7 Great Cheap Eats in Offbeat Las Vegas

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Viva Las Arepas owner Felix Arellano delivers some awesome Venezuelan areas near downtown Las Vegas

This is from my new ebook Marathon Mouth, available to purchase from online booksellers Amazon (Amazon Canada), iTunes, Kobo and Chapters/Indigo.

Las Vegas  has plentiful fine cuisine in the top-end hotels/casinos. But you have to venture off The Strip to find the best cheap eats. The bonus is these places are often in far more colourful, less sanitized parts of town.

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The most colourful area of Las Vegas is just a few minutes drive removed from The Strip

Only a five-minute drive removed from the tourist hordes is a decidedly more downbeat neighbourhood with colourful signs reminiscent of the 1950s. Here, you’ll find the fabulous Viva Las Arepas, where friendly owner Felix Arellano can often be found cooking chicken and beef over a mesquite-fired grill and then stuffing the meats inside cornmeal Venezuelan pockets splashed with house-made hot sauce.

Not far away, chef Josh Clark is making innovative, epic sandwiches (like seared bratloaf and smoked whitefish) at The Goodwich and charging less than you’d tip a bellhop at a strip hotel. Note: The Goodrich is currently moving to a new location, so check the website for the opening and hours of operation. In the meantime, their old food truck, next door to Viva Las Arepas, is now an incubator for a rotating series of talented young chefs and is definitely worth checking out.

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Best BLT I’ve ever eaten, thanks to the house-cured bacon at The Goodwich

More culinary adventures await in an even less polished part of downtown. Inside the marvelous, new LGBTQ Center, with its impressively landscaped front patio, is the Bronze Café. While much of its creative fare is vegan, there’s a maple-glazed bacon sandwich, slathered in bacon jam, worthy of a carnivore’s trek.

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The Bronze Cafe serves up some great vegan and carnivore meals

Away from the city center, Bachi Burger brings an Asian twist to American classics. Would you believe fabulous oxtail chile fries, wagyu burgers with caramelized bacon and Peking duck sliders, all washed down with a unique black milk tea or yuzu soda? To the near west, Chile Verde Express is a one-man show, pumping out inexpensive burritos, tacos and the like, inside a gas station.

There are more fantastic cross-cultural things happening at Komex Fusion. Throw some Korean, American and Mexican cuisine into the blender and what emerges is, say, bulgogi fries topped with melted mozza, meat, pico de gallo and Korean hot sauce—a big, tasty plate of food at a most affordable price.

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Hungry for a multinational dish? How about bulgogi fries at Komex Fusion?

If you’re looking for a good caffeine fix, visit Sambalatte Torrefazione at two cafes in the Vegas hinterlands and one in the Monte Carlo Casino on The Strip. It small-batch roasts beans and turns them into fine espressos, pour-overs and ice coffees.

 

Las Vegas

 

Viva Las Arepas
1616 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Suite 120
Daily 8 am-midnight
702-366-9696

The Goodwich
900 South Las Vegas Boulevard (upcoming location. Check for hours)
702-910-8681

Bronze Cafe
401 South Maryland Parkway
Weekdays 7 am-10 pm, weekends 10 am-8 pm
702-202-3100

Bachi Burger
470 East Windmill Lane, Suite 100 (two other Las Vegas locations)
Sunday-Monday 11 am-11 pm, Tuesday to Thursday 11 am-midnight, Friday-Saturday 11 am-1 am
702-242-2244

Chile Verde Express
8095 South Rainbow Boulevard (Choice Sinclair Gas Station)
Monday to Thursday 8 am-7 pm, Friday-Saturday 8 am-6 pm. Closed Sunday
702-260-7758

 KoMex Fusion
633 North Decatur Boulevard (one other Las Vegas location)
Monday to Saturday 11 am-8 pm. Closed Sunday
702-646-1612

 Sambalatte Torrefazione
3770 South Las Vegas Boulevard (two other Las Vegas locations)
Daily 7 am-10 pm
702-730-6789

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One thought on “7 Great Cheap Eats in Offbeat Las Vegas

  1. karenleahansen

    Great review! You’re right about Las Vegas not having many cheap eats. I go to Vegas about five times a year, but one of those trips, I’m alone most of the day while my husband is working a convention. It’s great being in Vegas for a week, but the pool, but it’s also crazy expensive. Earl of Sandwich is one of my go-to’s for a quick, inexpensive meal. I love splurging in Vegas, but if you’re there for a week, there is a budget. Thanks for your tips and reviews!

    Like

    Reply

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