When eating in Las Vegas, it’s important to make sure you plan your meals.  Surprisingly, Las Vegas is extremely more kid-friendly than we expected.  However, it was also considerably more expensive than we expected.  Especially, when it came to meals.  Wow.  I think we had two meals for under $50.  Part of that was our fault, but mostly, it was the result of the options.

No matter what the reason, you are bound to eat some great food while in Las Vegas.  Below is a little rundown of where we ate and tips on making it cheaper.

Quick Tips for Saving Money

Before I get into where we ate, let me give you some basic tips to help you save money.

  • Pack snacks in your suitcase.  Preferably, pick snacks that you normally eat so that any leftovers can be taken home and eaten later. Also, bringing snacks suitable for breakfast saves you money on that meal as well.  
  • Eat fast food for lunch.  You’ll save so much money if you only eat at sit-down restaurants in the evening.  
  • Check to see if the restaurant has a kid menu.  Believe it or not, this isn’t always the case.
  • Share meals.  Some of these meals are so large that sharing them would be ideal.  And keep you from having to take leftovers back to your hotel.
  • Use coupons for hotel restaurants.  Your hotel may provide you a coupon book for a free appetizer or a certain amount off your meal.  Take advantage of these.  

Our Meals

We did not follow most of the tips above so we spent a lot more money on food than we expected.  Nevertheless, all our meals were delicious and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  We only had one meal we regretted the entire time we were there. I’d say that’s a pretty good trip.  So here is where we went and my suggestions if you plan to visit these restaurants.

Bobby’s Burger Palace

On our first full day in Las Vegas, we spent most the morning walking up and down the strip.  Part of that time was spent looking for somewhere for lunch (and by looking, I mean agreeing on somewhere for lunch).  We landed at Bobby’s Burger Palace.  Bobby Flay is one of my favorite Food Network chefs so I was excited to try out his place.

Wow.  If you like burgers, this is your place.  You can get almost anything on your burger.  Chris ordered the Cheyenne burger which was topped with bacon, bbq sauce, and onion rings. I ordered the Philly Cheesesteak Burger covered with provolone, peppers, and onions.  Each of the girls had a regular cheeseburger (Anna with pickles and ketchup, Addie just ketchup).  Finally, we ordered cheese fries to share.  All in all, everything was delicious.

But one thing I should warn you about.  It is expensive.  Our total meal was about $75 for 4 burgers, 3 drinks, and cheese fries.  To me (and granted I’m a cheapskate), this was a lot to spend for a lunch.  So if you plan to eat here, make sure you are prepared for the cost.

Cabo Wabo Cantina

As we were leaving the Miracle Mile shops, Cabo Wabo Cantina grabbed our attention.  We knew about Cabo Wabo tequila, but didn’t realize there was also a restaurant.  Before we left the mall, we asked whether there was a kid’s menu (learning from our experience earlier with Bobby’s  Burger Palace).  They gave us the green light on the kid’s menu so we made this our dinner. 

We really enjoyed this restaurant.  The atmosphere was super fun.  In fact, several bachelor and bachelorette parties started their evenings there.  I was excited about the margaritas.  After a day of walking around, it was time for a good drink.  The CW margarita might be the best I’ve had in a long time.  To save you a couple dollars (and some calories), just ask for the double.  

The food was excellent as well.  The girls devoured their chicken fingers.  Chris ordered a giant carnita-filled burrito covered in cheese sauce.  He loved it. For dessert, the kids’ meals came with churros.  This was my first time eating a real churro (cinnamon twists from Taco Bell don’t count) and it was delicious.  And the meal was about the right price for everything we ordered (which made me happy). 


Hard Rock Cafe

As a kid, our parents took us to Hard Rock Cafe every time we traveled.   It is a staple in our family.  We love the atmosphere and the food.  So naturally, we had to take the girls to Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas.

Hard Rock Cafe never disappoints.   The girls loved the decor of guitars and music memorabilia (naturally, they asked where all Taylor Swift’s stuff was).  The food was excellent and probably the healthiest of our meals.  Chris had a club sandwich in which he is still talking about and I ate grilled chicken with rice.  THe girls’ meals came on guitar-shaped plates.  To top it off, it was our cheapest meal of the trip!


Paradise Buffet and Cafe

Paradise Buffet and Cafe is located away from the main strip on Fremont Street.  Fremont Street is what many people call “Old Vegas.”  The Golden Nugget Casino is there.  The street is covered with a tarp or roof.  Throughout the evening, a light show is played on the roof.  It’s pretty cool.  But is much different than the main strip.  The debauchery that is Las Vegas is on display a little more than where we spent most of our time.

Anyway, we decided to go to the Paradise Cafe Buffet for our last dinner in Las Vegas.  Our daughter’s cheer team was having a surprise dinner for their coach since it was her birthday.  While it was a cheap meal, I won’t necessarily say it was the best. However, it is a pretty good option if you are looking for something cheap and with variety. There were a ton of options from Italian to Mexican to deli to even sushi.   I wasn’t really that impressed with it, but it was cheap and the girls had a great time.

The Rainforest Cafe

The Rainforest Cafe is a pretty cool restaurant if you’ve never been.  The restaurant is decorated with fake plants and animals that move and make sound.  Every half hour or so, the lights dim and there is a “show”(for lack of a better term).  There are animatron gorillas, monkeys, leopards, and other animals of the rainforest.  It really is a pretty cool place.  Furthermore, the menu was super kid-friendly.

We chose this place because both Chris and I had been to one before.  Since the girls love animals, we figured this was right up their alley.  But let me tell you, it probably would be cheaper had we taken the girls to actual rainforest.

To start, you walk through the gift shop filled with stuffed animals, jewelry and clothing (smart people, these Rainforest folks are).  Right away, we knew we were in trouble.  The girls have an addiction to stuffed animals.  The amount they own is staggering.  So naturally, we spent the time we waited for our table deciding on what animals to buy.

Once we sat down, we enjoyed a really nice dinner.  The girls devoured their food and enjoyed the atmosphere.  But then the bill came.  This meal was hands down the most expensive we had the entire trip.  And honestly, the food wasn’t worth that much. It really was a good meal, but spending that much on some fish and chips seems a little ridiculous.










Bubba Gump Shrimp

Forrest Gump is my all time favorite movie.  I mean, it’s on once a month at our house.  Not surprisingly, I am also a huge fan of the Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant.  Chris became a huge fan when it was the only place to grab a drink before noon in New Orleans on our honeymoon.  Al in all, it has great food, great drinks, and reminders of my favorite movie everywhere.

After a morning of walking and shopping, we hit up Bubba’s for lunch.  The girls got drinks in fun glasses with lighted bottoms.  Since we love hush puppies (and you can’t get them anywhere in Indiana) we grabbed an order for an appetizer.  Both Chris and I got seafood while the girls ate chicken and shrimp poppers.  Chris enjoyed a fruity drink while I had a beer.

But here is a warning.  This lunch cost us about $120., without tip.  Whoa.  We just didn’t expect that.  In all reality, we should have.  We definitely recommend taking your kids here, but be mindful.  It might cost a lot more than you might expect.

In the end, it’s all worth the money

Yes, the amount we paid for things was a little much.  Our lack of planning definitely made the meals cost a little more than we had expected.  Plus, we live in Indiana where we are blessed with a low-cost of living compared to everywhere else.  While we spent much more than we wanted, we still enjoyed ourselves and ate some great food in the process.  So if you decide to take a family vacation, don’t hesitate to indulge a little bit.  It’ll likely be worth it in the end.