This is the second post in our series about the cheapest breakfasts in the city. The goal here is to source out all the joints where you can get away with coffee and breakfast for under $10.
Bon’s Off Broadway is number one in the category, and has been…. pretty much since I can remember.
Located just off of Broadway at Nanaimo, Bon’s is a Vancouver institution. They have a very famous $2.95 breakfast, which means there are lineups there, even sometimes during the week. Bon’s attracts a variety of East Van characters (sat at the table beside us was a dude who had devil horn implants, and one of our servers was wearing silver cowboy boots), students, and those seeking the cheapest of hangover cures.
I hadn’t been in a few years, but I decided to take my 13-year-old son on a recent pro-d day to have his first Bon’s experience. His reaction upon walking in? “I’m not sure about this place.”
Fair enough. That’s probably most people’s reaction. There is not a matching table or chair in the entire joint, and the bar only stocks 5 different kinds of liquor. Everything is exactly the same as what it was when the place opened–horrible, cheap veneer, chipped and worn over the years. The carpet frays. The menus are coffee-stained and held together with duct tape. The walls are covered–and I mean covered–in graffiti. Everywhere.
The service is surprisingly cheerful and efficient. After all, if you’re selling $3 breakfasts, you have to sell a lot of them to make a profit, so turning tables quickly is imperative.
The coffee is good, but not great, standard diner fare. You’ll get a cup and a saucer, but they won’t match. And you’ll probably have to get your own refills. Whatevs.
The famous $2.95 Bon’s Breakfast is potatoes, 2 sausages, toast and 2 eggs done how you like them. It’s basic, but it’s breakfast, what more do you need? Bacon? No problem. It’ll cost you a buck.
The potatoes are pan fried, which, as you all know, is my favorite. This particular batch could have used a little more time on the flat-top, though. The smaller bits were nice and crispy, but the larger ones could have used a little more time.
There are several different types of bread you can choose from for your toast, but just one kind of jam: strawberry. Frills? What frills?
My offspring went for the pancakes, and they are standard diner pancakes; as big as your head, vanilla-scented, and very filling.
The entire bill, including coffee, came to under $10. To feed two people.
Yep, Bon’s is a bona fide dive, but it will fill you up for cheap.
Bon’s Off Broadway
2451 Nanaimo St
Open daily from 7 am, weekends from 8 am