Cheap and Delicious: Where to Eat in Whistler on a Budget
You’ve arrived in Whistler, and you are HANGRY. Making the crucial decision about where to eat in whistler while under time constraints isn’t any fun. Plus, you are on a budget. We not only know where to eat, but where to eat affordably in this mountain town.
If you know Whistler as a luxury travel destination, you might assume its hard to get a good-meal at an affordable price. Eating in Whistler while on a budget may not seem like an easy feat, but with these insider tips you’ll be eating like a local and saving money while you’re at it.
Where to Find Deals on Whistler Restaurants
- Pique Newsmagazine
Upon arrival to Whistler, be sure to pick up a copy of the weekly local newsmagazine – the Pique. It can be found throughout Whistler Village and within most hotels, shops, and restaurants. With eye-catching cover art it’s hard to miss.
The publication highlights local news, classified ads, and an extensive list of upcoming events and activities within the next week. It also contains foodie-focused ads promoting Whistler restaurant deals and specials to help locals and visitors find the best places to eat in Whistler.
A new edition comes out every week on Thursday and covers the upcoming week, so be sure to grab the latest copy when you arrive into town!
- Whistler Deals Online
If you prefer to read online, the Pique offers a digital edition that you can browse even before your trip to Whistler. It could help you decide where to eat in Whistler so you can make a reservation ahead of time.
Another great online resource for Whistler restaurant deals is Whistler Bites. Whistler Bites is the ultimate guide to finding specials on food and drink every day of the week. Select the day you’re searching for and it will pull a list of restaurants and bars offering deals such as Happy Hour and weekly food specials from breakfast to late night.
Add for a little more inspiration – from someone who lived in Whistler for a year – check out the Best Food Spots in Whistler
Best Brunch on a Budget
You’ve just arrived here (how do you get to whistler by the way?) and you are hungry! Sometimes the best meals are had off the beaten path in areas more familiar to locals than visitors to Whistler. But we are willing to let you in on our little secrets.
- Wildwood Cafe – Function Junction
Ten minutes south of Whistler Village is the industrial hub of Function Junction – home to a number of businesses, warehouses, and hidden gems. Wildwood Cafe has been feeding Whistler locals hearty breakfasts (and lunch) at budget-friendly prices since 2002.
Everything is made fresh to order, including their own cookies, banana bread, and muffins. Diners have the option of eating in (order and pay at the counter, pour your own coffee, find a seat) or taking their meal to go en route to the mountain. Wildwood Cafe’s casual atmosphere, delicious food, and great prices make it a must do for brunch aficionados.
Try this: Banana Bread French Toast or the Three Benny Sampler.
- Southside Diner – Creekside
Five minutes North of Function Junction and ten minutes South of Whistler Village lies Whistler’s original base and site of the first gondola – Creekside. Here you’ll find several hotels and access to Whistler Mountain via the Creekside Gondola, and the Southside Diner.
Nothing soaks up a hangover better than a trip to Southside, where they serve up massive portions of breakfast favourites with a side of sass. They even have a list of eleven ‘House Rules’ to follow when you’re a customer at Southside (Rule #4: High maintenance customers may be subject to a $2 surcharge during peak times).
Southside Diner is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s a popular spot with locals and visitors alike, so plan to wait if you’re looking to visit on Saturday or Sunday morning.
Try this: Big Ass Pancake (add chocolate chips) or the Breakfast Poutine.
- Alpine Cafe – Alpine Meadows
Alpine Cafe is located six kilometres North of Whistler Village and is a favourite with locals and visitors looking to discover an ‘out of the village’ experience. Alpine Cafe was founded in 2004 by two chefs who met while working at one of Whistler’s fine dining establishments, Araxi, and vowed to one day open a restaurant of their own. Alpine Cafe was the result of this vow and have been dishing out breakfast, lunch, and dinner to hungry locals ever since.
At Alpine Cafe, the soups and bread are made in house along with their vast array of baked goods. In the summer, enjoy your meal on their outdoor patio before walking or biking it off along the nearby Valley Trail.
Try this: Breaky Bowl or one of their freshly baked muffins with a Nutella Latte.
- Riverside Cafe – Mons
Located North of Whistler Village in the Riverside RV Park is the Riverside Cafe. A favourite among locals and a pleasant surprise to guests of the RV Park, the Riverside Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch and offers plenty of free parking and mountain views. Local ingredients, fresh squeezed orange juice, and homemade baked goods at a budget-friendly price make the Riverside Cafe amazing value for money.
Try this: Lumberjack Breakfast or the Waffles.
Best Dinner on a Budget
Don’t expect a maître d′ to de-crumb your white tablecloth at these locations but do expect fun casual atmospheres with delicious food at bargain prices.
- El Furniture Warehouse – Whistler Village
No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you – all meals really are $5.95 at El Furniture Warehouse in Whistler Village. The name may be strange, the music loud, and the clientele a bit rough around the edges but the long queue doesn’t lie, this is the best bang for your buck in Whistler.
From burgers to pasta, salads, and pub favourites, Furney’s has something for everyone. Although it has a pub-like atmosphere, families with children are welcome. Be aware that they only accept credit card or cash (no debit), so come prepared or they have an ATM inside.
Try this: Union Street Noodle Salad or the Mushroom Swiss Burger with fries (and macho sauce!).
- Peaked Pies – Main Street, Whistler Village
Pie, for dinner? It’s a meat pie mate, and it’s delicious! Thanks to Whistler’s ever-growing Australian population, meat pie has made it to Whistler in the form of Peaked Pies – a small shop off Main Street in Whistler Village.
A peaked pie is a traditional Australian meat pie (not to be confused with a Pot Pie!) topped with mushy peas and mashed potatoes covered in gravy. There are several flavours of pie to choose – from traditional Pepper Steak or Traditional Aussie (ground beef, onions, and gravy) to the more adventurous Butter Chicken pie or The Hopper (kangaroo meat).
Along with these lunch and dinnertime delights they also serve breakfast, sweet treats and coffees.
Try this: Chunky Steak & Mushroom (peaked with mushy peas, mashed potato and gravy) or a good old fashioned Sausage Roll.
- La Cantina – Whistler Village or Nesters
Enjoy a taste of Mexico – in Whistler! With two convenient locations in Whistler Village and Nesters (five minutes North of Whistler Village), La Cantina is a great choice for families, those with dietary issues, and people looking to add a bit of spice to their life. Pick from thirteen different taco varieties (including vegan and vegetarian options), burritos, bowls, soups, and salads and wash it all down with a margarita, Jarrito, or ice cold Corona with lime.
While both locations have the same menu for lunch and dinner, the Nesters location is slightly cheaper, offers breakfast, and has free parking. They also have Taco Tuesday where all tacos are $2.50 all day and Corona’s are $4. Arriba!
Try this: Rajas Poblanas Taco, Sweet Pork Taco, Guacamole with Chips.
- Samurai Sushi – Nesters
Samurai Sushi in Nesters is a local favourite for their delicious sushi at a friendly price point. They offer a variety of different rolls, bento boxes, donburi, and nigiri in a very casual atmosphere that’s perfect for families or for a take-out meal. There’s free parking and the service is always friendly and efficient.
There are many options for sushi in Whistler but Samurai is definitely the most convenient, casual, and less expensive option that is no frills but tasty and filling.
Try this: Teriyaki Chicken Wrap or the Samurai Special (changes daily but typically includes a roll, gyoza, salad, donburi, miso soup, and edamame).
Best Drinks on a Budget
Imbibing on a few adult beverages is a favourite pastime of Whistlerites after a solid day of skiing or, anytime really. Drinking can get expensive in Whistler, so here are some options to keep your wallet happy and good times rolling.
- The Living Room at Pangea Pod Hotel – Whistler Village
The new kid on the block is still relatively a secret, despite being located on the busy Whistler Village Stroll. The Living Room is super cozy and offers many deals throughout the week on food and drinks. It’s a brand new space that feels very communal, young, and fun and is a great place to meet friends after a day on the mountain or as a gathering space to play games or plan group events.
Happy Hour is from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM every day where they offer discounted beer, wine, cocktails, and shots. Thursdays after 5:00 PM is ‘Locals Night’ which was created for locals but open to everyone, with deals on food and drinks.
Try this: the Dalmatian (vodka, peppercorn syrup, grapefruit, lemon, rosemary) or a Smoked Sriracha Caesar.
- The Crystal Lounge – Whistler Villag
A late night favourite among locals, the Crystal Lounge is the place to stop for cheap wings, beer specials, and live music. More grunge than glam, it’s unpretentious and fun, a classic Whistler dive.
Check their Facebook page for weekly updates – they run weekly Karaoke Nights, Trivia Nights, Open Mic Nights, and more. Join them for Happy Hour between 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM daily for $0.35 chicken wings and drink specials. A great place to watch sporting events amongst a lively crowd.
Try this: wings and beer!
- Handlebar – Upper Village
Enjoy local craft beer and German street food at this small pub in Whistler’s Upper Village. A short ten-minute walk from the main Whistler Village takes you to this lively haunt popular with locals. While the bar inside is small, they have a patio with gas fireplaces and heat lamps to keep you warm.
Handlebar has three Happy Hours a day (12:00 PM – 1:00 PM, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM, and 10:00 PM – 11:00 PM) where you can get local B.C. craft beers for $5.75 and deals on food. They often do tap takeovers in collaboration with local breweries for those interested in craft beer.
Try this: beer by local brewery Coast Mountain Brewing with Currywurst or Deep Fried Pickles.
- Palmer’s Gallery Bar & Grill – Whistler Golf Club (Whistler Village)
From May to September, discover one of Whistler’s best-kept secrets – the Palmer’s patio at the Whistler Golf Club. Facing the 18th hole, watch golfers finish their round from the sunny patio overlooking the greens and mountains beyond it. Happy Hour is between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM with $5 draft beers and house wine, and daily there is a drink and dinner special.
Palmer’s is a great spot for groups and families and the public are welcome to eat and drink at the restaurant.
Try this: Fish Tacos with a Grapefruit Ale from Whistler Brewing.
Figuring out where to eat in Whistler while on a budget just got a whole lot easier with this list. Happy Hours and restaurant deals are always subject to change, so be sure to check out the Pique and Whistler Bites for the most up-to-date Whistler restaurant deals and specials during your trip to Whistler!