707 Carson St., Downtown
Eat is an unpretentious breakfast and lunch joint run by chef Natalie Young that has one of the best brunches in Las Vegas. While it feels super mom and pop, it's also quite hip, with an exposed ceiling and hodge podge of colorful chairs. The hard part? Choosing whether to order breakfast (eggs served all day) or lunch.
124 S. 6th St., Downtown
You'll find farm-to-table comfort food at this very un-average downtown restaurant opened by the late chef Kerry Simon. The menu revolved around share plates like wok-charred edamame; sandwiches like secret Sunday chicken with spicy aioli, and mains like black rice and oxtail risotto. The beverage menu is also enticing—from IPAs, reds and whites, to original cocktails best sipped on Carson Kitchen's outdoor patio.
523 Fremont St., Downtown
This downtown spot (you’ll know it by the marquee sign with an arrow) is a local go-to for good Thai food. It’s arguably the best option in town for pad thai, but the real must-order dish is the short rib fried rice. Chef/owner Dan Coughlin is a bit of a trailblazer; this is one of the first really good, updated restaurants the downtown neighborhood, which is in the early stages of revitalization.
Siegel’s 1941 at the El Cortez
600 E. Fremont St., Downtown
This new-ish spot in the El Cortez is part of the older, Downtown section of town and serves what’s probably the best matzoh ball soup in Vegas. The name pays tribute to Bugsy Siegel, the Jewish mobster who played a major role in the development of Vegas—1941 refers to the year the El Cortez opened. The restaurant is open 24-hours (a strange rarity, considering the late hours most people keep in this town), and the menu is nicely diverse—try the corned beef hash, the waffles, or the steak and eggs.