorites here like mac and cheese, hamburgers and hot dogs, barbecue sandwiches and make-your-own milkshakes. But adults will find plenty to keep them satisfied as well.
Diners can choose from a dim sum station, a noodle bar with a variety of Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese specialties, and a Brazilian churrascaria where meat and veggies are grilled up right in front of you. Other food stations focus on Mexican, American and Italian staples, just to name a few of the food cultures you'll encounter.
The real treat comes after the main courses, when you're ready to plow into the dessert section. The Carnival buffet has more than 70 varieties of pies and pastries, cakes, cookies and - best of all - a gelato bar.
Plan on spending a while here, as it's frequently crowded and you might have to stand in line for an hour or more just to get in.
Wynn Las Vegas
Yeah, the Wynn is way out there on the north end of the Strip. But getting to its buffet is well worth the hike, and on the way you can burn a few calories to boot (trust us, post-dinner you'll be glad you got the exercise).
Come here for the elegance of an upscale restaurant coupled with the gluttony of an all-you-can eat buffet.
Some visitors think the food at the Wynn rivals that of the Bellagio and Paris in terms of quality, but it easily has the most upscale ambiance of any of the Strip buffets, featuring towering flower sculptures under a glass-ceiling atrium that bathes the buffet area in sunlight.
Like other buffets it features food from all over the world, but it also has 16 live stations where chefs will cook up made-to-order dishes.
Highlights include Indian curries, Kobe beef meatballs, mushroom ravioli and an assortment of smoked fish. It's also one of the better bets for vegetarians, with veggie options going beyond the simple salad and fruit bars common in most buffets.
Monte Carlo Resort and Casino
Three words sum up the Monte Carlo buffet's sumptuous breakfast feast: vanilla French toast.
OK, other words work as well: crepes, corned beef hash, made-to-order omelets - yum.
Although the Monte Carlo's lunch and dinner buffets typically get average reviews, its breakfast buffet - particularly the Sunday champagne brunch - is one of the best values on the Strip, at least among the all-you-can eat crowd.
On Sundays, diners are offered everything from scrambled eggs loaded with ham and cheese to fresh waffles to crepes to an assortment of yogurt, cereals and breakfast meats. It's also possible to order up perfectly prepared dishes from several live stations, and the fruit is some of the freshest around.
Crab legs and other seafood dishes round out the Sunday brunch, while bottomless champagne will get you starry-eyed before noon.
Better buffet options can be found on the Strip, but this one is perhaps the best in terms of value, particularly if you're up for traditional breakfast food and lots of it.