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Budget Bon Appétit: 20 Cheap Eats under $20 in Vancouver

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Vancouver might be the most beautiful city in Canada, and it might have some of the best weather in the country, but one thing it can’t claim is affordability. If you live here, you know. If you don’t live here, take it from us. But just because you need to be a literal millionaire to buy a house in Vancouver doesn’t mean there aren’t deals to be found when it comes to other basic necessities like … eating! There are tons of affordable – like $20 bucks or under – very delicious meals to be enjoyed. You just have to know where to look. Ready to fill your tummies without emptying your pockets? Check out these budget-friendly eateries in good ol’ Vancity! 

Chomp on Singaporean Staples at Hawkers Delight Deli


Address: 4127 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P6, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-709-8188

Operating Hours: Monday to Saturday: 12pm to 8pm

Most of the grub at Hawkers Delight Deli is seriously good. It’s the spot for legit Singaporean and Malaysian eats—like laksa, nasi lemak, fried fritters, and Fried Kueh Tiao.

They’ve got bottles of a Sriracha-style chili sauce and soy sauce on the tables. And be ready to eat a lot because the servings here are huge.

Pro tip:
Make sure to bring cash as they don’t accept credit or debit here.

Order a Bento Box at Commercial Sushi

Order a Bento Box at Commercial Sushi


Address: 2575 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5N 4C1, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-559-8866

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Saturday: 11:30am to 10pm
  • Sunday: 11:30am to 9:30pm

At Commercial Sushi, the bento boxes are totally customizable. You can pick and choose from various mains such as chicken, salmon, tofu, sashimi, beef, gyoza, BBQ eel, and plenty of other options. The combinations you can make are limitless.

We particularly enjoy the beef bento paired with sashimi. If you’ve got a hearty appetite, that’s a fantastic meal to give a shot! The service is also speedy, even during their busiest times, the food is still served up pretty quickly.

Pro tip:
The chefs will do their best to accommodate allergens, but it’s crucial to be extremely precise and detailed about your dietary restrictions.

Customize Your Hotdogs at Japadog


Address: 530 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2B7, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-569-1158

Operating Hours:

  • Monday and Tuesday: 10am to 3am
  • Wednesday: 10am to 10pm
  • Thursday: 10am to 3am
  • Friday and Saturday: 10am to 4am

Japadog offers a variety of hotdogs topped with Japanese flavors such as cheese tonkatsu, yakiniku, croquette, karaage, tempura, and wagyu, and more.

A few of those hot dogs even have rice in them, so you won’t leave hungry. The prices for each hot dog are fair, and they also serve desserts if you’re in the mood for something sweet.

Pro tip:
The menu is customizable for vegetarians or vegans. You can switch out sausage for tofu or fried mashed potatoes.

Get a Freshly-Baked Sandwich at Banh Mi Saigon


Address: 5397 Victoria Dr, Vancouver, BC V5P 3V6, Canada

Contact Details: +1 778-379-9992

Operating Hours: Monday to Friday: 8am to 5pm

At Banh Mi Saigon, their homemade Vietnamese subs feature a crispy crust and generous fillings. You’ll find a delightful combination of crunchy vegetables, pate, and meat piled on a crispy baguette.

Expect lines and bring cash for your visit! We highly suggest trying their iced coffee (Cà Phê Đen Đá) alongside their tasty sandwiches. The coffee boasts a strong, sweet flavor, making it a perfect refreshing choice.

Pro tip:
Finding parking might be a bit challenging, but if you’re comfortable with a short walk, you can snag street parking or nearby parking lots within a few minutes.

Try Out Japanese Staples at Manpuku


Address: 288 E Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1T7, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-687-0849

Operating Hours:

  • Monday: 11am to 8pm
  • Wednesday to Saturday: 11am to 8pm

At Manpuku, each bento offers a diverse range of items and flavors. We suggest trying the Nori Bento for the best value. Their udon is particularly impressive, with a delightful chewy texture and an incredibly flavorful broth.

When you visit, we highly recommend purchasing the garlic mayo or the spicy one to go with your order; they are truly game-changers.

Pro tip:
For those seeking a spicy kick, try out the Nashville spicy chicken bento. This seriously spicy deep-fried chicken isn’t for the faint-hearted.

Indulge in Mexican Tacos at La Taqueria Pinche


Address: 2450 Yukon St, Vancouver, BC V5Y 0A4, Canada

Contact Details: +1 778-770-9055

Operating Hours: 

  • Monday to Thursday: 11:30am to 9pm
  • Friday: 11:30am to 10:30pm
  • Saturday: 10am to 10:30pm
  • Sunday: 10am to 9pm

At La Taqueria Pinche, the Mexican tacos are authentically prepared. Served on a 6″ corn or flour tortilla, these tacos are larger than your average ones and boast top-notch ingredients.

The flavors available range from baja, pastor, carnitas, tinga de pollo, cachete, asada, and many more. We like sitting at the bar, where Dennis crafts cocktails. He’s passionate about liqueurs and loves sharing how they can elevate a drink.

Pro tip:
Visiting during happy hour (3 pm to 6 pm) makes the prices even more delightful.

Sip Some Tasty Noodles at the Peaceful Restaurant

Sip Some Tasty Noodles at the Peaceful Restaurant


Address: 532 W Broadway #110, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1E9, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-879-9878

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday: 11am to 9pm

Executive Chef Charlie Huang leads the Peaceful Restaurant, known for its delightful noodle bowls showcasing a distinctive Northern Chinese culinary style.

Our all-time favorite meal is veggie tofu stir-fried noodles. The thinly sliced veggies retain their crunch and cook to perfection. The noodles are consistently tender and chewy, making for an incredible dish every time.

These bowls embody seven essential taste elements: sweetness, sourness, bitterness, spiciness, saltiness, heat, and fragrance.

Pro tip:
Please be aware that seating at this place is quite limited. If seated toward the back, close to the kitchen, it can feel a bit cramped.

Treat Yourself to an Eggplant Bowl at Super Baba


Address: 2419 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3E1, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-423-5577

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday: 11am to 9pm

At Super Baba, there’s usually a line, but we believe it’s worth the wait for their crispy eggplant bowl. This dish features battered and fried eggplant, seasoned egg, tomato & cucumber salad, pickles, hummus, tahini, shug, and amba.

Don’t forget to order the eggplant fries; they’re exceptional. Additionally, they bake their pita bread in-house daily, ensuring that you get it fresh.

Pro tip:
Definitely try the tempura-fried eggplant, and make sure to request it spicy. The sauce, a roasted pepper hot sauce, is incredibly good.

Get a Burrito at Budgies Burritos


Address: 44 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5T 3H9, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-874-5408

Operating Hours: 

  • Monday to Wednesday: 11am to 10pm
  • Thursday to Saturday: 11am to 11pm

For delicious and fairly priced vegetarian food with Mexican-inspired flavors, Budgies Burritos is a fantastic choice, especially if you’re looking for a handheld burrito.

Their veggie burritos are awesome, providing great value for your money. Additionally, you can customize your burrito to be vegan and gluten-free if that’s your preference.

Pro tip:
Hot sauce enthusiasts will be delighted—there’s a self-serve hot sauce bar conveniently located beside the soda machine.

Treat Yourself to Crispy Fries at the Frying Pan


Address: 505 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6C 3P6, Canada

Contact Details: +1 778-927-1477

Operating Hours: Tuesday to Friday: 11am to 2:30pm

This humble food truck has made a name for itself with their Nashville and Korean-style hot chicken sandwiches, and rightfully so. However, the true gem here is the bulgogi fries, and we would get that over the sandwich next time.

The homemade mayo is of exceptional quality and adds to the experience. The dish is fulfilling, making it worth both the price and the wait in line.

Pro tip:
You’ve got to try their dipping sauces! Dip your fries in their house teriyaki sauce, house mayo, bulgogi sauce, and sour cream for an exceptional taste experience.

Munch on Fried Chicken at Juke’s


Address: 182 Keefer St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1X4, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-336-5853

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday: 11am to 10pm

Offering an artisanal approach to fried chicken, this place is undeniably one of the more intriguing spots for fried chicken in town. While it’s not situated in the best neighborhood, the quality and value of the chicken make it hard to beat.

The chicken is skillfully prepared, with thick coatings and a batter that adds exceptional seasoning, juiciness, and an amazing crunch. Plus, the cornbread is simply delightful!

Pro tip:
Their delicious chicken pairs wonderfully with their signature hot sauce and beer syrup.

Enjoy Asian-Style Burgers at Wakwak Burger


Address: 511 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6C 1X6, Canada

Contact Details: +1 778-998-0285

Operating Hours: Monday to Friday: 11am to 7pm

Wakwak Burgers are slightly smaller than typical Western burgers but are incredibly delicious, unique, and always made fresh. They consist of juicy patties with ample filling sandwiched between soft buns.

Despite Wakwak not being a chain, it satisfies that desire for an inexpensive yet quality burger perfectly. It’s always worthwhile to stop by whenever we’re downtown.

Pro tip:
A handy tip: if the patty appears too thin, opt for a double burger for just an additional dollar.

Get the All-Day Breakfast at Bon’s off Broadway

Get the All-Day Breakfast at Bon’s off Broadway


Address: 2451 Nanaimo St, Vancouver, BC V5N 5E5, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-253-7242

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday: 8am to 7pm

The all-day breakfast at Bon’s off Broadway is truly a great deal. For just $2.95, you receive a substantial portion including two eggs, toast, jam, ham, and potatoes.

The food is classic ‘greasy spoon’ diner fare but expertly prepared. Give it a try; believe us, you won’t find a sit-down breakfast at that price anywhere else in Vancouver.

Pro tip:
Head over to their self-serve coffee bar for complimentary refills!

Grab a Piece at Freshslice Pizza


Address: 768 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1A1, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-416-4343

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday: 10am to 5am

Enjoy a medium thin-crust pizza with unlimited toppings for just $17.99. The pizza is not only fresh but also loaded. While we don’t have pizza often, this place truly stood out for its quality.

If you’re looking for ready-made options, they offer a variety of classic choices such as pepperoni, Hawaiian, bacon and mushroom, as well as feast pizzas like BBQ chicken, butter chicken, meat lovers, and pesto feast.

Pro tip:
Ask them to include extra pizza sauce! This comes at no additional cost.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Nero Waffles


Address: 1002 Seymour St, Vancouver, BC V6B 3M6, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-428-9177

Operating Hours: 

  • Monday to Thursday: 8am to 9pm
  • Friday and Saturday: 8am to 10pm

Take a glance at Nero Waffles, where you’ll find classic waffles for under $20. The Smashed Avocado waffle is a real standout, offering a unique and incredibly delicious combination of creamy avocado on a waffle.

Their waffles strike a perfect balance – crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. If you’re in search of a fantastic brunch spot that caters to both your savory and sweet cravings, Nero Waffles is definitely a great choice.

Pro tip:
Opting for a seat at the heated patio is preferable. It’s much more comfortable than dining indoors!

Grab a Shawarma Plate at Zamzam Grill


Address: 2128 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5N 2T5, Canada

Contact Details: +1 778-452-0241

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday: 11am to 10pm

Zamzam Grill is all about providing an authentic Middle Eastern experience. It’s quite nice really, to actually get a taste of the strong spices and aromatic depth. Shawarma plates are definitely the way to go, whether you’re a chicken, lamb, or beef kinda person.

Their smooth hummus pairs perfectly with any of their shawarma options. The servings are generous, and considering the quantity and quality, the prices are remarkably reasonable.

Pro tip:
For larger groups, we’d recommend complementing your meals with sides like tabbouleh, hummus, and falafel at the restaurant.

Try Out Biryani at the Indian Roti Kitchen

Try Out Biryani at the Indian Roti Kitchen


Address: 2961 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2V7, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-876-3767

Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 12am to 9pm

Indian Roti Kitchen in Vancouver offers some of the most delicious biryani options. You can select from vegetables, chicken, lamb, and shrimp, all of which are flavorful and have a good balance of meat to vegetables.

Their curries are expertly prepared, avoiding excessive creaminess or oiliness, and the roti texture is exceptional. The food isn’t overly salty, and the spice levels are precisely what they should be.

Pro tip:
If you’re a fan of spicy food, they can prepare spicier dishes beyond their highest spicy level. Their levels range from 1 to 6, but you can request a level 7!

Take a Bite of the Breakfast Sandwich at Evelyn’s Cafe & Bistro

Take a Bite of the Breakfast Sandwich at Evelyn’s Cafe & Bistro

Address: 2176 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K 2C8, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-731-7117

Operating Hours: 

  • Monday to Friday: 9am to 4:30pm
  • Saturday: 9:30am to 3pm

This sunny spot along W Broadway is a lovely breakfast place where pancakes are fluffy, yummy eggs benny, and savory breakfast sandwiches. It’s a charming and intimate place to enjoy time with your favorite people.

The Denver sandwich was an absolute hit for us. It was one of the most meticulously prepared sandwiches we’ve ever tasted. The flavors were delicious, and it was served piping hot.

Pro tip:
The atmosphere here resembles a diner you might stumble upon in a small highway exit, and it’s evident that the majority of patrons are locals.

Sink Your Teeth in Steamed Buns at New Town Bakery & Restaurant

Sink Your Teeth in Steamed Buns at New Town Bakery & Restaurant


Address: 148 E Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1T3, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-689-7835

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday: 6:30am to 7:30pm

New Town Bakery & Restaurant offers a delightful selection of Chinese and Filipino baked goods and pastries. Items like pineapple buns with butter, steamed buns, and Hong Kong-style milk tea are all worth revisiting for.

The chicken and pork deluxe buns, also known as the “Bola Bola” buns, are truly exceptional. We’re not exaggerating, every time we’re in Chinatown, this is a must-visit spot for us.

The dough is excellently prepared, ensuring it rises properly without cutting corners, which prevents the bun from sticking to the roof of your mouth.

Pro tip:
If you’re looking for a dessert option, the apple bun is a must-try. The tart apple filling is incredibly tasty and delicious.

Bask in Classic Breakfast Staples at Cafe Zen on Yew


Address: 1631 Yew St, Vancouver, BC V6K 3E6, Canada

Contact Details: +1 604-731-4018

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Friday: 8am to 2:30pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 8am to 4pm

Dining at Cafe Zen on Yew is like having those weekend lunches at your grandma’s place—you’re full of comfort food and warm hospitality.

You can’t really go wrong with anything on the menu here. Get the lumberjack breakfast, filled with three-piece buttermilk pancakes, belgian waffles, two eggs, hash browns and your choice of bacon, ham, sausage or avocado.

Pro tip:
You can mix and match your egg benedicts here with a variety of delicious toppings and sauces like hollandaise, chorizo, smoked salmon, or even spinach.

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