I never get tired of meeting new visitors on the Strip. But one thing I do get tired of is people saying “Ya can’t eat for cheap here anymore, that’s for sure.” Actually, it isn’t. If you happen to be on a budget (who isn’t these days?) or “in between winning streaks,” there are plenty of places in Las Vegas hotels to bite into something that won’t bite you back. Chains and well-known fast food spots appear at almost all of the bigger resorts, but for almost the same price there are also several slightly more interesting options.
Sandwiches and Salads
If I had to make a first choice for quality/value, it would be Earl of Sandwich at Planet Hollywood, which is something like a classier Quizno’s — and a buck or two cheaper than the actual Quizno’s on the Strip! The Earl makes toasted panini, wraps, salads to order, all for under $6 — and even has a good creamy tomato soup. Their “ultimate grilled cheese” and roast beef/turkey “Full Montagu” are both tasty… On a comparable note, MGM Grand has Top Chef Tom Collichio’s ‘wichcraft, also offering multiple gourmet hot and cold sandwich varieties from Sicilian tuna to roast pork (and even breakfast sandwiches all day)… Technically off the Strip (but monorail accessible), the Las Vegas Hilton‘s Superbook Deli is another good deal for solid simple food (hint: cheap eats are almost always near the casino sportsbooks)… at Bellagio’s Jean-Phillipe and Caesars’ Payard patisseries, both make several different savory crepes to order for under $10…
Civilized Food Courts
Speaking of Caesars Palace, their Cypress Street Marketplace
offers hand-carved rotisserie sandwiches, BBQ, salads tossed to order, pizza, burgers, wraps and Chinese food, in a pleasant, chain-brand-free atmosphere… At the Grand Canal food court of the Venetian are some of the best deals in deli sandwiches and burgers on the Strip, as well as Italian, Asian and Mexican options and high-quality chains Nathan’s and Johnny Rockets… And the Monte Carlo’s food court includes a Rubio’s grill, some of the best fast fresh Mexican you’ll find anywhere (along with a Subway, Sbarro’s, McDonald’s and Manchu Wok).
Fremont Street and Off-Strip
Of course, if you go off-Strip, there are deals abounding, including downtown on Fremont Street (grab the Deuce bus from the Strip), on Boulder Highway, and at other locals casinos… If you don’t mind eating late, under-$5.00 “Graveyard” specials (typically offered between midnight and
daybreak) can be found at Eastside Cannery, Wild Wild West, Terrible’s, South Point (where they also have 75 cent hot dogs at the sportsbook!) and others… Mr. Lucky’s at the Hard Rock Hotel has a $9.95 all-u-can-eat prime rib deal after 4 PM…While most bargain buffets should be treated with skepticism (and watch this space for a full buffet review soon), two reliable choices in the cheap department are Palace Station ($6.99 dinner with player’s card) and Gold Coast ($11.94 dinner with player’s card).
For A Few Dollars More
If you’re willing to splurge just a little, but are still
watching your wallet, bar menu and prix fixe deals abound at fine restaurants up and down the Strip — particularly at MGM Grand’s extensive array — as well as notable happy hour specials at SushiSamba (Palazzo), Charlie Palmer (Four Seasons), Fleur De Lys (Mandalay Bay), among others. Cathouse (Luxor) also has a solid $40 dinner tasting menu, and Sensi (Bellagio) has an elegant $26 lunch.
Did I leave anything out? Please, let me know!
E.C. Gladstone is a former editor for AOLVegas and interviews top Strip entertainers, restaurateurs, moguls and behind-the-scenes players for VEGAS Magazine, and several other publications . Like many Las Vegans, he sleeps only when absolutely necessary.