Saving money in Las Vegas is as much of an art as it is a skill. Restaurant bills in this tourist town can add up quickly. When you add a cocktail + main course + side + soft drink + dessert it can sometimes be much more than expected. You’re in Vegas and it’s usually okay to spend a little more. However, sometimes you’d like to save a few bucks on a meal. After all, the money that’s saved at the dinner table can be used at the blackjack or craps table for more Vegasy fun.
You may be surprised but there are a lot of ways that you can save money. I’d like to focus on three methods to save money eating and drinking in Las Vegas. I’m not talking about clipping coupons or buying groupons (hey, that rhymed). If you alter your eating and drinking schedule you’ll find some serious savings. Not only will I tell you what to look for in order to find these deals, but I’ll give some examples of the best of each category.
In most parts of the country, Happy Hour symbolizes the end of the work day. That’s not necessarily the casino in a 24-hour city like Las Vegas. Happy Hour is often used as a precursor to the evening ahead. Depending on your Happy Hour restaurant or bar you can eat and drink for discounted prices anywhere from 2pm to 3am. You just have to find the best deal in the best location for you. Here are a few great Happy Hour deals:
1. Beerhaus – The location of Beerhaus at The Park can’t be beaten for anyone staying on the Vegas Strip. $4 beer and discount hot dogs are available from 2pm-6pm daily. The bar and restaurant opens to The Park so you can either enjoy the fresh air or sit and relax indoors. This is a great spot to pre-game an event at T-Mobile Arena.
2. Herbs & Rye – This low-key restaurant and bar is just off the Vegas Strip on Sahara and makes some of the best cocktails that you’ll find anywhere in the country. Thanks to a great staff, you can get those great any time of day. The Happy Hour deal here is for 50% off steaks and select menu items from 5pm-8pm and 11:59pm-3am Monday through Saturday. There is a drink special too but saving $20+ on a good steak dinner is the kind of deal you travel for.
3. Pizza Rock – The first offer of $2 off each craft beer on draft is probably enough for beer snobs like me but there’s more. You can also get specialty cocktails and glasses of wine for $2 off per drink. A basic well drinks (vodka and tonic, etc.) and Pabst Blue Ribbon are $4, while food is between $4 and $7. Happy Hour is available Monday through Friday from 3pm-6pm and again 10pm-close. The downtown Las Vegas location makes this a great place to get the night started without weighing yourself down. ( Also see : Cheap Dining In Vegas | 3 Great Dishes For Under $10 )
Unadvertised dining specials were popular in Las Vegas during the 1980’s and 1990’s. Their popularity has faded so knowing where the “secret” deals are takes some work. However, they’re still available and in locations you might not expect. Even though they’re somewhat secret, they should probably be considered unadvertised. You can amaze your friends with knowledge of these great semi-secret deals!
1. Charlie Palmer Cut of the Week – You’d never expect to visit the Four Seasons hotel to find a great deal, but that’s about to change. This deal is different every week and the price is currently $58. You can see the current Cut of the Week menu here. A four-course meal at a high-end steakhouse is great, but the unlimited wine pairing is bananas! I don’t entirely remember my meal here, but I know I had a great time and a lot of wine.
2. Lunch special at Milos – Dinner at Estiatorio Milos at the Cosmopolitan will often cost $100 or more per person. Reviews are great and it’s probably worth it if you like Mediterranean food (I don’t). You can get the same food that receives rave reviews if you visit Milos during lunch time for less than a third of the price. The 3-course lunch menu at Milos is currently $25.16. You may choose to add a drink that would bring this over $30, but that’s still much less than you would pay at dinner.
As I mentioned earlier, Las Vegas is a 24-hour town. Happy Hour doesn’t always fit the schedule of the people who work in this city. In addition to great Happy Hour deals all around town, you’ll find some excellent graveyard specials. If you’re not a local, you may refer to this as your 4th meal. Graveyard specials are usually offered from midnight to 6am. Personally, I’m usually not looking for a deal when the midnight munchies hit, but that’s me. There are some great early morning deals if you want.
1. See late the night Happy Hour above at Herbs & Rye if you’re really hungry.
2. The Coronado Cafe at the South Point has a wide array of late night specials for under $5 (see the menu here).
3. The Gambler’s Special at Mr. Lucky’s inside the Hard Rock is one of the most famous off the menu specials in Las Vegas and is available 24/7. Sign up for a players club card and for $7.77 you’ll get a full dinner including steak, shrimp and potatoes. Even if you don’t bother with a players club card, this deal is available under $10!