129 East Fremont St.
What we like the most about this affordable downtown Vegas buffet is its comfortable seating, its friendly service and it’s nice, restaurant-like atmosphere, probably contributed to by the fact that it’s a small buffet.
However, in the last few months the quality and variety of the dishes served declined so badly that Main Street Station, with all its many flaws, was stealing the crown of ‘best buffet in downtown Vegas’ (unfortunately Main Street Station followed suit and collapsed in quality and variety as well)! The best quality of this buffet was the deli & make-your-own sandwich section, where you would fine plenty of good quality deli meats as well as condiment; instead, in this section we lately found only is cold shrimps and lemon wedges. Some of you may be happy, but it’s hard to think that cold shrimps can replace all that previous choice. Next to it you’ll have a decent-enough pizza section with tasty toppings, which however, can become chewy when they rush them and under-cook them (which has happened often enough); then you have a very basic American-Italian section, a made-to-order omelette section (which closes after breakfast), a basic rotisserie station and a cheap Chinese station.
Next you’ll find a very basic and cheap deli meat station (which is replaced by an average sushi section for the more expensive dinner, relatively speaking): here I found some delicious tuna spread (when you can find it, that is), almost the only item which was good and tasty.
The soups are basic, can-quality; for lunch they often have chicken noodle and beef barley. Another change for the worse is its salad section. Here you could enjoy a good salad with a really good selection of toppings or other cold vegetables to add to it; never as gourmet as the Cravings Buffet at Mirage, at Golden Nugget you could still enjoy several pre-tossed salads, such as a Caesar Salad, a Tomato and Artichoke Salad, a Grilled Vegetable Salad, a Greek Salad and so on. But it’s now relatively plain, cheap, with very few choices and… Virtually tasteless. No pre-tossed salads, only plain lettuce (mostly Romaine, though for dinner they brought mixed lettuce), no fancy (tasty) dressings and no olive oil.
The dessert section is small, with some items being store-bought quality and others, such as rice pudding, dry and tasteless. You definitely won’t find the mind-blowing gelatos of the M Buffet or the Mirage buffet, or the huge array of dessert options of the no-longer-so-good but still huge Rio buffet.
Overall the Golden Nugget buffet is not worth a special visit unless all you care is basic meat, cold shrimps and mash potatoes, for example. Of course in downtown Vegas the buffet options are currently limited; but if you want to the great Vegas buffets of the Strip, you have other options, even cheap yet delicious options (you can refer to our quick Vegas buffet ratings), though you’ll have to drive or use the Vegas bus services. Hopefully the Golden Nugget will resume being a decent downtown Vegas buffet but, on our last visits, it was a disappointment. Even then, with the rise of affordable-yet large and delicious off-Strip buffets like Red Rock, the gorgeous and huge Studio B and the super affordable yet good Palms buffet, it makes it hard to recommend any downtown Vegas buffets, no matter their price, unless you absolutely cannot leave the downtown area (which is what downtown Vegas resorts are probably banking on). We have video of the Golden Nugget buffet (with more to come).
Hours and Prices of the Golden Nugget Buffet
Breakfast (7:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.) $11.99
Lunch (10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.) $12.99
Dinner (3:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.) $19.99
Friday through Sunday Seafood & More Dinner (3:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.) for just $21.99.
Saturday and Sunday Champagne Brunch (8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.) about $20
* As always, prices and dishes are subject to change without notice by the establishment. Always check by phone (1 702 385 7111)