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Outside the (take out) box: Hilltop Café

The Hilltop Café on Fraser Highway and 240th Street is easy to pass by on the commute through the Lower Mainland, but it is worth the stop. They’re open Tuesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for breakfast and lunch.

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By Amy Van Veen (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: May 27, 2011

23904 Fraser Highway, Langley
604.514.9424

The Hilltop Café on Fraser Highway and 240th Street has been a landmark between Langley and Aldergrove for the last 65 years, and on May Long Weekend they celebrated their anniversary in style.

This little diner is easy to pass by on the commute through the Lower Mainland, but it is worth the stop. They’re open Tuesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for breakfast and lunch. Their breakfast menu offers all the classics, as well as their Hilltop Breakfast that includes baked beans, if that’s what your appetite calls for. They also offer a variety of omelettes and Bennys, French toast, pancakes, and the normal side order options. All of the breakfasts are between five and twelve dollars.

For lunch, Hilltop Café serves a few different burgers for under $20. Their patties are made fresh daily and their French fries are hand cut. There’s a soup of the day, which is also homemade, and the pies they make – traditionally considered a dessert – a re good enough to be the main attraction.

For a pre-breakfast dessert, which is completely justified, I had a slice of their homemade apple, and with one bite, I could tell its quality and freshness of ingredients. The crust is flaky without being dry and the filling is full of cinnamon and thinly sliced apple eliciting thoughts of a simpler, pastry-filled era.

For breakfast I had their classic bacon and eggs served with toast and hash browns. The bacon and eggs were delicious without being overly greasy (unlike some restaurant chains) and the hash browns were definitely not out of a pre-made package; they were made from scratch and more delicious than anything McCain could come up with.

The place is full of regulars, but the servers don’t treat newcomers any differently. Everyone is welcome in this little highway diner, but the busyness does not detract from the homey feel. With eight tables and seating for six, there isn’t a lot of room, but sitting at the counter is no different than sitting at your own table. The entire restaurant, bathrooms included, is spotless, with freshly wiped countertops and appliances so shiny you can see your reflection.

There was a line-up of a couple of parties taking their time for a space to open up, and though it took a little while for the food to come out, it seems expected to slow down your routine in a place like this. People come here to chit-chat, not to drive-thru, and the friendly service encourages conversation over an impersonal on-the-go meal.

Before I even sat down their signature coffee was in front of me, and the refill was so quick and seamless I never saw the bottom of my cup. This is a place I would definitely come to again, and with decent prices, fresh ingredients, and truly welcoming service, those breakfast chains have got nothing on this classic diner.

You can follow them on Twitter @hilltopdiner and on Facebook at Hilltop Diner Café.

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