Jimmy Kimmels Guide to Las Vegas

Jimmy Kimmel may get a bicoastal rep for being born in Brooklyn and now calling Los Angeles home—but he spent his formative years in Sin City, and he’ll wax poetic about Las Vegas any chance he gets.

“I really love the old Vegas stuff,” says Kimmel. Steakhouses, throwback casinos, magic shows—you name it, he’s there. “Every time I go to Las Vegas, oh my God, there’s six things I wanted to do that I didn’t get to.” Perhaps it’s no surprise the late-night host even has his own comedy joint in the city (Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club Las Vegas), offering him the perfect excuse to return regularly.

Ahead of Super Bowl LVIII, which takes place at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday, February 11, we hopped on the phone with Kimmel to hear all about his favorite parts of Las Vegas. From the Chinese restaurant he beelines to whenever he lands, to the weird watering holes and offbeat shows he’s most fond of—consider this a true insider’s guide to Vegas, baby.

Where’s the first place you go when you land in Las Vegas?

There’s a Chinese restaurant inside Caesar’s Palace, where I usually stay, called Beijing Noodle Number 9. That’s a good lunch spot. Good Chinese food is harder to get in Los Angeles than you might think, but there’s a lot of great Chinese restaurants in Vegas. Especially in the neighborhood where I grew up, which is Chinatown. There’s a lavish Chinese restaurant in my old neighborhood that has a Michelin star, Wing Lei, which is pretty crazy because I used to deliver pizzas in the area around it.

What are your favorite spots to grab a bite to eat—bonus points if they’re off the Strip.

Everything’s kind of near the Strip, but if you’re not on the Strip, you’re not on the Strip. There’s a chef from Philadelphia named Marc Vetri. I ate at his restaurant in Philly, and it was some of the best Italian food I’ve ever had; he has a restaurant at the Red Rock, called Osteria Fiorella.

There are also a couple classic places in Vegas, like the Golden Steer. It’s 65 years old, a classic steak house where the caesar salad is made at the table. The Rat Pack used to go there, like for real—a lot of places will tell you that The Rat Pack used to visit, but this is a place they actually went.

Downtown Las Vegas is really great, too. It’s kind of hip and very different [now] from when I grew up. There’s a Container Park, with buildings made out of the shipping containers, and Esther’s Kitchen has very good American food. The most famous pizza place in Vegas is Metro Pizza, and there are a bunch of locations, but I think the one on Tropicana is the original. And, you know, the original location of anything is always the best one.