Hillary Eaton

Originally appeared on VICE (MUNCHIES)

Why Vegas Is Embracing a New Wave of Restaurants

For years, the food scene on the Las Vegas strip could be largely divided into two categories: fine dining or chain-casual. Screaming Eagle in Zalto stemware or a liter of boozy neon slushy through a sippy straw. Celebrity chefs or mega chains. Joël Robuchon or Hooters. 

But as more and more people begin to plan trips around memorable food experiences, Las Vegas’ strip has begun to shape-shift around the fact that a huge number of their potential visitors are of a new breed. They can’t (or don’t want) to drop $445 per person on a tasting menu but they also appreciate good food and want more than just cheese-covered drunk food—except when that’s exactly what they want, of course.

They’re the type of people who watch Chef’s Table and Instagram their food. They’re Millennials who are happy to wait in wind, rain, or snow for the cruffins, Nashville-style hot chickens, and top-rated xiao long baos of the world. They’re the kind conscientious eaters who think about the politics of the James Beard Awards, the dilemmas of included gratuity, and the demise of Lucky Peach.

For better or worse, if you’re reading this, they’re you and me.