Eat Well on the Cheap: Five Combos under $15 in New Westminster

By Kristi Alexandra

Often hailed by locals as the future “little Brooklyn” to Vancouver’s NYC, Downtown New Westminster has undergone significant revitalization in the past few years. Along with it came a new shopping centre, Shops at New West, located right inside the New Westminster Sky Train Station. The transit hub — populated by shops, restaurants and even a movie theatre — has become its own culinary destination, with a plethora of regional cuisines to choose from.

We took a trip to the Shops at New West to bring you five food pairings on offer for under $15.

Four Tacos & Café Mexicano at Originals Restaurante Mexicano

(Pictured above.) For $11.50, Original’s Restaurante Mexicano offers up four traditional-style tacos. You can mix and match your flavours from nine options, including pastor (pineapple marinated pork), Baja Fish (chipotle-crusted tilapia with cilantro and avocado), barbacoa (lamb) and lengua (beef tongue). We washed it down with an authentic Café Mexicano (think Americano brewed with beans from Tapachula Chiapas) for $2.75.

Night Market Poutine & Beer at the Spud Shack

Try a funky place to eat Canada’s national culinary creation. Spud Shack serves up 10 unique styles of poutine, most notably its locally-inspired the “night market”: a veritable tower of kimchi, ginger beef, green onions, and spicy mayo all atop a bed of fries, cheese, and gravy. A small size runs you $8.75. Pair it with a $5 craft beer for the ultimate nationalistic guilty pleasure.

Spud Shack night market poutine
Spud Shack night market poutine

Happy Hour Appies & Wine at the Hub

There’s a whole lot you can get at The Hub (what an apt name) for less than $15 if you time it right. The spot’s happy hour runs daily from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and from Sundays to Thursdays from 10 p.m. to closing. Mix and match appies such as the wok squid ($6), chicken karaage ($6), or Italian meatballs ($6), while sipping on $5 house wine or $4 craft beer. A straight-from-the-oven pazookie ($8.75) — the signature Hub dessert — is a fabulous shared treat if you’re looking for a fresh-baked sweet.

Happy hour appies at The Hub
Happy hour appies at The Hub

Waffles & Bubble Tea at BobaCabana

If happiness had a taste, you would find it on the menu at BobaCabana. Locally famous for its Belgian waffles, which range from the Parisien ($6.95) with savoury brie and green apple to the sweet Banana Nut-ella, and bubble tea, this sweet shack has seemingly unlimited heavenly pairings. We tried a strawberry slush with pearls ($3.75) and a liege waffle ($2 each).

Waffles and bubble tea at BoboCabana
Waffles and bubble tea at BoboCabana

Won Ton Soup with Noodles & Canned Juice at North Noodle House

Where dim sum joints and places to get won ton soup are a dime a dozen in Greater Vancouver, a rarity is an authentic northern Chinese noodle house. At North Noodle House, all noodles are made in-house and by hand. A six-piece won ton soup with noodles ($8.95), complete with baby shrimp and vegetables, tastes even better knowing each ingredient is hand-sourced. Complement your northern noodle bowl with a can of Chinese peach juice ($2.50).

Hand-making noodles at North Noodle House
Hand-making noodles at North Noodle House