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Taste

Snacking on the Strip: Zio Gelato at Venetian

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Zio Gelato is right off the Strip, just inside the Venetian’s northern pedestrian entrance.
Photo: Brock Radke

There are gelato options all over the Venetian and Palazzo resorts. Everywhere. There are kiosks in the Grand Canal Shoppes, which is crazy because practically every Italian eatery in this massive mall also offers the refreshing dessert. The Espressamente Illy outlet in Palazzo’s nifty waterfall atrium has every flavor of the gelato rainbow.

But the best stuff is in a not-so-obvious location. The months-old Zio Gelato shop is a tiny but colorful counter squished in between Venetian and Palazzo. If you’re in the casino, walk out toward the Strip from Venetian’s sports book. Right next to a mini-Bouchon bakery, Zio is clearly meant to draw in sweaty pedestrians for a quick and cool treat, but people seem to pass right by.

Maybe it’s because it’s not cheap. A single scoop is around five bucks. Maybe that’s not enough to be shocking; don’t forget where we are. I say it’s worth it—this is the best gelato I’ve ever tasted, and one scoop of this icy, slightly creamy, brilliantly flavored stuff is all you need. Pink grapefruit, pistachio, pomegranate, limoncello … there are tons of flavors, mostly fresh fruit-based, and they’re all delicious. Why is it so good? It comes from the kitchen of Luciano Pellegrini, the award-winning chef at Valentino. The restaurant is slated to close permanently in July, but there are no plans to close Zio. But there’s no telling if this gelato will stay this good after that, so my advice is to find it fast.

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Brock Radke is Las Vegas Weekly's food editor and author of the Strip-focused column The Incidental Tourist. He has written ...

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