General Question

dalepetrie's avatar

For those of you who frequent Vegas, can I ask your opinion?

Asked by dalepetrie (18009points) February 13th, 2009

What are our best options for eating on the cheap? Vegas used to be the cheap food capital of the world, now everything seems to be high buck. I’m going next week w/ some friends and last time we went food was still really cheap everywhere. But my friends have been more recently and last time they went, food was pricey everywhere and they just ate at Denny’s ever meal. I have Denny’s where I live and I don’t eat there NOW. Don’t get me wrong, I like my moons over my hammy as much as the next guy, but a 3 night trip, I’m thinking is a one Denny’s max for me. I don’t mind buffet fare, but it sounds like anything you don’t want to pay $25 a person for is iffy. Of course, I’m reading this in travel guides, I find the quality of say Old Country Buffet to be sufficient, so I’m thinking I might not be AS picky as those who write the travel guides. I’m also OK with deli food/sandwiches/pizza/greasy spoons/bar food…anything cheap. I’d like to keep every meal under $15 a head or at least reasonably close, and I’m more than happy to maybe eat one big meal a day and snack the rest of the day, and/or eat at off hours so I don’t have to wait an hour for a table or what not. Just curious for those of you who have been a few times, for four people who would rather spend their money on something other than food, who will be plenty flexible as long as the food is edible, what might be some good suggestions.

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29 Answers

Judi's avatar

Will you have transportation? Where are you staying? Unless your close to the mall and can go to the food court you’re going to have a hard time finding “cheap” food on the strip, and driving away from your hotel is a nightmare.

Mamradpivo's avatar

I’m in vegas right now for business with a $65 per diem. Been here a week and I can’t wait to go home tomorrow. Unfortunately, there won’t be much in the way of decent food for $15 a head. A grande drip coffee from starbucks costs $4. My favorite cheap place is the pizza place by the piano bar at New York New York. Most mid-priced hotels will also have a mid-priced restaurant or two. Almost every hotel has a sandwich place: try wichcraft at the MGM. Or, bring your own food for lunch and splurge on dinner. Good luck.

funkdaddy's avatar

There’s a fatburger right down from the strip, not an every day thing, but it’s one option.

We don’t have them where I live so I had to give it a shot. Definitely under $15 and accessible

kevbo's avatar

I was about to look through my Fodor’s Las Vegas, but rather than that I think I’ll point you to the Fodor’s Web site and ask you to do a restaurant search. They’re broken down by prices.

If I remember correctly, there’s a NY style deli in Bellagio(?) that serves obscene portions for un-obscene prices. I’m thinking it’s Bellagio, because I vaguely remember us having seen “O” before or after.

Also, Memphis Championship BBQ near Rainbow and Sahara is good.

dalepetrie's avatar

@Judi – I’m staying mid-strip (Harrah’s) and hoofing it and/or using the tram. May take a cab (or bus) if I go off strip at all. No way I’d drive in Vegas.

Judi's avatar

Bring some granola bars for breakfast! Then maybe you can afford to spend a little more for lunch and dinner.

steelmarket's avatar

Try the food court in NYNY. Also, there are a couple of Chipotles off the strip. The Fatburger is OK. Tank up for the day at a breakfast buffet.

Stay away from the place that has the big chicken out front. ( just a little fun for CSI fans ;-).

kevbo's avatar

I’ll tell you what, though. If you’re going to splurge at all and the weather’s decent, hit the patio at Mon Ami Gabi, which is right inside Paris and right across from the Bellagio fountain. It’s the only outdoor dining that’s Strip-side and the food is great. Try the steak frites or one of the sandwiches.

Or Burger Bar in Mandalay Bay for a $20 burger that’s just about worth the price.

TaoSan's avatar


I definitely second the Steak Frites!!!! Might have to use your elbows though to get a seat. It’s quite cold these days, so you might get lucky.

If you’re at Harrah’s, there’s an Outback around the corner, they kept their prices moderate, 12 to 16 a pop unless you go filet mignon or crableg.

There’s an IHOP right down the Stratosphere Tower, looks like a blue “hut”, they’re pretty good. Right on the other side of the street, there is a little Thai Restaurant, Ocha or something, it is really authentic, right to the shotty furniture, the reeeally dirty floors and the exclusively Asian patrons.

When you walk in, you really want to turn around, but their Tom Kas are awesome. Stay away from the Denny’s on the strip, their Moons over my Hammy are more like burned grease sponges, gross really (had several opportunities, it’s not a one-time thing).

If you don’t mind sharing a plate, there is a restaurant called the Peppermill, about 10 minutes walk towards the Stratosphere on the Harrah’s side. A meal is around 18 there, but seriously, the size of the portions is completely of the hook decadent 3.5 pounds of food on the plate. As bonus, you walk in there, and it’s a complete time warp into the 80’s including flamingo shirts, blue and purple neon everywhere, and according uniforms. Quite funny. But seriously, I’m a 240 pound “happy eater”, even I share plates in there (except for sandwiches).

kevbo's avatar

@TaoSan, Peppermill is classic! That bar side is so Nagel.

dalepetrie's avatar

some great suggestions so far, thanks all!

Sooner_Coolkat's avatar

There’s a food court in the MGM Grand that has a McDonalds, Pizza Place, Chinese food, and maybe one or two more.

TaoSan's avatar


LOL, sure is. All you need is to prep yourself’ with some old Miami Vice tapes, a can of hairspray and a RayBan Wayfarer.

At the “Peppermill”, even manly men have Pina Coladas :)

TaoSan's avatar

Now, there’s one thing I almost forgot! Too bad you’re only here for three days.

There is something we locals call “The new, civil Vegas”. Not the casino-style stuff, but more “cosmopolitan”, nice and stylish. The closest one of these “parts” to you would be the “Town Square”. You’ll need a cab, but if you take the tram to the Mandalay Bay it will be around $10, it’s really nearby. It’s pretty much next to the airport.

It is basically an accumulation of shops and restaurants, held in colonial Spanish style and very nice to stroll through when you get tired of the casino dingleling. First thing you see when you come in is a California Pizza Kitchen, very moderately priced, and their Pizza and Pasta is generous and delicious. Wife, kid and me usually fare for 25 ot less. Including specialty salad and what not.

Now, in there, is a restaurant that I would not want to let you go without seeing. It is called “Texas de Brazil”, and is basically a Brazilian style steak house.

It doesn’t work like a regular restaurant. The price is $25 per head. When you get in, it is very stylish, but no dress code, really. There is a buffet of all sorts of potato and pastas, very delectable cheeses (real imported parmesan chafed of the brick, imported French brie, etc.) and a plethora of breads and assorted fruit.

Now, the gig is this, you do not get to order of a menu. Instead, they have this HUGE churrasco-style grill in the back, where all kinds of assorted meats are grilled on 2ft. rotating skewers.

When a skewer is ready, it is handed to a specially trained carver, that will run around from table to table, offering his meat to the patrons.


There are at least 15 different meats, all kinds of cow, chicken plain or in different crusts.

Now I have to elaborate, I am a “Steak Fetishist”. I only buy the best, and I only eat steaks at restaurants living up to my standards. The meats they serve in there are beyond description. It is, in all likeliness the best meat I had in my life (despite favoring restaurants like Morton’s, Smith & Wollensky’s and the likes).

You basically eat until you drop. Nobody pressures you or gives you misgiving looks if you stay three hours, and it is a real event. If I’d get to pick only one must-see restaurant, that would be it. Well, well, well worth the 25 Bucks. I don’t know the exact policy on kids, but last time I was there we had a big looking 8 year old with us, and they didn’t charge for him.

If you’re into meat, you can not leave town without going there.

Ah, I even found their website

If you decide to go there, one last piece of advice. Pace those “flying carvers”!

They’re everywhere, and if you let them pile or crowd you, you end up eating way to fast being full after a course or two ;)

Likeradar's avatar

@kevbo Oooooh, Mon Ami Gabi. That place is phenomenal. Reasonable prices (especially for Vegas), awesome food, service, atmosphere… definitley go there if you want to splurge just a little.

dalepetrie's avatar

@TaoSan – you never know, our main focus isn’t really going to be casinos, I may check it out. As for the concept of the Brazillian steakhouse, I’ve been to one, we have one in Minneapolis called Fogo de Chao, and it is spectacular, no doubt about that. Though I think it was $43 a person plus beverage, and I believe we ended up dropping $125 on dinner for two. But $25, that’s a deal.

TaoSan's avatar

We also have an “Atomic” museum :) Some stuff from the old test sites out in the desert.

Just be sure to wrap your goodies in tinfoil :)


Whatever the sign says, NEVER eat in any of the old casinos around Fremont Street. Matter of fact, don’t even walk there at night, very bad. They claim to have cleaned it up and there’s cameras now everywhere, but the crack dealers didn’t move far, just around the next corners. Food in those casinos is horrible. Fried dog, basically.

sndfreQ's avatar

I’ve asked the same question when traveling to LV, which I do annually; I came upon a good blog that has ratings and the “inside scoop” on dining and entertainment, it’s called ; the forum there has threads on dining at all price points, and I reference this quite often.

Sooner_Coolkat's avatar

@TaoSan – That place looks awesome. Noticed that they also have them in Denver and Dallas. Not sure which city I will be in but I’m going to eat at one of those. Good recommendation.

YARNLADY's avatar

Whenever we go, we get a room with a microwave and refrigerator, and buy most of our meals at the grocery store two blocks from the strip, and just fix in the room. Some evening at the restaurants, and that’s all.

HungryGuy's avatar

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, baby!

HungryGuy's avatar

@YARNLADY – You never heard that expression before?

YARNLADY's avatar

@HungryGuy Of course I have, and the advertising agency that came up with it made a fortune. That doesn’t change what I said

dalepetrie's avatar

You gotta admit, it sounds better than “Vegas: we won’t tell your wife…we promise.”

HungryGuy's avatar

@YARNLADY – I’ve heard the phrase a few times on TV and in movies, but didn’t know its origins beyond that. But lots of holidays and events were invented by advertising and other companies. Does that mean you think Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc. are also nonsense?

Oh, and I hope you don’t take offense at a friendly tip: You might have explained that in your first comment to me. I assume you didn’t mean it to be, but just saying “nonsense” without elaborating comes across as a little hostile…

YARNLADY's avatar

@HungryGuy Yes, I do think the Days you have mentioned are at the very least, superfluous, if not nonsense. Sorry I was so blunt before, but that saying is just pure nonsense – I thought everyone knew it was nothing more than an advertising slogan. Do you also believe Budweiser is the King of Beers and Life Cereal tastes good because Mikey says so and Maxwell House coffee is good to the last drop?

HungryGuy's avatar

@YARNLADY – LOL. No. I don’t buy into advertising slogans at all. But like I said, I didn’t know it was an advertising slogan. I just thought it was taken from some movie or other and became a popular saying. And, BTW, I drink Guinness (I’m having one now :-)

YARNLADY's avatar

@HungryGuy I love Guinness

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