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Top 10 budget restaurants and food trucks in Vancouver

Top 10 budget restaurants and food trucks in Vancouver

Posted by Juan Gavasa on April 15, 2014

British Columbia's metropolitan pride and joy is not known for its affordability. Vancouver has some of the highest house prices in Canada, and sales tax means that clothes, alcohol and –bizarrely – dairy products don't come cheap. But it is possible to eat well here, and affordably, thanks to restaurants run by the city's large Asian community, a vibrant street-food scene and a new-wave of permanent eateries. So much so that the city has earned a place in the Foodiest City category of the new Chowzter Tastiest Fast Feasts Awards, billed as an affordable alternative to the high-falutin' World's 50 Best Restaurant list, both of which are to be announced at the end of April. Here are some of the city's best cheap eats.

Fliptop Filipino Fusion

Paying homage to its third largest minority group, this new food cart is the city's first for Filipino fare. Don't miss the pacman pandesal sliders (£3.80), made with citrus and soy-marinated angus beef, topped with hoisin mayo, carrots, crispy leeks and pickled red cabbage on a traditional salt bread pan de sal bun.

• 8th and Cambie Street, facebook.com/FliptopTruck

Tacofino Commissary

What started as a cult food truck in the beach town of Tofino on Vancouver Island has expanded into a relaxed, sit-down commissary. Baja-California-inspired tacos are the deal. Try the Albacore tuna tacos (CAD$6/£3.30), which come with sesame, ginger, wakame and wasabi mayo, or the pork jowl with cabbage, pineapple, crispy shallots and sriracha sauce. Dessert has to be the diablo cookie (£3.30), a confluence of double chocolate, cinnamon and cayenne pepper, which comes with soothing, sweet horchata, and should be followed by a taste of one of its many tequilas.

• Hastings Street and Garden Drive, tacofinocommissary.com

Meat and Bread

The signature dish at this cool sandwich shop on the edge of Gastown is the porchetta and salsa verde (£4.38), and it's worth the inevitable wait in line to get in to the bare-brick and white-tiled interior. Juicy pork belly is seasoned with a herb and salt rub and then wrapped around the loin, roasted, sliced and sandwiched into fresh ciabatta along with crispy crackling and a perky salsa verde. Despite the name, this place also makes an effort with its meat-free options in tasty combos like cumin sweet potato cake with pickled red onion, toasted walnuts and spiced sour cream (£3.83).

• 370 Cambie St, meatandbread.ca

Bestie, Vancouver

This new sausage-and-beer parlour in Chinatown is all about the wurst. It serves sausages made with sustainably-raised meats, and four taps of local beer. Its famous currywurst comes smothered in curried ketchup, on a pile of crispy fries (£4.40), but the pretzels and hot mustard (£1.90) are worth checking out, too.

• 105 East Pender, bestie.ca

Le Tigre

Modern Chinese cuisine from 2010 Canadian chef of the year and Canadian Top Chef contender Clement Chan served from a bright-yellow, grafitti-emblazoned truck. Service is fast and fun (the staff wear crazy Asian specs). Order the "crack salad" – a fittingly addictive dish of deep fried Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cracked chilli, capers, parmesan and lemon juice with deliciously spicy fried kimchi squares (£2.30).

• Various locations around the city, letigrecuisine.ca

Mom's Grilled Cheese Truck

Made with artisan bread and generous amounts of melted cheese, Cindy Hamilton's grilled cheese is some of the best comfort food you'll find in this city, and is delivered with panache. There are daily specials such as Thursday's jackson three (gruyere, brie and boursin, £4.65), but the classic (£3.70) is always a good call. Add double smoked bacon, and wash it all down with the spicy ginger mint lemonade (both less than £1).

• Howe Street (between Robson and West Georgia), momsgrilledcheesetruck.com

The Pie Shoppe

Opened by coffee-roasting, pie-loving sisters Stephanie and Andrea French, this tiny unit where leafy Strathcona meets Chinatown is the place to pick up an organic, single origin, pour-over coffee (£1.65) and slices of freshly baked, seasonal fruit-filled pie (£3.30).

• 721 Gore Avenue, thepieshoppe.ca

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