So you shelled out a bunch of cash for the new iPhone and now your wallet is looking a little bare. Don’t worry, you can still dine at some of Las Vegas’ best restaurants and have some money left over for clubbing after dinner.
Many restaurants around town have bar and lounge areas that offer less expensive menus or some great happy hour options. You can still taste the amazing food from celebrity chefs and enjoy the amibience at the city’s top restaurants but at a fraction of the cost of sitting down to a full dinner.
Bonus: You don’t have to make reservations or wait for a table either. Here are 10 of our favorite restaurant bars to grab a bite at:
Carnevino at Palazzo: Trust us, you want to try Mario Batali’s food at Carnevino. If a big juicy steak from one of the best steakhouses in town isn’t in your budget, you can still get some incredible food with the restaurant’s Taverna menu. Grab a steak sandwich, a burger or ribs for under $30. There are also some tasty sides like sautéed spinach with garlic and hot peppers or Italian broccoli with garlic and pork. While you’re in the bar, be sure to taste a glass of one of the wines on the restaurant’s extensive list.
Sage at Aria: Your grandma was right. The early bird does catch the worm. Or in this case, a great deal on dinner. Sage, a highly-acclaimed restaurant from Chef Shawn McClain, specializes in sustainable seafood, artisanal meats and farm-to-table produce. The restaurant’s signature tasting menu is $89 but if you dine between 5 – 7 p.m. you can indulge in the early evening menu for $59, available from 5 – 7 p.m. It’s a total bargain for a three-course meal with a choice of heirloom tomatoes or chilled sweet corn soup; Pacific yellowtail Kampachi, organic chicken or flat iron steak; and a caramelized pineapple mousse for dessert. You’ll even have some money left over to try one of Sage’s 10 absinthe offerings. We dare you.
Comme Ça at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas: This modern French brasserie features a menu from noted Los Angeles Chef David Myers. For a sampling of the sophisticated traditional French fare, head to the lounge for the restaurant’s social hour from 5 – 8 p.m. You’ll find drink specials and menu items like beef tartare, escargot and mushroom pie, shrimp cocktail, Mediterranean octopus and an oven baked heirloom tomato tart, all for under $20 each.
Heritage Steak at The Mirage: Fans of “Top Chef’s” Tom Colicchio will want to visit his restaurant, Heritage Steak at The Mirage. If you don’t have the budget to indulge in a full steak dinner you can try the lounge menu, which is available from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Most items range from $15 – $25. Try mouthwatering bites like brisket sliders, lobster hushpuppies, a king crab roll or the Heritage burger. Save room to top it off with dessert. We like the Float N Cookies, made with cookies, caramel ice cream and chocolate stout.
Morton’s, 400 E. Flamingo Road: Morton’s is well known for their steaks but if you want something a little bit lighter on your wallet and your stomach, you can eat in the bar and enjoy their Bar Bites menu Sunday – Friday from open until 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close. You’ll find items like $7 iceberg wedge bites, $8 mini crab cake BLTs, $8 petite filet mignon sandwiches and three mini prime cheeseburgers for $8.
Olives at Bellagio: Olives from celebrity chef Todd English is a Mediterranean-style restaurant with views of the Fountains of Bellagio. For a lovely experience at a lower price, sit at the bar and order from the bar menu, which features things like tuna carpaccio, grilled squid and baby octopus, the Olives Burger and fig and prosciutto flatbread all for under $20 each.
Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas: Everyone wants to try some of the famous “Hell’s Kitchen” chef’s food, which means it can be tough to get a reservation here. So why not eat at the bar? The restaurant has a separate bar menu with items like fish and chips, American Wagyu beef sliders and seared Hudson Valley foie gras for under $30 each.
Julian Serrano at Aria: For a taste of some tapas from award-winning Spanish chef Julian Serrano at bargain prices, try his restaurant’s happy hour menu Sunday – Thursday, 4 – 5:30 p.m. You can sip sangria for $5 and eat assorted bites for under $10 including brava potatoes for $5, Spanish Iberico sliders for $6.50 and Serrano’s famous tuna raspberry skewers for $7. They’re a delicious blend of ahi tuna, molecular raspberry, wasabi and sesame seed. Julian Serrano also has an early evening tasting menu for $39, available until 7 p.m. It’s a great deal that includes an appetizer, entrée and dessert.
Aureole at Mandalay Bay: Chef Charlie Palmer’s Aureole is one of Las Vegas’ most striking restaurants. It actually has a four-story wine tower in the center with wine “angels” who are lifted up and down on mechanical hoists to get your bottle. If your budget is more about a glass of wine than a bottle, try happy hour in the lounge area from 5 – 7 p.m. and 9:30 – 11 p.m. You can choose from a collection of small plates for $8 including hearts of Romaine, spicy cilantro hummus, yellowfin tuna poke, barbecue grilled baby back ribs and sirloin sliders.
DB Brasserie at the Venetian: Want to taste the cuisine of revered French chef Daniel Boulud for an incredible price? Head to his contemporary French restaurant, DB Brasserie, for happy hour from 3 – 6 p.m. daily. You can get one of his DB signature burgers for less than $20. Our pick is the Frenchie with Morbier cheese, Dijon mustard, pork belly, tomato-onion compote and arugula. Other choices include fish & chips for $9, tarte flambee with Alsatian flatbread, bacon, onion and cheese and poached Gulf shrimp for $2 each.