This stellar Irish pub, humbly located in the Shoppes at Mandalay Place, holds a fascinating depth that goes unmatched by rivals in Las Vegas, and most of the country for that matter. The restaurant appears small at the entrance, but unveils a seemingly never-ending array of bars, dining rooms and performance stages as you journey inside. The food—if you’re a meat-and-potatoes kind of person—holds the exact kind of rich character you hope for, at half the price it could be on the Strip, and that’s without a 40 percent local discount on food every Friday. Order a Guinness and make yourself comfortable, because this is a place to visit time and time again.
The Ri Ra experience can go a number of ways depending on your mood. Two bars, deconstructed in Ireland, shipped in their entirety and rebuilt in Sin City, are perfect for those looking to relax over a drink. Couches line the lounge area, excellent for sports viewing. The first dining room features a stage for live music, where rock, Celtic and other artists create a vibrant mood during the late-night hours. The main dining hall, or ‘theater room,’ holds 300 years of history, its previous life in one of Ireland’s most famous concert halls. Wherever you do find yourself in Ri Ra, you’ll be pleased to see that the whole place is a lot brighter than its typical taverns counterparts.
The food is without doubt some of the most authentic Irish fare you will find in the U.S. The menu is expansive but simple, focusing on great-quality meats, potatoes and sauces, and incorporating Guinness into as many recipes as possible. Choice appetizers include the potato cakes, obscenely rich and buttery with balsamic glaze and savory sour cream, the Scotch egg, and the sausage rolls, wrapped in perfectly flaky crust and drizzled with creamy mustard.
Ri Ra’s most popular entree is the fish ‘n’ chips, a huge portion of North Atlantic Haddock [a mild white fish], with a ‘large order’ bordering on Man vs. Food quantity. While the breading stands to hold more flavor, the fish is complemented well with Irish Remoulade and the fries are excellently prepared. The all-day Irish breakfast is a classic for meat lovers, boasting melt-in-your-mouth sausage, rashers [similar to Canadian bacon], eggs, sautéed mushrooms and black and white pudding [both great, just don’t ask what’s in them]. Bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie and corned beef and cabbage are a few more additions to the cultural highlights.
Burgers, Irish mac ‘n’ cheese, steak, prime rib, and yes, even a salad selection, will ensure that everyone finds what they’re looking for. Desserts are a bit weak [the Guinness sundae is a letdown], but the rice pudding and crème brulee can help cure a sweet tooth.
Drinks here go without saying—a simple selection of Irish beers and cider can be mixed and matched for intriguing combinations [pints are just $7!], and the full bar includes some of the rarest and most exotic whiskeys in the world. There’s always a new happening at Ri Ra, so be sure to check out their events page.
Ri Ra is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night from 11 a.m.-3 a.m. weekdays, and 9 a.m.-4 a.m. weekends. Out-the-door price for appetizer, entrée, split dessert and 1-2 drinks is ~$40/person. For more information or reservations call (702) 632-7771 or visit Ri Ra online.