The Best Places to People Watch on the Las Vegas Strip

The Best Places to People Watch (and eat & drink) on the Las Vegas Strip |

Editors Note:  This post was updated Feb 2022 to reflect various restaurants that were listed that have since closed.  We are working on updating this list with some new options.

People are fascinating to watch.

At airports, I try to guess their life stories.  I wonder where they’re going; what far-off exotic destination are they traveling to or returning from? Who’s waiting for them when they get there? At the gate, I try to guess who has a first class ticket and who’ll be sitting in economy. (This is much harder than you might think.) I wonder who will be a hero in a crisis and who’s likely to create one. I also spend a lot of time coveting cute shoes and leather luggage.

People watching on the Las Vegas Strip is like nowhere else in the world. Party-loving tourists in Sin City have clearly bought into the ‘what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ fallacy, shedding their inhibitions and putting on a free show that’s more entertaining than the Bellagio Fountains (especially late at night and early in the morning). While the wild ones are fun to watch, the well-behaved can be inspiring. They know they’re on display so they tend to dress up and show off their sense of style. Vegas is also a great place to spot celebrities. (I once saw Mario Lopez shooting a segment for Extra in front of Planet Hollywood. His dimples are even cuter in the flesh!)

Here are my picks for the best places on the Strip to eat, drink and people watch.

Mon Ami Gabi

Paris Las Vegas

Parisians perfected the art of people watching, sitting in picturesque cafes with their chairs turned towards the city’s Grand Boulevards and charming side streets. No surprise then that Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas makes my list. The food is classic French Bistro (and delicious!) but it’s the patio that puts the experience over the top. In true French fashion, you can sit for hours eating Steak Frites, sipping Champagne, and watching the world go by. Added bonus: the sidewalk here is prime real estate for buskers.

Insider’s Tip: This place is always packed but unless you’re absolutely ravenous it’s worth the wait. Restaurant staff will give you a disk that vibrates to alert you when your table is ready so you’re free to pass the time wandering the casino floor while trying your luck at the slots.

The Best Places to People Watch (and Eat & Drink) on the Las Vegas Strip |

Crab Cakes at Mon Ami Gabi, Las Vegas |

Mandarin Bar

Mandarin Oriental

Located on the 23rd floor of the ultra-luxe Mandarin Oriental Hotel, the Mandarin Bar may not seem an obvious choice for people watching. With floor-to-ceiling windows on three walls, it’s almost impossible to take your eyes off the stunning view of the Strip. The ambiance is sophisticated, the setting is fabulous, and the guests are well-heeled. (The Mandarin Oriental is also a popular choice for LGBT travelers.) Plan to arrive just after the sun goes down. Order one of their signature cocktails, admire the beautiful people and indulge in a little innocent eavesdropping before heading out on the town.

Insider’s Tip:  Order The Golden Leaf, a blend of Hendricks gin, Aperol, muddled mandarin oranges, pineapple juice, fresh lime juice and house-made simple syrup. Cocktails aren’t cheap here ($18) but the view alone is worth the price.

The Best Places to People Watch (and Eat & Drink) on the Las Vegas Strip |

Looking for more people watching hot spots? Check out the pedestrian-only zone on legendary Fremont Street.

Check current prices for Las Vegas hotels.

This post is in partnership with Expedia Canada & Food Bloggers of Canada

Editor’s Note:  OTTO is no longer at The Venetian and is permanently closed.


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6 thoughts on “The Best Places to People Watch on the Las Vegas Strip

  1. Mary McCoy says:

    Vegas is on my bucket list. Reading this fun, interesting post makes me want to move a trip to Vegas up much higher on my list! Thanks for sharing, great photos too!

  2. Dina says:

    Fun read Laura as always. I need to get to Vegas one of these days. G used to take his staff there every couple of years but I never joined. Now I think it’s time and your list is very fun. Funny that you wonder about people’s stories at the airport. I sometimes look at people boarding a plane with me and think that I might share my destiny with these total stranger. You never know who might be the hero.

    • The Culinary Travel Guide says:

      I’m surprised you’ve never been to Vegas! There’s so much there that you’d love – luxury hotels, great shopping, world class shows (the Phantom of the Opera at The Venetian was unbelievable; the elaborate chandelier even crashes!) and so many fantastic restaurants! Of course there’s plenty of things you won’t like too…

  3. Brown Boy Travels says:

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  4. maria thomas says:

    A trip between Las Vegas and Log Angeles is truly-amazing.
    The city of Las Vegas(the largest city in Nevada) is a true desert oasis.
    It sits within a desert valley enclosed by mountains and sparkles at night, highlighting neon lights.
    Excitement of gambling
    Music shows and concerts
    Pool-side parties
    Massive food buffets
    Thrilling roller coasters and virtual-reality simulator rides
    Erupting volcanoes to wax museums
    Las Vegas has a variety of must-see attractions and entertainment options to keep you and your whole family occupied.

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