Food courts are a dime a dozen in Vegas, but the one in New York–New York, 3790 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (tel 702/740-6969), deserves a mention for two reasons. First, it’s the nicest setting for this sort of thing on the Strip, sitting in the Greenwich Village section of New York–New York, which means scaled replica tenement buildings, steam rising from the manhole covers, and more than a little (faux, naturally) greenery, a nice change from unrelentingly shrill and plastic mall decor. Second, the selections are the usual, but it’s a better-than-average food court, with a deli and pizza (as befitting an ode to NYC), and excellent if expensive (for this situation) double-decker burgers, plus Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Hours vary by outlet.

The food court at Flamingo Las Vegas, 3555 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (tel 702/733-3111), has a couple of interesting outlets like Pan Asian Express and Johnny Rockets hamburgers, among others. Hours vary, but it’s usually open from 8am until 2am.

If you head farther down the Strip, to The Grande Canal Shoppes at the Venetian, 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (tel 702/414-4500), you can find another decent food court, with a Panda Express, a good pizza place (despite the confusing name of LA Italian Kitchen), and more. Plus, it’s right by the canals of this faux Venice, one of our favorite places in Vegas. Hours are Sunday through Thursday from 10am until 11pm, and Friday and Saturday from 10am until midnight.

And of course, it should come as no surprise that the biggest mall in Vegas has the biggest food court as well. The Fashion Show Mall, 3200 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (tel 702/369-8382), has more than a dozen outlets from Habit Burger, Ikes Love of Sandwiches, Panda Express, India Masala Cuisine and more. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10am until 9pm and Sunday from 11am until 7pm.

Deli Delights

It's East Coast vs. West Coast in the battle of the famous delis, here in sister properties The Mirage and Treasure Island. The former has brought in New York's beloved Carnegie Deli  (tel. 702/791-7310; daily 24 hr.), home of the towering sandwich, so large that no mere mortal can clamp his or her jaws around it. It's hardly the same joint New Yorkers are used to, given that this sleek and modern interpretation is crammed into a small corner of a casino. Bad puns still run amok on the menu (Tongues for the Memory, Nova on a Sunday, and The Egg and Oy!). We aren't happy that the famously huge sandwiches come with huge prices to match, along with a miserly $3 sharing fee. Treasure Island is home to the first offshoot of Los Angeles's Canter's Deli (tel. 702/894-7111; daily 11am-midnight), where many a musician has whiled away many an hour. As much as we admit that NYC is right to claim it has superior bagels, and this Carnegie definitely has better hours, the Canter's smells just like the one we spent much pleasurable time in during our formative years. Ah, just go do some pastrami taste-testing yourselves, youse.

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