A tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself in Las Vegas. While some experiences are more pricey than others, there are plenty of ways you can save money while eating and drinking. Planning ahead, knowing where to go and being open to good cheap eats can help stretch your Las Vegas budget more than you might think!
Here’s some insight on creating your food and drink budget and tips on how to stick to it when visiting Sin City.
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How much should I budget for drinks in Vegas?
Your Vegas drink budget will really depend on your personal finances and how much you’re willing to spend during your trip. Something to keep in mind is that drinks can be expensive if you’re going to some of the overpriced bars on the Las Vegas Strip. Also, many places automatically add hidden service charges to every order, which can bump prices up by a few dollars.
On average, a cocktail can run anywhere from $15 to $25 or more. If you prefer wine or beer, a glass of wine will cost you about $12 to $22, while beer is typically around $10. Of course, prices will vary based on what you order and where you happen to be. However, these average drink prices can give you an idea of how much you could spend each day.
What’s a reasonable food budget in Las Vegas?
Again, what you consider reasonable could be different than the next person. If you’re on a very tight budget and are okay with grabbing a quick bite here and there, you can probably get away with spending $50 per day on food. If you plan on eating at some moderately-priced Las Vegas restaurants during your trip, plan on at least $100 per day. High-end restaurants and fine dining will cost you more, which could mean closer to $200 per day on food.
Tips on how to eat and drink in Las Vegas on the cheap
Now, on to the good stuff. If those average prices of drinks and food options have you worried, we’ve got you! Follow these tips for a surprisingly budget-friendly vacation that will change the way you experience Las Vegas.
1. Find the best happy hours
Happy hours in Las Vegas are simply the best. This window of time is when you can get deep discounts on both food and drinks at many Las Vegas restaurants and bars. If you happen to be in the downtown area, here are a few places with happy hours that will leave you feeling satisfied and with a few more bucks in your pocket:
- Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar at Golden Nugget
- Red Sushi at Golden Nugget
- Bin 702 at Container Park
- Hops Nuts Brewing
- 8 East at Circa Resort & Casino
- Chart House at Golden Nugget
2. Take advantage of special offers
You may not notice deals if you’re not looking for them, but there are so many specials and discounts offered at Las Vegas bars and restaurants to get patrons into the establishment. Your best bet is to check the social media accounts of the restaurants or bars you want to go to and see if they have any special offers you can use while in Vegas. You may even find great deals for places you didn’t initially consider because you thought it would be out of your price range.
For example, some places offer free drinks, breakfast, lunch or dinner if it’s your birthday or other special occasion. Others may give discounts to groups or deals for people who post pictures or check into their location online. If you have some time, do a little digging to find these special offers and take advantage of them during your trip.
3. Dine in downtown Las Vegas
Where can I find ‘good cheap food near me?’ The answer is downtown Las Vegas. Dining in downtown Las Vegas is another way to stretch your budget more than you thought you could. One of the best things about downtown is the vintage Vegas charm and service you don’t get on the Strip or other parts of Southern Nevada.
Downtown Las Vegas maintains that “old school” vibe that is, in some cases, reflected in the cost of items on the menu. You get quality food and classic cocktails without all the extra fees and inflated prices that many resorts charge.
Looking for a fine dining experience in Las Vegas that won’t break the bank? Here are some restaurants to consider:
- Hugo’s Cellar at Four Queens Hotel and Casino
- Redwood Steakhouse at The California
- Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse at Golden Nugget
- Top of Binion’s Steakhouse at Binion’s Gambling Hall
- Andiamo Steakhouse at The D
4. Get free drinks while gaming in downtown Las Vegas
Getting free drinks in Las Vegas isn’t exactly as easy as it used to be, but there are still several casinos that offer complimentary drinks while you’re gambling. If you’re playing table games or slots in the casino, most downtown Las Vegas casinos have cocktail servers who come around to take your order at no charge!
While that might sound too good to be true, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you must be actively gaming. You can’t simply sit at a slot machine and expect free drinks. This means you will need to put a little money into it to get those complimentary drinks, so be smart about what you choose to play.
Second, don’t forget to tip your server! A few bucks can go a long way for your server and keep them coming back around to check on you. Still, you’re not spending nearly as much as you would if you were paying for every drink.
5. Don’t be dismissive of food courts or trucks
It’s easy to be dismissive of food courts, stalls or trucks and assume the food they serve is somehow subpar. If this is your mindset, you’re definitely missing out on some excellent cheap eats! If you can find the right food court or truck, it offers so much more than fast food. In some cases, you get authentic, chef-inspired food that is also affordable.
Downtown Container Park is full of great restaurants and cheap food Las Vegas-style that won’t derail your budget. Also, there are plenty of gourmet food trucks near Fremont East District or the Las Vegas Arts District that are sure to impress.
6. Bring snacks with you
It might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t think to bring snacks with them while they travel. If you’re on a budget, one of the easiest ways to save your spending money is to bring snacks and carry them with you as you explore the city.
When you’re hungry, it’s almost impossible to pass up an overpriced plate of nachos or mozzarella sticks while you’re drinking at the bar. If you snack throughout the day, you’re less likely to indulge in tempting food you really don’t need.
7. Don’t waste money on overpriced entertainment
When you spend money on Las Vegas entertainment, it takes away from your eating and drinking budget. Cutting the cost of expensive shows and concerts can give you more money to put into food and drinks. Luckily, finding cheap or free things to do in Las Vegas is right up our alley.
Fremont Street Experience hosts the best concerts Las Vegas has to offer with our Downtown Rocks free concert series. Enjoy performances by major headliners and big musical artists at no cost under the iconic Viva Vision screen. Check out these other free things to do to help stretch your budget a little further.
Check out Fremont Street Experience events for free entertainment in downtown Las Vegas!
8. Skip resort fees at some hotels in downtown Las Vegas
Just when you think you’ve got your spending in check, those pesky resort fees pop up and blow your budget. Some resorts charge as much as $50 per day in resort fees that give you access to the hotel’s amenities. If you don’t plan to use the fitness center, spa or other amenities during your stay, those extra expenses can be particularly frustrating.
Good news! Many hotels in Las Vegas (downtown) have low to no resort fees! That means you can take that $50 per day you’re saving and put that into your dining budget.
Head to downtown Las Vegas for the best food and drinks on a budget!
Is there ‘cheap food near me’ in Las Vegas? Yes! If you’re on a budget, you can definitely find affordable food and drinks in downtown Las Vegas that won’t disappoint. Head to Fremont Street Experience for the best places to eat in Las Vegas on a budget.