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Any Suggestions for Unique Casual/Affordable Dining in Las Vegas?

We're coming to Vegas in September, a couple of mom's on a limited budget and even more limited wardrobes LOL Would love some suggestions of casual places to eat that will make us feel like we're on vacation, places we can't eat at home. Prefer not to spend more than $30-40 per person at the high end, and also need some choices for cheaper lunches or late late night dining after the shows/casinos. Would love to have a really good steak dinner that's not too frou frou, maybe some mexican or italian, and a good chinese place with the basics like sesame chicken/mongolian beef with kick ass fried rice, etc. We will have a car so doesn't matter if its on the strip or off as long as its not too far away. We're staying at Cancun Resort south of the strip.

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  1. True Island BBQ
    Fadó Irish Pub: I work there, so I am slightly biased : )

    3 Replies
    1. re: dbug31

      thanks for the ideas! Can you give me an idea of their locations? And tips on what to order would be great too :D

      1. re: dbug31

        Can you tell us a little about both of them? I'm not familiar with either.

        1. re: Dave Feldman

          Sorry for the tardy reply. Work keeps me busy.
          They are both located on Eastern Ave. between Serene & Silverado.
          9470 S. Eastern Ave in fact.

      2. The Pasta Shop
        2495 E Tropicana Ave

        Locals and visitors in the know who can't stand the over-hyped and overpriced celeb chef joints on the Strip.

        1. Just ate at La Focaccia, very nice Italian place, locally owned on Eastern Avenue (not far from Fado's and Island, recommended below, and reasonably close to your hotel...and to Green Valley Ranch for some after dinner gaming/shopping at the District, outdoor shopping area.) terrific pastas, not super cheap, but not super pricy.

          Late late night...if you are down on the strip, consider Joyful House for Chinese on Spring Mountain Road. Open very late and terrific Chinese food.

          Also, for your upscale dinner, consider Todd's in Green Valley (Sunset and Green Valley Parkway). Very good locals place, family owned, and if you can go on Wed., you can BYO your own wine, which should allow it to stay within your budget. To give you an idea, my husband and I ate at the bar there the other day (our choice) and had five dishes (all appies/salads, but we like that) and a drink apiece (mixed for him, wine for me) for about 75 before tip.

          1. Rincon de Buenos Aires for the mixed grills of different meats.

            Rincon De Buenos Aires
            5300 Spring Mountain Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89146

            1. What about Rosemary's on a Wednesday night when ladies eat 50% off:

              Ladies Night at Rosemary's

              Every Wednesday evening, all ladies receive 50% off the food portion of their bill if dining with 8 or fewer total guests.* In our lounge, in addition to a food discount, ladies also receive happy hour pricing on drinks all night long. *See restrictions below.

              • Discount only given to ladies at tables with 8 or fewer (total) guests, regardless of the gender split
              • An 18% gratuity will be added to the pre-discounted amount of ANY CHECK WITH A LADIES NIGHT DISCOUNT
              • No separate checks

              1 Reply
              1. some great ideas provided already !

                if you consider rosemary's - check their website for further discounts and i believe you can still buy a reduced cost gift card at costco ( maybe on-line, too )

                are you a banh mi fan ? you can get $3 sammies at several locations in the valley - within 5 miles ( possibly 3 miles ) to your location.

                i am a fan of bootlegger bistro for basic, hearty italian food - i believe within 1 mile of your place.

                true island is definitely worth a visit - also up the street is new orleans connection and across the street from true island is grimaldi's. or for a more " authentic" pizza , you've got settebelo's ( one can argue about true pizza authenticity - settebelo's meets a napoli standard ) a little farther awayt than grimaldi's but i think a foodie will enjoy it.

                mexican - cheap - mr feldman has mentioned it ina few posts - la mexicana - cheap, cheap, cheap - GOOD, GOOD, GOOD ! for a more traditional sit down, you got one of the michoagan's across the street from la mexicana.

                chinese - options galore on spring mountain - sad to say ( and trust me, i've been to at least 20 chinese places in the valley ) i don't knw of a "kick ass fried rice" not even sure what that means !

                in-n-out burger especially if you are familiar with it for a cheap lunch or late nite snack. same goes for fat burger. other late nite stops - firefly(tapas ) , ichiza(japanese) and harbor palace or ping pang pong ( chinese) and of course the ultimate late night coffee shop - peppermill.

                5 Replies
                1. re: kjs

                  For an inexpensive lunch I recommend Opus Too. Located in the Art Institute of America, off Green Valley Parkway. The culinary school operates a student run dining room that offers 3-course lunches for $9.95 Tuesday – Thursdays from 11:30AM-1PM – reservations suggested. The menu changes weekly, but you have a choice of 3 appetizers/salads, 3 entrees and 2 desserts. Reservations highly recommended - 702.992.8500 or OpusToo@aii.edu.

                  I concur with the Todd's recommendation. On Wednesdays there is no corkage fee, but you will need advance reservations.

                  RE Tapas Lounge is fantastic and located not far from the Strip on Silverado Ranch. Save money by purchasing a $25 restaurant.com certificate. Currently on sale for $3 by using code CRAVE at checkout.

                  I have not tried La Foccacia, previously recommended, but restaurant.com certificates are available for it as well. Ditto Gaetano's on Eastern Avenue not far from the previously mentioned Grimaldi's. Gaetano's will wow you with excellent northern Italian food and warm service.

                  1. re: kjs

                    I was so impressed with La Mexicana. i think I'll start a thread about it.

                    1. re: Dave Feldman

                      Anything worthwile in the area near Rio and The Palms-we will be at Gold Coast in Sept for 3 nights-thanks. Anyone been to Thai Spice or Pasta Mia-I think that was the name-near the Palms.

                      1. re: SAnativegirl

                        both are ok - nothing special - i prefer the chinese food at ping pang pong. i plan on revisiting rub bbq at the rio this week - i tried it the first or 2nd week it opened and i weas not impressed. since i had a great meal at salt lick bbq at red rocks last week ( after my 1st 2 visits there weren't all that great ) i figured maybe rub has got it going in the right direction.

                        drive a little farther west on flamingo ( less than a mile ) - you've got capriotti's for some decent deli sammies, across the street ( nw corner ) of decatur/flamingo - you've got metro pizza ( decent ) makino ( sushi ayce - above avg for that type of place ) big fat greek - i like the gyro's, sammy's hot dogs - the have sabrett's hot dogs ( ok ) custard shakes - yummy , and la style pastrami ( i have not tried )

                        there is also a french bistro in the same strip mall as capriotti's - i gotta try that - i've been told its decent.

                        if you continue west on flamingo. you got nora's , mimmo ferraro's, both very good italian - ferraro's a little more upscale.

                        now if you go north from gold coast - 1 mile or so - you'll hit spring mtn and puts you in the heart of chinatown.

                        happy eating !

                        1. re: SAnativegirl

                          I'd follow kjs's last piece of advice and head toward Spring Mountain. Not too many better lunches than Hue's Thai Sandwiches (a bahn mi and a cold drink of some kind) at 5515 Spring Mountain, or some noodles at Champion at the same mall. Stop at Ronald's doughnuts along the way for a snack. And of course, there are many more serious Chinese options.

                          I stayed at Gold Coast last week. One day, I went to the so-so buffet just to have a salad, but I noticed they will do either a Mongolian BBQ or stir-fry of your choice. The vegetables there actually looked more appealing than the salad bar, plus you can put in chili sauce and/or peppers to spice things up.

                          The owners of Ping Pang Pong just opened Noodle Exchange at the Gold Coast -- it's open from 3:00 p.m. to midnight daily. I didn't get a chance to try it.

                    2. You can share and have a great lunch at Wolfgang Puck's Chinois in the Caesar's Forum Shoppes area. Probably some other restaurants are much more affordable at lunch time, too, so consider that instead of higher-end evening dining.
                      For the good steak, the $10 tbone special at the Gold Coast Monterey Coffee Shop is pretty darn good, or a bit higher end, go downtown to see the light show and eat at The Pasta Pirate in the California hotel (be sure to ask about any off-the-menu steak specials).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jillso

                        Here is a link to a couple of printable coupons for Mimi Ferraro's that valid through 9/30:


                        The T-bone special at the Gold Coast is no longer offered.

                      2. Two favorites:

                        Hot & Juicy Crawfish near Chinatown.

                        Cafe Bleu at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.

                        Hot & Juicy Crawfish
                        4810 Spring Mountain Rd Ste C, Las Vegas, NV 89102

                        Le Cordon Bleu College
                        1451 Center Crossing Rd, Las Vegas, NV