21 August 2012

Eating vegan in Las Vegas without breaking the bank

If you're heading to Vegas as a vegan, you better love veggie burgers, because that's the majority of vegan options that they carry. For me, that is wonderful. I am in love with veggie burgers and could eat them every day. Good thing, because that was pretty much what I did, aside from an occasional salad. Luckily, every single veggie burger I ate was absolutely delicious, and they varied so it wasn't like eating the same type of veggie burger each time.

If you don't like veggie burgers, don't fret! There is one awesome cafe in the Fashion Show Mall that carries ALL vegan options! That's right...every single thing on their menu either is vegan, or will be made vegan if you request it. To top that off, they were the cheapest restaurant we could find that wasn't fast food.

The best part about eating vegan in Vegas, was that all of the restaurant menus are posted outside of each restaurant. This made it easy for us to walk by and check the menu, and if there wasn't anything that could be made vegan, then we'd leave and find something else. Yes, sometimes it made for a whole lot of walking and sore feet, but it was worth it.

Red Velvet Cafe at The Fashion Show Mall
We went to Red Velvet for lunch, and we started the meal off with Avocado Dip and Chips ($7). For the meal, I got the Veggie Grill Panini ($7.50), which was served with spinach, artichoke, roasted tomato, pesto dressing and vegan provolone, and also a side salad with a vinaigrette dressing. It felt so comforting and at home to be in a vegan-friendly restaurant.

The Coffee Shop at Treasure Island
Aside from the Red Velvet Cafe, which was the least expensive, many of the prices were pretty similar at each place we ate. We stayed at Treasure Island, and The Coffee Shop was the least expensive option, and also had a few veggie selections on the menu. Here, I got the Monterey Garden Burger ($13.95) which had cheese on it, but was made vegan at my request, and was served with French fries. They also had a few other veggie sandwiches, such as the Ultimate Patty Melt (just skip the cheese) and the Roasted Garden Sandwich (skip the cheese), plus many salads that can be made vegan without the meat or cheese added.

BLT Burger at The Mirage
BLT had some great salads to choose from, and also the Veggie Falafel ($10), which I got. It only came with a burger, so we got a side of Fat Fries ($5). This was a huge and hearty, delicious burger. It was my first time trying falafel, and it made for a very unique and tasty veggie burger. The burger was served with vegetables, hummus, avocado, and lettuce. Yum.

The Cheesecake Factory at Caesars Palace
We arrived to The Cheesecake Factory late at night, and we couldn't find anything else that was open and that had anything I could eat.  They offered a few vegetarian-friendly options, and they were priced pretty well for a huge portion of food. I got the Veggie Burger ($9), with came with a huge serving of French fries. The burger was packed with onion, brown rice, farro, black beans, and beets. It was topped with lettuce, tomato, and pickles. I just had to ask for no cheese or mayo. They also had many salads and pastas that can be made vegan.

Kahunaville Bar at Treasure Island
We went to the Kahunaville Bar for lunch to use a coupon, and the only thing that I could think of to make vegan was the Surfs Up Salad ($6.00), and I had to ask for no cheese. The salad was delicious. It had lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions, and was served with Italian Dressing.

Fast Food Options
Vegas has a number of fast food options, and that was what we resigned to during our last day on the strip. We went to Chipotle, which was heaven to eat a huge veggie and black bean burrito for a cheap price. We also ate at Quiznos, where I got a veggie sub with no cheese or mayo. They also have Subway and many other quick and cheap options. Plus, there's a Starbucks on just about every corner.

In summary, Vegas makes some awesome veggie burgers. Hopefully they will continue to expand their vegetarian and vegan options in the future, but I think it is very admirable that so many restaurants offer at least one vegan option on the menu. This takes a lot some stress out of the vegan in Vegas, and it surely makes me want to visit again!

Alexandra Beane | Facebook | Twitter
Minnesota Alexandra is a lover of all animals, but has a soft spot for especially dogs and rabbits. She believes that life is not complete without an animal to love. Alexandra is highly passionate about animals and animal rights, and wants to raise awareness of the cruelty that many animals suffer in the best way she knows how, and this is by written word. Alexandra is a recent graduate of Metropolitan State University in Minnesota, with a degree in Professional Writing and a minor in Creative Writing. She absolutely loves to write news and creative nonfiction, and obsesses over spelling and grammar.

Photo credit: Alexandra and commons.wikipedia.org Pobrien301