Looking for cheap places to eat in Downtown Vancouver?
We’ve been frequenting the area ever since we were broke teenagers, bumming around Robson Street just for the fun of it… so yes, we know a thing or two about where to find cheap food downtown, especially now that we live in the area.
And while it’s getting increasingly difficult these days to eat cheap in downtown Vancouver, there are still a few affordable gems to take advantage of.
Below, we’ll rounding up our favourite cheap places to get food in Downtown Vancouver, whether you’re looking for places with a funky ambiance or no-frills grab & go spots.
Help us improve this article! Here at Vancouver Tips, we only write about places we’ve personally visited, which is why some of our articles are fairly short. If you have any insider tips or recommendations for us to try out, let us know in the comments so we can expand our content!
First: Check Out Happy Hour or Lunch Specials
One of the best ways to eat cheap in downtown Vancouver (without sacrificing quality) is taking advantage of either Lunch Specials or Happy Hour, a beautiful part of the day from 2-6ish that many restaurants offer great deals on food and drink.
If you want to experience a taste of some of downtown’s “nicer” restaurants without paying full price, this is the way to do it… especially if you want a drink or two, because that’s often what skyrockets the bill.
Looking for the best deals? Good news: we’ve already rounded up our faves! Check out our guide to the best Happy Hours in Downtown Vancouver for more info.
Anyways, if you’re looking for a good deal anytime of day, then read on for some of our favourite cheap eats around Vancouver’s downtown core.
24 Train Express Noodle House
For affordable and delicious pho in downtown Vancouver, head to 24 Train Express Noodle House, tucked away on a quiet street in Yaletown. Here, you’ll find heaping large bowls of pho for $13.50, and plenty of budget-friendly appetizers like two big spring rolls for 7.50.
Not only do we love the prices here, the pho broth is divine, and the spring rolls are the perfect level of crispy. We’d highly recommend this spot if you’re looking for a place to eat cheaply in Downtown.
Pawn Shop YVR
If you’re looking for cheap but tasty tacos in downtown Vancouver, Pawn Shop YVR along the Granville Strip is a must.
We usually come here for Happy Hour from 3-6pm (which takes place all day Sundays/Tuesdays), when tacos are only $2.50 each, and drinks are only $4.95. That said, full price is only $13.95 for three tacos, which isn’t awful by Vancouver standards, but if you want to take advantage of dirt cheap pricing, then be sure to come during Happy Hour.
El Furniture Warehouse
We couldn’t make a list of downtown Vancouver’s cheapest eats without mentioning the Granville Strip legend, El Furniture Warehouse.
Once upon a time, no dish at El Furniture Warehouse on Granville would cost more than $4.95… and while those glory days are over, today they still over a tasty selection of classic pub grub for under ten bucks.
Think calamari, poutine and perogies for 5.95, salads for 6.95, and burgers and bowls for 7.95… virtually unheard of prices for downtown Vancouver!
Of course, with prices like that, you can expect a few downsides: frequently long line-ups, somewhat slower service depending on the day, and of course, the food isn’t going to be the best you’ve ever had… but hey, it’s pretty tasty comfort food at rock bottom prices – so what more can you expect?
NOTE: Be careful with ordering too many drinks here because that’s where they get you!
If you’re willing to venture a little further out from downtown and into Chinatown, one of the absolute best cheap eats in Vancouver awaits – Kent’s Kitchen.
This legendary grab & go spot is known for its giant portions of satisfying Chinese food, with combo boxes of food stuffed FULL for less than ten dollars. When we say they’re full, we truly mean that you could feed two very hungry people with a single box.
This wouldn’t be a place to hit up on date night or anything like that, but if all you’re looking for is tasty, satisfying food at a cheap price, then you can’t go wrong with Kent’s. Just take note that it’s cash only, and you should go earlier in the day before they run out of all the good stuff.
Uncle Fatih’s Pizza
If it’s a cheap grab & go pizza by the slice type situation you’re looking for, then try a slice or two from local legend, Uncle Fatih’s.
This local chain is a Vancouver success story, and you’ll find their shops scattered all around the Lower Mainland. Known for using fresh, never frozen ingredients and dough (which is studded with tasty sesame seeds), Uncle Fatih’s is one of our go-tos for guilty pleasure pizza.
With generously-topped slices at less than three bucks, you can easily feed yourself well for less than ten dollars… although your arteries might be the ones paying the price.
NOTE: Some say that quality has significantly declined at Uncle Fatih’s over the past year. While we still enjoy their pizza, we agree they’re not as generous with their toppings as they used to be. That said, this kind of “shrinkflation” has been common at restaurants as prices continue to rise, so we’d still recommend them as a downtown Vancouver cheap eat if you’re craving pizza… just don’t have ultra sky high expectations!
In a pinch, if you’re looking for a cheap meal in downtown Vancouver that’s filling, tasty and DIRT CHEAP, then there is zero shame in hitting up the Costco food court.
No, you don’t need a membership to take advantage of the truly insane deals like 1.50 hot dogs with a soda. Just beware of line-ups during peak periods!
TooGoodToGo is one of our favourite Vancouver apps because it not only helps keep food out of the landfill, it means accessible food deals too.
Long story short: TooGoodToGo is an app where restaurants sell their surplus food at the end of a shift/day for discounted prices.
This means bags of pastries, pizza, and even boxed means for 5.99 – 7.99. The value is usually excellent because they tend to portion them out as if you’re getting things for 2/3 off the regular price, so if you’re not too picky then you can eat for super cheap.
Unfortunately, the selection in downtown Vancouver isn’t huge compared to some of the other cities we’ve used the app, but as more restaurants hop on board, we can expect this to become a great way to eat cheap in downtown Vancouver without breaking the bank!
Did we miss any of your favourite downtown Vancouver cheap eats?
Let us know in the comments so we can add more recommendations to our list!