Best Cheap Italian Dining in Vancouver? You Make the Call!

Photo credit: Pinuxette | Flickr

Photo credit: Pinuxette | Flickr

When it comes bargain dining, Vancouver is generally the land of plenty.  It’s hard to walk a few blocks without passing a cheap sushi joint.  And the city’s diverse population means that authentic, accessibly priced Korean, Persian, Thai and Chinese food is easy to find.

But bargain hunters often strike out when looking for what many consider the world’s most popular cuisine: Italian.  While on the East Coast mom-and-pop Italian restaurants are staples of the dining scene, in Vancouver they’re hard to come by.  So I thought I’d ask for your help.

Do you have a favourite cheap (or reasonably priced) Italian restaurant in Vancouver?  Weigh in by leaving a comment below. 

Of course, this isn’t to say that Vancouver doesn’t have some great Italian restaurants. Continue reading:
Best Cheap Italian Dining in Vancouver? You Make the Call!

Hotel Deals during Vancouver’s Dine Out 2011

Photo: Tourism Vancouver

Now in its ninth year, Vancouver’s Dine Out – the annual event that lets diners “taste drive” discounted menus at the city’s top restaurants – gets a lot of attention. Many locals wait all year for it and visitors stream into the city to take advantage of the bargain eats.  What many people don’t realize, however, is that there are some significant hotel promotions that go along with the Dine Out specials.

The Dine Out website lists dozens of hotels offering deeply discounted stays during the Jan. 24 – Feb. 6 event.  Similar to the Dine Out meal promotion,  nightly rates come in three distinct price points: $68, $98 and $138.   For downtown accommodation, that’s a serious bargain.  In fact, it’s tempting to come for the Dine Out dinner specials and stay the night.

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Hotel Deals during Vancouver’s Dine Out 2011

After-Hours Bargain Shopping at Park Royal Mall

Is it too early to start thinking about holiday shopping?  Of course it’s not . . . .

A great way to kick off your shopping and support a good cause is the Starry Nights event at Park Royal Shopping Centre in West Vancouver.  On Monday, Nov. 29, and Tuesday, Nov. 30, the mall, which has more than 280 shops and restaurants, will be staying open after hours from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. for two nights of bargain shopping.

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After-Hours Bargain Shopping at Park Royal Mall

Best Restaurant Bargain in the City?: Tuesday Half-Price Menu at Sanafir

Photo: Remy Scalza

There’s no shortage of great cheap eats in Vancouver, from sushi and Chinese dim sum to shawarmas and tacos.  Options are by and large fresh, authentic and a real value.  But one thing that does tend to get skimped on in the cheaper joints is atmosphere.  If you’re selling 18 pieces of sushi for $5.95, you don’t have much of a budget left over for decoration.

All of which makes the Tuesday bargains at Sanafir, an Arabic/pan-Asian restaurant on Granville Street, that much more extraordinary.   Not only is the food exceptional (and exceptionally cheap) but the atmosphere is positively chic.  What you get is an upscale dining experience – for about the same price as a combo meal at McDonald’s.

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Best Restaurant Bargain in the City?: Tuesday Half-Price Menu at Sanafir

Gourmet Lunch at Bargain Price: $29 Special at Market

For many foodies, the highlight of the culinary year is Dine Out Vancouver, when the city’s top restaurants offer discount tasting menus.  The only problem: Dine Out lasts but two short weeks (2010’s event ran from April 26-May 6).

Which is why the ongoing lunch special at Market restaurant in the downtown’s Shangri-La hotel is so exceptional.  $29 buys you a three-course lunch, Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  It’s like a Dine Out promotion that never ends.

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Gourmet Lunch at Bargain Price: $29 Special at Market