Value shopping for the best bets, eats, and drinks in Downtown Las Vegas

Oct 26, 2017 |

I love the Vegas Strip but there’s more to Las Vegas than the bright lights and big corporate casinos. I often look to downtown Las Vegas for better gambling options, less expensive dining and just a different experience.

You’ll find plenty of low limits 3:2 blackjack, 10x odds in craps and even some video poker games that return more than 100 percent in downtown Las Vegas casinos. Supposedly, the slot machines are looser downtown too but my eyes don’t see much of a difference.

The area has changed a lot over the years. This is no longer the blighted area that I discovered when first visiting Las Vegas. You won’t find many luxury experiences in downtown Las Vegas but most of the casinos have been upgraded in the past five years or so. Even the El Cortez got rid of the dented cans of beer and burnt felt on the blackjack tables. That was charming but modern amenities are nice.

Downtown Las Vegas still offers low prices and value that you might not find in most casinos on the Vegas Strip. Rent is cheaper than the Vegas Strip, so properties pass that on in the bar and restaurant prices. It’s possible to eat every meal of the for under $10 in downtown Las Vegas. It’s possible to even eat in downtown Las Vegas for $20 for the entire day.

There are new bars, restaurants, and activities opening seemingly every week. If you walk along the western part of the Fremont Street Experience today you’ll see the ruins of the casino formerly known as the Las Vegas Club. A new casino will rise in a couple of years from Derek Stevens, owner of The D and Golden Gate casinos.

Value doesn't always mean cheap. Cheap doesn't always mean value. I've had plenty of cheap meals that tasted like cheap meals. Likewise, I've found value in some fine dining experiences. Here are some of my favorite values in downtown Las Vegas:

Pizza Rock Happy Hour - There are two happy hours every day and night. From 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. and again from 10 p.m. until close. Two Victory Golden Monkey beers (9.5% ABV) and an order of meatballs and I’m ready for a night of fun for less than $20. Make a return visit for the second Happy Hour if you need more booze or sustenance. Quality and value is the name of the game here.

Andiamo Steakhouse at The D - This is not a cheap restaurant but it offers great value for a high-end Las Vegas Steakhouse. The service is as good as you’ll find at any Las Vegas restaurant. The prices for a steak are about $10-20 less than you’ll pay on the Vegas Strip. I prefer the 16-ounce N.Y. Strip for $42. You can see the menu and prices here. Oscar’s Steakhouse at The Plaza is also a great option if you want a steak after playing Bingo.

Denny’s (450 Fremont Street) - This is not a personal favorite but it’s one of the best deals if you want a lot of food on the cheap. They offer ALL YOU CAN EAT PANCAKES FOR $4. I don’t eat pancakes often so this isn’t special for me but the price is right if you’re just looking for something to soak up whatever is in your stomach. Also, you can get married at this Denny’s. Who’s having fun?!

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