The top 10 tasty treats in the city

You're a poor student, and you need to eat. Fortunately, Vancouver has some of the best and cheapest food in Canada.

1. Vegetarian samosas for $1.00; meat samosas for $2.00

Right in the heart of Little India in Vancouver, this authentic Indian restaurant and bakery has great vegetarian samosas for $1.00 – very popular among Langara College students. It's cheap, greasy, and spicy. They make fresh ones around every hour, and serve them with some mango chutney – delicious. There is also a daily vegetarian buffet for $11 if you want to stuff yourself. Down the street is also Himalaya Restaurant, which has assorted Indian sweets on display and a buffet for $12, which includes butter chicken. For the budget-minded they have delicious meat samosas for around $2.00, in either beef, chicken, or pork – these things are just loaded with meat.

All India Sweets & Bakery
6507 Main St.
Vancouver, BC V5X 3H1
(604) 327-0891

Himalaya Restaurant
6587 Main St.
Vancouver, BC V5X 3H1
(604) 324-6514

2. 9pc California Roll for $2.95; 12pc Salmon Maki for $3.45

Japanese-owned and run, this Japanese supermarket has some of the best value sushi in the city. Everything is fresh, delicious, and food turnover is high. Bento boxes hover just over $5, and you can grab imported Japanese drinks and candy as well. I prefer the salmon maki – it tastes absolutely fresh. The main location is at Clark and Venables – a crappy location, which is why most people just grab things to go from here. Thankfully, they have locations in Downtown Vancouver and Richmond as well, but the food runs out at these smaller places quickly, as it's delivered from the Clark location.
912 Clark Dr.
Vancouver, BC V5L 3J8
(604) 251-3711

3. Breakfast for $2.95

It's impossible to grab a table at Bon's on weekend mornings, when the hungover weekend warrior crowd fills this diner to the brim. The patrons are diverse and odd, and the place makes for great people-watching. It's a bit run-down, but the restaurant commands a great following. There's a jukebox, unlimited coffee, and a kitchen that takes half an hour for your scrambled eggs, sausages, and toast. It's a cult experience in the heart of East Vancouver.

Bon's Off Broadway
2451 Nanaimo St.
Vancouver, BC V5N 5E5
(604) 253-7242

4. Bubble Tea for $2.00

The cheapest damn bubble tea in Vancouver, and tastes just as good as any other. Be sure to avoid the high school students from John Oliver Secondary, though. The decor and atmosphere isn't worth writing about, and the place is small. Come for the cheap prices.

Green Leaf Natural Food
5756 Fraser St.
Vancouver, BC V5W 2Z5
(604) 327-8766

5. Hot Dog and Refillable Soft Drink for $1.99; Poutine for $3.99

Totally awesome poutine for a totally awesome price. 1/4 lb. all beef hot dog and all-you-can-drink pop for a steal. The cafeteria is no frills, filled with Costco shoppers and nearby workers. Hot dogs come with onion and sauerkraut, too. There are also burgers, chicken strips, and pizza. The poutine is definitely one of the best in Vancouver. Available at all Costco locations.

605 Expo Blvd.
Vancouver, BC V6B 1V4
(604) 622-5050

6. Vietnamese Baguette Sandwich for $2.75

Hands down the best "banh mi" in Vancouver, for an unbeatable price. The shop is family-run, and the original Main Street location has been around for more a decade. Each baguette is loaded with pate, mayonnaise, pickled daikon and carrots, cilantro, and topping choices of many meats. The shop itself is no frills, and run-down, but that's the charm. They have a cooler filled with "che", a Vietnamese dessert. Run with care by the owners, it has a huge business reliant on massive volume orders for catering events.

Ba Le
121-633 Main St.
Vancouver, BC V6A 2V4
(604) 662-8108

7. Rice & 2 dishes for $4.50

With two locations, this Chinese kitchen is very popular for take-out among working Chinese families. The food is authentic and very fresh. Prices for some dishes may fluctuate, but it's a great value for the quality and quantity of food. The Chinatown location is a bit dirty compared to the one on Victoria. Doesn't seem to affect the food, though.

Kent's Kitchen
232 Keefer St.
Vancouver, BC V6A 1X5
(604) 669-2237

8. Lunch for $1.75; Dinner for $3.00

You can find lawyers and police officers among the lunch crowd here in the community centre in the Downtown Eastside, run by the City of Vancouver. It offers full meals that are cheap and healthy. The meals are subsidized, but the community centre welcomes everybody. The crowd is made up of DTES residents and the homeless, and has become a focal community gathering point. Dishes change daily – beef stroganoff and baked salmon have been some past hits. Also, if you visit, you could be sitting next to a crack addict, a local Downtown East Side resident, or an ambulance chaser looking to grab a lunch break. Fascinating culinary experiences!

Carnegie Community Centre
401 Main St.
Vancouver, BC V2A 2T7
(604) 665-2220

9. BBQ Donair Wrap for $2.99; Vegetarian Wrap for $3.50

Cheap and authentic, Donair Town on The Drive is delicious and easy on the wallet. While there are other falafel and donair joints on Commercial Drive, Donair Town is easily the cheapest, and just as good as any other. Run by friendly Arab owners, this place is fairly new and already very popular.
It's cleaner than other places, smells better, and has the best all around prices.

Donair Town
1433 Commercial Dr
Vancouver, BC V5L 3X8
(604) 676-0947

10. Breakfast for $1.00; Organic Pasta with Tomato Sauce for $1.99; Daily Selections under $3.50

You don't need to be shopping for new furniture to get breakfast for $1.00 until 11 am everyday. There is also organic pasta and a daily special after 5 pm, such as stuffed salmon with vegetarian medallions on Tuesdays for $3.49, and Fish and Chips on Fridays for $2.99. Mostly it's just IKEA shoppers eating here, but students can take advantage. Don't forget to grab some Swedish desserts on the way out. If you end up buying furniture, then you lose, and IKEA's loss-leader trickery has worked. Sucker.

3200 Sweden Way
Richmond, BC V6V 2A5
(604) 233-8491

// Keith Van

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