ISO moderately priced dining options in Las Vegas
"City of Angel" hound here readying for a 3-day weekend trip to the City of Sin with some friends, and we're looking for some moderately priced dining options up there (even though we will be driving around, we'll probably stick pretty close to the Strip & downtown.)
That being said -- our expected price range is $5-15 for breakfast, $10-25 for lunch, $5-10 for any quick bites/snacks, and $25-40 for dinner (these are relative, not absolute, ranges -- anything that's slightly higher and a must-try will be considered as well ;) .)
We also plan on doing at least one buffet along the Strip -- from my previous trips I particularly liked those at Paris, Bellagio & Wynn---any other recs or new ones to try?
FINALLY, looking for a great breakfast buffet on our day of leaving.
Thanks a lot for helping all! (of course, feel more than free to point me to related threads--I ran a search but only found recommendations for really high-end stuff)
I've had that same trouble, finding most of the chatter in LV is about the big French names. But I managed to scope some recommendations for a trip last year, and I was really pleased with my picks. I didn't make it to Commander's Palace -- that would be a great brunch option instead of the buffet, or for lunch they do great specials -- or to Rosemary's, both get high praise here and should probably make your short list.
Breakfast -- got to make one stop at the Peppermill. It is probably one of the most memorable (visually) places you'll ever try. Portions are huge, splitting is smart, the coffee is strong enough to get you up after a late night and my advice is to order the fruit salad or parfait. It is hot pink neon kitsch Vegas at its finest. Not a bad place to stop for a late, late cocktail, either.
Lunch -- Lindo Michoacan or one of the other venues in the Michoacan family. I never thought I'd get insanely good Mexican in Las Vegas, being from the southwest myself, but I intend to return every trip I make. Fresh little buttery tortillas and good seafood and cold beer.
Dinner -- I liked the vibe and pinchos at Firefly, sometimes you don't want a huge plate; ordering four or five to share with friends gives you more tastes of what's good. Try the surf & turf plate, the sardines; but don't miss the manchego mac & cheese. Wine list has lots of those vinho verdes that are so nice for summer, the sangria is strong and marinates all day, and the waiters/barstaff are saucy. Then if you want more commercial, more touristy, but still want the small plates, there's also Cafe BaBaReeba across from the Wynn.
Also for dinner you've probably already encountered pages of Lotus of Siam input -- I felt as a Chowhound I was obligated to go, and while I'll always look askance at any 'best in the nation!' hype, it was quite good. Going with three friends lets you order enough to really give them a chance, I think. I like rieslings and I like Thai and I ate way too much at my one visit.
For snacks, the gelato at the Bellagio was worth a stop, and you'll run across choclatiers in all of the casinos.
Hope this helps get you started -- also hope the locals chime in so I can add to my list for my next trip.
Commander's Palace $18.80 lunch special Monday through Friday with $0.25 martinis (limit 4?) is wonderful. Or their brunch (about $35) on the weekend.
For seafood - r bar cafe at Mandalay Place is Rick Moonen's casual restaurant - dinner only.
You really must try Commander's Palace for the $18.80 Martini Lunch Special. Also recommended is Commander's Palace for breakfast! They have beignets with a great cafe au lait dipping suce served with cafe au laits. Last time it was around $6 and they also have other breakfast choices, but we all loved the beignets.
For a huge brunch splurge try the Bally's Sterling Brunch, on Sunday only at Bally's. It's feast with lobster, sushi, rack of lamb, great desserts, free flowing champagne. Around $50pp but it's one of those "have to do it at least once" places. We did it twice!
I've been to Peppermill, never had a desire to go back. It was fine, but if you're looking for good-great food, this isn't the place.
Mesa Grill in Caesar's is another of our favorite lunch places. Many of the same items as on the dinner menu, but at lunch prices. We did dinner here once and agreed that lunch is a far better bargain.
Lotus of Siam, off strip, is also good, do a search on here to find out what's good, but avoid the buffet and order off the menu.
Delmonico in the Venetian is another great lunch spot. They have some excellent lunch specials for $25-$30. This may be at the upper end of your lunch budget, but we always ended up have a nice big lunch here and doing something small for dinner. You get to try the excellent food without having to pay the high dinner prices. Expect price for two with lunch special each and an appetizer or two to and a dessert to come in around $100 with tip. If it's available I really recommend the twice baked potato with horseradish sauce and whatever meat comes with it.
There's a Mexican restaurant (don't remember the name) in the Venetian Canal shops that we once had a great dinner at, and once we had an average dinner at. We went here for a small dinner and drinks after a big lunch at Delmonico.
Bouchon in the Venetian? is supposed to be a great breakfast place though I've never been.
Paris breakfast buffet is a great place for breakfast. This is the once place we visit on EVERY trip to Vegas and if you haven't done their breakfast, I'd say this is the place for your departure buffet.
If you like sushi and don't live somewhere where excellent sushi is the norm, Makino in the Premium Outlets, which are close to downtown has a nice lunch buffet.
For dessert/pastries at night or for a snack, the pastry shop in Paris has excellent pastries.
Our favorite trick for trying the expensive places is going to them for lunch, assuming of course they actually have lunch.
Much thanks for the tip everyone --- actually a couple of friends are kinda hell bent on Mesa Grill--I'll see if I can convince them to do lunch instead.
I am arriving fairly early Friday so will definitely have a martini lunch at Commander's -- too bad they don't seem to do the beignet breakfast for Saturday/Sunday (substituted by a 4-course brunch, which I'm sure is good but fairly certain that the group will wanna do a departure breakfast buffet.)
Agreed on Peppermill as "good, not great" -- but it's an easily accessible 24-hour option for those late-night/early-morning grubs.