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Good cheap eats while in Van on a course

cleopatra999 Apr 14, 2008 01:11 PM

Hello all, I am a fellow E'town CHer heading to Van in May for a course. I will be stuck to the neighborhood of City Hall/Mount Pleasant. The course is at 500 12th Avenue West, and I am staying near there, looking for good lunch places nearby (within 2 blocks of the course), for quick good lunch. Also dinner options nearby, can be a little further. Not willing to take transit, I will be limited for time & cash. Some hopes: good sushi, ramen soup, organic health foods (store & resto), diner style.

Thanks for the help!

  1. fmed Apr 14, 2008 02:10 PM

    Vancouver Chowhouders' favourite Peaceful is around the corner on Broadway at Cambie. That area is right around the hospital(s) so there are a lot of lunch places around there. (Red Burrito, a sushi place or two, etc.).

    6 Replies
    1. re: fmed
      Sam Salmon Apr 14, 2008 05:15 PM

      Strictly speaking there is norhing within *2 blocks* as mentioned the closest places are on W. Broadway which is 9th Ave.

      For dinner trot over to Saravaana Bhavan a great South Indian place 955 W. Broadway.


      1. re: Sam Salmon
        grayelf Apr 15, 2008 12:58 AM

        Has anyone been to Figmint (12th and Cambie for OP)? I think this would be close but only have recent second hand data (two Chowish friends had a celebratory dinner there and gave it a guarded thumbs up because of reasons outside the resto's control). I've heard good things about their lunchy options but again second hand (a different site) -- NOT Yelp).

        And isn't Kirin right on the corner as well -- OP didn't mention dimsum but hey...

        Edited to add: Just realized neither Figmint nor Kirin is likely to fall into most people's idea of cheap eats, my bad.

        1. re: grayelf
          fmed Apr 15, 2008 06:30 AM

          I can't believe I forgot about Kirin. I would consider the dim sum there cheapish eats when dining alone. Figmint I haven't tried yet, but I've been hearing some negative reviews from friends (take it with a grain of salt....also definitely not cheap eats - dinner mains are $30-ish)

          1. re: fmed
            cleopatra999 Apr 15, 2008 07:56 AM

            I am not actually a fan of dim sum unfortunately.

          2. re: grayelf
            kidpresentable Apr 27, 2008 12:07 PM

            I would give Figmint a pass. It's a better place for some pre-dinner drinks than anything else. Food is OK but overpriced. Owned by the same group that owns Glowbal in Yaletown.

            1. re: grayelf
              rtms May 24, 2008 08:55 AM

              I don't know if Figment was cheap or not (lunch was included in the conference) but the food was pretty tasty!

              Also, I've heard that Andrey Durbach restaurant Pied a Terre, is on 3369 Cambie and may be a good choice for dinner. He's gotten rave reviews too.

        2. t
          twinkienic Apr 15, 2008 07:30 AM

          Ichibankan Express has very quick and cheap sushi and bento boxes that are ok.

          I've found that Peaceful can be a bit slow on a lunch rush, and also some of their dishes are a bit hit and miss... so get suggestions on what to order before going. Their beef roll is unmissable, though.

          Saravaana Bhavan, suggested above, is great. If you can make it there for lunch (probably a 10-15 min walk) it's a buffet, which should be quick.

          On Cambie (and 17th?), Gloucester Cafe has reopened and might be good for dinner if you like HK Cafe style food. I haven't been since they reopened but used to enjoy them. There's also iCafe on Broadway (and Heather?).

          I hear the Cactus Club on Broadway at Ash is the test site... so if you're curious about what Feenie has been up to.... :) heh.

          4 Replies
          1. re: twinkienic
            cleopatra999 Apr 15, 2008 07:57 AM

            what is HK cafe style food?

            If there is no good sushi nearby, where is the closest/best? maybe I will breakdown and take a cab for that!

            1. re: cleopatra999
              fmed Apr 15, 2008 08:34 AM

              Tojo's is close by. HK Style cafes serve Western food, Hong Hong style.

              1. re: fmed
                fmed Apr 15, 2008 11:08 AM

                Wikipedia on HK Cafes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cha_chaa...

              2. re: cleopatra999
                fmed Apr 16, 2008 05:15 PM

                Just very recently, I've been hearing about this new place called Pings Cafe at Main and 11th...it looks like a defunct cafe from the outside, but looks pretty high-end inside. It serves izakaya-style Japanese food. Other Vancouver food blogs are all over it now.

                I haven't been there yet, but it sounds and looks intriguing. Give it a go!

            2. i
              islandgirl Apr 15, 2008 08:53 AM

              I'd second the recommendation for Ichibankan Express (700 block of W. Broadway). Good japanese also at Kamakura (in the plaza at 601 West Broadway). The Cactus Club does fast lunches but I wouldn't say they were cheap.
              The lunch special at Figmint is a very good deal, soup sandwiches & salads. As a previous poster mentioned, the prices at dinner are much more expensive.
              There is also a Capers market (Whole Foods) at Cambie & 16th which does a wide selection of deli options, bakery, salad bar, etc.

              9 Replies
              1. re: islandgirl
                Sam Salmon Apr 16, 2008 08:45 PM

                The best Sushi close to you is Shiro 3096 Cambie St a 10 minute walk away.

                A true Japanese run neighbourhood place it's miles above the others on offer and that includes the big name tourist trap.


                1. re: Sam Salmon
                  cleopatra999 Apr 16, 2008 09:13 PM

                  thank you! looking forward to some yummy sushi!

                  1. re: Sam Salmon
                    fmed Apr 16, 2008 09:50 PM

                    Shiro...yes! An old fave.

                    1. re: fmed
                      grayelf Apr 16, 2008 10:17 PM

                      I went to Shiro in September and we loved the tempura -- light, crunchy and most importantly HOT -- and if you've never had it okra tempura is a very fine thing. The other items we had were average to good (rolls, tuna sashimi) with one disappointment (udon soup -- noodles way overcooked and unusually bland stock). I realize this was only one visit and it was a while ago but thought I would add FWIW.

                      Mention of Shiro also reminded me that Firewood Pizza is nearby. You could always order a small pie one day -- go for the Asiago or the Hawaiian. FC is our go-to for pizza these days...

                      Shiro Japanese Restaurant
                      3096 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Z2V9, CA

                      Firewood Cafe
                      3004 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Z2V9, CA

                      1. re: grayelf
                        fmed Apr 16, 2008 10:29 PM

                        Another: Salah Thai (Cambie and 18th) ...it used to be good, but I have not been in a few years.

                        Salah Thai
                        3364 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Z, CA

                        1. re: fmed
                          Sam Salmon Apr 16, 2008 10:36 PM

                          <<if you've never had it okra tempura is a very fine thing>>
                          I beg to differ-Okra is a slimy horror.

                          1. re: Sam Salmon
                            grayelf Apr 21, 2008 11:02 PM

                            If cooked inexpertly yes (viz a university pal's "slime stew" so called because it's main ingredient was badly cooked okra). The okra tempura we had at Shiro was superb, crunchy inside and out, not slimy and very fresh tasting. We have only had it once, however.

                          2. re: fmed
                            kidpresentable Apr 27, 2008 12:11 PM

                            I was at Salah Thai a year ago, and it was still as good as I remember.

                            Toshi's on Main has excellent cheap sushi, if you're willing to line up.

                      2. re: Sam Salmon
                        gelfball Apr 22, 2008 10:08 AM

                        Shiro is my family's 'place'. definetely not fast food sushi, its by far and away my favourite sushi place in vancouver. a tad on the pricier side of japanese food in vancouver, but well worth it.

                    2. s
                      shazzer65 Apr 30, 2008 10:31 PM

                      I highly recommend Shiro (as many others have). You can find a casual-type organic lunch at Capers Grocery store (now Whole Foods) (16th and Cambie) Wonderful hand made noodles are at Shao-Lin (in the 500 block of Broadway) Great pizza is at Martini's (300 block of Broadway, east of Cambie, about a 15 minute walk) Enjoy!!! You are in a great neighbourhood.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: shazzer65
                        cleopatra999 May 22, 2008 05:33 PM

                        This is a great neighborhood! thanks for all the suggestions I will be checking out sushi tonight, and definitely eating at Capers every day for lunch, organic whole foods is perfect for me.

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