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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Delicious Eats in Las Vegas

When we visited Las Vegas in June, we were there to enjoy some free things in the city, watch the NBA Draft with other rabid b-ball fans and see family, but we weren't going to go back and not try to find some yummy (and affordable) food. Even though it seems you can stay fore really cheap on the Strip, food prices feel like they've doubled from a decade ago. I made a point to check out our options before we left and planned our meals and activities accordingly.

It's no secret that Vegas is full of restaurants that are owned by famous chefs, and though I wanted to eat at one of Gordon Ramsay's joints, we just couldn't afford it and still eat at one of his restaurants in London. Instead of spending a ton of money on lunch, we chose to stop at Emeril's Fish House for happy hour. Sitting at the bar, we ordered several small plates:

Parmesan shrimp, fried ravioli and rum runner
Crab cakes and olive and cheese plate

A month before we left, I signed up for Groupon Las Vegas and picked up a great deal for a new vegan place called Pura Vida. I'm always up for a tasty and healthy meal, so we hit it up for breakfast. Though the Groupon menu is a bit limited, we found amazing dishes and would have gone back if we had the time. In fact, when we go back to Vegas, even though Pura Vida is downtown, we will be going back. The food is that good and the portions are totally large. In fact, you can order one entree and split it, because they seriously give you three people's worth of food.

Empenadas: You can't go here and not get an order of these
This is a short stack!
French toast with vegan sausage

I always want to visit the Paris and eating there is always a treat. We had planned to eat breakfast at Le Cafe Ile. St. Louis, but we had a change of plans and ended up having a late lunch/early dinner instead. You eat "outside" under the Parisian sky in what appears to be an outdoor cafe in a charming Paris setting. 

I chose the traditional croque madame
Eric got a tuna steak sandwich (not shown, we also had fondue. yum!)

We had been playing the myVEGAS game on Facebook in order to get comps, and one of the things we used it for was to get free tickets to Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur. At almost $70 per person, that's a big savings and it includes dinner and a show. Eat three courses with your hands - soup, entree and dessert.

Everyone gets their own whole chicken, biscuit, potato and broccoli, plus you receive tomato soup before and an apple hand pie for dessert. It's entertaining and delicious.

Of course, no trip to Vegas would be complete without a trip (or two) to a buffet. We hit up the Spice Market Buffet - which I was able to get a 2-for-1 Groupon for - and Riviera's R Buffet.

When you arrive at the bottom of the escalators and join the line to get a table, a photographer jumps in front of you and snaps a commemorative photo of you. Who wants to remember their visit to a buffet? Well, I guess we do, but we took our own picture on our way down the escalator, so $20 saved! You can eat around the world at Planet Hollywood's Spice Market Buffet, and eat any of over fifty kinds cupcakes and desserts. 

Just one side of the cupcake extravaganza!
You can graze from Mexico, Asia, South America and the Mediterranean and then make a plate of cheeses and meats. There's nothing you won't find at this buffet.

We stayed at the Riviera our first night in Vegas. Escalators and buffets must go together, because you have to go up to get to the breakfast buffet here. On a Thursday, it's not difficult to get a table at any time. You can go Eric's route and eat bacon, bacon and more bacon, or you can maybe get a variety of food from the entire spread. That's the way I went.

Potatoes, french toast and waffles
Fruit is always a good choice and you don't have to cut it up yourself
My first plate: If only there was fried chicken, this plate would be perfect
Needless to say, we had a pretty successful dining experience on our long weekend. I would definitely recommend any of these places. I would also recommend a BBQ at Eric's uncle's house, but I don't think they are open for business. Where's your favorite place to eat in Vegas? 

{For more ideas on where to eat and what to do in Vegas, check out my post here.}


  1. Despite some recent problems, I am a huge fan of Firefly, a tapas place with several locations. The biggest problem is getting in since it's quite popular with locals.

    Another really fun experience is Marrakesch (not sure of the spelling) which has great food and authentic belly dancers.

    1. Thanks for those suggestions, Barbara. We love tapas!


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