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Sep 14, 2013 08:43 PM

Best chow-worthy Mid-Range/Cheap Japanese Dinner?

Dec 31 stopover in Vancouver on the way to Toronto... and I'd like to take my parents to a japanese restaurant (Sushi, Izakaya or Ramen) within $50 or less for 3 people.

I'm looking for something that will blow me away and make me want to fly back to Vancouver to eat it!

I've had Guu before (loved it but we have it in toronto), Japadogs and Santouka (in Toronto) so something else please.

A place that takes reservations would be nice since it's new years eve.
Somewhere in between YVR airport and Stanley Park works.


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  1. "$50 or less for 3 people."

    Did you forget a zero?

    Because $50 won't get 3 people in the front door of anywhere but the lowest grade of noodle house.

    Time for Plan B.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Sam Salmon

      have to agree with sam, especially given your requirement to be blown away. I could suggest a couple of sushi places you could feed three for $50 but they are lunch grade at best.

      1. re: grayelf

        Please suggest a couple of places that would be best bang for the buck then thanks

    2. Considering he's been to Guu & Santouka (hence should know general pricing), maybe he really meant $50/person ?

      11 Replies
      1. re: LotusRapper

        Nope, around the $50 mark for three.

        Maybe things are pricier in Vancouver... or we don't eat alot... but we've spent about $30 at santouka for two... and about $80 for four at guu...

        1. re: Kharin

          That's not easy to pin down, given factors such as appetite, amount of food, type of dishes, etc, etc. Hoping you're not including (alcohol) drinks in the budget.

          I would venture the further north you head into Vancouver from the airport, the less likely you'll come close to anything in that price range, not to mention it'll be NYE so things get busy.

          Perhaps Richmond works as destination and possibly somewhat lower prices than Vancouver. Here's a few possibilities you can check out for pricing and NYE reservations:

          But again whether you can come in under $50 depends on many things. Good luck.

            1. re: LotusRapper

              I guess we're just cheap sushi eaters lol since we don't drink or eat sashimi/sushi. We normally share and fill up in about 4 maki rolls.

              Yes, we want to venture out of Richmond since I want to take my parents to Stanley Park for a little bit so options along the way are good. We're stopping over from Hong Kong, hence I don't want to eat Chinese in Richmond... (And where we'll spent and splurge our dining budget) Although I may take out and home some pineapple buns from Lido!

              Did some research and was considering Sushi Hiyori as an option...? Thoughts?

              1. re: Kharin

                Seriously, rolls are not where it's at.

                1. re: flowbee

                  If you really have to eat rolls, how about Miku? I'm not sure if Toronto has torched sushi, but Miku specializes in it. Review of their new location here:


                  If you wanted special ramen, have you tried black charcoal ramen? They have it at Motomachi Shokudo on Denman.

                  I have no idea if these places are open NYE night...

                  1. re: flowbee

                    Miku would be quite the NYE venue, $50 would get almost 3 rolls:


                    Other possibilities, if Kharin and parents are amenable to go to Richmond, may include:

                    Mega Sushi (Steveston Village


                    Sushi Hachi

                    Ichiro Sushi (Steveston Village


                    1. re: LotusRapper

                      Thanks for those suggestions Lotusrapper. We are open to anywhere between the airport and Stanley park!

                        1. re: flowbee

                          Which I cant' say for myself, haha :-O

                      1. re: flowbee

                        Thanks flowbee! Torched rolls and black charcoal ramen is new to me! I'll look into it! I'll call and ask closer to NYE.

            2. I think it'll be hard to find a dinner for 3 for less than $50 on New Year's Eve especially on the West side of Vancouver, although you seem to be a light eater.

              For your price range:

              I would recommend Juno Bistro or Tsuki Sushi Bar for Sushi. I think you can get 3 or 4 specialty rolls and maybe some standard sashimi.

              For Izakaya, I recommend Kingyo ( you can get 4 - 6 dishes depending on what you order) or Zakkushi for yakitori (you can get 12 - 16 skewers)

              For Ramen you can try Marutama for Chicken Ramen. Although my Sister who lives in Toronto now but grew up here in Vancouver, swears the Santouka in Toronto doesn't taste right in comparison to the Santounka here.

              2 Replies
              1. re: moyenchow

                Thanks for the tip on Santouka! I find the pork soft, tender and amazing but the broth is way to salty and I didn't order the Shiro (salt based one?)

                I was looking at Kintaro for ramen perhaps? Any thoughts on the ramen?

                How does kingyo compare to Guu? I've had Guu in toronto and once in Vancouver, the one in Yaletown.

                1. re: Kharin

                  Kingyo is more upscale & quiet in terms of the Izakayas in Vancouver. Just a touch more refine in terms of food and presentation as a result more expensive than the Guus.

                  Kintaro is good ramen but very bare bones in terms of decor & service. However others ramen shops are better and my preference for Ramen in the city goes as follows:
                  1. Santouka Toroniku Ramen
                  2. Marutama Tamago Ramen (Chicken Based Stock)
                  3. Jinya Black Ramaen

              2. Go to Shiro. Ambience will not blow you away by any means but the sushi is very solid and you can probably stay pretty close to $20/head with no booze.

                1. What about ShuRaku
                  I haven't been but I love their sister restaurant Zest. I would think if you order sensibly you'd stay within your budget, they're at Granville and Robson, and they take reservations. Accordingly to Open Table they are taking books for NYE already.

                  Maybe also consider Hapa Izakaya in Coal Harbour? Not sure if it will be on offer on NYE but they do a Happy Hour menu from 5:30-6:30 every day that would keep you well within your budget and they take reservations as well.