On the Strip, there are times when you just need to eat. Like really eat. And there could be a variety of reasons for keeping the cost low: you’re just a budget-minded person, you’re saving your cash for gambling, or you lost a lot gambling. But budgeting food money should not mean sacrificing quality and quantity, nor should you have to venture too far from wherever you’re staying on the Strip. With so much activity going on at all hours, it can be hard to pull yourself away a greater distance than a walk or a short cab ride. We’ve done research and asked around to find the top 10 filling meals that, from what we gather, shouldn’t let you down, especially if you keep in mind the few caveats and bonus bits of information we’ve thrown in. Many of these restaurants inside of casinos are part of their casino’s loyalty program, so it’s very much worth it to sign up for a player’s card for free – and you’re not required to gamble! You can sign up simply to get the card for dining discounts! One last thought before you read about the buffets: some buffets have 50-100 items, but we can’t guarantee each and every one. No matter what, though, you will find plenty that you like and you won’t leave disappointed.
10. Pin-Up Pizza
Where: Planet Hollywood Resort, 3667 South Las Vegas Boulevard
What: Sandra D Combo (slice of pizza, garlic knot, and soda)
How much: $8.99
Why: Pin-Up Pizza has the largest pizza slices on the Strip – like literally, right on the Strip!
Bonus: For $2 more, get a beer instead of a soda (but then that wouldn’t be under $10, just FYI).
Caveat: We’ve personally tried this pizza, and while it’s not the best, it’s definitely good for the price. If you want some chicken wings, sliders, or waffle fries to go with it, walk inside the Planet Hollywood to Ringer Wings, Pizza & Sliders for a broader menu.
Where: 2900 West Sahara Avenue
What: Double-Double Cheeseburger Meal (with fries and small drink)
How much: $6.60
Why: With exacting quality control across the entire chain, you’re guaranteed good, fresh food that’s just enough to fill you up for a fair price. We’ve never had a bad burger, from a single to a 4×4. And you can’t beat fresh-cut fries, which Zach recommends trying “animal style.”
Where: 322 West Sahara Avenue
What: Bobbie Sandwich (roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, homemade stuffing, and mayonnaise)
How much: $6.60 for small (9″) and $8.15 for medium (12″)
Why: Capriotti’s is known for freshness and variety and always on fresh-baked bread. With the Bobbie you can have Thanksgiving any day of the year! It’s a sandwich shop that Zach’s family living in Las Vegas frequents, so locals stand by it, too.
Bonus: They deliver to casinos on the strip!!
Where: Planet Hollywood Resort, 3667 South Las Vegas Boulevard
What: All you can eat pasta (three different kinds), salad, and bread sticks
How much: $9.99
Why: You CANNOT beat this deal on the Strip!
Caveat: This special is only available from 3 PM to 6 PM.
Where: The Orleans Hotel & Casino, 4500 West Tropicana Avenue
What: Breakfast buffet
How much: $8.99
Why: The “oversized dessert bar” is enough to get our attention, making this smorgasbord worth a visit.
Bonus: The culinary program at the Orleans is distinguished and its restaurants have won local awards like Best of Las Vegas.
Caveat: Breakfast is only served from 8 AM to 10 AM, and while lunch is $10.99 (over $10 so not officially on this list), it’s still worth mentioning; lunch hours are 11 AM to 3 PM.
Where: South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa, 9777 South Las Vegas Boulevard
What: Breakfast buffet
How much: $9.95
Why: This breakfast includes bottomless Bloody Marys, so if you’re in party-mode, keep the groove going here!
Caveat: This is available Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 10 AM.
Bonus: Become a member of the Club and the price is just $7.95!
Where: Main Street Station Casino, Brewery And Hotel, 200 North Main Street
What: Breakfast and lunch buffet
How much: $7.99 (breakfast) and $8.99 (lunch)
Why: It’s a buffet, always hearty, but with interesting variety like Hawaiian staples and their “famous rotisserie chicken.”
Caveat: These prices apply for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday.
Where: Gold Coast Hotel and Casino, 4000 West Flamingo Road
What: Breakfast and lunch buffet
How much: $6.99 (breakfast) and $7.99 (lunch)
Why: It’s all you can eat about a mile off the Strip, to get just far enough away from the crazy to feel like a local for a moment.
Bonus: Sign up for the casino’s loyalty program B Connected, and flash your new membership card to get $1 off! This is a small casino but it’s right across the street from the Palms and Rio, so it’s worth the walk if you’re staying nearby.
2. $7 Buffet
Where: Silver Sevens Hotel & Casino, 4100 Paradise Road
What: Buffet with over 200 items daily
How much: $7 (on average)
Why: With seafood, steak, Mexican, Tuscan, and Chinese items, every craving can be satisfied here.
Bonus: With the A-Play Club Card, all meals except dinner on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are less than $10! Dinner on Monday through Thursday nights are themed: Monday is Italian, Tuesday is Asian, Wednesday is Mexican, and Thursday is Hawaiian.
Where: Palace Station, 2411 West Sahara Avenue
What: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
How much: $6.99 (breakfast), $7.99 (lunch), and $9.99 (dinner)
Why: You can get all your meals (except Sunday brunch) for less than $10. We’ve tried both the breakfast and lunch; there were several items we liked and some we didn’t, just like at any buffet, but you’re going to leave full, satisfied, and happy with the price.
Bonus 1: Get your Boarding Pass for $1 off your meal!
Bonus 2: If you’re a myVegas player, you can earn comps like a 2-for-1 buffet or even a free buffet for two for breakfast or lunch!
The SOMA StrEat Food Park is a triangle of magic. Over 50 food trucks cycle so that a variety of vendors congregate every day of the week. Because it’s a permanent fixture just off the freeway, the Park is laid out with ample room for foot traffic, outdoor patio seating, indoor heated areas, and schmancy restrooms. Here you can always count on a good meal in a more than comfortable atmosphere.
For a cold night in San Francisco, The Fish Tank Truck offers a great warming soup. The sweet summer corn and crab chowder was a light pick-me-up, not heavy like the rich traditional cream chowder. There was a medium spiciness from the pepper, adding a nice touch to the chunky vegetables and savory dungeness meat. Don’t worry about the corn being sweet – it’s just right.
Adam’s Grub Truck makes sandwiches with a Chinese twist. Everything on the menu looked pretty tempting, but it was the Falkor that called to us: panko-crusted fried chicken with pepper jack cheese, bacon, and a fried egg topped with “grubbin'” Asian slaw on a toasted brioche bun. The chicken’s breading was light and crispy, coating meat that was treated with a teriyaki-inspired light marinade. Even with its own kick the pepper jack cheese, being dairy and gooey, helped tone down the slaw with an even stronger kick. Crisp, smoky, salty bacon gave it a different kind of crunch to contrast the breading and slaw. The ideally prepared easy over egg brought a creaminess that united the fusion of flavors.
MeSoHungry Too, the second San Francisco truck of the MeSoHungry family, changes its menu seasonally so who knows for how long the Duke will be around – we say to come and try it sooner than later. Angus beef, smoked applewood bacon, onion rings, spring mix lettuce, barbecue sauce, and cheesy Texas toast was a tasty combination. The hand-formed patty of tender beef was extremely flavorful and easy to bite through. The sharpness of the Parmesan on the cheese bread fostered an excellent balance with the barbecue sauce, which itself was the most classic pairing for the crunchy breaded onion rings and smoky bacon.
Bob Cha had some of the tastiest vegetarian options, including Bibim Bob, their Korean-Mexican fusion of bibimbap. With zucchini, shiitake mushroom, onion, sprouts, and lettuce over steamed rice with an egg, this was very light yet very filling. Meaty mushrooms and aromatic, crunchy sprouts gave the dish excellent texture extremes, and the creamy yolk of the perfectly cooked sunny side up egg was the middle ground to bring them together. We took this one step past vegetarianism and added bacon spicy fried rice, which brought heat without being anywhere near sweat-inducing.
We didn’t eat dessert first, but the CandyBar Dessert Truck was first in its class for satisfying our sweet tooth tonight. CandyBar is San Francisco’s first “dessert lounge” offering sweets, wine, art, and recreations; the dessert truck is an abbreviation of the lounge with some of the best sweets from the storefront’s menu. Apparently back by popular demand, we were compelled to try the tres leches. Both tender and dense, the soft cake was soaked with just the right amount of condensed milk. Rich and thick caramel was on the lighter side, not too dark and deep, drizzled over fluffy and creamy whipped cream. The s’mores tart was built on a graham cracker crust with caramel, chocolate ganache, and pillow-like homemade marshmallows. The crust was as crumbly as the ganache was smooth, so scraping the chocolate around helped to pick up all the graham bits. Toasted right before our eyes, the marshmallows had a faint vanilla flavor to add an extra element of sweetness.
We did not visit all the trucks tonight since some we had tried before, but it’s a guarantee that there will be something new to experience each time. Once you’ve cycled through all the trucks, look out for updated and seasonal menus to change. Bring friends and family, since there’s enough seating, amenities, and diverse food to please everyone.
July 23 is National Hot Dog Day. It’s also Woody Harrelson, Slash, and Daniel Radcliffe’s birthday, so of course we celebrated with the most unique hot dogs we could find in the Bay Area (apart from making our own). Doggy Style Hot Dogs in Alameda serves Asian fusion hot dogs, drawing from the cuisines of many cultures. They say on their website that they “are second to none in [their] innovative style” and after trying six styles of doctored kosher beef frankfurter hot dogs, we agree.
All dogs come on the same seeded French roll, soft and grilled. There are many links to choose from, like linguica, calabrese, and veggie, but being National Hot Dog Day, we had to stick strictly to classic frankfurters. Doggy Style uses links made by a local company with decades of experience, and we tasted a finely tuned recipe for quality meat. Large, smoky, slightly spiced, and flavor packed, the dogs were delicious and the different assortments of toppings just made them enchanting. We started with the All American, with toppings of cole slaw, cheese, bacon, and barbecue sauce. The crunchy cole slaw with a vinegar base was super crispy and fresh, offering an excellent texture contrast. The shredded cheddar cheese and bacon were both abundant, piled almost to the tipping point! The bacon was crispy in its own way and even lean, and its smokiness was highlighted by the sweet and tangy barbecue sauce.
The next dog took us to Japan, and it was very umai – August looked it up, it means “delicious,” a very fitting name. The umai dog has seaweed, pickled radish, teriyaki sauce, and Japanese mayonnaise. It tasted like hot dog sushi, and as weird as that sounds, it tasted fresh and flavorful. The teriyaki added a bit of tang to the sea and earth essences of the seaweed and radish, respectively. It’s the standard teriyaki sauce you’d have with sushi, and you’d never think it works with a hot dog, but it does.
Continuing on our globally inspired hot dog tour, our palates visited Vietnam for an interesting twist on the traditional sandwich. Pickled carrots and daikon, jalapeño, cilantro, and mayonnaise adorned this dog, with a dash of sriracha on the side. This is kind of like everything you’d want in a bánh mì sandwich – soft but crunchy French roll, exceptionally fresh vegetables, and a bit of kick. We’ve seen some bánh mì with interesting meats (liverwurst, anyone?), so in all honesty, hot dogs aren’t so big of a stretch.
There were a few specials today in honor of National Hot Dog Day, so we couldn’t pass them up. Probably our favorite savory dog of the evening was the ka-re dog (sounds like curry). With homemade Japanese curry and pickled radishes, this was a beautiful combination of Japanese, Indian, and American flavors. The curry is slow-cooked with potatoes, carrots, and onions, resulting in a sauce that is mildly sweet with all the spices of curry but zero heat. The pickled radishes, also Japanese (Takuwan and Fujin Zuke, as per the menu description), were an amazing pairing with the curry, not just for flavor but also for contrasting crunchy mouthfeel. It was a flavor symphony of sweet, tangy, and spices.
The other special threw us for a loop – a dessert dog! The Nut-n-Jelly “Crunch” has Chex cereal, peanut butter sauce, strawberry jelly, and a granola mix with almonds. The peanut butter sauce was special with the addition of just a touch of honey, making it very rich and decadent. The house-made strawberry jelly was naturally sweet and tangy. All the crunchiness of the cereal, granola, and nuts made this quite a mouthful, like eating a crazy version of Chex Mix.
Even after trying five dogs, we had to do one more because, well, it’s a waffle dog! Doggy Style’s take on the corn dog is dipped in waffle batter and griddled in a waffle iron shaped specially for a hot dog. If you like fun food and/or waffles, you’ve got to try this. It’s highly recommended that you use the maple syrup; think of this as bacon or sausage in maple syrup, something that more Americans do with their breakfast than would admit.
We had the luck of meeting Mike, one of the owners, who made all of our special hot dogs this evening. He’s a very talented guy with a creative mind, and we cannot wait to go back to try more dogs (once we recover from this binge for National Hot Dog Day). Eight varieties are standard on the menu but with various specials, we’re sure there will always be something to surprise and delight us.