Las Vegas on a Budget

Day 1 – Fremont Street / Downtown

As soon as we decided to begin an 8 month backpacking trip in Las Vegas, we knew we’d be spending a lot of time in the Downtown / Fremont Street area – everything here is cheaper than it’s equivalent on the Strip. Luckily Fremont East is now (and has been for a while) one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the city with plenty of options for cheap-eats, dive bars and cool things to see.

Le Thai came up on just about every “best of” list we read for Vegas so we made this our first stop.

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It’s really popular at lunch time so we had to wait half an hour for a table – no big deal as they have a great patio at the front door where you can have a beer and watch the world go by.

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The food was amazing value for money and they can make any dish vegetarian or vegan if you ask. $10 for lunch, including a drink, is a crazy good find for Vegas so I’d definitely recommend this place to anyone visiting!

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We walked off our curries by visiting an old favourite – Downtown Container Park. Welcoming you in is an imposing 55-foot-tall praying mantis built onto the back of a pickup truck (originally for Burning Man festival). If you’re lucky and visit at night you can see it shooting fire from it’s mouth!

Back in 2015 Container Park was still relatively new with lots of empty units, but now it’s 3 levels filled with shops, cafes and other small businesses. Then even have a tiny wedding chapel on the top floor!

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It’s the kind of place that I would visit lots if I was a local, perfect for spending an hour or so and very family friendly too. Hopefully it keeps growing!

Ready for a seat and another beer we went into the first place we saw – an Even Knievel themed pizza restaurant / dive bar! Seriously…

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Beers were cheap (PBRs for $2 – woohoo!) and we got a seat in the window that was perfect for people watching and sunbathing. It quickly became one of our favourite spots in the city!

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We happily sat here for hours, and made plenty of friends with other tourists looking to steal a little of our sunny spot.

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Sadly, happy hour had to come to an end. We continued our downtown tour at the Golden Nugget where we got to see the world’s biggest gold nugget (not as big as I expected!) and then enjoy a game of craps, where we won enough money to cover our Thai lunch and all of the afternoon’s beers! Not bad for a few rolls of the dice!

Feeling a little richer, Martin treated us to a frozen margarita (when in Rome…!) just in time for the live music to begin outside at the Fremont Street experience. We spent the rest of the night dancing, laughing and chatting to all kinds of people enjoying their vacations.

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Perfect cheap day in Vegas!


Day 2 – Off Strip

We started the day with a visit to one of the many huge outlet malls just south of the Strip. Shopping is not exactly a cheap pastime in Vegas, but Martin needed some new trainers and at $40 for a pair of Nike’s it was certainly more budget friendly than buying back home!

Next we took a bus way out into the ‘burbs on a quest to find Vegeway, a new restaurant I’d read a lot about. The place is pretty unique – a completely vegan fast food joint styled on California’s famous In-n-Out burger chain.

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The food was brilliant, definitely in my top ten veggie burgers of all time – yes, I have a list! Hank Vegan Burger in Paris is my all-time number one, it just can’t be beaten. But Vegeway was up there!

We hugely over ordered because I had to try a “fish” taco along with our burgers, plus an order of sweet potato fries (classic), deep fried courgette and a chocolate ice-cream milkshake.

No regrets though, what an awesome tray of food!

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We left absolutely stuffed and had to endure a pretty epic bus ride back to our hotel. Turns out there isn’t much more to do off-Strip, the whole area is very residential with the odd row of chain restaurants and supermarkets thrown in. I don’t think I’d be venturing off-Strip again anytime soon – unless some more amazing vegan food pops up!


Day 3 – The Strip

On our last day we wanted to spend time on the Strip, checking out a few of our old haunts and seeing what had changed in the last year.

I wanted to see the new area called “The Park” built between the New York New York and Monte Carlo casinos. Similar to the Linq it’s a pedestrianised street filled with bars and restaurants, leading towards the new T-Mobile Arena. After a look around we decided to try Beerhaus, a new German-style craft beer bar which was advertising a decent happy hour.

My favourite thing about Beerhaus was the selection of vintage board games to play while drinking – there aren’t many games you can play for free in Vegas so we were pretty excited! And so began possibly the best and most competitive game of Jenga ever played…

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Guess who lost?!

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Obviously the cheapest entertainment in Vegas is just to walk up and down the Strip. There’s always something new and exciting to see, and the people watching is endless. Leaving Beerhaus at sunset we picked up a couple of cans of “Mango-rita” from CVS (sugary margarita goodness!) and headed north.

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We popped in to a few casinos for a look and to place bets for some friends back at home, then of course stood and watched the Bellagio fountains. Always a must do for me in Vegas, I never get tired of seeing them!

Dinner was easy to keep cheap, especially since I became obsessed with Taco Bell. It’s easily the best fast-food restaurant for veggies and a burrito filled with beans, rice, salsa & guacamole is only $3! My heaven. Martin prefers his fast-food in pizza form rather than Mexican, but luckily the Strip has a couple of amazing pizza joints serving huge slices for around 6 bucks.

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Apparently it was good 😉

The rest of the night was a blur of mango-rita and running about the Strip like big kids!

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Finishing back where we started at the T-Mobile Arena, “admiring” the new statue in our own special way…

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  1. I’m loving your blog! 😻

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