Las Vegas Feature
Don't forget about Sin City's terrific hole-in-the-wall dives, inexpensive regional chains, and cheap-and-cheerful take-out counters that serve tasty treats at rock-bottom prices.
Blueberry Hill. This local mini-chain feels a bit like Denny's but serves far superior food, including hearty Mexican specialties, fruit-topped pancakes and waffles, and a number of "diet delight"–type platters. Blueberry Hill has four locales within a short drive of the Strip, two of them open 24 hours. 1505 E. Flamingo Rd., University District, Las Vegas, NV, 89119. 702/696–9666. www.blueberryhillrestaurants.com.
Capriotti's Sandwich Shop. This East Coast transplant satisfies Sin City's cravings for giant sub sandwiches, including a Philly-style cheese steak, a hot pastrami sandwich, and a divine creation called the Bobbie—basically Thanksgiving dinner on a bun. Numerous locations around town include outposts in a couple of outlying casinos, such as Red Rock, Aliante, Santa Fe, and Green Valley. 322 W. Sahara Ave., West Side, Las Vegas, NV, 89102. 702/474–0229.
Carnegie Deli. The famed NYC source of matzoh-ball soup and mammoth sandwiches has a bustling outpost inside the Mirage. Serious deli fans should try the smoked-sturgeon omelet or Harvey's Midnight Special (all-beef knockwurst with baked beans and sauerkraut) or a stacked-up-to-here Reuben. The prices are high, but not so much if you figure the meats by the pound. The Mirage, 3400 Las Vegas Blvd. S, Center Strip, Las Vegas, NV, 89109. 702/791–7310. www.mirage.com/restaurants.
Espressamente Illy. Swoop into this authentic, cozy Italian coffee bar, at the entrance to the Shoppes at the Palazzo, for richly brewed premium beverages, flaky pastries, and warm paninis. This smart, colorful nook offers 54 flavors of glorious, creamy gelatos, as well as fresh dessert crepes, soups, and salads. Bonbons, truffles, and chocolate-dipped fruits also available. The Palazzo, 3325 Las Vegas Blvd. S, North Strip, Las Vegas, NV, 89109. 702/869–2233. www.palazzo.com/Las-Vegas-Restaurants.
Fatburger. Billing itself immodestly "the Last Great Hamburger Stand," this fast-food joint across from Monte Carlo (with about a dozen locales elsewhere around town) cooks up toothsome charbroiled burgers, hefty chili dogs, and crispy "fat fries." The Strip location is open 24 hours. 3763 Las Vegas Blvd. S, South Strip, Las Vegas, NV, 89109. 702/736–4733.
In-N-Out. The simple menu of fresh burgers, just-cut fries, and milk shakes makes this affordable West Coast fast-food joint a cult fave. If you're extra hungry (and we mean seriously so), go "off menu" and order a "4x4" (four beef patties with four slices of American cheese on a freshly baked bun), and maybe order it "animal style," with a mustard-grilled beef patty and extra spread with grilled onions. If you go through the drive-through you can watch them cutting the potatoes for fries, and choose your food packed for eating in the car (complete with lap mat) or taking out. 4888 Dean Martin Dr., West Side, Las Vegas, NV, 89103. 800/786–1000. www.in-n-out.com.
Jason's Deli. Soups, sandwiches—including hero-style muffuletas and po'boys—and salads star on Jason's extensive menu, which focuses on healthful and often organic ingredients. Devotees swear by the "Ciabatta Bing": oven-roasted turkey, roasted tomatoes, purple onions, guacamole, Swiss cheese, and field greens on a ciabatta roll. 3910 S. Maryland Pkwy., University District, Las Vegas, NV, 89119. 702/893–9799. www.jasonsdeli.com.
L&L Hawaiian Barbecue. This growing chain of zero-ambience fast-food eateries serves authentic Hawaiian-style barbecue to a heavily Hawaiian clientele (Las Vegas is known as the "ninth island" to Hawaiians). The plate lunch is the draw here, and considering that it comes with two scoops of rice and one of macaroni salad (along with whatever protein you'd like; the choices naturally include Spam), it's no surprise that there are so many guys walking around calling themselves the Big Kahuna. 4030 S. Maryland Pkwy., University District, Las Vegas, NV, 89119. 702/880–9898. www.hawaiianbarbecue.com.
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