Acrobats, puppeteers, divas and magicians descend on the Vegas Strip by night, but there is much more to the city than just its most famous—and tourist-swarmed—street. When they aren’t dazzling on stage, these Vegas entertainers can be found dining at hush-hush local favourites.
Rory MacDonald, Welterweight Wonder
What Happens In Vegas: The Quesnel, B.C. born UFC fighter gets his first title shot on July 11, 2015 when he faces reigning welterweight champ Robbie Lawler at the MGM Grand. “It’s everything I’ve been working towards since I was 14 years old,” he says.
Off-Strip Dinner Destination: Before a fight, MacDonald’s nutritionist controls his diet like a prison warden until his weight drops below the welterweight’s 170-pound cut-off. It’s no wonder MacDonald rewards himself after a fight with a carnivorous binge at a Brazilian Churrascaria. The west Vegas buffet Via Brasil Steakhouse promises enough red meat to make a fighter consider upping his weight class.
Must-Try: The “Rodizio Sterling,” which offers 21 cuts of beef including MacDonald’s favourite, filet mignon.
Via Brasil Steakhouse, 1225 S. Fort Apache Rd., Las Vegas, 702-804-1400, viabrasilsteakhouse.com
Ryan Lyons, Super Soaker
What Happens In Vegas: As an original cast member of aquatic spectacle Le Rêve – The Dream at the Wynn hotel, the Ontarian acrobat spends his nights being drenched. “We dance, dive, climb, jump, and flip, all while being wet,” he says.
Off-Strip Dinner Destination: When he’s not dangling from the rafters, Lyons rests his muscles on the patio at French bistro Marché Bacchus, overlooking Lake Jacqueline in the northwest corner of Vegas.
Must-Try: Red-wine braised beef, which comes served with candied shallots and butter-whipped potatoes. Lyons likes to treat himself to a Pinot Noir from the bistro’s in-house wine shop, stocked with nearly a thousand labels.
Marché Bacchus, 2620 Regatta Dr., Las Vegas, 702-804-8008, marchebacchus.com
KB, Move Master
What Happens In Vegas: Along with his masked dance troupe Jabbawockeez, currently in residence at the Luxor, KB has called Vegas home since 2010. “We don’t have any facial expressions, we don’t talk, so we had to learn to exercise [our character] through our bodies.”
Off-Strip Dinner Destination: KB calls Chile Verde the best Mexican food in Las Vegas, and warns not to be fooled by its location next to a gas station. On his first visit, he came for a car wash. “While I was waiting for the car, I was like, ok, I’ll give it a chance,” he says. “It’s so fresh. It tastes so good.”
Must-Try: Chicken-rolled tacos. “With guacamole and cheese? It’s the best.”
Chile Verde, 8095 S. Rainbow Blvd., Las Vegas, 702-260-7758
Mat Franco, Cub Conjurer
What Happens In Vegas: The 27-year-old winner of America’s Got Talent kicks off his Vegas show on August 5 at The LINQ. Titled Magic Reinvented Nightly, the performance features tricks that hinge on audience participation. “Instead of sitting at home and seeing me interact with Howard Stern [a judge Franco frequently chatted with on America’s Got Talent], the audience becomes Howard Stern,” he says.
Off-Strip Dinner Destination: Magician meet-ups happen at the laidback Goyemon Sushi House, a relaxed Japanese restaurant just west of the strip.
Must-Try: The beef teriyaki bowl, which Franco says has “great flavour”—though if you can make sushi disappear like magic, he recommends their all-you-can-eat option.
Goyemon Sushi House, 5255 S. Decatur Blvd., #118, Las Vegas, 702-331-0333, sushihousegoyemon.com
Marie Osmond (photo: Jeremy Deputat)
Marie Osmond, Vegas Veteran
What Happens In Vegas: Marie Osmond loves that her residency at the Flamingo with brother Donny is in its seventh year. “I still haven’t used up all my Vegas coupons,” she says.
Off-Strip Dinner Destination: For a unique Jamaican-New Mexican menu—a reflection of chef Dalton Wilson’s multicultural heritage—Osmond heads west to DW Bistro, located at the foot of the Desert Hills. “Amazing food, beautiful decor and friendly staff,” she says.
Must-Try: Osmond vegges out on the DW signature salad: caramelized pecans, orange segments, bell peppers and goat cheese, topped with a balsamic vinaigrette.
DW Bistro, 6115 S. Fort Apache Rd., Las Vegas, 702-527-5200, dwbistro.com
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