Well folks, it’s been quite the year.
We’ve dived into dive bars, dined at diners, rested at restaurants, and hitched on to food trucks. We’ve chopsticked, spooned, slurped, sliced and dived in hands first. We’ve scoured through this vast, expansive, and continually reinventing culinary scope with merely a five dollar bill, elastic waist pants, and a never-ending appetite. Yep, it’s a hard job, but someone’s gotta do it.
Each week Vancity Buzz and Chowmenow have proven that good food doesn’t have to cost an arm or a leg, or even require more than a few dollars in change. Thanks to some folks who are whipping up meals at affordable prices, living in one of the most expensive cities in the world doesn’t meant that our restaurants reflect our real estate market. From heaping bowls of steaming noodles to burgers hot off the grill. From banh mi to chow mein, ramen to pho, falafels to shawarmas, we’ve definitely covered our bases to please any palette looking to save a buck or two (or three or four).
So what better way to sign off another year of good eating (and a few more pounds added to the scale) than sharing the Top 12 Cheap Eats of 2012 as chosen by our fellow Chowsters.
Bon’s is all about breakfast and huge portions at not so huge prices. The $2.99 Breakfast Special get you 2 slices of bread, 2 large eggs, a load of Pan Fried Potatoes, and 3 pieces of Bacon, Sausage, or Ham. Can you say bang for your buck!?
Wally is one awesome guy. He has not one, not two, but three burgers for four dollars and under. Choose from Wally’s deluxe, the Wally, or the Meatless burger, which pairs a fried egg with the usual burger fixins.
Whether you’re lunching late or eating early, you’ll want to saunter over to Falafel Plus between 2:30pm and 5:30pm. This great little hole in the wall has a Happy Hour special where you can find your favorite shawarmas for less than $4.49
With 6 rolls under a toonie, you can mix and match your favorites like tuna, salmon, oshinko, and tomago, yet still have enough change to add on a miso soup for an extra dollar. There’s also a 16 piece kid’s combo for $4.95.
Bravo Brado, for allowing us to order poutine two ways. The first is the more conventional method in a bowl, or you can grab a friend and get two poutines plus two pops for $9.99.
The second is for the more adventurous type. Keep that friend of yours around and you can both indulge in a poutine pizza ample for two hungry folks on a Chowmenow budget. For $7.99, it pays to go Dutch.
Warning: Kent’s is not a hidden gem; the locals are well aware of the good food at cheap prices here so there’s a ticketed number system. Well worth the wait.
This cozy Café serves up five different styles of Banh Mi in the $3.75-$4.75 range. Best known for their bread, the baguette is light and crunchy, allowing the flavors inside to
really become the focal point. Banh Mi perfection.
The Famous Warehouse
Clearly they call this place Famous for a reason. Everything on the menu is 4.95. Translation: it is Chowmenow’s mecca, heaven, and home away from home. And if you didn’t think it could get any better, this isn’t the only place that’s offering the cheap eat love. The owners have also added two more locations: The Dime and The Hastings Warehouse.
Vancouverites love La Taqueria. Why? $2.50 soft shell tacos, word-of-the-day specials, and just down right good eating must have something to do with it.
For all of you budding artists, Curry 2 U on Granville Island will keep the creative juices flowing. With an aroma that makes your mouth water as soon as you’re within five feet of the door, they offer daily specials that range from $3.50 to $5.50.
Sure, you could go for the tacos for less than three bucks, but why not think outside the shell and go for their cheesy quesadilla counterpart? Spend $4.25 on the Sencilla (translation: lots of cheese) or $4.75 on the Queso Y Frijoles (cheese and beans). Slathered with their salsas, they’re the perfect little cheap eat triangles.
This Italian deli has earned a solid reputation on the Drive. It’s not uncommon to see line-ups of tummy talking Vancouverites just waiting to sink their teeth into each handcrafted specialty. With toppings like sundried tomatoes, pickled eggplant, and lactose-free Swiss cheese, enjoy a small meat or vegetarian sandwich suited just for your palette for a mere five bucks.
There you have it, the top 12 cheap eats for 2012. We hope you’ve eaten well, saved some cash, and taken in all that our city has to offer. We’ll be back next week year to bring on more cheap eat love, and we’re looking for new Chowsters to help us take on 2013. Come join us, tweet us your eats, or post your lunch on our Facebook page—just don’t pay more than $5 (that’s so 2011).
Chow, see you next year!