Mommy Vegas Idea #4
One of Las Vegas’ Best Kept Buffet Secrets!
Early in our Vegas residency, my dad was working out of state, my brothers were off exploring the world, and my mom and I were making a sport of exploiting the cheapest eats Sin City had to offer.
With only two bellies to feed, it was easier, and sometimes even cheaper, to go out. Plus, it was fun, all huddled in a quaint booth some nauga gave its hide for, while swapping stories about our days.
It was a great time, and for two girls that love hunting out a good deal, it was a ton of fun trying to outdo our standing records. There were seriously a few places left in town where 1 – 2 bucks could get you an entire meal, and if you were willing to eat in the middle of the night, 49¢ could get you an entire breakfast at the Klondike! Granted, it wasn’t seafood at the Rio, or steak at the Hilton, but if you could ignore the haze of cigarette smoke and sticky pleather booth, some of it was actually pretty good!
Many implosions later, the going rate for a decent buffet at dinner is about $40, and some are upwards of $80 a guest! While I can’t say I ever LIKE paying that much to eat, I can say the dining experiences to be had on the Strip can be quite extraordinary. My standing fave is the Aria, if you like tapas style dining, the experience is fantastic – particularly during their Gourmet Buffet. But a few local joints have made an effort to provide unique and exotic fare alongside comfort food faves, which tend to be a bit easier on the billfold! The Stations, including Red Rock and Green Valley Ranch, usually have pretty good eats at reasonable prices. Particularly if you go for breakfast or lunch, and midweek prices are often even better! Be sure to get their players’ club card, “The Boarding Pass,” if you haven’t already. This handy little card signs you up for all sorts of specials and events, and earns you points to redeem for various benefits, but germane to the topic of cheap eats, gets you oodles of buffet options under ten bucks!
I’ve had a few good meals at the Cannery and Arizona Charlies properties too, but the best, without question, that I’ve had thus far, has been The M. While a little pricier than some of the other local hangouts, the food is consistently excellent, and delightfully diverse. Additionally, the property is simply stunning, well manicured and in a nicer part of town, if you can call the very tippity edge of our desert island part of “town.” We’ve had great luck with freshness, and the selection is so wide that even the pickiest eaters have no trouble, while the adventurers will find plenty of exotic salads and sausages, sushi and soups, and desserts, desserts, desserts! A fun added bonus is the inclusion of selected wines and beers on tap… and even an espresso and gelato bar. I’m a fan of their own Microbrew Cider, personally. OH, and munchkins 4 and under are FREE!
Dinner at the M’s Studio B Buffet, isn’t cheap. At $23.99 during the week and $39.99 for their Seafood Buffet (Friday – Sunday), you aren’t paying much less than Strip prices. But have no fear! There is a simple trick to getting oodles of great food at pub prices. If your schedule allows, why not gather for a weekday brunch?* Monday – Friday breakfast is only $10.99, $5.99 if you happen to have California ID (I know, so unfair for us locals, but remember to remind yourself how much we love the money they share with our economy!).
There’s a reason breakfast is so inexpensive, there really isn’t much out yet, the bar isn’t open, the desserts are neatly hiding behind the counter… it’s just not the full Studio B experience… until 10:30, when EVERYTHING comes out to play. SO, the trick is to get there AND PAY BEFORE 10:30 AM, but late enough to not have to wait 2 hours for a bit of creme brulee… that being said, the line isn’t usually half bad between 10 and 10:15. Cut it too close, and you may start to feel like you’re waiting for Mickey’s autograph at Disneyland. Now, if you happen to miss the breakfast deal, no worries, its only $5 more for lunch, but that can add up with a larger group. So be sure to try mid-week “brunch” at the M and let us know about your favorite family deals and tricks for great eats in Vegas!
P.S: If you don’t mind a slightly longer walk to the food, ask your host(ess) if you may sit near the windows. Studio B at The M has a solarium dining space with huge floor to ceiling windows. The view of the Valley is spectacular.
*I HAVE SAD NEWS: The Studio B, M Buffet no longer offers Breakfast, I will try to update this post if breakfast returns, but for the time being, lunch is served between 11:00 am and 2:30 pm and is $15.99 for adults and $11.99 for children 5-9.