Eat on the cheap with these Vegas happy hours

We all know happy hour is a great way to drink on the cheap. But we’ll let you in on a little secret… it’s also one of our favorite ways to eat in Vegas without breaking the bank. Want to eat at a fancy-schmancy restaurant where a full meal might not be in your budget? Happy hour is the perfect way to do that. It’s also a great way to try lots of different dishes on the menu. The portion sizes (and prices) are smaller so you can grab a whole bunch of different plates. Then grab a group of friends. You can all split the cost and everybody can get a taste.

Here are some of our favorite places for happy hour food in Vegas:

The Venetian and Palazzo are basically the kings of happy hour on the Strip. They’ve got 14 (!) happy hours under one roof. Try one or put together a happy hour crawl and try them all…here are a few of your choices:

Oysters are $1 during Oyster Hour at db Brasserie. Photo by Kristine McKenzie

Oysters are $1 during Oyster Hour at db Brasserie. Photo by Kristine McKenzie.

db Brasserie at The Venetian
Head to the lounge at acclaimed Chef Daniel Boulud’s db Brasserie and be sure you get there by 5 p.m. You can indulge in “oyster hour” from 5 until 6 p.m. with $1 West Coast oysters. If oysters aren’t your thing, they have plenty of other happy hour options including chicken flatbread with farmer’s cheese, avocado and Serrano peppers for $9; crispy Thai calamari for $9; eggplant and hummus with spicy pita bread for $6; and an artisan cheese plate with three cheeses, quince preserves, nuts and cranberry bread for $9. Happy hour is daily from 3 – 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. – close.

Buddy V’s at The Venetian
Buddy V
, aka “The Cake Boss” offers some great happy hour food in the bar and lounge area. For $5 you can get ricotta cheese with grilled bread, calamari, Grandma’s meatballs, mac & cheese carbonara, smashed meatball sliders and sausage & pepper sliders. Bonus: You’ll often find some swingin’ live music in the lounge area. Happy hour runs from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. daily.

Table 10 at Palazzo
Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans-style restaurant offers happy hour from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. – close daily. Indulge in things like barbecued shrimp ($9), West Coast oysters, $1.50 each (minimum of 6), tomato and mozzarella skewers ($8), and crab hush puppies with pepper jelly ($9). Bam!

The options on the happy hour menu at Grand Lux Cafe are endless. Photo by Ashley Oñoz-Wright.

The options on the happy hour menu at Grand Lux Cafe are endless. Photo by Ashley Oñoz-Wright.

Grand Lux Café at Palazzo
Hungry? Grand Lux has a huge happy hour menu with dozens of bites for only $5.50. Choose from Buffalo chicken rolls, chicken lettuce wraps, creamy spinach and cheese dip, bacon-wrapped hot dogs, double stuffed potato spring rolls and much more. Happy hour is available Monday – Friday, 4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Searsucker at Caesars Palace
Going to see a show at The Colosseum and want to grab a quick bite beforehand? Happy hour at Searsucker is your answer. The happy hour runs daily from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. and you can indulge in bar eats starting at $9. Choices include tomato & burrata; hummus and grilled flatbread; potato fries with prosciutto dust and chipotle ketchup; lolliop wings; sliders with chipotle, cheddar and bacon and tuna tacos (blackened ahi, avocado and jalapeno relish).

Soft pretzels & Provolone fondue, photo courtesy of Culinary Dropout.

Soft pretzels & Provolone fondue, photo courtesy of Culinary Dropout.

Culinary Dropout at Hard Rock Hotel
Culinary Dropout
is a great place to chill for happy hour from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday. You can try all sorts of bites for $6 including grilled cheese sliders, chopped salad, Korean shrimp and chicken on a stick, a meatloaf sandwich and smoked salmon bruschetta. The one thing you absolutely must order is the soft pretzels & Provolone fondue. You can thank us later.

The happy hour rock shrimp at N9NE Steakhouse, photo courtesy of N9NE.

The happy hour rock shrimp at N9NE Steakhouse, photo courtesy of N9NE.

N9NE Steakhouse at the Palms
N9NE Steakhouse has a brand new happy hour menu, available exclusively in the bar and lounge from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Guests can enjoy small plates of popular N9NE appetizers including lobster potstickers, sashimi, calamari and more.

New happy hour items include: Buffalo chicken wontons stuffed generously with hot sauce and blue cheese for $8; calamari zested with cherry peppers and spicy marinara sauce for $9; lobster potstickers with bok choy and pepper yuzu sauce for $9; rock shrimp accompanied with spicy Sriracha sauce and lemon aioli for $9; and short rib ravioli with Chanterelle mushroom and Pancetta cream for $11.

Veranda at Four Seasons
Seven is a lucky number at Veranda. You can grab $7 appetizers, $7 cocktails and $7 wines by the glass from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. daily in the bar. Bites include things like beef sliders with balsamic onion, porcini smoked gouda and hand cut waffle chips and margherita pizza.

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas knows how to party in style. They’re so stylish they call their happy hour “The Social Hour.” Whatever you like to call it, there are some amazing food and drink specials. Here are a few to try:

Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill
On Mondays – Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. you can try seven different selections for $7 each. Choices include a yellowtail scallion roll, spicy tuna roll, salmon roll, spicy scallop roll and more.

D.O.C.G
We love the Italian food at D.O.C.G. and we love it even more when we can sample all kinds of dishes for $7 each. Nosh on Tuscan fries, mushroom bruschetta, shishito peppers and warm olives. The social hour runs Monday – Thursday from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Scarpetta
Chef Scott Conant serves delicious modern Italian food at Scarpetta. Want to try a bunch of menu items without buying the full-size dishes? Then the $7 small bites menu is for you. You can sample things like arancini, short rib and bone marrow agnolotti, housemade lamb sausage, and duck and foie gras ravioli. The bites are available Monday – Thursday, 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Mini cheese stuffed burgers at TREVI, photo courtesy of TREVI.

Mini cheese stuffed burgers at TREVI, photo courtesy of TREVI.

TREVI at The Forum Shops at Caesars
Grab yourself some “TREVI Bites” at the bar at TREVI. The happy hour is available from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close. Bites include fresh stuffed mushrooms, fried calamari, eggplant crisps, homemade meatballs and mini cheese stuffed burgers. The food is all $6.

Pantry at The Mirage
Pantry
is a 24-hour restaurant so we love that they have two happy hours, including one for the night owls. You can indulge from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. – 2 a.m. Happy hour food includes $5 chicken wings, Caprese flatbread and crispy calamari. You can also find bargains like a burger and drink for $18 and a 12-ounce grilled center ribeye and a drink for $28.

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It’s not that warm in Minnesota. I know this from spending half my life freezing in the northern part of the state. So 20 years ago, I decided to thaw out and traded in scarves and mittens for tank tops and flip-flops (Take that, polar vortex!). I swapped snow for 300 days of sun a year. I may not have been born here, but there are hotels that haven’t lasted in Vegas as long as I have. The Sands, Hacienda, Aladdin, Desert Inn and the Stardust too. I've been to my fair share of implosion parties. (Yeah, that’s a thing.) As a writer for Vegas.com, I've applauded hundreds of shows, explored every major hotel in town and raised a few glasses at most of the city's bars and clubs. Now I'm the resident foodie here. I write about all things dining — from $3.99 shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate to the finest sushi at Nobu, and everything in between.