How to Dine in Vegas for $30 a Day or Less
Las Vegas is well known for their buffets, but we all know that three meals a day in addition to your crazy nights out can get a bit pricey. You definitely don't want to be eating at one buffet a day, stuffing yourself so full, and hoping that it'll last you the rest of the day and night. You'll most likely be feeling extremely uncomfortable because, like many other people, you tried to get your money's worth out of that Vegas buffet. This is pretty much a bummer for everyone involved because you're miserable from stuffing yourself, you're making the day miserable for everyone else with your rude comments, and in a few hours, you're just going to be hungry again. Let's be honest. No one wants a 'hangry' friend on their hands, especially before a night out with all of your best friends. Was that $20 buffet even worth it?
The fact is, you can easily eat in Las Vegas for less than $30 a day. At some meals you can even have a cocktail or two at and still come in under budget. That's the dream; because who doesn't enjoy some solid day drinking? 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 recognize some of these from our list of the best hangover breakfasts, but many of those Vegas eateries didn't quite make this list because you have to pay a little extra to really cure a true Vegas hangover. The following eateries, however, offer Vegas breakfast options that won't make you cringe when you see your bill. 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 (but remember a little extra for a tip because the service is friendly, too.) They have great breakfast specials (which, unfortunately, are not available on the weekends) as well as classic items like that you'd expect to see on every menu. Some favorites of this quaint Omelet House include, the eggs Benedict and the corned beef and hash, which range from about $9-$10 each. Add a $2 slice of banana nut bread if you're feeling "nutty" or a slice of their delicious pumpkin bread to celebrate the coming fall and winter months.
- Grand Cafe at Boulder Station: This delicious 24/7 cafe is constantly offering special deals that will be kind to your wallet. Some of these meals start at just $1.99 and go up from there. At Grand Cafe, they understand your need for a solid meal after crazy nights out that won't put a major dent in your budget. You can always rely on this delicious cafe for a cheap, but quality meal with a menu that includes a wide range of food from hot buttermilk pancakes, salads and sandwiches, chili cheeseburgers, and homemade pastries and pies.
- Peppermill Restaurant: If you want a cheap breakfast without going off the Strip, you might have to pay a little bit more, but it ends up evening out by saving you money in terms of transportation. The portions at Peppermill are huge, so sharing is an option, or just go ahead and eat the whole thing and have it last you for a while. You can also 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!) Breakfast is served 24 hours so if you are one who sleeps until noon and then wants breakfast, or one who wants breakfast at 3AM after a night out, this is the place for you!
- Marilyn's Cafe: Also located close to the Strip and open 24 hours, Marilyn's Cafe has cheap biscuits and gravy for less than price of the Peppermill, 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). There are many favorites and they're literally all good. Also, this is a great place for vegetarians to get a solid substantial meal that doesn't just consist of a salad or french fries. If you want to change up your dining experience there is one location at Planet Hollywood and a newer location at the Palms.
- Tacos El Gordo: This one has two different locations and can be found Downtown or on the Vegas Strip to ease your lunchtime Mexican cravings. 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 good. Go for the carne asada or the Adobada tacos and you won't be disappointed. Who can pass up 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: At this 24 hour brewery, 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. 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: 24 hour, $4 beers, $10 pizzas, $8 wings? Yes, sounds like dinner to us...
- Mr. Lucky's: Also open 24 hours, Mr. Lucky's offers breakfast all day. 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!