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Bite in to Pink's Hot Dogs at Planet Hollywood for some worthwhile Vegas heartburn. Credit: VirtualErn.

By Vince Font

Las Vegas vacations are not just about the outrageous hotels, the shopping and the high-energy casinos, but also about eating. It’s true, foodies like me just can’t get enough of the incredible options offered by an impressively large assortment of Las Vegas restaurants. The trick is more in finding a good, affordable restaurant, which can be about as tough as finding a $5 dollar blackjack table after sundown in Sin City. And if you’re looking to try a new restaurant, well, you’ve just raised the stakes even higher.

So what to do in a city with about as many restaurants as there are slot machines? Here’s a list of my favorite, top three new Las Vegas restaurants that’ll feed you well without robbing you blind.

1. Grind Burger Bag & Lounge: The look of this place with its exposed brickwork design is like a trip through time to an era where $9 burgers were unthinkable and Las Vegas vacations were only made by mobsters, but I don’t really stop to notice things like that when the menu says I can build my own burger and get fried egg and grilled asparagus as toppings. If you see a guy pushing his way to the front of the line to be served, that’s probably me. While you’re letting me by, make sure to check out the three different styles of fries and their hilariously unique menu names like “Sweet and Neat is Just the Treat.”

2. Pink’s Hot Dogs at Planet Hollywood: The hot dog joint that Hollywood stars swear by (and stand in line for, back in LA) has finally arrived among the ranks of celebrated and affordable Las Vegas restaurants. Situated appropriately inside Planet Hollywood, Pink’s is one of the few places where this avowed hot dog lover will take guacamole as a topping. And if you’re not a dog enthusiast, don’t let that stop you. You just might become one after sinking your canines into the Vegas Strip Dog.

3. Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo : I’m not even a sports fan, and I love this place. It’s probably the food (famous TV chef Emeril Lagasse oversees it all, and ably so), but there’s also the part of me that appreciates creativity in ambience almost as much as I do a huge plate of beer-battered onion rings. (Emphasis on “almost.”) That said, Lagasse’s is the most unique sports bar/sports book I’ve ever experienced. The outright coolness of being able to eat on indoor stadium seating in front of a bunch of huge TV screens broadcasting a variety of sporting events is enough to convince me that maybe I actually do like sports. And the best part: despite the  Emeril name, most menu items are under $15.

Insider tip: If you’re sold enough to try out these new Vegas eats, there couldn’t be a more perfect time to visit. Book your trip to Las Vegas now and you’ll save on more than your dinner, with up to 40% off  some of the best hotels on the Vegas strip, including Aria Resort & Casino at City Center (rates starting at $129), Caesars Palace (with up to 25% off plus special discounts) and Treasure Island (saveup to 50% off). Hurry — this offer ends on October 31, 2010!

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Vince Font is a freelance writer born in Puerto Rico and currently escaped to Utah. When not dreaming of interstellar travel, he’s on the hunt for weird, wacky, and off-the-beaten-track vacation destinations. Next stop: The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast.

Tagged: Las Vegas

Nina Kokotas Hahn

Nina Kokotas Hahn

Nina Kokotas Hahn is a travel writer and Chicago journalist whose work appears in Chicago magazine, HuffPost Travel and Condé Nast’s HotelChatter. Globetrotting since infancy, she’s the daughter of a travel agent and considers thrill seeking part of the DNA. Find her on Twitter at @ninakhahn.

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