It’s increasingly more difficult to find bargain dining in Las Vegas. The $1.99 all you can eat buffet is long gone. Most dining that has been introduced in the past few years either comes with a celebrity chef’s name attached or a hefty brand name. Even fine dining has seen price increases. A gourmet burger will now set you back about $20. Stepping it up a notch the expensive $50 steak from two years ago now costs $60 or $70 for the same quality meat. That said, if you search hard enough there are dining bargains to be found. Here are some of the best and most famous.
Cosmopolitan – $22.13 Lunch Special at Estiatorio Milo’s. This has quickly become the best deal in Las Vegas dining. For reference, dinner at Milo’s will cost about $100 per person. You choose an appetizer, main course and dessert. This is possibly the best discounted fine dining you’ll have anywhere in the country. Besides previewing dining options the menu allows you to make reservations for lunch or dinner.
Hard Rock – $7.77 Surf & Turf is one of the most famous dining deals in Las Vegas and it isn’t even on the menu. Just ask your waitress for details and you’ll get an 8 ounce ribeye, skewer of shrimp, vegetables and potato. The quality of this meal is a little better than you’d expect for a meal at this price. If you don’t have a Backstage Pass players club card this will cost you $9.95. Sign up now for free.
Four Queens – $6.50 Philly Steak Sandwich. This is available at their cafe, Magnolia’s Veranda from noon through 11pm. Magnolia’s also offers a $9.95 Prime Rib dinner. You’ll just need to show your Royal players club card for each deal. Sign up in advance if you’re not a member. Magnolia’s has a host of meals under $15 if you’re looking for other options.
South Point – Coronado Cafe Graveyard Specials. South Point is, technically, still on the Vegas Strip but if you want to grab a ½ pound burger and fries for under $4 in the wee hours of the morning. Pack a cab full of people that need one last greasy meal for under $5 before passing and you’ll end up saving a few bucks and crashing with a full stomach. You can find the Coronado’s Graveyard specials at the bottom of their menu.
Ellis Island – Great Steak Specials. Ellis Island is located just off the Vegas Strip and you’ll find some of the best steak specials in town here. There is a $9.99 Steak special which includes potato, vegetable and beer (or root beer). For $11.49 you can add shrimp to your steak special. Ellis Island also has a brewery where you can get $2 drafts all day. A short walk from the center of the strip can get you one of the best bargain meals (or some of the best bargain beers) in Las Vegas.
Keep your eye on hotel signs and TV promos. I was riding the elevator at The Palazzo one night and saw a commercial for a $50 steak dinner at Morel’s Steakhouse. Dinner included a salad (about $10), filet mignon or NY Strip ($45-$50 alone) and dessert (about $10). It’s one of the best bargains I’ve found myself. This dinner was so good that I always pay attention to hotel ads when I’m killing time in the elevator or in the room.
Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gaming and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Check out his blog at Edge Vegas.