Best Cheap Eats in Vancouver – 12 Places Not to Miss
Vancouver is a culinary Disneyland for anyone who appreciates good food. Asian cuisine here is hugely popular, and if you crave fresh sushi and rich bowls of ramen, to name a few, then welcome to foodie heaven. Obviously, you can enjoy fine food in expensive restaurants, but I recommend saving your cash for another city. There are many cheap eats in Vancouver and I’m going to let you know about my favourite spots.
The best cheap eats in Vancouver are found in the small cosy places, often a little hidden away from the main streets and packed full of serious food lovers.
I’ve just spent a long weekend in this vibrant and hip city. As usual, my motivation was only to satisfy my hunger for incredible food. Vancouver over-delivered in this category, and I’m seriously contemplating a temporary move here, just so I can eat my way across this city at a normal person’s pace.
If you’re wondering about whether or not to visit Vancouver, don’t wonder any longer, just go! If you’re interested in gaining some insider tips on where to eat and stay, then check out my foodie trail here and discover the best cheap eats in Vancouver.
Where to eat breakfast – the best cheap eats in Vancouver
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so make it a good one!
Best cheap eats in Vancouver – Breakfast or brunch
Twisted Fork Bistro – This busy little place makes its own fresh bread every day, and they serve excellent breakfast and brunch to match. The location is on Granville St, a real winner if you are happy to line up for a table, cos it’s super popular.
Café Medina is a super popular place in downtown Vancouver, known for its amazing breakfast and brunch options. You can build-your-own waffles, which I can tell you are delicious. Their lavender latte is kind of famous in Vancouver, so you should definitely swing by here to find out why.
Yolk’s – A restaurant in East Vancouver, but it’s pretty tough to get a seat here. For a quick and really delicious breakfast, find their food truck (open Tuesday-Friday). Their speciality is breakfast sandwiches and egg bennies, and believe me, they are something to rave about. (exactly what I’m doing now!).
Best Cheap Eats in Vancouver – Kintano – Ramen noodles
Where to eat lunch – the best cheap eats in Vancouver
Vancouver has some amazing food trucks which are dotted around the city. Check out this directory to find out their location and when they’re open. We tried and loved Kaboom Box(delish, yet casual fresh seafood).
Another great place for cheap eats in Vancouver is Kintano Ramen. We found this little Japanese restaurant by chance. It was the best thing we ever did! The place was packed, the huge bowls of ramen were under ten dollars, and I left here with the most satisfying smile ever.
If I’m being honest with you here, it actually felt like I was sitting in a secret little restaurant somewhere in Kyoto, Japan. I love how food can transport you like that, don’t you? Anyway, let’s continue with telling you about all the best cheap eats in Vancouver.
Japadog Food Truck is something else you need to put on your list of best cheap eats in Vancouver. These guys take hotdogs to a new level! Expect Japanese fusion style dogs, pimped out with yummy sauces, Japanese flavours and crispy seaweed for crunch. Yum! This place rocks – don’t miss it!
As I mentioned before, you cannot leave this city without eating sushi at least once. Some of the world’s best sushi chefs live here, along with the freshest seafood around, which means the sushi is amazing and very affordable.
Start here or ask a local at your hostel or accommodation which is their fave.
Best Cheap Eats in Vancouver – Vietnamese spring rolls
Where to eat dinner – the best cheap eats in Vancouver
My favourite sushi place was definitely The Eatery. A delicious and quirky place to go for dinner and drinks, with Astro boy cartoons painted on the walls and funky sculptures hanging from the roof.
The sushi here was ridiculously good. This is the some of best sushi I have ever eaten for sure. Their website gives you a good indication that these guys are different and fun for sure!
Best cheap eats in Vancouver – Sushi
Pho Goodness– Unpretentious little Vietnamese restaurant, located on Davie St in downtown Vancouver. Fantastic Pho Bo here, and really affordable too. It deserves a top spot on the list of cheap eats in Vancouver, so don’t miss it!
Rodney’s Oyster bar– For all the seafood lovers out there, check out this place. (they have locations in Gastown and Yaletown): fun, casual seafood and cocktails. A perfect addition to our best cheap eats in Vancouver list.
Where to go for drinks
It’s always hard to choose the right place to go for a drink in a new city. There’s always so much choice, but you want to make the right ones. Am I right?
Whether you just want a great coffee or are keen on a few drinks to celebrate all the best cheap eats in Vancouver you’ve eaten, we’ve got some suggestions.
Revolver Coffee Roasters
The list below gives you a few tips about where the locals recommend having a drink.
Coffee lovers –Matchstick a specialty roastery and coffee retailer with an emphasis on hand-crafted preparation and delivery of single-origin coffees. Revolver is about two things: Coffee, and the experience that should go with it. I really enjoyed the coffee and atmosphere here.
Beer Lovers – St Augustine’s. 60+ Tap Beers — Many from locally sourced microbreweries. This place has got a full patio, a lounge, and also a gastropub menu.
I hope this delicious dose of foodie options gives you a satisfying smile as you indulge in some of the best cheap eats in Vancouver.
Where to stay in Vancouver
Great food is located all over Vancouver, but if you are backpacking or travelling independently and relying on public transport to get around, then accommodation in the downtown area is super handy.
I stayed at Samesun Hostel. I had everything I needed in this hostel. It was clean, very affordable and the facilities were great.
They serve a variety of choices for breakfast each morning and the staff were super knowledgeable about where to go out, or where they love to eat and where to find more cheap eats in Vancouver.
The hostel is perfectly located on Granville St, nearby all the bustling food joints in downtown Vancouver. You can find so many fantastic cheap eats here, although way too many to mention here.
Granville Island is 20 minutes walk from this hostel. The food markets here are brimming with farm-fresh produce, artisan cheese, bread, beautiful delicatessens and small eateries cooking wonderful meals and treats to enjoy. You can easily spend a few hours here, simply by eating and enjoying the harbour views. Behind the market building is also many independent boutique shops with bars and places of interest.
Also, Stanley Park is 30 minutes walk away from the hostel. The location is really on point here. Restaurants and nightclubs in the historic Gastown are only 1 km away.
The Sylvia Hotel: This place is good value for money. We love that they have an on-site restaurant and good wifi on offer. This hotel is located in Vancouver’s English Bay with views of the ocean. Robson Street shopping district is 1.5 km away.
The St Regis Hotel: This hotel is nice! If you’re going to go ‘all-out’ and stay at one of the best places in downtown Vancouver, then consider this hotel. It’s a locally owned boutique hotel that offers a fantastic breakfast included in the rate. Not to mention a great bar and two on-site restaurants too, we guaranteed you will enjoy your stay at The St Regis Hotel. If you choose to stay here, it’ll balance out with all those cheap eats in Vancouver you’ll be chowing down on.
Do you have a favourite place that should be featured on our Best Cheap Eats in Vancouver blog? Let us know in the comments below.
Rach is a self-confessed travelling foodie. Her passion for food and culture has seen her eat her way through 187 countries. She's currently on a big food adventure to visit EVERY country in the world!
When Rach isn't travelling, you can find her at the beach, drinking coffee or wine with friends or chowing down on the best eats around her home city of Melbourne, Australia.