Las Vegas on a budget
Hints and suggestions for getting around before you hit the big one.
Chicago Joes Restaurant- 820 S 4th St, Las Vegas, NV 89101. One of our top 5 favorites. A tiny Italian restaurant in a small house just South of downtown.
Peppermill Restaurant and Fireside Lounge- 2985 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109. One of our favorites. Great place for breakfast anytime, LARGE portions, reasonable prices and great service. Full bar menu from the Fireside Lounge bar in the rear. Cozy booths, conversation pits and even some gaming. http://www.peppermilllasvegas.com
Ocean One Bar and Grille- 3663 Las Vegas Blvd. South Suite 620 , Las Vegas NV 89109- Inside the Planet Hollywood Shopping Mall entrance off Harmon, just across from The Carriage House and Polo Towers. A very handy place for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Reasonable prices, good food and service. Given the prime location in the Miracle Mile Shops, I’m not sure how they do it. If you find the rainstorm in the mall, you are there. www.oceanonelv.com
Bootlegger Las Vegas. 7700 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89123. Another of our top 5 favorites. Great Italian food, live music, some bar gaming at the full bar. About a mile past the airport on Las Vegas Blvd South. Was just there in July 21, had the Orange Roughy and it was awesome. bootleggerlasvegas.com
VooDoo Steakhouse and Lounge, at the Top of the Rio. 3700 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103. Not many better places to get an open rooftop view of the Vegas Strip, have a great Steak, and enjoy fine dining and dancing. Probably our most favorite top 5 dining destination because of the view and food quality. But its pricey. A dining reservation eliminates the cost of the elevator ride to the 50th floor. The Voo Doo located 50 and 51 stories above the Strip offers great food, live music and dancing nightly as well as some of the best views of the strip in Vegas. Cover Charges apply to get into the lounge after 8 P.M., so, come for dinner and avoid the cover. Expect to spend $40-90 for dinner, and $12 beers in the Lounge, but the view from the open roof is worth it. www.caesars.com
Top of the World at The Strat in Las Vegas- 2000 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89104. One of our top 5 favorite dining destinations, but very pricey. Dining 844 ft. above the strip gives you a breathtaking view of Vegas as the table rotates around the restaurant hourly. No open air exposure unless you are brave and ride the thrill rides outside. www.stratospherehotel.com www.topoftheworldlv.com
John Mull's Meats & Road Kill Grill- 3730 Thom Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89130. This place is one of our top 5 favorites. About 15 minutes from the North Strip, but get there early and enjoy a nice lunch served off the end of the butcher shop. You will stand in line. Not open on Sundays. www.johnmullsmeats.com
Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant & Lounge - In the Bellagio- Really pricey but a good place to go in and have a drink, walk out and see the Bellagio Fountains up close and personal. Do NOT miss them. www.bellagio.com/en/restaurants/yellowtail-japanese-restaurant-lounge
Casa Di Amore- 2850 E Tropicana Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89121, great Italian food, live music, kinda pricy, but a lot like old Vegas. www.casadiamore.com
In N Out Burger- Corner of I-15 and Tropicana. You can't visit the west without visiting an In N Out. Reasonable prices, but there is usually a line, no matter what time you go. There is also one on the UNLV campus that’s easier to get in and out of without a wait. www.in-n-out.com
Capos Italian Speak Easy,, 5675 W Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89146 Great steakhouse and themed restaurant. Getting in is a hoot, Tablecloths, dimly lit, good bar menu on West Sahara about 10 min west of the strip. Just dined there in July 21. Ask about the special, but be sure to ask about the price. It was $80, almost twice as much as other menu items. Still love the place. www.caposrestaurant.com
Nora's Italian Cuisine- 5780 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103, Another off strip Italian place worth the short drive. Reasonable prices, good service, nice wine selection. http://www.norascuisine.com
Please note, we don't recommend gambling on the strip due to the $10+ minimums and poor odds, but they have to pay the electric bill somehow, so go for it. At least walk through and feel the excitement.
That being said, walk The Strip
On your first day, you will certainly get a feel for the place by just walking in and out of the casino’s and shops. You will not be able to do it in a day, but I suggest starting at the Carriage House, going through the Planet Hollywood Miracle Mile Shops, thru their casino and out to the strip, passing by The Paris, Ballys, The Flamingo, and stopping at Maguaritaville for a drink. Then cross over to Caesars Palace, back South to Bellagio, check out their seasonal garden, then take the Tram to City Center and Park MGM. You can then check out that area, maybe ride the NYNY roller coaster, and catch the Tram to Luxor and Mandalay Bay. Finish your day by crossing over to The Tropicana, arrive at the 5000 room MGM Grand Hotel where you can stay in a different room each nite for 15 years. While walking along the strip back to Carriage House, you will rum across a new Target Store, and some reasonable prices for room additions to food and drink. If you made it this far, by now, you will probably be ready for a nap at the pool.
We like to get slightly off strip, hence the following recommendations.
Ellis Island- 4178 Koval Ln, Las Vegas, NV 89109. Walking distance from our Timeshares, this small family owned local casino and microbrewery recently went through a significant remodel. Great place to find a $5 blackjack table, great poker machines, fun staff, a micro-brewery, a Karaoke Bar and good food at very reasonable prices. www.ellisislandcasino.com/vegas
Gold Coast Hotel & Casino- 4000 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103. Located next to the Rio, and across from the Palms, this Casino is always busy and has lots of table games, $5 blackjack, and lots of poker machines. It's one of our personal favorites. www.goldcoastcasino.com
South Point Hotel Casino and Spa- 9777 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89183. With over 2300 video machines, 60 pit tables, $5 blackjack, and a poker room, Its worth the drive for a great gaming experience. About 10 minutes South of the Airport. Probably my favorite gaming location. www.southpointcasino.com
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino-(Recently Changed to Virgin Hotel and Casino) Currently under review 4455 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89169. Has been a great music venue if your band is in town. Probably worth the stop. Awesome pool as well. www.virginhotels.com
Tuscany Suites & Casino- 55 E Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89169. Another great just off strip gaming destination, $5 blackjack, lots of machines, reasonable priced meals, and live music and dancing in the lounge every night. Much like old Vegas. www.tuscanylv.com
Golden Nugget Las Vegas Hotel and Casino- 129 East Fremont Street, Las Vegas, NV. 89101. Probably the premier downtown property. Center of downtown, lots of gaming, free parking in their lot if you gamble. We like it. www.goldennugget.com
Plaza Hotel & Casino- Formerly the Union Plaza. 1 S Main St, Las Vegas, NV 89101. Another part of downtown's rich history. We like to gamble here as it has the feel of old Vegas, well..., because it is. www.plazahotelcasino.com
Stratosphere in Las Vegas (Now The Strat )- 2000 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89104 We also like the Strat for gaming. Friendly dealers, lots of tables, lots of video machines. Gamble there for a while, then go to the Top of the World for a reasonable lunch or fine dinner. Again, the reservation gets you a free ride up to the 104th floor. Call for a lunch reservation 702-380-7711 and dine 800 feet above the strip as the restaurant rotates 1 turn every 80 minutes. Lunch is from $15-30. www.stratospherehotel.com
There are lots of options available to you, and they are ever changing. The Concierge at the Carriage House can assist you with many options at discounted prices. Be sure to tip her. You can also stop by the discount sales booths that offer deals, usually on the day of the show. There is one located in front of The Polo Towers, in the Hawaiian Marketplace.
Our most recent discovery is The Bronx Wanderers, who put on a good show similar to The Jersey Boys that recently closed after a long run, but, the show has moved from Ballys to The Westgate. Don’t be surprised if Wayne Newton shows up on occasion. www.thebronxwanderers.com
Downtown Vegas light show-
With its $70 million light canopy, $17 million in upgrades and 550,000-watt sound system, the 1400 feet long Fremont Street Experience is sure to mesmerize your evening. In addition, I like to gamble downtown.
If you love then, there are good ones at New York, NY (Manhattan Express, indoor- outdoor), and X-Screme at Stratosphere (really high).
Bellagio Fountains Schedule- DO NOT miss this, as each display is set to different music, and draws a big crowd. Monday - Friday: There is a show every half hour from 3 p.m. - 8 p.m. and every 15 minutes from 8 p.m. - midnight. Saturdays and holidays: The show runs every half hour from noon - 8 p.m. and every 15 minutes from 8 p.m. - midnight. www.bellagio.com