It’s always fun – especially on long road-trips with small children – to revisit a place you’ve been to before; somewhere you can roll up to, check into your favourite room, and breathe a huge sigh of relief without the need to start researching a whole new destination.
Coming back doesn’t necessarily mean there’s nothing new to discover, though, as our recent Las Vegas redux reminded us. Sure, we checked back into the child-friendly Trump Hotel and popped into some of our fave hangouts (the ridiculously old-school Pinball Museum, the expansive sand dunes of Death Valley, all covered in our Las Vegas Destination Guide).
But we also made a few new food-related discoveries in the good ole City of Sin, all great for keeping costs down without resorting to the dodgiest all-you-can-eat casino buffets on, or off, that magic neon Strip. So here are our five new Las Vegas foodie favourites: tuck in!
- If you’re picnicking, self-catering, or just want to stock up on a whack of snacks for the room (a sure way, too, to cut your travel expenses and buy yourselves extra minutes in bed: buy breakfast items to satisfy hungry little folk in the early hours) head either to Trader Joe’s (2101 South Decator Blvd) or the hugest Wholefoods you’ll likely have ever seen. Neither are far from the Strip, both have ample goodies on offer (the latter has an incredible hot-bar, quesadilla station, ice-cream bar, noodle station…) and they’ll save you a small fortune on eating out and about in Vegas.
- To combine great (cheap) eats and family fun, head to the amazing Downtown Container Park in the up-and-coming original Downtown area of the city. Stacked shipping containers house fab little food joints (our kids loved the veggie-dogs with exotic toppings at Cheffini’s, and the perfectly greasy tacos at Pinches Tacos, while we went upstairs for yummy vegan goodness at Simply Pure). After chowing down, the Container Park houses the most incredible children’s playground (33ft slide, anyone?) at its centre. Note that kids are only allowed in until 9pm; after that, it becomes adult territory, with DJs and great drinks.
- Who doesn’t love a good doughnut? Las Vegas in-the-know institution Ronald’s Donuts is the place to get them. Located in a down-at-heel strip mall, and host to a real crowd of Las Vegas “colourful” locals, Ronald’s also has the distinction of vending largely vegan – yes, vegan! – doughnuts to hungry Las…well…Vegans. Kids will love choosing from the rows of sweet, sweet goods on offer (we love the custard-filled kind, and the apple fritters), a dozen won’t cost much more than $10, and you’ll likely never buy a cheaper cup of coffee anywhere, ever. Open 4am to 4pm daily.
- If it’s late at night, the kids are asleep, and you’re hungry, forego for once the dull, dull room service menu and send one (adult) family representative out into the night to seek out Indian food from India Masala. Located in the food court of the seedy-looking Riviera Hotel, don’t be put off by appearances: every time we’ve been here, we’ve lined up alongside dozens of Indian tourists and expats all getting their Aloo Gobi fix. It’s open 24/7, and though the queues can be long in the wee hours, there’s plenty of casino people-watching to be had whilst you await your little taste of India in the desert.
- If the lure of pizza calls your diminutive charges – or yourselves – two fab options at either end of the Strip will satisfy your oozy, cheesy urges. South, Slice of Vegas in the Mandalay Bay casino dishes up all the classics, plus a whole host of yummy extras (roasted cauliflower, portobello sandwiches) and a big vegan menu, using Daiya cheese. Up north in Downtown, Pop Up Pizza at the Plaza Hotel (1 S Main St) has delicious wallet-friendly slices (as well as full pies) and vegan soft-serve ice cream, great to munch whilst exploring the Fremont Street Experience, or en route to the Downtown Container Park (see above), or any other of Downtown Las Vegas’s attractions.