Las Vegas has some of the best value food in North America with a huge choice of buffets and late night meal deals. However the emphasis is on quantity over quality so it will fill you up without emptying your wallet, but it is unlikely that any cheap meal in Vegas would ever rank among your all time favourites.
Keep your eye out for books of coupons to discover some of the cheapest meals in town.
Cheap food is easy to find in Las Vegas
Las Vegas' buffets are not the bargain they once were, but they are still a good deal.
Most casinos in Las Vegas have buffet specials with prices that start at under $10 and go up to over $30 for an all-you-can-eat meal. Lunch is generally a lot cheaper than an evening meal and a savvy traveller can save money by skipping breakfast and eating big at a lunchtime buffet, then waiting till after 11pm for the late night specials.
Like most things in Vegas, the older casinos have the best deals. Because they lack the prestige of the newer places, they need to offer more incentives (like cheap food) to bring in the punters. You'll also find more bargains off the Strip, although the older casinos on the Strip still offer decent cheap food.
The Sahara (2535 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas) has the cheapest evening buffet on the Strip, although word is that it is better at breakfast time.
There are several decent places just a short distance off the Strip including: Gold Coast (4000 West Flamingo Road, Las Vegas), a couple of blocks off the Strip, which has a good lunch buffet and the Orleans (4500 West Tropicana Avenue, Las Vegas) around 1.5km off the Strip, which is another good option.
Farther away from the Strip, most casinos in the Station chain have pretty good buffets that cater mainly to locals. You won't get the real Vegas experience but the food is good value. Green Valley and Red Rock are two of the better options, but Main Street Station (200 Main Street, Las Vegas) at the end of Fremont Street in the city centre is more conveniently located and a good option if you're in the city centre.
A lot of casinos have special meal deals after 11pm, which will generally fill you up for around $4. These deals include basic fare like steak and eggs, late night cooked breakfasts and pancakes plus scones (which Americans insist on calling biscuits) and gravy.
Late night meal deals include:
California (12 Ogden Street, Las Vegas), a Hawaii-themed casino a block off Fremont Street in the city centre where you can get chicken, steak, potato and a banana fritter for under $4.
El Cortez (600 Fremont Street, Las Vegas) a classic casino in the city centre with late night cooked breakfast for under $4.
Ellis Island Super 8 (4178 Koval Lane, Las Vegas; monorail Ballys & Paris Las Vegas) a casino catering to locals that's adjacent to the world's largest Super 8 motel and just a block off the Strip. After 11pm you can get steak with eggs and potatoes for under $4.
Riviera (2901 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas) has all-you-can-eat pancakes for around $4.
South Point (9777 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89183) is on Las Vegas Boulevard South, but it is so far south - beyond the airport and a bunch of factory outlets - that you couldn't really call it the Strip. It has the usual $4 steak and eggs and cheap late night cooked breakfasts.
Terrible's (4100 Paradise Road, Las Vegas) a couple of blocks behind the Strip has the usual $4 cooked breakfast, which is reputed to be better than their cheap buffet (which as its name suggests, it is not really that good).