Eating affordably in Vegas requires planning and determination. Initially, expenses were manageable, allowing focus on slot machines and shows. However, food prices have significantly increased over the years, making Las Vegas a premier dining destination. I found a dozen cheap meals in Las Vegas (I consider that to be under $20) that I would reorder and recommend.
I moved close to Las Vegas 18 months ago, and I love our weekly visit to learn our way around and try new restaurants and neighborhoods. We are learning what’s good and what’s not, where to splurge and where to save, and the ins and outs of the Vegas hotel scene.
FYI: #11 will knock your socks off!
If you are trying saving a few bucks on your travels, I’m here to help.
Table of Contents
1. Siegel’s Bagelmania
I frequented Siegel’s Bagelmania for three consecutive mornings. This notable restaurant, the most extensive Jewish deli on the West Coast, boasts outstanding bagels comparable to New York City’s. The menu selections in Las Vegas were exceptional.
One morning, I savored “The Godfather” – a 3-egg burrito, scramble (or omelet) with pepperoni, provolone, parmesan, and marinara. It was served with a bagel, schmear of choice, and a side item – potato pancakes accompanied by cherry applesauce and sour cream.
This breakfast deserves a perfect ten score.
I opted for turkey sausage patties and an Asiago bagel with veggie lite cream cheese on another visit. I indulged in the “Vegas Sun” scramble with ham, red and orange peppers, onions, and veggie cream cheese. Siegel’s Bagelmania is a restaurant and deli offering pastries, coffee, and to-go bagels at the bakery counter.
Sharing the space is Pinkbox Donuts, known for their delightful sweet treats.
My meals were under $20, and the service was exceptional. Bagelmania is a Coca-Cola account, unlike most 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
Located on Village Street at the New York, New York Hotel and Casino, this Mexican eatery offers a delightful array of Southwestern dishes. With an extensive drink menu featuring a variety of margaritas, Gonzalez Y Gonzalez is an excellent choice for dining.
Their Chicken Enchiladas, made with rolled corn tortillas topped with guajillo chile sauce, melted Chihuahua cheese, and sour cream, are a delectable option. This tasty meal, priced at $18.39, was served with Mexican rice, black beans, and a flavorful fire-roasted tomato salsa.
Mesquite, NV, is only an hour away, and has old-school casino gambling and delicious dining, as well. Here are our favorite restaurants there.
3. Suns Out Buns Out
Resorts World Casino offers affordable dining options, and for breakfast, I chose Suns Out Buns Out. I had the delightful Soft Scramble with a Diet Coke (bottle). The eatery has a trendy and vibrant ambiance, and the soft scramble was flavorful—the green onions added a delightful touch, and the buns were irresistibly soft.
The bill came to $17.17, just under $20. I would gladly dine here whenever possible.
4. Diablo’s Cantina
Late at the Mirage Hotel, I finally stumbled upon Diablo’s Cantina after scouring multiple eateries with steep prices. Opting for the bar, I swiftly ordered a bowl of Chicken Pozole alongside a refreshing tea. This Pozole variant featured shredded cabbage, providing a delightful crunch and an extra layer of flavor to the traditional soup.
Situated at the Mirage’s South Entrance Walkway, Diablo’s Cantina emanates an infectious festive ambiance, making it an ideal destination for large groups. Despite being alone, the bartender’s engaging conversation kept me company. The bill at Diablo’s amounted to a modest $16.80, yet another satisfying meal in Las Vegas under $20.
5. Nacho Daddy
Nacho Daddy in Las Vegas boasts three convenient locations (Summerlin, The Strip, and Downtown), offering an extensive bar menu of fabulous appetizers and entrees. Their world-famous gourmet nachos feature clever combos and a plethora of ingredients, ensuring a perfectly messy, tasty, and enjoyable experience. Their motto, “no one gets a dry chip”, is gold.
The Enchilada Nachos, priced at $19.95 before tax, is a personal favorite, topped with chicken breast, cheeses, refried beans, japs, sour cream, and avocado lime salsa on housemade corn chips. The Carnitas Nachos, with succulent pork, roasted tomatillo sauce, and refried beans, are also highly recommended.
Pair your nachos with a margarita, or dare to try their original scorpion shot for an extra indulgence.
6. Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill
One lucky evening, I found a seat at the bar of Gordon Ramsay’s authentic English Pub in Caesar’s Palace. Eyeing the Short Rib Kettle Chip Nachos on the room service menu for days, the excessive delivery fee deterred me. But now, I only paid $18.43 for the exquisite nachos.
The plate featured freshly fried chips smothered in English cheddar sauce, pickled peppers, and sour cream. The neighboring crowd, mostly attending the Luke Bryan concert, couldn’t help but envy my dish. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t finish it all. Nonetheless, the nachos were truly excellent.
7. Shake Shack
I hadn’t tried Shake Shack’s breakfast before, but it’s as delightful as their other offerings. I ordered the Double Sausage Egg Cheese with iced tea and fries with cheese sauce. This is precisely what one needs after a 44-mile walk in Vegas, flying back home.
Every bite was enjoyable, and I found a clean place to sit at the Shake Shack airport restaurant. The food was served piping hot, and this delicious meal only cost $17.29. There is also a second location outside New York – New York Hotel on the Vegas Strip.
8. Bonanno’s New York Pizzeria
Upon being dropped off at the Flamingo Hotel following my monorail ride, I traversed the entirety of the hotel to reach Caesar’s, my temporary abode. En route, I stumbled upon a relatively unoccupied food court at the Flamingo, exuding enticing aromas. These aromas emanated from Bonanno’s Pizzeria, where most patrons congregated.
While my preference does not gravitate toward pizza, it transpired that they offered four variations of Stromboli. Opting for a vegetarian option featuring mushrooms and broccoli, I procured a piping hot Stromboli after a brief heating period, accompanied by a generous serving of fountain beverage.
The entirety of this filling meal came in at $18.34. Other Bonanno’s Pizzeria locations are at the MGM and Venetian Food Courts.
9. Trevi Italian Restaurant
Lunch at Trevi was an excellent choice. I enjoyed a late lunch/early dinner, indulging in a $26 Italian entree. The price was reasonable, considering it combined lunch and dinner, especially since the meal was incredibly delicious and satisfying. The Fettuccine Pollo Carbonara, generously portioned, could have easily served as two meals.
Unfortunately, lacking a microwave in my hotel, I relished every delectable bite, savoring the luscious combination of sliced chicken, peas, mushrooms, onion, and light parmesan cream sauce. The addition of prosciutto ham elevated the dish. The bill totaled $28.18.
Located adjacent to the Romanesque fountain at the Forum Shops at Caesar’s, Trevi boasts an indoor patio, perfect for observing passersby.
10. Lazy Dog
Lazy Dog Bar & Restaurant is a remarkable and popular chain eatery located at the beautiful Town Square shopping complex in Las Vegas. Their menu offers creative and delectable options, such as the Blackened Chicken Burrito Bowl, which I had.
This flavorful dish features rice, chicken breast, corn, cabbage, guac, black beans, hatch chiles, jack + cheddar, salsa, and tapatío crema. Priced at $16.95 before tax, it is a substantial and satisfying portion.
Aside from their fantastic menu choices, what sets Lazy Dog apart is their commitment to sourcing local ingredients and preparing each meal by hand daily. Their dedication extends to homemade sauces, marinades, and dressings.
As the name suggests, Lazy Dog is pet-friendly with outdoor seating and even offers a pet menu featuring a choice of a grilled hamburger or chicken breakfast with brown rice and veggies. The restaurant also offers a delightful brunch from 9 AM to 2 PM on Saturdays and Sundays.
11. Chicago Joe’s
In the Arts District, Chicago Joe’s Italian Restaurant is a fun old-school eatery with classic foods and fair prices. Though closed on Sunday and Monday, Chicago Joe’s can satisfy all your Italian cravings, from appetizers and salads to entrees and desserts.
Lunch entrees are around $10-$12 each, the best bargain you’ll find in town. Add a small salad for only $2.50 more. If you are a garlic freak like me, you’ll love the creamy garlic dressing. Now, here is the magic. Arrive Tuesday Through Saturday before 6:30 and get a smaller portion meal for $15 per entree.
Chicago Joe’s Chicken Angelo, bursting with artichoke hearts and mushrooms in a white wine sauce, is sheer perfection. Hot bread and salad are included. You can thank me later.
12. Saginaw’s Delicatessen
I am crazy about the Circa Hotel. I am so glad they have affordable dining choices like Saginaw’s Delicatessen. This restaurant is open 24/7 and has a spectacular breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu.
I ordered Ann’s Fried Bologna sandwich, priced at $18. I’m not exaggerating when I say this sandwich is 10/10 delicious, and you will clean your plate! The fried-up bologna sandwich also has yellow mustard, mayo, lettuce, and tomato stacked between billowy pieces of Pullman bread. Sandwiches come with homemade chips and a pickle spear.
Also on the menu are honkin’ big salads, heavenly latkes, creative omelets, and how about the grilled cinnamon rolls?
Las Vegas Delights Taste Buds
I enjoy living near Las Vegas, visiting weekly, and learning more about this fantastic city. I’ve barely scratched Sin City’s surface, but I like what I’ve seen and done so far. Do you have suggestions for restaurants I should put on my radar?
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