It's not easy to eat cheap in Vancouver, BC, but it can be done, if you know where to look. The best restaurants in Vancouver for cheap eats cover a range of options, from hearty breakfast fare to vegetarian platters, cheap Chinese, and Vancouver street food.
One of the easiest ways to eat cheap in Vancouver (and Richmond) is to eat Chinese: there are a wealth of Chinese restaurants offering entrees and meals for $6 or less. One of the best restaurants in Vancouver for cheap Chinese is Hon's Wun-Tun House, a local favourite that got its start in Vancouver Chinatown and grew to five locations in Greater Vancouver. Indulge in their famous pot stickers at 6 for $5 or 12 for $8.50.
Other Locations: 1339 Robson Street Vancouver, BC and 310-3025 Lougheed Hwy., Burnaby, BC.
For more cheap Chinese, check out this VanCity Buzz list of Chinese meals for $5 or less.
Bon's Off Broadway
The best restaurant in Vancouver for eating really cheap is Bon's Off Broadway near Commercial Drive (about a 10-minute walk from the Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain Station); their all-day breakfast special--which includes eggs, bacon, toast, and potatoes--is just $2.95. In seven-plus years of living in Vancouver, I haven't found a cheaper meal anywhere in town. True, the food isn't amazing, but for $2.95 it's pretty darn good; it will certainly fill you up (and provide the requisite morning-after sustenance following a weekend bender). An antidote to Vancouver's West Side yuppie brunch spots, Bon's welcomes a diverse clientele; it's even been known to host a few slumming celebrities over the years.
Location: 2451 Nanaimo Street, Vancouver, BC
Vancouver's street food scene has exploded over the last few years. Once upon a time, you could only get hotdogs (and Japadogs) and nuts on Vancouver streets; now there are dozens of options for street food carts, ranging from French to Chinese, Indian, Japanese, fusion, BBQ pork, and more.
Vancouver street food tends to run under $10 per entree/item. It isn't the cheapest, but it's convenient--if you're in the downtown core--and fun. Find all the options with the free Vancouver Street Food App.