The Best Quick and Cheap Eats on the Vegas Strip

Eat like a tourist without breaking the bank.

via focaccia
Photo courtesy of Via Focaccia

It happens all the time on the Las Vegas Strip. You find a restaurant, grab a seat, and open a menu. Eyebrows are raised, everyone goes quiet, and finally, somebody shrugs and says, "Strip prices." Great dining is a major component of the Las Vegas experience–and you should absolutely splurge on steakhouses, French fine dining, celebrity chefs, and buffets when you're playing tourist on the Strip. But where should you go for good values and affordable options between all those fancy dinners? The following list is your best bet for quality quick bites, unusual discounts, and overachieving values to fill your appetite in the tourist corridor.

Moon Palace
Photo courtesy of Moon Palace

Moon Palace

The Venetian

David Chang's Majordomo puts an Asian spin on upscale modern dining at the Venetian. But look across the hallway and you'll see Moon Palace, the chef's fast casual concept that's all about sliders—or "tastys—served inside a soft, sweet King's Hawaiian roll. Things started simple with a griddled brisket and short rib patty, topped with cheddar cheese and caramelized onion (kinda like an elevated White Castle burger), but Moon Palace soon introduced breakfast options (with eggs, hash browns, and Spam), a vegan version (with Impossible beef) and French Dip-style prime rib. Order one with Hot Chips, which have a crispy and chewy texture, and a Half Dip, two pancakes stuffed with marshmallow fluff and dipped in chocolate.
How to order: Just show up at the counter or call 702-607-3060 to place a takeaway order.

Flights Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Flights Restaurant

Flights Restaurant

Miracle Mile Shops

Flights has an airline theme in which guests receive a boarding pass at check-in and dine underneath a small plane that hangs from the ceiling. The name also refers to how the food is presented: in servings of three, which is good news for those who struggle with making firm decisions. The concept feels routine with tacos or sliders, but is a fun change of pace for meat skewers (peanut chicken, BBQ shrimp, and chimichurri steak), mac n' cheese (bacon, truffle mushroom, and four-cheese), or even salad (Caesar, wedge, and caprese). Fair warning: flights of cocktails like Manhattans and Old Fashioneds are made by the batch. They do the job, but taste like something you might receive in Economy. The fresh-made Maverick, with peach puree and bourbon, is more rewarding. However, those cocktail flights offer generous ounces for the price and are just $10 during the 3–6 pm portion of an extended happy hour that changes throughout the entire day.
How to order: Book a reservation online.

Famous Foods Street Eats
Photo by Meg Blair, courtesy of Famous Foods Street Eats

Famous Foods Street Eats is pricey for a food court, but affordable compared to most Strip restaurants. Either way, it scores points for avoiding everyday chains in favor of regional and international flavors, most of which have an Asian influence. Designed to mimic a Singapore-style hawkers market (in spirit more than design), 16 culinary concepts are on standby to serve quick, casual bites, ranging from the claypot rice of Geylang to the Hong Kong street food of Ah Chun Shandong Dumpling. One of our favorite Vegas chefs, James Trees of Esther's Kitchen, found a way to bring quality meatball sliders to the masses with Mozz Bar and even DJ Steve Aoki gets into the act with Kuru Kuru Pa Yakitori (barbecue chicken). Famous Foods is also home to the delicious Filipino cuisine of Pepitia's Kitchen, where a roasted pig is on display in the window, waiting to become part of your sandwich.
How to order: Make your purchase on a touch-screen kiosk and pick your order up from the respective counter.

Via Focaccia
Photo courtesy of Via Focaccia

Via Focaccia is a new fast-casual restaurant with an artisan touch at the Ellis Island casino a block east of the Strip. Much of the food, including sandwiches made with house-baked focaccia bread, is inspired by the Sicilian heritage of chef Ismaele Romano, an award-winning pizzaiolo who previously worked at kitchens inside the Wynn and Bellagio. The Americano features turkey and bacon smoked on property at The Front Yard. The Cotto & Fontina is like an elevated toasted ham-and-cheese sandwich with bechamel sauce. Add on rosemary and parm potato wedges or the Arancicni Siciliani, a fried pasta ball with slow-simmered ragu sauce. The menu also includes pastries, charcuterie, coffee, in-house canned cocktails, and of course, Ellis Island's own craft beer.
How to order: Order in person. Sandwiches are made fresh to order.

Divine Dosa & Biryani
Photo by Philip Tzeng, courtesy of Divine Dosa

Divine Dosa

Gold Key Shops

Great Indian food can be found throughout Las Vegas, but is noticeably under-represented on the Stip. No worries. The Divine Dosa is happy to fill the void with naan, biryani, kabobs, and other savory dishes. As the name suggests, the restaurant makes a killer dosa. The rice and lentil crepe comes in more than 30 varieties, including a four-foot version for groups to rip apart, dip in curry, and share. Balance out anything on the spicy Inferno menu with a glass of mango lassi, a thick fruit and yogurt drink. The Divine Dosa (owned and operated by the team behind Mint, possibly the best Indian restaurant in Las Vegas), changes identities and turns into D&B After Dark, an after-hours ghost kitchen for dogs and burgers from 10 pm to 4 am.
How to order: The Divine Dosa has a contactless menu for in-house ordering and an online menu for takeaway and delivery orders. If you're looking for food from D&B, just show up drunk and tell 'em what you want.

Topgolf
Photo courtesy of Topgolf

Topgolf

MGM Grand

The Topgolf driving range (semi-officially part of the MGM Grand, but outside the resort) has four levels of climate-controlled bays for smashing golf balls into oblivion with the Strip in the background. Order food for your group or skip the bays altogether and hang out at the bars, where the menu offers plenty of bang for the buck. The Jumbo Pretzel Board is almost a meal by itself with a variety of meats, cheeses, fruits, and nuts stuffed inside a soft and chewy pretzel. The trio of Asian-style short rib tacos and cinnamon-sugar donut holes (with three injectable sauces) are reasonably priced as well.
How to order: Book a driving bay or just show up and order from one of the bars.

Block 16 Urban Food Hall
Photo by Jeff Green, courtesy of Block 16 Urban Food Hall

Block 16 Urban Food Hall

The Cosmopolitan

Named after the original red light district in Las Vegas and inspired by Grand Central's Urbanspace in New York, Block 16 Food Hall squeezes six dining concepts into a 4,500-square-foot space. Regional favorites are reimagined in fast-casual counter formats without being watered down or sacrificing what made them so compelling in the first place. So check out the sandwiches with porchetta cut to order at Portland's Lardo, hand-torched brulee cinnamon rolls at New Orleans' District, and the Nashville hot chicken dunked in melted spices from Hattie B's, where an all-important slice of white bread soaks up the flavors. Vegas-born Tekka serves hand-rolled sushi to order and sake by the can, while New York's Ghost Donkey is a secret speakeasy with gourmet nachos. Meanwhile, the fresh-sliced pork and chicken at Bang Bar makes the U-Wrap, one of the best grab-and-go lunch bites on the Strip.
How to order: Show up, pick a counter, and order.

Ocean One Bar & Grill

Miracle Mile Shops

Ocean One Bar & Grille only has one location outside Florida–and it's on the Las Vegas Strip. The food won't change your life, but the famous lunch deal will save you a few bucks: Every dish is $4.99 from 11:30 am to 5 pm daily. That includes grilled salmon, skirt steak with mashed potatoes, and half-pound sirloin burgers. If that wasn't enough, three-for-one cocktails are $10 all day long. The restaurant occupies a busy, but charming corner of the Miracle Mile Shops with coastal decor and indoor string lights.
How to order: No reservations. Seating is first-come, first-served.

Tacos El Gordo

Gold Key Shops

There's a reason why Tacos El Gordo seems to always have a line out the door. The Tijuana taco joint has some of the best Mexican street food in Las Vegas, with ingredients ranging from beef tongue to spiced pork sliced to order. Every taco is served on a house-made corn tortilla. Your choice of meat can also be used to stuff a quesadilla or top a cheesy bed of french fries.
How to order: There are designated lines to match your choice of meats, a system that either speeds up or slows down the visit, depending on your order. Pay for everything at a separate counter at the end.

Truth & Tonic

The Venetian

Skip the meat and save a few bucks. Truth & Tonic is the only 100% plant-based restaurant on the Strip, serving breakfast and lunch at the Canyon Ranch Spa inside the Venetian. Executive chef Pete Ghione put the menu together based on his own lifestyle choices, with dishes ranging from peanut butter banana bread and JUST Egg (not really an egg) frittatas to sesame tofu spinach salads, fresh fruit with coconut yogurt, or an avocado wrap with a vegan chicken substitute. Some of the recipes are available in grab-and-go variations from CR Creat (prouncued "create") in the Grand Canal Shoppes, along with single-origin coffee and a signature Wild Tonic kombucha blend.
How to order: Make a reservation online.

Available for Reservations
The Mouse House
Photo courtesy of The Mouse House

The Mouse House

Resorts World

Dawg House Saloon, a concept that originated on Nashville's Music Row, brings an easy party vibe to Resorts World with live music, lots of booze, and the property's official sports book, which includes giant screens for watching the latest game. It also has the Mouse House, an under-the-radar in-house food truck window that specializes in gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. Choose from the Schoolkid (American, cheddar, provolone), Wake & Bake (American with fried egg and bacon), or Monocle (Fontina, Havarti, and Muenster). Just make sure to order the tomato basil soup for dipping and a corn dog muffin… just because. Mouse House also has five loaded hot dog recipes.
How to order: Just show up and order.

BBQ Mexicana
Photo courtesy of BBQ Mexicana

BBQ Mexicana

Mandalay Bay

This small sister concept to Border Grill reinvents the Mexican-inspired cuisine of Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger in grab-and-go form with American barbecue touches. Heading to a concert at the Michelob Ultra Arena? Late for a trade show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center? This place has you covered. The menu focuses on just a few things, but does them well—most notably the Burnt Ends Burrito, stuffed with slow-smoked brisket, manchego cheese, and savory mole.
How to order: Order in advance online or get in line and wait with everybody else. A second BBQ Mexicana serves Raiders fans at Allegiant Stadium.

Sun’s Out Buns Out
Photo courtesy of Sun's Out, Buns Out

Suns Out, Buns Out follows one rule: every dish has at least one egg, making it the best all-day breakfast option at Resorts World. Most items are within the $9 to $16 price range. Sit on a chair shaped like a cracked egg and try a simple scramble with cheese and onions, poutine, loaded cheeseburgers, or a short rib and egg sandwich with buns from Delices Gourmand, one of our favorite bakeries in Las Vegas.
How to order: First-come, first-served.

Miracle Mile Shops
Ok. La Salsa Cantina won't compete with the best Mexican restaurants in Las Vegas, but if you're hungover and need a greasy breakfast, the restaurant has a $4.79 deal that includes two eggs and a choice of bacon, ham, or sausage with potatoes and toast or tortillas. Add on a six-ounce Bloody Mary for an extra 99 cents. The deal is good until noon. Other breakfast cocktails (Baileys and coffee, mimosas, margaritas, etc.) are $4.95.
How to order: No reservations, just show up.

Rob Kachelriess has been writing about Las Vegas in Thrillist for more than eight years. His work has also appeared in Travel + Leisure, Trivago Magazine, Sophisticated Living, Modern Luxury, Leafly, Las Vegas Magazine, and other publications. He's willing to spend more than 99 cents on a Bloody Mary. Follow him on Twitter @rkachelriess.