33 must-try cheap eats in Vancouver

Nov 15 2016, 4:48 am

Fact: You don’t have to spend a ton to enjoy incredible food in Vancouver. No wonder we share our picks for some terrific Cheap Eats found around town every week.

The pool is deep, and our neighbourhoods packed with local favourites for weekly bargains, new Happy Hours, and reliable combo plates and sweet deals that help us keep our minds on our budgets–if not always our waistlines.

We’ve picked out a few of our favourites for this roundup that represents some of the best and tastiest in multiple cuisines and dishes. Focusing on a few standout affordable menu items, or overall menus that deliver tons of options (and tons of value), this can be your budget bites passport to the city, where the food will cost you around $10 per person.

Here are 33 must-try cheap eats in Vancouver to get you started.

1. All Day & Night Breakfast Special at  Lucy’s Eastside Diner

No matter when the craving strikes, be assured you can have the All Day & Night Breakfast Special for just $8 at Lucy’s Eastside Diner. The 24-hour joint will happily serve up their reliable breakfast of two eggs, with bacon or sausage, with hashbrowns and toast. Oh and PS, this is a diner, so much of what they’ve got on the menu is less than $10.

Address: 2798 Main Street, Vancouver
Instagram: @lucyseastsidediner

2. Turkey Sandwich at Sandwich Plus

Downtown’s best-kept secret, the Turkey Sandwich at Sandwich Plus is a knockout. Piled high with your choice of dark or white turkey, avocado or cheese, cranberry sauce, and whatever sandwich toppings you desire, this is a must-try Turkey sandwich to give thanks for.

Address: 530 Hornby Street

3. Everything at The Warehouse restaurants

They call themselves BC’s Premium Dive Bars, but for anyone in search of a great food deal the Warehouse locations are a must-bookmark. Both the Hastings and Granville locations are known for their bargain basement menus, with everything at $4.95 all day, every day, and specials like All You Can Eat Pasta and Wing Wednesdays.  (You’ll find a similar set up at The Capital in the West End, too.)

Address: 156 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Address989 Granville Street, Vancouver

4. $6 Dosa Mondays at House of Dosas

Dosas, Indian food’s flavourful mashup of a crepe and a burrito, are delicious any day, but the real deal is Mondays at House of Dosas, when their epic dosas are $6 each, all day. Go forth and feast mightily.

Address: 1391 Kingsway, Vancouver

5. Create Your Own Pasta at Basil Pasta Bar

It’s pretty easy to budget for a meal at Basil Pasta Bar, since pretty much all their pasta dishes come in at $8.95. You can stick with more traditional options from their “house special” menu, but the real deal is if you opt to “create your own dish” and build your own masterpiece with your choice of pasta type, sauce, protein, and veggies, and it, too, is $8.95.

Address: 1602 Yew Street, Vancouver

6. Pear, Walnut, Brie, Prosciutto sandwich from Finch’s

Downtown’s Finch’s Tea House is a casual, tiny eatery that always boasts a lunchtime line-up, and people are wild about their sandwiches, including the simple but elegant Pear, Walnut, Brie, and Prosciutto. Have your Instagram app ready, it’s a beaut.

Address: 353 West Pender Street, Vancouver

7. Jamaican Patties The Patty Shop

If you’re craving Jamaican patties, The Patty Shop is where to go in Vancouver. The modest cash-only storefront sells a range of flavours of the Jamaican staple,
Address: 4019 MacDonald Street, Vancouver

8. Porchetta at Meat & Bread

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People line up come midday for the sandwiches at Meat & Bread, and the Porchetta is the best explanation: Slow roasted pork, chopped in front of you, with crispy cracklings and salsa verde.

Address: 1033 West Pender Street,  Vancouver

Address: 370 Cambie Street, Vancouver

9. McLovin’ & Kumote Fries at Bao Down

Head to the original Bao Down in Gastown for their badass big flavours with a sense of humour, to boot. If you order up a half order of the McLovin’ from the “Boss Buns” side of the menu you’ll get a bao filled with lemongrass fried chicken, lettuce, fish sauce glaze, and garlic mayo you can team it up with a small order of Kumote Fries (sweet potato fries with dipping sauce) and you’ll have a $10 feast.

Address: 12 Powell Street, Vancouver

10. All-Day Breakfast at Cafe Deux Soleils

Hit up this Commercial Drive veggie institution from 8 am to 3 pm weekdays and from 9 am to 4 pm weekends and holidays for their all-day breakfast menu, which includes multiple options that all ring in under $10 each. Wrap your hands around a Croissant Scram or tuck into their everything omelette called The Jemlette, or keep it basic with eggs and toast for an even cheaper feast.

Address: 2096 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Instagram: @cafedeuxsoleils

11. Daily Specials at Curry 2 U

Spice up any day of the week at Curry 2 U at Granville Island. From $6.43 Kebab Mondays to $6.90 Veggie Wednesdays (for a full Thali lunch) you can feast on Indian fare without breaking the bank.

Address: #281-1689 Johnston Street (Granville Island)

12. Nachos at The Foundation

It’s a vegetarian classic, though a bit polarizing: People seem to love The Foundation or hate it. If you’re undecided or unfamiliar, you can nosh on just about anything on their “bean reinvented” and “chlorophyll theory” (aka salad) menu and not break $10 before tax per item. They are famous for their nachos, though, which cost a bit more, but are designed for sharing, so take the price tag (and the plate) and tackle it with friends.

Address: 2301 Main Street, Vancouver

13. Burritos and Bowls at Hungry Guys Kitchen

Jess Fleming/Daily Hive

Jess Fleming/Daily Hive

This recent addition to Granville Street offers healthy burritos and bowls packed with rice, beans, your choice of protein, and toppings, for $8.89 apiece. Get your fill and not feel guilty.

Address: 988 Granville Street
Instagram: @hungryguyskitchen

14. $3 Breakfast from Bon’s Off Broadway

It’s cheap, it’s greasy, it’s quintessential Vancouver budget eats.

Address: 2451 Nanaimo Street, Vancouver

15. Matt and She’s from What’s Up? Hot Dog!

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This cheeky hot dog-centric spot in Hastings-Sunrise is serving up epic hot dogs, but one of their cult favourites is the Matt and She’s, which is served with mac and cheese, bacon bits, and green onions. Most of their menu is in the $10 zone.

Address: 2481 East Hastings Street, Vancouver

16. Tsui Hang Village

You can dine in at Tsui Hang Village, but they also have a great takeout window that serves into the wee hours. Put together a late night feast of affordable Chinese eats.

Address: 1193 Granville Street, Vancouver

17. Tapas at Orchard & the Sea

Small plates and craft cider are the focus at this new-ish venture, and since the name of the game is share plates, get a few friends, order a few dishes that are $10 or less apiece, and nibble and sip to your heart’s content.

Address: 55 Powell Street, Vancouver

18. Pachoes at Johnnie Fox’s Irish Snug

Need nachos, but find yourself at a divey Irish pub? Then you’re the ideal candidate to order up a pile of Pachoes (potato-based “nachos”) at Jonnie Fox’s Irish Snug.

Address: 1033 Granville Street, Vancouver

19. Hainan chicken rice at Hawker’s Delight

This unassuming hole-in-the wall joint is indeed a delight for Singaporean fare. The Hainan chicken rice is a great example of why they remain a popular pick. This menu is packed with budget-friendly fare, too.

Address4127 Main Street, Vancouver

20. Poutine from Mean Poutine

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Poutine in Vancouver is a polarizing subject. We definitely do it here (take your stance on your own whether you think we do it right) but if you’re looking to sop up some late night booze with some greasy fare, hit up Mean Poutine. All of their loaded up options land at or under the $10 mark.

Address: 718 Nelson Street, Vancouver

21. Tteok Bboki at Yogi Korean Snack Bar

Head to Yogi on Robson for an array of Korean small plates, like kim bab (hand rolls) or udon soups. A classic Korean taste is the Tteok Bboki, which is stir fried rice cake with fish cake and Yogi’s house special spicy sauce.

Address: 1706 Robson Street

22. Banh Mi at Banh Mi Saigon

Victoria Drive’s Banh Mi Saigon makes some of the city’s best sandwiches. Loaded with pickled veggies, fresh cilantro, and the filling of your choice, on classic French baguettes, this is one spot for sure you’ll want to visit for a taste of a classic Vietnamese banh mi sandwich.

Address: 5397 Victoria Drive, Vancouver

23. Beef & Lamb Donair at Koala Kebabs

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Add a little Aussie to your donair routine at Koala Kebabs, where you can get the beef/lamb stuffed into a wheat or white wrap with your choice of toppings and sauce. Here you can make things a little sweet with toppings like pineapple, or their house mango sauce.

Address: 519 W Pender Street, Vancouver


24. Burritos from Budgies Burritos

Vegetarian burrito lovers swear by Budgies. Their fully-loaded 10” burrito is $8 but if you’re looking for leftovers, their 12” will only set you back $9.

Address: 44 Kingsway, Vancouver

25. Wild Salmon Bowl at Shishinori

Lindsay William-Ross/Daily Hive

Lindsay William-Ross/Daily Hive

Both locations of the charming Shishinori offers Kawaii-cute Japanese eats with an emphasis on fresh and healthy. Order up a bowl, like the Wild Salmon, or a salad, to get a real sense of what this sweet little spot is all about.

Address: 2328 Cambie Street, Vancouver

Address: 1467 W Pender Street
Instagram: @shishinori2014

26. Wally Works Burger at Wally’s Burgers

Wally’s Burgers, with three locations in Metro Vancouver, has long kept their prices low, and their burgers piled high. Get the full-on experience with the Wally Works Burger; it’s a classic Wally burger loaded with mushrooms, bacon, fried egg, wiener, and melted cheese, for $9.75.

Address: 2661 East 49th Avenue, Vancouver

27. Pho at Ha Long Bay

A hole-in-the-wall on Pender that never fails to be packed come lunchtime, Ha Long Bay (named for the region in Vietnam) makes a satisfying bowl of pho that comes in under budget and warms you up from the inside.

Address: 430 W Pender Street, Vancouver

28. Tacos at Tacomio

There are more and more excellent taco options in Vancouver these days, which means taco fans can get their fill of these portable, savoury bites of goodness. At Gastown’s Tacomio the tacos are muy authentic, and are priced $3 each or four for $10.

Address: 435 Abbott Street, Vancouver

29. Cheeseburger from Wakwak Burger Cart

Lindsay William-Ross/Daily Hive

Lindsay William-Ross/Daily Hive

The food cart formerly known as Burger 285 makes a killer cheap Japanese-inspired burger. It used to cost $2.85, but, you know, inflation. Also, the cart finally gave itself a proper name: Wakwak. But it’s okay to just say Burger 285; we know what you mean.

Address: Granville at Pender Street, Vancouver

30. Currywurst at Bestie

Bestie is the best place in Vancouver for currywurst, hands down. The simple German staple will cost you $9 here (but we suggest saving a few bucks for a brew to go with it).

Address: 105 E Pender Street, Vancouver


31. Tortas and Donuts at Duffin’s Donuts

It’s open 24 hours. It has one of the most eclectic menus in the city. It’s got “donuts” in the name, but loyalists know there’s more to Duffin’s. Their sandwiches represent a terrific meld of cultures, leaning heavily on the Mexican Torta, which is known for offering a variety of ingredients, including often avocado and peppers, on a crusty white sandwich roll. . Pssst: Save room for a donut. And some fried chicken, maybe.

Address: 1391 E 41st Avenue, Vancouver

32. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches at Hi-Five

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Gastown’s tiny grilled cheese-only shop, Hi-Five, offers customers a short and sweet menu of grilled cheese sandwiches served on sourdough ranging from $3 to $6. Customize by adding bacon for an extra $2, or get sides like tomato soup, pickles, and orange pop.

Address: 30 East Cordova Street
Instagram: @h_i_f_i_v_e

33. Build Your Own Salad at Nosh

It’s hard to say that anything in the Glowbal group is a secret, and it’s clear that with the lunchtime lines at their grab-and-go spot in the Telus Garden building Nosh is not a secret, but we can attest that their build your own salad option is a noteworthy cheap eat. For $10 you can order a small, and load it up with your choice of toppings and ingredient. Don’t be shy, ask them to double that scoop of tuna or shrimp or roasted veggies. Pack it in!

Address: 101-510 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
Instagram: @glowbal_group

With files from Jess Fleming and Daily Hive Vancouver Staff

Lindsay William-RossLindsay William-Ross

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