There is no denying that living in Vancouver is rough on the wallet but the good news is that tasty food doesn’t always have to be expensive. There are plenty of impressive mid-range restaurants in the city that offer value for money (I’ll be doing a post on that topic soon). But what if you are after something cheaper than that? Say you’ve only got $10 but you don’t want to eat at the usual suspects (Tim Horton’s, A&W, etc). Well, thankfully, Vancouver has you covered. Yes, you have to search for the cheap eats, but they are there.
I work close to BC Place Stadium and have done so for more than two years so I can tell you that that area doesn’t exactly have a bustling food scene but that hasn’t stopped me looking. I’ve done my research and have come up with a list of cheap eats (mostly under $10) that can be found at the far end of Robson Street (from Seymour to Beatty).
Where? 520 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC
What to order? Bành mì sandwiches.
Viet Sub is a small, no-frills café that specializes in Vietnamese food. Service is fast and friendly. The attraction for me is the bành mì sandwiches. My favourite is the veggie sub – a warm, crispy baguette stuffed full of fried tofu, veggies, cilantro, and finished with a slightly spicy sriracha chilli sauce. The best part? The veggie sub is $4.20, including tax. I know – what a bargain!!
Veggie Sub from Viet Sub
Where? 530 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC
What to order? A Japanese-style hot dog of course!
JAPADOG needs little introduction. A local success story, JAPADOG sells Japanese style hotdogs (think toppings of seaweed, Japanese mayo, grated daikon, bonito flakes). Favourites would depend on your tastes but I like the Terimayo and the Oroshi. They are a little more expensive than other hot dog stands but still well under the $10 mark.
Terimayo Dogs from JAPADOG
Dunn’s Famous BC
Where? 827 Seymour Street (at Robson), Vancouver, BC
What to order? The 6oz Montreal smoked meat sandwich.
Dunn’s is a Montreal smoked meat chain restaurant on Seymour Street. Personally, I hate the restaurant-chain-vibe they have going on (TVs, a cavernous room, large menus) but they still do a decent smoked meat sandwich. I order the regular 6oz smoked beef brisket sandwich to-go and for just $8.95 (including taxes) it’s a pretty good deal. You get a choice of lean, medium or fat meat.
Smoked Montreal Meat Sandwich from Dunn’s
Grounds for Appeal
Where? 845 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC
What to order? Large servings of authentic Indian curry.
Hidden away in the lobby of the Law Society of BC it can be a little difficult to find but once you find the long, snaking line you’ll know you’ve found it. The people in the line are all waiting for the large servings of authentic meat and vegetable Indian curries. The butter chicken is the crowd pleaser and is only $7.95 for a large serving of curry, rice, and naan (which is more like a pita bread). Other curries include lamb, chicken, palak paneer, and lentil, to name but a few. Prices are even cheaper (about $5) if you order a half serving – often this is enough for me. The meat curries are slightly more expensive (around $8.95).
Butter Chicken from Grounds for Appeal
Where? 909 Expo Boulevard, Vancouver, BC
What to order? The House roll and the Alaska roll are my favourites.
Fresh Sushi is a bit off the Robson map but still close enough and worth the slight detour. The name doesn’t lie – the sushi is truly fresh! I’ve been visiting Fresh about once a week for two years and have no complaints. The service is good and whilst this isn’t exactly a cheap eat (there are items on the menu over $10), I have included it because you can order a whole meal for under $10 depending on what you order.
Where? 270 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC
What to order? Personally, I prefer the chicken based ramen over the pork ramen.
If a bowling of steaming ramen is more what you are craving, then look no further than Ramen Jinya. Arguably, this is not the best ramen in town but it will suffice when Denman street is just too far away. What I like is that they offer variations of ramen, not just pork. That means those that prefer chicken (me) and even vegetarians are catered for. A bowl squeaks in just above the $10 mark (with taxes $10.02) so with tip it is slightly over our $10 budget. I tried.
Chicken Wonton Ramen from Ramen Jinya
Where? 548 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC
What to order? I’m a big fan of simplicity, so I like the original cream puffs.
If you happen to have a toonie left over after you’ve bought your cheap eat and you are craving something sweet, drop into Beard Papa’s and get yourself a freshly made cream puff. So. Damn. Good.
Do you know of other good cheap eats in this area? Let me know if you have any other suggestions in this area!