Updated September 2017 to reflect changes in the restaurants. Things change over time and so do prices but all the spots listed here generally offer excellent value.
Everyone loves a deal and most of us love good food but as we discussed in the last Value Meals blog, there is a difference between a cheap meal and one that is good value. Cheap is cheap and fast food is fast food but what we are talking about here is “value”— meals with quality, nourishing and flavourful ingredients at fair, decent prices. Thankfully Whistler has some incredible chefs and restaurants that have figured out how to serve up both.
Note: be sure to check out the 2013 Value Meals blog as well since we are only talking about new discoveries here.
$5 and Under
Yes, IGA is a grocery store but the deli section serves up some skookum hot meals at really good prices. The loaded baked potato for $3.50 is a locals favourite and the Coronation Wraps are under $5 too. IGA also serves a hot roast beef lunch that is priced by weight but with two sides (go for mashed potatos and stuffing) you can still usually slide in a nice hearty meal for under $10. They also have groceries if you like to make your own gourmet.
It’s hard to go wrong with classic street tacos and with four vegetarian options under $3 and 6 different meat or fish options for under $3.50 La Cantina is the spot for a wide variety of tasty, affordable options. The Macchu Picchu salad ($9) is a locals’ favourite and so are the giant burritos ($9-10.50) available in chicken, pulled pork, veggie and beef brisket.
The real deal: Rockfish taco (LEFT) and Brisket Burrito (RIGHT) at La Cantina.
El Furniture Warehouse
They make our list every time but El Furniture Warehouse changed the value game when they opened a few years ago with a $4.95 menu and they continue to be one of the most popular spots in town. From mushroom swiss burgers to cobb salads every meal on the menu is $5 all day, every day. There are certain gourmet upgrades (like onion rings) that cost a bit extra but with the sunny patio, the hot spot atmosphere and the friendly staff, “El Furny” is the king of giving bang for your buck.
Moguls Coffee House
The patio offers some of Whistler’s best people-watching but inside Moguls is helping keep an eye on your expenses with a coronation chicken wrap or chicken caesar wrap for just 4 bucks (2 for $7). Also, good coffee.
Not usually known for their under-$5 menu, The Keg does have a delicious chocolate fudge brownie for $3. Brownies count as a meal right?
In The $10 Range
Sushi To Go
This is one of those quintessential “hole in the wall” joints but this Japanese/Korean spot serves up tasty meals that won’t break the bank. From $5 sushi rolls to the spicy pork or bimbimbop you can get a decent lunch at Sushi To Go for $8-12 no problem. Plus, it’s inside the Whistler Visitor Centre so you can plan your next adventure while you eat.
Thunderbird Cafe and an Indian Taco
Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre
A true hidden gem, the Thunderbird is downstairs in the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre and serves traditional local First Nations food at excellent prices. A cedar-plank wild salmon salad and a coffee is just $12 and the Insider favourite is the Venison Chili Indian Tacos for $9. Upstairs, the museum is amazing too.
Burgers! Boom & Splitz
Whislter Village & Main Street
A bacon cheese Boom Burger is under $10 and you get unlimited toppings (they also usually have excellent soul music playing in there). Splitz Grill burgers run around $7-11 depending on the variety but that place is legendary and makes some of the best burgers in the entire Sea to Sky Corridor (non-vegetarians have even been known to eat the lentil burger because it is just so dang tasty). Splitz will sometimes have a sale where standard burgers are just $3.99 and nothing beats that for value.
LEFT: A perfectly stacked Splitz burger. RIGHT: A ‘peaked’ Aussie meat pie.
Get a taste of those classic Aussie savory meat pies. Peaked Pies has many flavours available in the $6-8 range. For a few extra bucks you can “Peak” your pie and add mashed potatoes, green peas and gravy. It’s a full meal.
Whistler’s fastest (and cheapest) sushi take-out joint with two locations you can park right in front of, Samurai Sushi’s ‘Daily Special” bento box includes miso soup and a little bit of everything for under $9. Insider’s tip: upgrade your edamame into a spring salad for just $0.25.
Fairmont Chateau Whistler
Known for the best sandwiches in Whistler (and those bacon maple cream donuts) Portobello also has great breakfast bowls for $12 and their create-your-own sandwiches are gourmet just the way you like it— $8.95 for a half is usually enough but if you’re really hungry a full sandwich is $12.95. Sharing a full sandwich and adding as many toppings as you want (including cheese and extra meat) makes for a pretty cheap gourmet meal.
They’ve only been around for a year or so but the Green Moustache Buddha Bowls are already legendary. Rice and quinoa topped with fresh veggies, nuts, seeds, sprouts and avocados for $9.95. There’s also raw vegan chili, soups, salads and all the fresh juices you could ever want. Organic, local, nutritious and delicious – this is where Whistler’s healthiest eaters meet for lunch.
The Green Moustache Buddha Bowl. AIDEN O’DONNELL PHOTO
Of course, these are only a few options. Be sure to check out our 2013 Cheap Eats suggestions and don’t be afraid to wander up to the Whistler Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays and Sundays to check the wares up there. Guaranteed some good eats to be got.
And that is just a taste of Whistler’s culinary scene. Get full details on all the dining options (and everything else Whistler) at Whistler.com