How to Dine in Vegas for $30 a Day or Less
Las Vegas may be famous for their buffets, but unless you're only planning on eating just once a day or sneaking away desserts and pizza slices in your girlfriend's purse, you're probably going to be paying a lot to dine in Las Vegas. Plus, odds are you'll be feeling extremely uncomfortable because, like everyone else, you tried to get your money's worth out of a Vegas buffet. This is a bummer for everyone involved because A.) You're miserable B.) You're making the air unbearable for everyone else, and C.) In a few hours, you're just going to be hungry again. If you eat at a Las Vegas buffet and are trying to stick to the $30 a day plan, there goes at least $20 just on one meal, and was it even worth it?
The fact is, you can easily eat in Las Vegas for less than $30 a day. Heck, at some meals you can even have a cocktail or two at and still come in under budget. Just because you're in the land of $30 buffets and $12 drinks doesn't mean that you can't dine like a true Cheapo! Here are some of our favorite places to choose from when we're dining on $30 a day or less...
Breakfast of Champi... Errr... Cheapos
You may remember some of these from our list of the best hangover breakfasts, but many of those Vegas eateries didn't make this list because you have to pay a little extra to reap the benefits of enough starch, fat and grease to really cure a Vegas hangover. The following eateries, however, offer Vegas breakfast options that are easy on your wallet. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Funny, because it's often the cheapest meal of the day, too. Some of our favorite Cheapo breakfasts include...
- Omelet House: In Downtown Vegas, because almost everyone can get a hearty meal here for right around $8 (plus a little tip because the service is friendly, too.) They have great breakfast specials (which of course are not available on the weekends) as well as the items you'd expect to see on every menu, but for a price you're not going to cringe over. People love the eggs Benedict and the corned beef and hash, even though those meals are around $9-$10 each. Add a $2 slice of banana nut bread if you're feeling "nutty"...
- Grand Cafe at Boulder Station: They have the $3.99 "2 Egg Anytime Skillet" which gives you a hearty meal of, eggs, toast, bacon or sausage and hash browns. They also have other specials later in the day, including a 1/2 soup, 1/2 sandwich plate for $5.99 and a $7.99 lunch/dinner special of the week. Not too shabby, Boulder Station. PLUS, they're open 24/7, so of course you can expect a few late night specials here too, should you be in the area in the early hours.
- Peppermill Restaurant: If you want a cheap breakfast without going off the Strip, you can expect to pay a little bit more, but it might save you money in terms of transportation. Plus, the portions at Peppermill are huge, so you might not have to eat for a while, or can use this as your main meal and have a light lunch (like, Miller Lite for lunch, right?) instead. You can get most meals for around $10-$15, but the biscuits and gravy are only $7.95. (Which normally we'd complain about, but here we'll take what we can get!) If you're one of those people who sleeps until noon and then wants breakfast, it's served 24 hours here and could probably hold you over until it's time for an early dinner.
- Marilyn's Cafe: Also located close to the Strip, Marilyn's Cafe has biscuits and gravy for half the price of the Peppermill ($3.99), as well as many other reasonably-priced dishes. Many meals at this little Tuscany Hotel and Casino Treasure come in around $8, but if you're good at mixing and matching, you could probably get a group of side menu items for less.
Lunch (Or as we Cheapos like to refer to it, 'Happy Hour')
We cannot stress enough the importance of a hearty lunch, which usually consists of a few margaritas on special for three hours a day with free chips or a cheap meal to hold us over until we're out of the casino floor and craving something that we probably can't even taste. We've already told you our favorite Vegas happy hour specials this summer - many of which also have food specials - but for every day pricing, check out these cheap Vegas lunches:
- Earl of Sandwich: We cannot stress enough how important these Vegas restaurants are to our wallets and hearts. If you're eating in Vegas for cheap, you're going to really appreciate the delicacies you can get here for around $6(ish), and you don't even have to tip here. We could tell you the favorites, but they're literally all good. If you want to change up your dining experience, you can do that too. They have one location at Planet Hollywood and a brand new location at the Palms.
- Tacos El Gordo: There's one Downtown and another on the Vegas Strip to ease your lunchtime Mexican cravings which, even if that doesn't ease your stomach for the rest of the night, will be well worth it. Unlike a few cheap Mexican places (or even some of the pricey ones) the food here is pretty darn good. Go for the carne asada or the Adobada tacos and you won't be disappointed. Who can say no to a $2 taco that actually tastes like a delicious
Linner, Dinner, Fourth Meal ... Fourinner? Whatever you want to call "Eating Late"...
While many of us haven't differentiated between lunch, dinner and late night specials, there are a few people in Vegas that still like to eat dinner before 10pm, or after 3pm. Most of those people are making fancy dinner reservations at Bellagio restaurants, hustling up to the buffets like suckers who couldn't put a little effort into finding a good
meal deal or our friends who just woke up and are going to the places that might still be serving breakfast. If you're not one of these people, how about:
- Ellis Island Brewery: Actually, you can't go wrong with any meal here, and most of them are well-priced and will easily fit into your budget. Sandwiches, steaks, BBQ and even a little menu of house specialties can all be bought for less than $10. (And many even a few bucks cheaper than that.) This is cheap enough so you will even have enough to have a brew with your dinner, which is convenient when you're at a brewery. Their craft beers are just $2 each, so drink up!
- Chicago Brewing Co: $4 beers, $10 pizzas, $8 wings? Yes, sounds like dinner to us...
- Mr. Lucky's: The Gambler Special at this Hard Rock Hotel and Casino diner for $7.77 can't really be beat for a steak, shrimp, side and a salad. It's available whenever the restaurant is open, which is always. So that's pretty agreeable, too.
- Westside Deli: At Circus Circus, you can find a $2.95 giant hot dog here. (The effort to not make a dirty and inappropriate joke about loving giant dogs in our mouth is almost as hard as resisting these dogs. We digress.)
If late-night snacking if more your thing, check out these late night Vegas restaurants whenever you get the craving for something after a long night out and about the city. Vegas may be famous for their fancy restaurants and buffets, but that doesn't mean that you have to eat at them. Vegas is also famous for their 99 cent shrimp cocktails at the casinos and the chips they serve there, too, but those chips aren't as helpful as quenching your appetite as they are at ensuring you'll surely need a Cheapo place to dine. Let us know where your favorite place to eat on the cheap is, and what you get there when you're sticking to a budget in Vegas is by commenting below, joining us on Facebook or following us on Twitter!