OPINION: This article expresses the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the publication.
Las Vegas

It's Not A Myth: You CAN Eat Cheap On The Vegas Strip!

Home / Experience / It's Not A Myth: You CAN Eat Cheap On The Vegas Strip!

By Melanie VanDerveer on July 27, 2023 at 8:45 AM EDT

It's possible to visit Las Vegas on a budget despite what many seem to think.

I recently took my son to Vegas for a college tour and to show him where I grew up and we managed to have fun and eat at some great places without breaking the bank.

When I lived in Vegas in the late 80s and early 90s, food was dirt cheap on the Strip.  I remember getting $1.99 steak and eggs. And while it's not quite the same now, if you do a little bit of research, you'll find great options that won't cost you tons of money. We did the work, so you don't have to! And we rated each place Keith Lee style on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being bad, 10 being great) in the areas of customer service, taste, and cost.

Article continues below advertisement

The Linq Promenade Is The Place To Be!

The Linq Promenade in Las Vegas
Contributed Photo - Melanie VanDerveer

We arrived in Vegas way later than we were supposed to thanks to some issues with United Airlines. Instead of landing around 8 p.m., we didn't land until after 1 a.m. Tired, hungry and just ready to get some rest, we opted for something quick in the hotel we were staying at - The Flamingo.

There were only two options open at that hour, a pizza place and Johnny Rockets. Not in the mood for a full heavy meal, we decided a quick slice of pizza will do the trick. Two slices of pizza and two bottles of water came out to a whopping $32! This was a mistake we wouldn't make again, but under the circumstances it was sort of expected. From that point on, we were going to make better choices so we don't spend hundreds on a meal.

Article continues below advertisement
Linq Promenade
Contributed Photo - Melanie VanDerveer
Article continues below advertisement

When we woke up in the morning ready to go, we decided to just walk around the Linq Promenade which was adjacent to our hotel. With tons of great options, we knew we would find something that hit the spot and wasn't as expensive as those two slices of pizza. Because we had an appointment at the college at 11 a.m., we didn't have too much time to waste so after a quick walk, we decided to have breakfast at Margaritaville.

Article continues below advertisement

Margaritaville On The Strip

Margaritaville in Las Vegas
Contributed Photo - Melanie VanDerveer

It wasn't crowded so we knew we would be able to get in and out quickly and that's exactly what happened. The staff were all super friendly, the menu had plenty of great options, and the prices weren't too high. The decor is great, lots of seating inside and out, and in the perfect location right in the middle of the Strip.

Our total bill came out to about $40, which was a bit higher than your typical breakfast spot, but it's Margaritaville and it's located in the middle of the Strip, so you have to expect a little bit of a higher price.

Customer Service: 10, Taste: 9, Cost: 8

Article continues below advertisement

In-N-Out Burger

In-N-Out Burgers
Contributed Photo - Melanie VanDerveer

After our afternoon at UNLV checking out the college, we headed back to the Strip and decided it was time to finally try out In-N-Out Burger. We don't have them on the east coast so we were pretty excited to give it a shot. It's located at the Linq Promenade so it was super convenient for us, too.

I should probably mention - I don't eat beef. I checked the menu ahead of time and saw they don't have any chicken options, but that didn't deter me. I saw that they have something they called a grilled cheese which is just a burger with no burger. It's a bun with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and whatever sauce they put on it. That sounded perfect to me, and it literally was.

My son got a burger and a chocolate shake, and I got the grilled cheese. And of course, we got fries! So good! And affordable doesn't even cover it. Two sandwiches, one order of fries, a shake and a drink cost only $16! And when I say it was the most satisfying meal ever, I mean it.

The only complaint, and it's really not even a fair one, is that there isn't enough indoor seating for all the people who visit. The outdoor seating was empty but that's because it was 115 degrees out, but in the shade, it wasn't bad at all.

Customer Service: 9, Taste: 10, Cost: 10

Article continues below advertisement

Jaburritos Dole Whip Was Our Evening Treat

Jaburritos in Las Vegas
Contributed Photo - Melanie VanDerveer

I've never been to Disney (don't come for me) so I've never had the pleasure of trying the Dole Whip that everyone always talks about when discussing their Disney vacation. I finally got the opportunity to try it while in Vegas!

At the Linq Promenade, there's a place called Jaburritos, which sells sushi burritos and Dole Whip! We stopped in one evening before heading back to the room so we could finally try what everyone raves about.

They had watermelon and pineapple, or you could get both, so of course we got both. They put a frozen slice of watermelon and pineapple in the cup and wow it was so delicious! Refreshing in the 115 degree air and affordably priced.

Jaburritos Dole Whip
Contributed Photo - Melanie VanDerveer
Article continues below advertisement

We were trying to decide between this and an ice cream sundae at a shop next door and ultimately, this won big time. Since we never tried it before, we asked for a sample and the woman behind the counter was more than happy to let us try it.

Customer Service: 10, Taste: 10, Cost: 10

After coming back from our trip, I learned about a few other affordable spots on the Strip to make note of for next time. Our time was limited, and it was hotter than being in an oven so we didn't get to do as many of the things we wanted to, like visit the Miracle Mile Shops. That's apparently where quite a few affordable dining spots are located.

So, the moral of this story is you CAN enjoy Vegas without spending a fortune. With plenty of great things to do and see for free and lots of great options that don't cost a ton of money, a fun getaway is within reach for everyone.

Article continues below advertisement