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Jun 29, 2010 09:08 AM

CHEAP & GOOD Vancouver restaurants

I'm going to Vancouver for a week with school friends so I'm on a tight budget and was looking for cheap yet good food in Vancouver, Victoria and Bellingham. I know this should in a separate thread but I thought to include it here in case some have spots to share.

Anyways I am open to any kind cuisine (Chinese, dim sum, Viet, Korean, burgers, BBQ, Mediterranean, Pizza etc.) Also cheap doesn't necessarily mean $2 hot dogs or egg noodles that are nasty I'm more in the $10 range maybe slightly more or less I just don't want $20 + steak and seafood fine dining.

So far I researched A few dim sum places such as...
Happy Valley Seafood Restaurant
Kirin Seafood Restaurant
Sun Sui Wah
also I'll be going to White Spot for a burger (the best IMO), shake and blueberry pie.

Any opinions on these above will be appreciated. I hope I'm not asking for too much.


Happy Valley Seafood Restaurant
3432 Lougheed Hwy, Vancouver, BC V5M2A4, CA

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  1. Check out Hawker's Delight on Main & King Ed. Very cheap and tasty Malaysian chow!

    1. Bellingham: Avenue bread and bakery has some great sandwiches and baked goods. Definitely pass on the Bagelry. And Mallard ice cream in Bellingham is fantastic, with some unusual flavors. Super creamy, unctuous ice cream.

      In Vancouver, Japadog won't break your budget, and something different. The chicken wings at Pnomh Penh run 10 dollars plus a bowl of rice (yes, the people I go with really just eat a plate of the wings and a bowl of rice). there are lots of threads on these two places. And japanese ramen is big in Vancouver, with prices in your range. Can't say which is best, you could try them all and decide for yourself!

      where are you coming from?

      1 Reply
      1. re: toutefrite

        In BELLINGHAM:

        Win's Drive-In and Mambo Italiano, both in Fairhaven historic district, are good value for the money. At Mambo, service is top-notch.

        Outside of Fairhaven, Boomer's Drive-In isn't bad. Taco Lobo in downtown is good.

      2. Depends on your definitions of cheap and good ;-)

        Here's a local Vancouver site that's more focused on the cheap side (as far as "good" goes, it's YMMV):

        All dim sum can be cheap (by the item), but of course they can add up depending on how much you eat. But I would not categorize Kirin, Sun Sui Wah nor Imperial in the cheap category (unless one basket of har gow is all you're eating, LOL


        +1 with Waylman on Hawker's Delight.

        Also search this forum for threads on Asian malls' food courts ....... lots of experts here on that subject and you won't be short of recommendations nor places to explore. Notable Asian malls/food courts are:

        Richmond Public Market (aka RPM) - in Richmond
        Parker Place - in Richmond
        Aberdeen Mall - in Richmond
        Crystal Mall - in Burnaby near Metrotown Shopping Center

        Downtown strip of SE Robson has lots of ramen and some donburi joints worth checking out, all near the new Japadog. Entire length of Denman St. is littered with "cheap eats" but not all are good.

        Commercial Drive in central Vancouver is another fun area with good varieties.

        South Main St. around 49th Ave is "Little India", also has several cozy spots, especially if AYCE buffets is your thing.

        5 Replies
        1. re: LotusRapper

          Try heading out to Kingsway for some Vietnamese -- lots of good options and great value (we don't really have high end Viet here, outside of downtown). One of my current faves is Green Lemongrass (not the one in Richmond).

          Another place you might like for a bunch of students is Nine Dishes, but be sure to read the posts on it as it is a bit unusual.

          Green Lemon Grass
          1086 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5V, CA

          1. re: LotusRapper

            Do you have any recommendations for dim sum with the carts that is affordable and good?

            1. re: greycup

              Hey greycup!

              Here's a list of places with carts in Vancouver itself (scroll down to April 26/10 for the updated list). I haven't tackled the 'burbs yet :-).


              My favourite carts resto is Golden Ocean in a neighbourhood called Kerrisdale, 1 bus from downtown, YMMV but we've been going for years and it is very consistent with high turnover of food. If you get there before 11 am you get 20 percent off your bill. And they take reservations, which I recommend for sure on the weekend.

              Golden Ocean Seafood Restaurant
              2046 W 41st, Vancouver, BC V6M1Y8, CA

              1. re: grayelf


                I've never been to GO for dim sum, only dinners. How does the < 11am discount work ? You have to finish eating and be paying < 11am, or simply arrive < 11am ? Can you reserve a table for < 11am ?

                1. re: LotusRapper

                  That's funny, we only go for dim sum :-). You just have to be seated by 11 am and they stamp your bill with 20% off. We usually reserve for 10:30, as it is very busy and you can experience waits even with a reso if you come later. So it works out really well.

          2. Thanks looks like and based on my experience in Toronto (where I'm from) Asian is best food for cheap but I don't Asian everyday for lunch and dinner are there other non Asian cuisines like European or typical Canadian/American places worth going to. Based on my experiences it's either Asian or burgers so I'm wondering if there's something a little different.

            6 Replies
            1. re: greycup

              I also got this list from a friend and recommends these places anyone familiar with them?

              Cafe Gloucester
              3338 Cambie Street

              2) Tanpopo
              1122 Denman Street
              Vancouver, BC V6G2M8

              3) Vina Vietnamese
              851 Denman Street

              4) Mr. Pickwicks Fish and Chips
              1007 Denman Street,

              5) Hon's
              1339 Robson Street, Vancouver

              Cafe Gloucester
              3338 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Z2W5, CA

              1. re: greycup

                Cafe Gloucester - represents the "modern" casual HK fare. It's ok, not spectacular and not disgusting:


                Tanpopo - mostly known for its AYCE (all-you-can-eat) sushi. If quantity over quality is your thing, then Tanpopo is your place.

                Vina - predictable and safe Vietnamese cuisine. You'd find the same across N. America.

                Mr. Pickwicks - pretty good F&S. But I would also recommend GO FISH:

                Hon's - institutionalized HK/Cantonese fare of traditional congees, noodles, rice, etc. Very good value. Robson location has vegetarian dim sum items.

              2. re: greycup

                For Victoria, I would suggest:

                Hernandez - Amazing food from El Salvador. $5 for 5 tacos and they're beautiful!
                Pho Vy - Good solid pho. Cheap by Victoria standards.
                Red Fish Blue Fish - Tuna Tacones, deep fried pickles and one feisty chowder.
                Pig - Decent BBQ joint, the specials are always really good. They have another place out in Colwood that makes delicious and reasonable fried chicken.
                Chou Chou Charcuterie and Foo usually have some great lunch specials too.

                Victoria is a serious tough one for cheap eats. Anywhere you go to sit down seems to have an accelerating price tag. I think that's why my friends and I have become hardcore home cooks.

                Red Fish Blue Fish
                1006 Wharf St, Victoria, BC V8W, CA

                1. re: wearedevo

                  I'd add for Victoria:
                  Noodle Box (2 locations, chinatown & near Douglas/Humbolt) - $10-$12 boxes that are a ton of food
                  Dish Cookhouse (breakfast & lunch) - if you're coming from the ferry into town (or visa versa), Dish is north of the airport - HUGE portions. Pulled pork sandwiches are a deal on Thursdays, I believe. Otherwise, $10-$12 entrees, but you won't leave hungry.
                  Orale - Mexican, corner of Vancouver & Johnson, down the stairs, cheap tamales, tacos, tostadas on great tortillas. Odd decor, but good food & prices.

                  1002 Johnson St, Victoria, BC V8V3N7, CA

                  1. re: cassie

                    I'm gonna add for Victoria too :)

                    Pig - $5 pulled pork sandwiches, although I think they could use a better burger bun.

                    Ayo Eat - A pretty new Indonesian restaurant, 2nd floor of Market Square. Food all under $10 and I know you can't find Indonesian food in Toronto since I'm a Toronto transplant ;) Malaysian is not the same. This place is run by a guy from Bali.

                    Hernande'z - in the Shopping Arcade off Yates street.. central american food, tacos are $5 for 5 lil tacos, served authentic as far as I can tell from trips down to Cali.

                    Coming from Toronto, I don't think any of our Korean will satisfy you much ..and you'll lament how much cheaper it is back home...same with Viet. Get your fill of those in Vancouver :)

                    Market Square
                    1425 Store St, Victoria, BC V8W3J6, CA

                    1. re: sumashi

                      In Victoria I used to love Daidoco for lunch (M-F only, Japanese deli and fresh fare). Is it still around?

              3. In Vancouver....
                What about...?
                La Taqueria (Possibly the best taco place in Vancity)

                You could probably go izakaya hopping in the $15.00 range on Robson at Guu with Garlic, Hapa Izakaya , and Gyoza King.

                If you like spicy food and have a group head to Alvin Garden in Burnaby. (Hunan Food

                For breakfast you could check out the waffles at Cafe Medina

                or if you run out of money
                Bon's Off Broadway has a $2.95 breakfast which is decent.

                Gyoza King
                1508 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6G1C2, CA

                Alvin Garden
                4850 Imperial St, Burnaby, BC V5J, CA

                Bon's Off Broadway
                2451 Nanaimo St, Vancouver, BC V5N5E5, CA