Okay so my top “5″ turned out to be more like my top 10 Under $10 – but these are places I frequent when I’m on the run, want some soul food or if I’m just hanging out with some of my friends. In no particular order…
1. Kwong Chow (16th & Main) - In the evenings and during lunch time, they have mini menus that have dishes under $6. I also like the fact they take credit card and debit because most of the time, I don’t like carrying cash around with me. Try their wonton & shui kau w/noodle soup (under $5).
2. No. 1 Beef Noodle House / Beefy Beef (Main & King Edward and BCIT)- I definitely recommend either location, but I have frequented the one near BCIT more often. They have meals under $10, I absolutely love the Wasabi Crispy Salty Peppery Chicken ($7.25) that comes with either noodles in soup or rice – I recommend the noodles if you’re hungry, they give such a huge portion! Their bubble tea is also pretty good, love Wheat Germ and Chocolate Milk tea.
3. Safeway Deli (Misc locations) – I am always at Oakridge. They have wings and mojos (which are thick sliced potato fries) with a can of pop/bottle water for under $5. This always beats spending $10 at the food court.
4. Pho Kim Penh Xe Lua (Cambie&Broadway) – Okay, my friends will be wondering why I have this on my list since I’m not necessarily a big fan of Pho, BUT I have to admit its one of the cheapest eats around the city. An ENORMOUS bowl of noodles and different varieties of meats for $8! Usually when I come here, I order the Viet Subs (because those are my FAVOURITE!) and its less than $4 and will definitely fill you up. Also, this place is open 24/7.
6. Salad Bar (Diamond Centre – VGH) – I’m not entirely sure what the name of the salad bar is here but they have a very diverse spread and their salads actually TASTE GOOD. You can definitely make a meal here for under $10 including a can of pop/bottled water. They have watermelon slushies during the summer for $3 and sometimes their soup is fairly good.
7. Japadog Bistro (503 Robson) – Okay okay, so this is a little overdone, but you would be very surprised that there are still Vancouverites who haven’t tried Japadog! At this cafe you are able to order fries and a drink with your dog compared to the stands which only have the dogs and drinks. Definitely try my favourite and the most popular - Teryimayo (put Wasabi mayo on it!) or try the Oroshi, which is also droolworthy.
8. Bakudanyaki (near the Canada Line Bridgeport Station) - Have you ever had takoyaki at the night market (its balls of batter with octopus in the middle)? Imagine if you could have one that was the size of a BASEBALL. Ridiculous right? NOPE, it exists! For $5, you get this huge takoyaki in assorted flavours that will fill you right up. I recommend the Wasabi Mayo but try the Curry one too – I find the curry one more spicier than the wasabi one.
9. Pearl Castle (Richmond Centre & Sexsmith) – Well, if you’re in Richmond and you want a good sit down kinda meal, I definitely recommend Pearl Castle. Their bubble tea is delicious and so is their food. Most food choices come with rice or noodle, a small ‘appetizer’ plate and a lil treat at the end.Try their famous milk seafood hotpot ($8.95) or their SPICY! Kung-pao Chicken ($8.25). I love their chocolate pudding milk tea (no need to order pearls with it, as the pudding is on the bottom).
10. Green Basil (Across Metrotown) – during LUNCH TIME only, Green Basil has a $6.95 menu that gives you a variety of curries and dishes to choose from. It comes with a small salad and a spring roll. Perfect for lunch! You can also take it to go if you don’t want to wait. I usually order green curry with eggplant and peas. Yum.