Most music festivals offer an excuse for people in crop tops and fedoras to hang out in a big field and pretend they know more new bands than you do. Life Is Beautiful in Las Vegas has a bigger mission: to support the bullied, the frightened and the hopeless. The festival is a celebration of all the good things life has to offer.
And when the events kick off for the second year this week, the amazing music lineup (Kanye West, Foo Fighters, Outkast) will be joined with a fantastic food lineup as well. It all begins with a kickoff event on Thursday featuring chefs like Marc Forgione, Nancy Silverton and Susan Feniger.
But if you miss the launch party, there’s still plenty more to eat from local Las Vegas restaurants and trucks with stands at four culinary villages spread out across the festival grounds. Here is everything you can eat there if you find yourself in Vegas this weekend.
8 Noodle Bar – The Asian spot opening at the Red Rock resort in December is previewing some of its dim sum and fusion dishes.
The Menu: Pork and Shrimp Gyoza, Kimchee Fried Rice, Tonkatsu Ramen
Aloha Kitchen – Vegas’ local home for Hawaiian comfort food.
The Menu: BBQ Chicken Sticks, Garlic Edamame, Kalua Pork Sliders, Pork Lumpia, Tokyo Honey Toast (mocha bread topped with vanilla ice cream and covered in honey and whipped cream)
Artisanal Foods – The place in Las Vegas to find the best charcuterie, caviar, truffles and other decadent ingredients.
The Menu: Handmade truffle Pasta
Bronze Café – A relaxed downtown Vegas café specializing in full, hearty meals for vegetarians and vegans.
The Menu: Tree of Life Pita, Good Earth Pita, The Bizness, Vegan & Gluten-Free Cheesecake
Carmine’s – One of New York’s best family-style Italian restaurant serving up mountains of meat and pasta.
The Menu: Carmine’s Meatballs, Carmine’s Eggplant Parmigiana, Arnold Palmer
Culinary Dropout – No uniforms, no formalities, just creative food and cocktails at this Vegas gastropub from James Beard Award-nominated restaurateur Sam Fox.
The Menu: Soft Pretzels and Provolone Fondue, 36-Hour Pork Ribs with Jalapeño Molasses, Smoked Salmon Bruschetta
Due Forni - This pizzeria specializes in two beloved Italian styles: Neapolitan and Roman.
The Menu: Margherita Pizza (also available gluten-free), Gelato
Fleur by Hubert Keller – Small plates from around the world by the superstar Top Chef alum.
The Menu: Heirloom Pork Carnitas Tacos
Function Juicery – The place to go in Las Vegas for customized, healthy cold-pressed juices.
The Menu: Gold Digger (heirloom yellow watermelon, pineapple, cucumber, lemon), The Best of You (apple, romaine, cucumber, spinach, celery, fennel, parsley, ginger, lemon), So Fresh and So Clean (carrot, celery, green apple, beet, spinach, lemon), Banger-Ade (organic lemon, organic lime, organic ginger, organic agave)
Garden Grill - The best vegetarian and vegan tacos you’ll find anywhere.
The Menu: Stone IPA-Battered Avocado Tacos, BBQ Pulled Jackfruit Tacos, Chick’n Teriyaki Tacos, Philly Cheeze Steak, The Cripsy Chick’n Sandwich, Pozole, Jackfruit, Chick’n or Steak Quesadillas, Caesar’s Envy Wrap (Blackened Chick’n, Romaine, Edamame, Corn and Quinoa), Raw NY Style Cheezecake, Raw Chocolate Cheezecake, Cold Brewed Jamaica Tea, Young Thai Coconuts
Gimme Some Sugar – A private cake studio that can turn whatever you imagine into a work of cake art.
The Menu: Confetti and Red Velvet Cake Pops, S’mores, Pitachio, Birthday Cake and Nutella Macarons, Caramel Apples, Sugar Cookies
Hash House a go go - Serving farm food with a few twists and always near the top of best brunch lists.
The Menu: Mashed Potato Bacon Burger, Kiwi-Watermelon Lemonade
Hearthstone Kitchen and Cellar– Opening soon, the newest restaurant from Charlie Palmer protégé Brian Massie, will serve up lovingly made dishes from its two wood-burning ovens.
The Menu: Wood Fired Pizza, Wood Roasted Pork Sandwich, Spit Roasted Lamb Sandwich
Honey Salt – Farm to table fare with ingredients that are regionally sourced that take a little hunting to find out in the desert.
The Menu: Biloxi Chicken Sandwich with Old Bay Chips, Bahn Mi with Salt and Vinegar Chips
Kuma Snow Cream - As their name suggests, they specialize in snow cream (a dessert that straddles the line between ice cream and shaved ice) but they have a number of other Korean inspired dishes, as well.
The Menu: Kuma Snow Cream: Life Is Beautiful Combo
Lao Sze Chuan - The Las Vegas outpost of Chicago’s “Mayor of Chinatown” Tony Hu.
The Menu: Crispy Lemon Shrimp, Three Chili Chicken, Spicy Cold Schezuan Noodle Salad, Chef Tony’s Hot Pot Skewers
MTO – Chef Johnny Church has designed his menu specifically to soak up the fallout of whatever bad behavior you engaged in the night before.
The Menu: Hangover Sliders with Bacon and Tillamook Cheddar, Hen House Wrap (Organic Chicken, Roasted Tomatoes, Avocado and Caesar Dressing), Red Juice (Beets, Arugula, Pomegranat, Lime, Red Bell Pepper and Carrot), Green Juice (Zucchini, Cucumber, Celery, Apples, Baby Spinach, Lemon and Green Bell Pepper)
Nacho Daddy - The name says it all. These guys do nachos and they do them well.
The Menu: BBQ Chicken Nachos, Daddy’s Supreme Nachos, Vegetarian Nachos, Chicken Street Tacos, BBQ Tofu Tacos
Nobu – Nobu Matsuhisa’s eponymous restaurant doesn’t need much of an introduction. It is one of the best known and well-respected sushi restaurants in the country.
The Menu: Yellowtail Sashimi Jalapeño, Whitefish Sashimi with Dry Miso, California Roll, Spicy Tuna Roll, Black Cod on Butter Lettuce, Rock Shrimp Tempura with Spicy Aoili, Pork Belly with Sweet Anticucho
O Face Doughnuts – A bakery with a rotating menu of seasonal doughnuts so big they have to be eaten with a knife and fork.
The Menu: A Range of Filled and Unfilled Doughnuts, Cold Brew Coffee
Oming’s Kitchen – This food truck is Las Vegas’ best stop for authentic Filipino street food.
The Menu: Lumpia (pork springrolls), Sinugba Pork, Sinugba Chicken
Origin India – Chef Vinod Ahuja brings over 50 years of life in India to new takes on Indian classics.
The Menu: Vegetable Samosa, Masala Dosa, Chicken Tikka Masala, Vegetable Curry, Mango Lassi
Palm Restaurant – One of America’s classic steakhouses going all the way back to 1926.
The Menu: Charbroiled Filet Mignon Sandwich, Charbroiled Chicken Breast Sandwich, Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Homemade Potato Chips and Crispy Fried Onions
Popped – Purveyors of 20 types of gourmet popcorn.
The Menu: White Cheddar Corn, Bling Bling Cookies & Cream Corn, Buffalo Hot and Ranch Corn, Caramel Corn
Potato Tornado – A food truck feeding the world one giant curly fry at a time.
The Menu: Tornado Potato, Zucchini Tornado, Sweet Potato Tornado, Macho Tornado (Tornado Potato Topped with Chili and Cheese) Sausage Tornado (Sausage inside a spiral cut potato), Screwdriver (Sausage Tornado Topped with Chili and Cheese), Truffle Tornado (Topped with White Truffle Oil), Garlic Tornado (Topped with Garlic Butter)
RM Seafood – Chef Rick Moonen’s home for sustainable seafood in the desert.
The Menu: Maine Lobster Roll, Shrimp Dog
Spud Shots – Like tator tots, but way better.
The Menu: Southwest Spud Shots, Mama Mia Spud Shots, Fireball Spud Shots, Bacon & Cheese Spud Shots, Sweet Spud Shots, Philly Steak Sandwich, Potato Skin Nachos, Grilled Vegetable Wrap
Stripchezze – A Vegas food truck with a taste for cheese.
The Menu: Mac N Cheese Egg Rolls, Grilled Cheese with Housemade Bacon Jam, 3 Way Parlay with Pepperjack, Cheddar and Mozzarella, Pretzel Sliders with Grilled Summer Sausage, Strawberry Lemonade
Tacofest – A spinoff of the popular Sausage Fest food truck, that will pull double duty serving tacos and sausage.
The Menu: Vegetarian Tacos with Peppers, Mushrooms, Onions Kale and Avocado Cream, Peri Peri Chicken Tacos, Chimichurri Steak Tacos, Burritos, Loaded Nachos, Cheese Quesadilla, Baja Chicken Sausage, Smokey Robinson Hot Link, Longanisa Bahn Mi, Hot and Mild Italian Sausage, Milwaukee Brat, Chicago Polish Sausage, Mixcali (Bacon-Wrapped, Chorizo-Topped Hot Dog) Hot Dog & Fries, Ranch Fries, Chorizo-Topped Fries, Vegetarian Sausage
T-Bones Chophouse/Hank’s Fine Steaks – The Red Rock’s classic steakhouse.
The Menu: Prime Beef Sandwich, Wedge Salad on a Stick, Lobster Tempura, Truffle Prime Beef Tenderloin and Pork Belly Slider
The Funnel Cake Café – They do one thing and that’s funnel cake. You’ll never need to visit a state fair again.
The Menu: Strawberry, Cinnamon, Chocolate and Caramel Funnel Cake
The Hummus Factory – All the Greek and Mediterranean food you could hope to find on one truck.
The Menu: Hummus, Gyro, Chicken Kabob, Falafel Wrap, Fries, Greek Burger, Factory Burger
The Plaza Hotel – Yep, that Las Vegas Plaza Hotel. It’s been an icon of downtown Vegas for over 40 years. Also home to the aforementioned Hash House a go go.
The Menu: Crab Cake Slider, Skirt Steak Slider, Chees, Pepperoni or Vegan Pizza
The Twisted Lemon - These guys make fruity drinks with none of the corn-syrupy crap you’re trying to avoid.
The Menu: Twisted Lemon, Twisted Lime, Twisted Orange, Twisted Cherry, Twisted Strawberry, Twisted Blue Raspberry
Truck U Barbeque – The BBQ truck of Food Network veteran and Border Grille chef Mike Minor.
The Menu: Dino Bone Ribs, Fried Chicken Tacos, Short Rib and Fries Burrito, Pulled Pork on Brioche, Short Rib Tacos, Mexican Corn
Truffles N Bacon – Chef Jacqueline Lim has a diverse array of comfort food in her arsenal, but at Life is Beautiful she’s working with two of favorite recent food trends. We’re talking about truffles and bacon if you couldn’t tell.
The Menu: Truffle Tator Tots, Bacon Mac N Cheese Balls
Truk-N-Yaki – This hibachi food truck just took home the owner of best food truck in Las Vegas last week.
The Menu: Chicken, Shrimp or Beef Plates and Burritos
Yusho – Yakitori-inspired food from chef Matthias Merges.
The Menu: Turkey Leg, Shishito Peppers, BBQ Pork Bun, Fried Chicken Bun, Eggplant Bun
Z India Catering Co. – Raj Singh, specializes in classic Indian dishes, but works his flavors into cuisines from Italian to Mexican.
The Menu: Vegetable Samosa, Dal Makhani with Naan, Chicken Kabob with Cucumber Achar