From CSGSP member Geffrey Davis:
One of our MFAs at the University of Arkansas is a native of Vancouver, and here’s the intel I gathered from him on some grad student-friendly options for food in/near downtown Vancouver.
Chinatown, which is just a mile south-east-east of the convention center, has several good, cheap places to eat (and greengrocers, for those inclined to buy their own groceries). New Town Bakery (on East Pender, between Columbia and Main) is one of many options that serve meals (for those interested in sightseeing, Sun Yat Sen Gardens, one of the most beautiful classical Chinese gardens in the whole province, is just a couple of blocks away, on Carrall, between Keefer and East Pender). There is also a first-rate Chinese supermarket called T&T on the periphery of Chinatown, at Abbott and Pender (near the Chinatown-Stadium Skytrain Station). They have cheap groceries and sell cheap, serviceable dim sum.
Robson Street is the premier shopping district in town and, thus, has a great many overpriced restaurants. There is, however, one well-known, cheap Chinese place there, called Hon’s Wun-Tun House (everyone just calls it “Hon’s”). It is located between Jervis and Broughton.
Denman Street also has affordable dining. Ukrainian Village (at Denman and Robson) serves good Ukrainian food for barely-affordable prices (you can expect to eat very well for $14-18 there), and Ciao Bella (at Denman and Georgia) serves expensive Italian food. Still, the entire street, from Georgia to Davie, is lined with restaurants, and many of them are affordable. It is the kind of street where, if you do not like the options that you see, you can walk another block and find a dozen different restaurants, some of which are almost bound to appeal to you.
Davie Street has excellent dining, much like Denman Street; Stepho’s Souvlaki Greek Taverna is perhaps the best-known Greek place downtown. Stepho’s is cheap and serves massive portions—but beware of long line-ups. It is located on Davie, just off Thurlow.
Downtown Vancouver also has food trucks. La Brasserie is a block away from Stepho’s, at Thurlow and Davie; The Re-Up BBQ (“Re-Up”) is at Robson and Howe; and Japadog is on Robson and Seymour and is very popular, both with locals and tourists.
Stay dry, stay fed, and have a good conference!