Kirby’s Top 5 Series
I can’t believe it but after almost 10 years, I’m doing another Cheap Eats blog post for all of you, and this time, I’m calling it ‘cheap’ if the meal is between $10-$15 per person.
Back in 2013, I wrote a “Top 5 Cheap Eats under $5” and a “Top 10 Cheap Eats under $10” blog post and many of you loved it. I still can’t get over the fact that we could’ve had meals for under $5 per person before!! Oh how things have changed… 🤯
There are so many cheap eats in Vancouver to discover so I will either continue to update this list or create another Top 5 Cheap Eats list Part 2 🙂 I’ve excluded snacks, desserts, and other small items for this list. I also tried to avoid putting all food court reccos here because I know I’ll be doing a Top 5 food court stalls in the future. Instead, I opted for full entree meals between the $10-$15 range.
⬇️ TOP 5 CHEAP EATS in no particular order ⬇️
1. Jimoco Cafe
Jimoco Cafe has two locations (Austin Ave in Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam) and it’s a really unique Korean Italian fusion pasta place. They always have a 2-for-1 pasta and it used to be $16.50 for 2 pastas (back in 2012) when I wrote this full restaurant review post. Now, it’s 2 for $29 so it’ll come up to about $15 per pasta. Yes, the prices have increased quite a bit, but it HAS been 10 years and their portions are pretty substantial.
2. Fung May Cuisine at Crystal Mall food court
If you follow me on Insta, you’ll know that I am obsessed with the Crystal Mall food court (in Burnaby). Not only is it more affordable than other places for a meal, but it really is a no frills, authentic, mom and pop place to get some really really delicious Asian food. My latest obsession has been the stall Fung May Cuisine.
Their prices fluctuate but their Claypot Rice are between $12-14 (previously it was $10 when I posted). They do it the legit way where it takes longer to cook (be prepared to wait 20 minutes), but you get the crispy, slightly burn bottom which is the prized area of all claypot rices. 🙂
The one I got was called “Preserved Sausage and Spare Ribs Claypot Rice“.
In addition to Claypot Rices, they also serve this wicked “Steamed Crystal Noodles with Spare Rib” for only $8.50 and it has this amazing velvety translucent noodle called Chun Choon Fun. It is a must get item as well!
3. Fraser Park Restaurant
Fraser Park Restaurant is little German hidden gem that most people know, but many don’t talk about. It’s located in an industrial area in Burnaby and you’ll never ‘bump into’ this place unless you purposely came to seek out this restaurant. Their most famous item is the “German Breakfast” ($16.50). It comes with three eggs scrambled with sauteed peppers, onions and cheese. You’ll also get handmade hash browns, sausage, bacon, ham, potato pancake and your choice of toast. German Deluxe (add schnitzel and gravy) for $3.55.
I can guarantee that you can share the German Breakfast (so only $8.25) per person and still have leftovers to pack home! It’s truly that massive.
Another popular item of theirs is the Schnitzel ($9.50).
4. Wang’s Shanghai Cuisine
For some of the better XLBs (xiao long baos aka soup dumplings) in the city, you need to check out Wang’s Shanghai Cuisine. Now, I’m not saying they’re the best in town, but they’re pretty up there, and the XLBs are only $6.75 for 6. Their other must get item is the Pan Fried Pork Buns ($7.25 for $5) and I personally think they’re better than the XLBs! The bao is incredibly soft and the meat is juicy and soupy as hell. Both of these items burst with scalding hot soup so you have to be careful when biting into them. ☝🏻
If you’re going to make a trip here, you should also try one of their noodle dishes. Whether it’s the Dan Dan Noodle ($9.50), Meat Stew Noodles in Soup ($10.75), or the Deep Fried Pork Chop Noodles in Soup ($10.75) that you see here, none of these will break the bank, and you’re going to be mega full from it as well.
5: Mr. Japanese Curry
For a taste of Japan without breaking the bank, I would highly recommend you check out Mr. Japanese Curry! They have an extensive Japanese curry menu and they cater to all dietary needs (ie. vegan, vegetarians, people with spice intolerance). The owner is from Japan and he worked with a famous Japanese curry restauranteur to develop these curries before bringing it over to Vancouver and opening this shop. Their curries range from $11.50 to $15.99 depending on what protein you get.
My custom favourite combo includes the “Menchi Katsu Curry” ($11.99) with a side of “Tofu Katsu” ($3.99). I’m not joking when I say the Tofu Katsu is a MUST GET!!
[EDIT] This was formally on my list but I just heard they’re permanently closed 😭
Yi Pin Yuang Delicious Meat Pie at Richmond Public Market
This is another food court gem but this time, it’s from the Richmond Public Market. At the stall “Yi Pin Yuang Delicious Meat Pie”, you’ll find “Thousand Layer Pancake with Pork/Beef” for $9.99. This brick of a meat pie is GINORMOUS and you likely will only eat half and save the rest for later because it’s that hefty. While you’re there, I would highly recommend you get their Fresh Tomato & Egg Noodle in Soup ($10.99) because their noodles are freshly made (you can taste the difference) and the portions again are also extremely generous.
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Enjoyed this blog post? ⬇️ Check out my Top 5 Korean BBQ Restaurants in Vancouver! ⬇️