Craig’s Café

  • Magazine: TheBlock
  • Issue: Volume 2, Issue 4

If ever you find yourself in the hot seat on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, stumped when asked about the breakfast rituals of a far-away country’s inhabitants, be sure you have the right “lifeline” waiting by the phone at home. In particular, be sure that lifeline is world-travelling brunch King, Craig. One of those rare people known simply by a single name (think: Madonna, Cher, Pink) Craig – of Craig’s Café – is the one-named foodie icon of the Tri-Cities.

When you step into Craig’s, like Dorothy who hears: “You’re not in Kansas anymore,” so too is there a suspicion you might not be in Coquitlam anymore. Traffic buzz is replaced by Crosby, Stills, and Nash playing softly in the background and happy eaters uttering delightful murmurs in the foreground. While Craig’s is everything that exemplifies come-as-you-are casual, there’s a sense that someone’s vision eight years before has panned out exactly as planned. After visiting – and eating in – over 45 countries, Craig and wife Sharon opened the café as a way to fill what they saw as a void in the community’s culinary offerings. Craig’s own collection of framed black and white photography lines the rust-coloured walls of the rectangular room, visually sharing tales from distant locals like Nepal, India, and Utah.

While today’s special is the “Whatever Craig Wants” Omelette made from free-run eggs, other selections include Bennies ranging from traditional to adventurous, Golden Harvest Pancakes packed with goodies like walnuts and sunflower seeds, and olive-oil pan-fried red potatoes. Those who can’t finish the generous helpings are left contributing to Craig’s Children’s Wish Foundation fund. (Well-fed guests have raised $7,000 to date.) While a sign on the wall claims: “Good food takes time,” the service is speedy and the meal – in my case, the Mushroom Benny with homemade hollandaise – better than simply “good”.

Thanks to Firefighter Gourmet Foods – a food line launched by Craig and his firefighter buddy Jeff – patrons can take home favourites like the pancake mix, organic coffees, and Kapow Hot Sauce. All can be picked up (the food, not the firefighter) at Craig’s.

Craig’s Café, 1046A Austin Avenue, Coquitlam, 604.936.4141