A trip to Las Vegas means many different things to different people. For Broadway lovers, you can see a different show every night. For the outdoorsy types, we were thrilled to find Death Valley National Park only a 2-hour drive from Las Vegas — and well worth the trip! And of course, almost anywhere you go in Las Vegas is a gambler’s delight.
No matter how you choose to spend your time in Las Vegas, you’re bound to work up an appetite. The good news is that the restaurant choices are almost endless here. The bad news is the huge variety makes it hard to choose. We stayed downtown on our recent Vegas trip and were on a mission to eat well on a budget. Here are the best cheap eats in Las Vegas, in no particular order.
1. Garden Buffet
I confess to loving good buffets. Back in the “before” days, buffets in Las Vegas were a common thing, but these days, not so much. While the fancy strip buffets are more plentiful, the price tag was more than we wanted to spend. On the recommendation of our hotel staff, we made the quick drive to the Garden Buffet at Southpoint Casino, located just minutes south of the Strip. According to the front desk rep, this is where the locals go.
This large buffet offers a wide variety of foods — including Italian, Chinese, barbecue, and Mexican — a large salad bar, and a dessert station with lots of sweet options. The highlight of the buffet is the carving station, where you can get freshly-carved meats. We went on a Sunday when the featured dish at the carving station was prime rib. We liked the variety of choices at the buffet and felt it was a good deal for less than $35. Was it as good as the pricier buffets at Wynn and Caesar’s? Probably not, but it was almost half the price!
What To Order At Garden Buffet At Southpoint Casino
We liked the prime rib at the carving station.
Pro Tip: Southpoint Casino is massive and the buffet is busy. Go during off-peak times for fewer crowds.
2. Binion’s Cafe
Looking for a Vegas throwback where you can grab a quick meal 24/7 right off the gaming floor? Binion’s Cafe has you covered. This little diner — towards the back of Binion’s Casino on Fremont Street across from slot machines — offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You won’t find luxurious decor or fancy presentations, but you will get classic dinner fare at a great price.
What To Order At Binion’s
The Binion’s famous burger is delish and so is the classic Caesar salad with blackened chicken. If you want a steak, you can’t beat the ribeye steak and frites for less than $22.
3. American Coney Island
The D Casino
Who doesn’t love a Coney dog? The dogs at American Coney Island at The D Casino are grilled up fresh as you watch. I ordered the Coney with chili, mustard, and onions at this tiny, super casual spot on the ground floor of The D. Open 24 hours, here you can grab a satisfying dog or burger at any time. This place is as casual as you can get, but for less than $5, it’s a deal!
What To Order At American Coney Island
Induldge in the Detroit original Coney Island Dog with a side of cheese fries.
4. Proper Eats Food Hall
This upscale food court is not like the one at the mall where you noshed with your friends during high school. Proper Eats Food Hall is made up of top-of-the-line, highly sought-after restaurants that you won’t find anywhere else. Here, you can dine at the first Wexler’s Deli outside of Los Angeles, London’s famous Seoul Bird, New York’s Egghead, and more. You’ll find sushi, specialty donuts, ramen, gourmet burgers, and almost anything else you can dream of.
What To Order At Proper Eats Food Hall
Try a made-to-order roll from the temaki bar with a side of temaki spicy dipping sauce.
5. Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar
Golden Nugget Casino
Happy hour is a beautiful thing. The Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar within the Golden Nugget Casino delivers a variety of cheap eats and drinks at happy hour and beyond. Located across from the pool in the casino, this place was rockin’ during a Monday night happy hour. Luckily, there was no wait and we were quickly seated in the modern bar space. We devoured our appetizers along with our cocktails. Serving a Mexican-centric menu, the Cadillac offers a multitude of traditional favorites including tamales and nachos. Starting this month, they’ll also unveil a weekend breakfast menu with breakfast fajitas, huevos rancheros, as well as American favorites.
What To Order At Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar
The queso blanco and housemade guacamole with pickled jalapenos from the appetizer list are super popular. Try the Pink Cadillac Margarita for a different spin on a classic.
6. In-N-Out Burger
Anytime I’m anywhere close to In-N-Out Burger territory, I make room on the itinerary for a stop! In-N-Out is quality, fresh fast-food that’s a cut above any other fast food. I don’t even eat fast food, but I make an exception for In-N-Out Burger. It’s scrumptious!
What To Order At In-N-Out Burger
It’s hard to beat the double-double — a mouthwatering two-patty burger with fries.
Pro Tip: Go to the location at the Linq Promenade. You’ll want to check out this upscale outdoor entertainment and shopping complex.
7. Famous Foods Street Eats
Resorts World Casino
The newest casino on the strip, Resorts World, has an impressive food court with not-your-run-of-the-mill fast-food options. Famous Foods Street Eats is an Asian-inspired food court that’s top-of-the-line. You can get made-to-order handrolls at Nori Bar, peking duck burritos at FUHU Shack, and clay pot rice dishes from Singapore-based eatery Geylang Claypot Rice. You can also try favorites like Nashville hot chicken from Marcus Samuelsson’s Streetbird as well as Texas barbecue with a twist from James Beard Award-winning Blood Bros. The variety here is vast.
Pro Tip: For other good food court options, check out the Forum Food Hall at Caesar’s, Block 16 at the Cosmopolitan, Grand Canal Shoppes Food Court at the Venetian, and the Village Street Eateries at New York-New York.
8. Saginaw’s Deli
Circa Resort & Casino
The newest casino downtown, Circa is a cool and hip spot with a ton of amenities and lots of different dining options. One of the best is Saginaw’s Deli, a Jewish-style deli where you’ll find all the traditional deli favorites and then some. The deli is the creation of Michigan legend Paul Saginaw, known for the iconic, award-winning Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Open 24 hours a day, Saginaw’s Deli serves brunch all day, and you’ll find plenty of creative breakfast-type creations. With a menu full of Jewish comfort food like chicken matzo ball soup, and chopped liver pate, plus all the deli specialties you’d expect, choosing just one entrée is going to be tough.
What To Order At Saginaw’s Deli
Try Rosie’s Meatloaf or the Royal Flush Reuben.
9. Bacon Nation
The D Casino
Another tasty and economical dining spot is Bacon Nation at The D Casino. Bacon Nation focuses on good old bacon as the name suggests! Located on the second floor of the Fremont Street Experience hotspot, the restaurant’s 24/7 menu is centered around a love for all things bacon and incorporates 13 gourmet bacon varieties into a plethora of dishes.
What To Order At Bacon Nation
The Reverse BLT is a fun take on the classic sandwich, with bacon on the outside!
Remember that it’s possible to sample tons of different, unique foods Las Vegas offers and stick to your travel budget at the same time.