Tucked between some industrial buildings in Lynn Creek are the best eats you can find on four wheels, or anywhere else in the neighbourhood for that matter.
Canteen Village, the first permanent food truck pod on the North Shore, is now welcoming hungry guests.
Founder Eryn MacKenzie said she sees Canteen Village as a “patio for the neighbourhood.”
Lynn Creek is fast growing with high-rise condos, but the neighbourhood has been lacking good food options within walking distance, MacKenzie said.
“I love being car-free, and that's not something that we've really had in this area. That was the vision with it,” she said.
In late 2021, MacKenzie’s award-winning food truck In Vacanza Pastificio was being evicted from its location. MacKenzie went public with complaints about the District of North Vancouver’s inflexibility toward allowing food trucks. Soon after, the owner of a vacant lot in the industrial area of Crown Street at Mountain Highway offered to lease the land, which MacKenzie saw as an opportunity to bring in a Portland-style food truck pod and inject some vibrancy into her neighbourhood.
After an eye-watering amount of red tape to get approvals and connections for water, hydro, sewage and parking, MacKenzie now has a permanent home for In Vacanza as well as Nonna’s Cucina, which also has a bricks-and-mortar location for its Italian street food in East Vancouver.
MacKenzie is scouting other four-wheeled proprietors to take over a third spot on the site on a rotating basis. In the near future, she plans to install a bocce court, and start hosting events like evening yoga classes and movie nights.
“We're trying to bring some life and pulse to the neighbourhood," she said.
The concept so far has been welcomed warmly, she added.
“It's been awesome. We're so busy. Like, I can't keep up. I'm very tired but it's a good problem to have,” she said. “We've had a lot of people, really excited, messaging us saying ‘Thank you for creating a space in this neighborhood,’ which has been really nice to hear.”
The patio does not have a liquor licence, but MacKenzie said diners are welcome to have their meals brought over to either of the two nearby distilleries – Sons of Vancouver and Woods Spirit Co., and enjoy a cocktail there.
The neighbourhood, famously, is short on street parking, so you’ll be doing yourself a favour if you plan your visit via transit or a bike ride.
Currently, Canteen Village is open at 1440 Crown St. from Tuesday to Sunday, serving lunch and dinner. Those hours will be expanded in the future, and the plan is to stay open year round.