High River has more historic character in its compact, brick-building downtown than most southern Alberta towns. Which only compounds the tragedy of all the residents and business owners who were hammered by the June 2013 floods from the raging Highwood River. Half a year later, several downtown restaurants and coffee houses still hadn’t reopened when I visited.
One place that has is Evelyn’s Memory Lane, a ‘50s-style diner that has long been a gathering lunch spot for locals and day-tripping Calgarians. In keeping with the historic theme, there’s old-fashioned sundaes, thick berry and cream pies and banana splits (when did you last see one of those?). The signature roast chicken sandwich is excellent, full of moist chunks of chicken and cranberry sauce. It’s almost Christmas dinner between two thick slices of house-made multigrain bread. Evelyn’s keeps serving up comfort food when High River really needs it.
Evelyn’s Memory Lane
118 4 Avenue SW, High River, Alberta
Weekdays 9 am-5 pm, Saturday 11 am-5 pm. Closed Sunday
Walking down the narrow hallway to the Whistle Stop Cafe‘s bathroom, I can’t help but anticipate the swaying of a moving train. That’s because the Whistlestop is in a historic railway dining car in High River. It’s the perfect place to look out the window at the sandstone Museum of the Highwood while enjoying a hearty all-day breakfast, a clubhouse sandwich or a chicken-mango quesadilla, while sipping loose-leaf tea from a French-press pot.
My daily soup is a flavourful bowl of chicken and black beans, accompanied by a thick slice of Donna’s sourdough multigrain bread. The Whistlestop was closed for three months after High River’s devastating June 2013 flood. But it’s nice to see it rolling once again.
Whistle Stop Cafe
406 1 Street SW, High River
Tuesday to Friday 11 am-4 pm, Saturday 10 am-4 pm Sunday 10 am-3 pm. Closed Monday