1801 E. Tropicana Ave., 702-798-7594
The Badger Cafe is tucked away on Tropicana Avenue just past Spencer Street. Conjoined with the Rum Runner sports bar and separated by a thin glass wall and swinging door, the cozy cafe offers a pleasant small-town quality. It’s the kind of place where the waitress knows most of the patrons by name and welcomes them with a slap on the back and a hearty laugh. Booths line the walls with tables and loose chairs, and a countertop with stools faces the open kitchen. The food can best be described as comfort, with lots of fried goodness and old-fashioned favorites. Prices are reasonable, with the most expensive dish the New York steak dinner for $10.99. Breakfast is served 24 hours a day and includes a full stack of pancakes for $3.99, French toast with bacon for $4.29 and the Farmer’s Breakfast with three eggs and a choice of ham or chicken fried or hamburger steak, potatoes and toast for $7.29. Beer-battered appetizers include bratwurst bites, onion rings, fried mushrooms or zucchini and cheese curds. Sandwiches come with choice of fries, homemade chips or coleslaw. Choices include the patty melt ($5.49), tuna melt ($5.99), triple decker traditional club with turkey, ham and bacon ($6.99) and chicken fried steak ($7.59) or New York steak ($8.99). There’s also pastrami, roast beef, Philly cheese and marinated chicken breast, all less than $7. Wraps come with chicken ($5.49), tuna ($5.99) or steak ($7.49). The build-your-own half-pound burger starts at $5.49, and wings come with more than 12 sauce choices. There are also daily specials and drink specials at the Rum Runner, which serves food from the cafe’s menu. The Badger Cafe is open 24/7.