Hey students, welcome to our food blog list for foodies that love food adventures and dare to try new places in Metro-Vancouver. We know that finding good quality and affordable restaurants can be a challenge, especially for those who are still in school, new to the city or just starting out in their food journey. That's why we've put together a diverse list of restaurants that offer a range of cuisines at affordable to mid-range prices. From classic American comfort food to endless lists of Asian spots and fusion restaurants, there's something for everyone on our list. We've scoured the city to find the best hidden gems and popular favorites that won't break the bank. We’ve got you covered, so join us on this culinary adventure as we explore some of the most delicious and affordable restaurants in town!
The first one in our list is Ramen Danbo, located in the Kitsilano and Robson areas. This wildly popular ramen joint is a must-try for ramen enthusiasts because of their incredible service, flavor and accessible locations. One of its distinct features that sets it apart from its competitors in the city, is its unique thin noodles that cannot be found elsewhere in Vancouver. House-made and specially crafted by seasoned artisans, the Kyushu ramen perfectly compliments their signature Tonkotsu broth which contains high-quality pork bones and specially treated water. Combined, they create the infamous umami taste which translates to a “pleasant savory taste” that will win hearts of any ramen lover. Aside from their outstanding flavor, the establishment boasts interior decors that promote Japanese culture and sets an immersive environment as its vibe. Despite the high volume of guests in the restaurant, Ramen Danbo is consistent with its service and is worth visiting by anyone that loves food.
Recommendations: Classic Rekka ramen and Miso ramen.
Authentic Italian pasta is quite difficult to find in Vancouver, attested by various Italian people we’ve come across. As one of the dishes that have been greatly “Amercianized”, Italian food has been adopted as food on-the-go and a fine dining experience. Located in the Kitsilano area on West Broadway, Jo’s Italian Deli offers authentic and affordable Italian pasta that satisfies locals and tourists alike. With its convenient location and cute interior, the establishment is a family-owned restaurant that started in Chilliwack, B.C. They offer signature pastas such as Spaghetti & Meatballs as well as sandwiches for those on the go. Prices are also not too far up as the average price of the menu ranges from $11 to $18, which is quite hard to find in Vancouver nowadays. The place is generally quite busy but offers ample dining space despite its popularity. Additionally, Jo’s Deli also doubles as a market which sells all the ingredients you need to make that pasta recipe you’ve been wanting to try at home. Without a doubt, Jo’s Italian Deli comes out as one of the best authentic and affordable Italian places in the city.
Recommendations: Rigatoni Bolognese and Spicy-Salami sandwich.
Calling all the hot-pot lovers, Big Way Hot-Pot is a place where you must check out because of its amazing quality and endless choices. Unlike common hot-places in Metro-Vancouver, this popular food joint offers a “buffet-style” experience where customers can customize their own pot entirely. Guests are given their own pot and they can fill it up with as many ingredients as they want from the frozen selection bar inside. The choices are endless, as they give you the ability to pick out any ingredients you want. Prices are reflected on the weight of your bowl and guests are asked what soup base they prefer with the ingredients that they picked out - so prices will depend on the guest! In addition, they have a sauce bar where people can experiment with different kinds of sauces to complement their dishes - Be creative! On top of that, each dish comes with a free ice-cream cone at the end to soothe your taste buds. Located off Paterson station in Burnaby, the establishment is on its way to expanding its location to Richmond and Downtown Vancouver this year. Make sure to check it out!
Recommendations: Any topping with the Malatang as the soup base.
Next on our list is a criminally underrated South Korean restaurant that can be found in Robson street. A hidden gem in the corners of Robson street, Kosoo is perhaps the top place to be if you are looking for exquisite South Korean cuisine with an amazing ambiance, decor, service and flavour. Its Cardero street location particularly stands out because of its relaxed atmosphere and attentive servers. Guests are greeted with warm welcomes and an extensive menu that features all kinds of known Korean dishes such as different types of rice cakes, soups, rice, fried chicken, barbeque meat and more. This restaurant that’s tucked away in the corners of Robson street offers a flavourful journey you don’t want to miss.
Recommendations (Cardero branch): Signature Budae Jigae stew & Ttang Cho Kimbap
Pizza and Greek food? This fusion Greek restaurant offers quality Greek food and pizza alike. Located in the Kitsilano area, this long-standing place serves one of the best Greek dishes in the neighborhood that is aided by a neighboring dish; pizza and pasta. Though the two aren’t exactly Greek dishes, they are carefully implemented in their menu to suit the guest’s palette. Even though the average price of the dish floats around $16, they are packed with charming flavours that are represented in large portions. It's definitely a bang for your buck! If you are lucky enough, dine-in on their patio in the summer to get a relaxing mealtime with friends and families.
Recommendations: Tzatziki, Chicken Souvlaki, Keftedes and Spanakopita dinner
On to the topic of fusion food, our next one which is located in the Marpole area of South Vancouver, combines the flavours of Italy and Japan to create a unique taste that will rock your taste buds. Situated in a quiet neighborhood, Cafe L’orangerie has perfected the combination of Italian pasta and Japanese katsu dishes. They are known for their creamy Masago Spaghetti, Hayashi (meat stew sauce) rice and hamburger steak and Katsu cutlet dishes. In addition this place offers a range of desserts and beverages that live up to the cafe concept with a touch of Japanese culture. It is accessible by transit and car due its dedicated parking lot and transit vicinity. Last thing, their curry sauce is also to die for!
Recommendations: Hayashi with Hamburger Steak, Pesto Spaghetti & Curry Special
On to the South-east Asia region, this next dish is a staple for students, workers and basically anyone that lives in Metro-Vancouver. Vietnamese food, pho in particular, is widely popular in the Lower Mainland due to its numerous locations, affordability and sizable portions. Notably, Pho Goodness is loved by the Main Street neighborhood because of its offerings in menu and price. Foodies can’t go wrong with the savoury pho bowl, fresh vermicelli dishes and satisfying rice plates. Though the place seems small, there’s always a space for people due to the rapid service by the restaurant. Their popularity is also reflected in the endless uber orders they receive. It's definitely a place to try in the Main St neighborhood!
Recommendations: Vermicelli bowls with spring rolls, Vietnamese ice coffee &
Pho (Vietnamese beef soup)
This last one is for all the chicken burger lovers. Downlow Chicken Shack delivers one of the best chicken sandwiches in town and is quite known in the Commercial-Drive neighborhood. Those looking for crispy, greasy and big chicken burgers, this place will not disappoint you as they have a wide selection of burgers to choose from. Aside from their burgers, the restaurant has daily specials and fries that are loaded with chicken, melted cheese, pickle, onions and their signature sauce. Their burgers and fries are especially good during summer where they can be eaten at a nearby park or while you are strolling around the neighborhood. This place is definitely worth the trip to the east-side neighborhood and a summer-time staple.
Recommendations: Fries on the Downlow & The OG Sando
That's it for the list of top 8 food places to check out in Metro-Vancouver. We hope that our list will inspire you to venture out and discover the amazing food scene in your city, and that you'll find some new favorite spots to visit with friends and family. Explore, savor, and enjoy all the amazing meals that these restaurants have to offer. We’ll continue to further update this list in the future!