Downtown Summerlin’s new City National Arena exists to provide the Vegas Golden Knights with a top-flight practice facility, but it also has a pub and restaurant on the second floor, with huge windows overlooking the dual rinks. So not only is it a great place to watch the Knights practice or play on TV (or to check out UNLV hockey), it’s a cool place just to hang out.
Even though Mackenzie River Pizza is a franchise (born in Montana), Las Vegas’ first location doesn’t feel like it, probably because of the hockey factor. All it really needs to succeed is a solid selection of suds on the taps, and you can check that box. Montana’s own Great Northern Brewing Co. supplies the favored Driftboat amber ale, and the hometown Able Baker Atomic Duck IPA packs a punch.
The grub is solid, too. The signature appetizer is a plate of “lodgepoles” ($5.50)—pizza-crust breadsticks baked with garlic, olive oil and mozzarella and served with marinara for dipping. Equally satisfying are fish taco skewers ($10.50), ancho chili-glazed cod chunks you’ll wrap with flour tortillas and add avocado, coleslaw and pineapple salsa. If you’re feeling Canadian, the happy hour menu’s classic poutine ($7) delivers with crispy fries coated in ultra-savory beef gravy and white cheddar curds.
The pizza is legit. The dough is fluffy and light, but it will fill you up fast, unless you opt for the crispy thin crust. The small is 10 inches and will feed more than two; the large will feed everyone, especially if you order the Rancher ($15/$24.50) with ground beef, pepperoni, bacon, tomatoes, green pepper and red onion. Need more meat? The aptly named Stockman ($15/$24.50) has pepperoni, bacon, spicy sausage and steak strips. More creative pie options include the corned beef, ’kraut and caraway-coated Reuben and the Thai pizza with peanut sauce, chicken, fresh cilantro and mandarin oranges (both $15/$24.50).
This pizza pub has plenty more to snack on, from salads and sandwiches to chili, wings and cheesecake. No matter what part of the Valley you actually call home, this will feel like your neighborhood sports bar.
Mackenzie River Pizza City National Arena, 1550 S. Pavilion Center Drive, 702-916-2999. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.