If you’ve ever had the pleasure of eating a spoonful of peanut butter and calling it dinner, then perhaps you know the fun of being broke and hungry. Even if you haven’t had to go to such extents but still find it difficult to prepare yourself a decent meal every once and awhile there are quite a few “temples of food” in Vancouver that will feed you for free.
Everyone is welcome and no matter if you are down on your luck or just looking for a filling, home-cooked meal, they will welcome you with a smiling face.
Akali Singh Sikh Temple
Free meals are served Monday through Thursday at 7pm sharp. There is a mix of people down on their luck, young families, and those just looking for a free meal. The food is delicious but comes with quite a few rules: wash your hands before and after the meal, finish everything on your plate, talk as little as possible, and dress conservatively. The temple itself is quite beautiful as well, so if you have time after you’ve filled your belly, take some time to appreciate the architecture. The Akali Singh Sikh Temple is located at 1890 Skeena Street. (more info)
Ross Street Gurdwara
This sprawling Sikh temple was designed by the famous Vancouver architect Arthur Erickson. Volunteers serve free vegetarian meals daily between 6am and 8pm. If you can, leave a donation with the attendant at the entrance. Volunteers will offer you rice, dal or curry, yogurt, bread and sweets. Because this temple is less frequented by visitors, you will be able to have as much food as you need/want. To reach the temple from downtown, take the Canada Line to Marine Drive Station, then take Bus 100 (22nd Street) eastbound to Ross Street. The temple is located at 8000 Ross Street, Vancouver. (more info)
If you’re looking for more options on free and low-cost food, Vancouver.ca has created a great list of free and low-cost food options in Vancouver. You can view the PDF here.