This whole ‘Instead of Starbucks’ thing stemmed from me frequenting an obscene number of coffee shops throughout the lower mainland while working between shoots.  It’s about finding cultural or local hotspots with a personality.  This isn’t a review of the food there, but more so snapshots of the experience, the people, and the overall vibe of a place.  

THE CANNERY EXPERIENCE

When I first walked into the Cannery it reminded me of a scene from the movies. You know the one, where a character walks into a local diner and suddenly the chattering stops and people stare: it’s the mark of a local hangout. But this lasted for about .4 seconds and then the life of the Cannery resumed: the constant clatter of dishes, conversation and noises from ketchup-mouthed kids. Different generations scattered around.There was no music playing; instead it sounded like a community.

The chairs are all plastic, and there are papers jostled in piles, but there is something inherently warm about the place. It feels like a family picnic on a summer day in the 50s. It kind of makes you want to call your mom. You know, just to chat.

This effect could be stemming from the owner, Eva, essentially a Greek family matriarch to the entire community. She’s been remembering names and families while cooking and baking all the food, serving, and cleaning up for 16 years. “She’s our Mama,” a grown man actually said to me when I inquired about her.

So if you want the classic taste of an awesome homemade sandwich, or a chai tea and some carrot cake, for about 10 dollars, skip Starbucks and get a taste for some local culture at The Cannery (at the chance that you are actually in Steveston).

{Find it: Steveston, Richmond. 3611 Moncton St.}

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