Cheap(ish) Eats in Vancouver

Just got back from a lovely week in Vancouver…part work, part play. Whether work or play, I always found time to indulge in some great food. Here are a few of my recommendations if you are looking for relatively inexpensive but good food.

1. Sargam House Restaurant – 955 West Broadway.

This is the spot if you are craving Indian food. Note that it’s all vegetarian/vegan friendly, so if you want meat this is not the place to go. The menu is divided between dishes from South India and those from North India. We chose south, since it’s much more common to find restaurants that serve food from the northern part of the country; not so much the south. You can get a huge thali (tray with several small dishes) for under $10 for dinner, and there’s even a $5 lunch special! Joe had a masala dosa (a crepe with spicy potato and onion inside), something we haven’t eaten since our days in India 30 years ago! It was huge!!

Joe with his dosa, Susan and I with our thali plates. Everything was delicious!

2. Kintaro – 788 Denman St.
This is just on the edge of Stanley Park, so a great location for a meal after a long walk (or to walk off a filling meal!). It serves several types of Japanese noodles, and not much else. The small menu is something I appreciate…my ideal place to eat is somewhere that has no menu; they just serve whatever they are cooking that day. Based on what we had at Kintaro, the things they do serve are very, very good! A huge bowl of noodles in broth, veggies, and meat can be had for under $10.

I loved the atmosphere. It’s a tiny place and was packed when we were there, so we shared a large table family style with several other people…something I enjoyed. I genuinely felt I had been transported to Asia, without the jet lag.

japanese noodles

3. Dinesty Chinese Restaurant – 1719 Robson Street

I am including this one on the list not because it was the cheapest (the cost to us was about $60 for two) but because it is really delicious food. In particular, I’d recommend the duck that is smoked on site using camphor tea. If we had not had the duck, the bill would have been substantially less. I also loved their homemade noodles, and the delicate dumplings that had broth inside them and exploded into a wonderful taste experience in our mouths.


4. Bistro 101 – Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts – 1505 W. 2nd Ave.

I am hesitating just a bit to recommend this. The food and service is provided by the culinary students, and I have found it to be hit and miss. I’ve eaten there once before and it was quite good. This time, not so much.

Joe ordered foie gras macaroon as an appetizer, followed by beef tenderloin, and a lime cake for dessert. I had the veloute of smoked potato with dungeness crab and avocado mousse (fancy term for potato soup), rack of lamb for the main, and a caramel chocolate tart for dessert. I loved my soup, and both my lamb and Joe’s beef were cooked perfectly. But Joe said the foie gras was really odd, and the desserts, while good, weren’t great.

The price for the three courses was $26 a person. However once we added a bottle of wine (it was Wine Wednesday where you get half off any bottle), a coffee and tea, and the tip, it still came to $100, so not a cheap meal. However if you go at lunch you can have a three course meal for $20, and if you pass on the wine, it really is affordable.

So there you have it. My recommendations. Do you have any you’d like to share?


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