New Taqueria ‘Popina Cantina’ Opens Today Inside Granville Island’s Net Loft

From the same crew of chefs that gave us the open air, waterfront Popina overlooking False Creek in the Summer of 2018 comes Popina Cantina, a tiny taco takeaway joint in Granville Island’s Net Loft.

I was in the neighbourhood yesterday and was on time to see the new eatery going through its final dress up. The soft opening is scheduled for today (Wednesday, August 19th) with some really interesting tacos and new puff creams to kick things off. See menu below…

As the menu alludes, it’s a cadre of very talented and accomplished local chefs getting creative with tacos. They aren’t aiming to be authentic or highbrow. It’s about achieving deliciousness. Here are the basics from the first story I wrote about the project back in early July:

The small, two-person operation is already under construction in the original Sen Pad Thai location and is on track to open to the public in August, 2020. From what I understand, there will be five tacos on offer, with none of them really cleaving to any pretense of authenticity. As meat-loving co-owner/chef Robert Belcham explained to me over the phone yesterday, these are “our versions of tacos”, which is to say he’ll probably look to Texas while his partners and co-chefs Angus An and Hamid Salimian will likely look to Asia and Persia for inspiration. They’re aiming to begin with five tacos and sides, plus specials, and they plan on being open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The southern fried chicharron has me salivating already, as does the churro crumb puffcream. I can’t wait to give it all a try. Take a closer look…

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