Eating on the cheap in Las Vegas can be done, but it takes some planning and determination. When I first started coming here, everything was affordable, and you could concentrate spending all your money in slot machines and on shows. But, over the years, the price tag on food has gone up tremendously and Las Vegas has become one of the most desirable cities in the world for dining experiences. On my most recent trip, I scored 8 meals under $20 that I would order again and again.
If you want to save money, I’m here to help.
1. Siegel’s Bagelmania
Okay, so I must admit that I didn’t just eat at Siegel’s Bagelmania once, or twice, but three mornings in a row. This restaurant, the biggest Jewish delicatessen on the west coast, offered bagels every bit as good as New York City, and the menu selections were fantastic. One morning I had The Godfather (pepperoni, provolone, parmesan, and marinara), which is available as a 3-egg burrito, scramble, or omelet. The dish comes with a bagel and schmear of your choice and side item. I chose potato pancakes, with sides of cherry applesauce and sour cream. I’m giving this breakfast a 10/10.
Another visit, I had turkey sausage patties and an Asiago bagel with veggie lite cream cheese. On the third, I chose the Vegas Sun as a scramble with ham, red and orange peppers, onions, and veggie cream cheese. Mmm, mmm, good.
Bagelmania has a restaurant and deli. You can order pastries, coffee, and bagels to go at the bakery-counter service area.
All of my meals were under $20 and the service was exceptional. I should also mention that this is a Coca-Cola account, unlike most of the Pepsi ones on the strip, so I didn’t mind splurging for a soda. One meal was $19.94, another $12.95, and the last, $18.34.
2. Gonzalez Y Gonzalez
This Mexican eatery is on Village Street at the New York, New York Hotel and Casino. It was my first time in the hotel, and I loved the choices for quick serve meals and easy to get seated at full-service restaurants. Gonzalez Y Gonzalez was the one a friend and I picked. There are dozens of Southwestern meals to choose from, and a great drink menu with an arsenal of margaritas.
I picked the Chicken Enchiladas, rolled corn tortillas, with guajillo chile sauce, melted Chihuahua cheese, and sour cream. My meal came with Mexican rice and black beans. The fire-roasted tomato salsa was a nice addition and condiment for the rice and enchiladas. This tasty number set me back $18.39.
3. Diablo’s Cantina
Arriving late one evening at the Mirage Hotel, Diablo’s Cantina was about the tenth restaurant I looked at before I could find one with sensible prices. I sat at the bar so I didn’t have to wait for a table and ordered a bowl of Chicken Pozole and a tea. If you aren’t familiar with pozole, it is a hearty stew with chicken and white hominy, plus spices and Guajillo chili peppers. This was the first pozole I’d had with shredded cabbage as a garnish, which added a nice crunch and layer of flavor to the traditional soup.
Diablo’s Cantina is located at the Mirage’s South Entrance Walkway. It is incredibly festive, fun, and a place to go with a big ground of friends. I sat at the bar since I was traveling alone and the bartender was a good conversationalist and kept me company.
The bill at Diablo’s was $16.80…another meal in Las Vegas under $20. Score!
4. Trevi Italian Restaurant
Lunch at Trevi was a perfect decision, as I ate a late lunch, early dinner, and splurged a little on a $26 entree. My reasoning was that it combined both lunch and dinner, so I still did okay price wise, and the meal was freaking delicious and super filling.
My Fettuccine Pollo Carbonara was big enough to split into two meals, but seeing that I didn’t have a microwave at my hotel, I stuffed myself in a good way with every luscious bite of this magical dish. It was plum full of sliced chicken, peas, mushrooms, onion, and tossed in a somewhat light parmesan cream sauce. The best part of the dish were the bits of prosciutto ham that took the dish to the next level. Total bill $28.18.
You’ll find Trevi beside the Romanesque fountain at the Forum Shops at Caesar’s. The indoor patio is perfect for people-watching.
5. Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill
I got really lucky one evening as I scored a seat at the bar at Gordon Ramsay’s authentic English Pub in my Caesar’s Palace hotel. I had been eyeing the Short Rib Kettle Chip Nachos on the room service menu for days, but the delivery fee was out of this world. This way, all I had to pay for was my food, which totaled up to $18.43.
My huge plate of freshly fried chips were covered with an English cheddar sauce, pickled peppers (genius!), and sour cream. There was a Luke Bryan concert across the hall so the majority of the crowd was attending the concert and mostly drinking. They were all salivating over my plate of nachos from the time the server sat it down in front of me. I couldn’t eat it all, but gave it a great attempt. They were fantastic!
6. Shake Shack
I had never tried breakfast at Shake Shack, but good to know it is equally as wonderful as every other item they serve. I had the Double Sausage Egg Cheese with an iced tea and side of fries with cheese sauce. Holy Toledo, this is what every person needs when flying across the country back home after walking 44 miles in Vegas. I loved every bite, had somewhere clean to sit at the airport, and my food was piping hot.
$17.29 for all of this yumminess.
7. Bonanno’s New York Pizzeria
After getting dropped off at the Flamingo Hotel after my monorail ride, I had to walk through the entire hotel to cross the highway to Caesar’s, my home away from home. I came upon a food court at the Flamingo without long lines and really enticing smells. They were coming from Bonanno’s Pizzeria, where the majority of the customers were.
I’m not a big pizza fan, but it turns out they had four options of Stromboli’s, so I chose a vegetarian version with mushrooms and broccoli. The Stromboli was heated for a few minutes, then served piping hot along with my large fountain drink. I spent $18.34 on this honkin’ big meal.
8. Suns Out Buns Out
The newly opened Resorts World Casino has several affordable dining options, and Suns Out Buns Out was my pick for breakfast options. I ordered the Soft Scramble and a Diet Coke (bottle). Check out the trendy look of this bright and cheery eatery, plus the soft scramble was so tasty—the green onions really came through and the buns were melt in your mouth.
The total bill was $17.17, coming in right under the $20 benchmark.
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