Great Budget Eats In Vancouver

The fresh Pacific salmon, amazing sushi, abundance of fresh produce and array of international cuisine make Vancouver a fantastic destination for foodies. As a backpacker on a tight budget, I was always on the look out for cheap places to eat. 

Vancouver Chinatown food

I spent around a third of my five-month Canada trip in this city (two separate stays) and found quite a few budget restaurants and cafes to satisfy the palate without breaking the bank.

Here are a few of my favourites, which I took Andy to when he visited for a couple of weeks…

Vancouver Chinatown Bakeries

Wandering around Chinatown in Vancouver was a feast for the senses generally and visiting the budget bakeries here is a must for cheap eats. We stopped off for scrumptious pastries before visiting the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. I went with an apple tart and immediately felt the urge to eat another one. I could have easily eaten several. 

Euro-Bakery, Commercial Drive, Vancouver

Euro-Bakery Cafe, Commercial Drive 

I distinctly remember being starving one afternoon while walking along Commercial Drive and leaping into this cafe to grab a quick bite to eat. Although this place was big on bagels, we went with some savoury crepes and they did not disappoint. The Euro-Bakery Cafe had a really relaxed vibe and I particularly appreciated the posters on the wall featuring coffee quotes, which I included in a previous post on quirky sights in Canada.

Thai Basil, Vancouver

Thai Basil, Thurlow Street 

Located just off Davie Street, Thai Basil is a tiny gem that I returned to many times during my time in Vancouver. They do a delicious green curry and I also tried a tasty extra-spicy beef salad dish (can’t for the life of my remember what it was called, but it’s pictured above) which seriously blew my mouth off and left me gulping water frantically in the corner. Oh, that’s another thing: there’s always a jug of water on the till and cups that you can help yourself too if, like me, you can’t handle the heat. Considerate, eh?

This Thai restaurant is mainly a takeaway, but there are also a few tables in there as well if you want to sit down and relax. It’s ideally located just around the corner from the HI Hostel Downtown on Burnaby Street where I stayed.

Yuko Maki Vancouver

Yuko Maki, Davie Street 

For a filling Japanese feast, I always headed to Yuko Maki in Davie Street where it’s possible to get a bento box full of tantalising delights for absolute peanuts. It was one of my first travel friends when I arrived in Vancouver – a student from Toronto – who introduced me to this place and when I returned to Vancouver a couple of months later during Andy’s visit, I took him here for lunch a couple of times and he loved it.


Have you visited Vancouver or are you from this city? What are your top budget restaurants in this city?





  1. April 13, 2014 / 14:08

    I’ve heard so many good things about the food in Vancouver (and how expensive it is). Good to have some budget suggestions.
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    • July 22, 2014 / 22:13

      That’s true, could have easily eaten several of those pastries!