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Top 10 Reliably Hearty Meals Under $10 On or Close to the Strip in Las Vegas, NV

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

photo credit: vegaster.com

photo credit: vegaster.com

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.

 

9. In-N-Out Burger

photo credit: yelp.com

photo credit: yelp.com

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.”

 

8. Capriotti’s

photo credit: lipstickalley.com

photo credit: lipstickalley.com

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!!

 

7. Planet Dailies

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.

 

6. French Market Buffet

photo credit: buffetinvegas.com

photo credit: buffetinvegas.com

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.

 

5. Garden Buffet

photo credit: examiner.com

photo credit: examiner.com

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!

 

4. Garden Court Buffet

photo credit: mainstreetcasino.com

photo credit: mainstreetcasino.com

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.

 

3. Ports O’ Call Buffet

photo credit: goldcoastcasino.com

photo credit: goldcoastcasino.com

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

photo credit: tripadvisor.com

photo credit: tripadvisor.com

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.

 

1. The Feast Buffet

photo credit: lasvegasdirect.com

photo credit: lasvegasdirect.com

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!

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Umami Burger, Oakland CA

Mondays present multiple challenges across many arenas, and one of them is to find a quality restaurant that is open for dinner. On a national holiday observed on a Monday, the initial assumption would be that any restaurant open for dinner would be slammed with patrons not wanting to deal with meal preparation on top of unpacking and decompressing after a long getaway weekend. We expected many more people on the freeways along our way towards Umami Burger but were surprised by relatively mild traffic. That the parking meters weren’t being enforced was another bonus. When we walked in there was no line. All omens were good for this visit.

a portion of the massive mural

a portion of the massive mural

Now it’s time for a history lesson. Umami is the fifth taste, after sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. For over two thousand years there were believed to be just the four tastes, even though the sensation of umami is natural and attributed to the glutamic acids in foods themselves and developed through cooking processes. Mushrooms, tomatoes, seaweed, meat, and aged Parmesan cheese are some of the more commonly recognized examples of umami. Clearly these food items have been around for long before the last century, but we can thank Professor Kikunae Ikeda for uncovering the rationale behind this fifth flavor in 1908. Glutamate is the chemical compound these foods have in common. Professor Ikeda later went on to patent concentrated glutamic acids in the form of monosodium glutamate, or MSG. While we know that large quantities of MSG are unhealthy, one cannot deny how tasty a meal can be when it is added. Thus we call this fifth flavor “umami,” coined by Professor Ikeda, meaning “pleasant savory taste” or simply “yummy.”

tempura onion rings, truffle fries, three dips

tempura onion rings, truffle fries, three dips

Umami Burger is definitely “umami” in the yummiest sense of the word. There were many starters to choose from including fried items and fresh salads, but we began our evening simply with two sides, the tempura onion rings and truffle fries. Thick cut, hand dipped, and malt battered, the onion rings were noticeably fresh and never once near a freezer during prep. The onions were sweet and not cooked to sliminess, leaving just a bit of a sinking bite amidst the crisp, light batter. Without a sprinkling of salt, these rings were yearning to be dipped in the trio of sauces, but be prepared for the range of spiciness. The garlic aioli was very thick and creamy with a pleasantly mild garlic flavor. The jalapeño ranch, despite the fear sent into the hearts of some tastebuds upon hearing that J word, had zero heat and pure flavor. August, typically the one to avoid spicy foods, particularly enjoyed the opportunity to taste the jalapeño without any burn. The diablo sauce, on the other hand, was all for Zach, being that it was made with habanero peppers. If you like heat, you will be happy. With no need for extra dippers were the thin cut truffle fries, generously tossed in a creamy truffle cheese sauce. They weren’t overly truffly nor cheesy, but almost all fries had at least a smidgen of goodness on them. Some fries were particularly coated, so the crispiness resulting from the thin cut helped to keep the textural integrity intact.

throwback

throwback

With such variety, we had to sample and share three burgers between the two of us. To be fair to the restaurant, of course, clearly not because there were too many good things to choose from. We evenly split the Throwback, featuring two seared beef patties, white cheddar cheese, miso mustard, Umami house ketchup, soy pickles, and sliced onions. It was like the classic as described in that infectious song marketed by the chain with golden arches, but immeasurably better. Never mind the tasty char on the burger and lightly grilled bun, as some time on the flame adds a lot of flavor to already quality beef and bread. The variety of condiments created a combination of flavors that explored the broad depths of umami flavor, including savory, tangy, and slightly sweet. But the fresh pickles and sweet onion, you mustn’t request them to be omitted. Their sweet crispiness brought some much needed texture to what otherwise would be a very meaty cheeseburger.

cali burger

cali burger

August the California girl tends to gravitate towards menu items with some variation of California in the name. Typically that means a combination of bacon, sprouts, avocado, and/or Swiss cheese, but Umami’s Cali burger had none of these. Instead, the single patty was adorned with butter lettuce, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, house spread, and “Cali cheese” – a high quality white American cheese that gooed like brie over the patty. The nicely treated tomato and onions added slightly acidic, slightly sweet layers to provide contrast to the handsome savor of the grilled beef and bun.

sunny side

sunny side

The Sunny Side burger, aka Truffle Especiale, caught Zach’s eye for the few albeit quality ingredients stacked together in a novel way. Not just cheese, special sauce, and lettuce sat beneath that beautifully fried egg, oh no. Parmesan frico (a cheese crisp), truffle butter, and truffled arugula gelled with the burst yolk. The Parmesan provided a bite while the arugula brought freshness, and all together the flavors balanced so that overall it was not an overwhelmingly truffled burger.

We did not have any alcoholic beverages this evening, although we might on the next visit because the menu was inventive, diverse, and tempting. We did not have any dessert either, since we learned that they are not made in house; no offense at all towards the dessert maker, but we went to Umami to blog about Umami. We had a very enjoyable dinner but must leave you with a warning: cut your burger in half. This is for two reasons. First, the burgers are large, so they’re just a hair easier to handle when halved. Second, the restaurant’s recommended temperature for your beef burgers is medium rare, but no matter how you order it, check to see it was cooked to your liking. If you are picky about meat temperature, communicate your preferences clearly to best enjoy your yummy meal.

900 Grayson Restaurant, Berkeley CA

Serving strictly breakfast, lunch, and special brunch on Saturday (closed on Sunday), 900 Grayson has built a name for itself on pillars of freshness and quality.  Had this place been around when August went to Cal, she would have been so frequent they’d know her by name.  We came here for lunch on a Friday, and like all the other patrons filling every seat in the house, we left full and satisfied.

seasonal vegetables

seasonal veggies

Much of the owners’ intent is based in what’s local and available in season.  The current selection for the seasonal veggie side included broccoli, romano beans, cherry tomatoes, rainbow chard, summer squash, and carrot.  Each bite was fresh and, while cooked, still had a bit of give from the natural texture of the vegetables.  Light seasoning complemented all the greens (and reds and oranges).

grayson burger and herb french fries

grayson burger and herb french fries

Zach had the Grayson Burger, which put the place on the map as one of Zagat’s “25 best burger joints” earlier this year.  A natural beef patty comes with apple wood smoked bacon, New York white cheddar, shoestring onions, and house-made barbecue sauce on a soft Acme French bun, with herb French fries as an automatic side.  Zach thought the patty was particularly lean and juicy, cooked to his desired temperature on a good, clean grill.  Hand-forming results in a tender, not tough, burger.  The mild white cheddar and crisp smoky bacon added extra creamy and savory layers, and despite being a fully loaded burger, the bacon was more meaty than fatty, therefore not adding so much grease.  Zach says you’d better have good teeth, because this bacon is almost all meat and very high quality.  Crunchy onion strings and a lightly smoky and tangy barbecue sauce are finishing touches, but were necessary to make this burger mouthwatering and complete.  Zach thought the fries were cut in-house so we were surprised to learn they were frozen, albeit from a very good company, so they didn’t taste like they came from a frozen state; most frozen fries are made from potato puree, extruded and molded to look like fries, but the fries here were cut from whole potatoes.  Zach the supertaster was nearly fooled by the quality and preparation.

The chef’s sandwich is a daily creation with choice of a salad or herb fries, and luckily for August, the day’s feature was a Reuben.  Instead of traditional rye bread, this one came on buttery salt focaccia, warmed and crunchy out of a panini press.  Thick slices of meat gave this sandwich some real chew.  The sauerkraut was crisp, tangy, and house-made, offset by a semi-sweet French dressing.  Thanks to the panini press, the Swiss cheese was nicely gooey without getting oily and soaking into the focaccia.  Since Zach already got fries with his cheeseburger, August chose a side salad.  The colorful, fresh lettuce was tossed in a light shallot vinaigrette, and the firm beets and zingy pickled onions, both made in-house, were excellent for this summery mix.

ice cream sandwich

ice cream sandwich

We sat near the front and were able to eye the desserts at the counter, so we couldn’t pass up an ice cream cookie sandwich made with decadent fudge cookies like those we had been staring at through the meal.  Extremely rich chocolate flavor held creamy vanilla gelato, accented by homemade strawberry jam with chunks of fruit.  The jam was not overly sweet, in fact it was more tangy and true to real strawberry flavor.  The hand-whipped whipped cream was lightly sweetened, providing a light and smooth texture without overpowering the rest of the dessert.

For our 300th post, we couldn’t have asked for a better lunch.  We anticipate coming back for a Saturday brunch, or to try the whimsical “Hobbit” selection, or a “TV dinner” – like the chef’s sandwich, is a daily special with “a veggie and a starch” that pleases diners’ nostalgia and palates.  The entire menu is tempting, be the items quixotic and inspired by fiction or based in reality, so we’re sure anything had here is delicious.