Located at 23904 Fraser Highway, this 70-year-old mom n’ pop eatery is the perfect trifecta of great food made-from-scratch with local ingredients, friendly service and eclectic ambience.
In 1946, the diner was built to serve the customers of the motel that was on the same site. The motel is long-gone and the diner is now run and owned by two sisters, Andrea Zaiser and Sandie Parley.
Today, it’s still a popular hotspot in the community that attracts visitors from miles away.
The business savvy siblings decided to maintain the original charm of diner specials and vintage decor, which has proven to be a successful recipe for this booming little Fraser Valley gem.
It also doesn’t hurt that the diner was featured on the hit show — You Gotta Eat Here!
with famed foodie John Catucci.
“He’s a good Canadian boy with strong work ethic and killer sense of humour,” said Andrea, who reveals to ValleyMom.ca that the show doubled their business overnight.
“You can’t buy that kind of advertising. We went from new and popular to new, crazy stupid busy and popular.”
While I have visited the diner several times over the years, the rest of my family had yet to partake in this unique dining experience. Well, that was until last week…
Molly was in school full-time, but Zoe was still in the midst of gradual Kindergarten entry.
This would be our last mid-week lunch outing with her for a long time. Naturally, we had to choose special spot to break bread and celebrate our baby’s big send-off.
From the moment we stepped inside, it felt as though we’d been transported back to a simpler time. Even on a Tuesday late morning, this little place was rockin.’
We watched as a flurry of patrons checked their hurried lifestyles at the front door and greeted their server by name. Some up saddled at the counter, while others were led to cozy tables.
While we waited for a table, Jason and Zoe had fun time checking out the wall of fame in the front entrance, which featured hundreds of visitors from all over the world who had braved the enormous Mount Everest Burger.
“There’s so much to look at here!” said Zoe, who also noticed all the 1940’s memorabilia on the walls, antiques and unique signage that maximized every last square inch of the wall space.
It was the photos and the paraphernalia from movies and TV shows that were shot on location at the Hilltop that peaked Jason’s interest, including our favourite TV show — ‘Bates Motel.’
“I wonder if we’ll run into Norman Bates,” he joked.
There’s nothing particular fancy about the menu, but the food is always served hot, fresh and tasty.
Homemade menu items
include traditional diner fare such as soups, pies, burgers, roast turkey, roast beef, roast ham, hand-cut fries, homemade hash browns… the list goes on and on.
“Most of what we make is homemade,” explained Andrea of their menu.
“We roast our own beef, roast our own turkey and our own bone-in ham. We make our own hamburger patties, daily. We make our own hash-browns and our own French fries. We also make our own sauces, chilli and soups.”
Those feeling famished could satisfy their hunger by feasting on the Hilltop’s famed Everest Burger, if they dare, which consists of almost a full pound of perfectly seasoned beef, thick cut, double-smoked bacon, farm fresh mushrooms, fried onions, farmer sausage, baked ham, mozza, cheddar, and processed cheese. Topped with crisp lettuce, ripe tomato and pickles, this juicy concoction is held up by a mountain of fresh hand cut fries.
Do diners actually finish this feast, I wondered? Apparently so!
” I would say that of the six to 10 of those that we make a week, 75 per cent of the people finish,” said Andrea.
“A lot of folks even eat all their fries and order pie.”
Speaking of pies, the Hilltop offers a selection of 12-15 types of pies,daily (unless they sell out).
We waddled out of the Hilltop Cafe full of great food and awesome memories. Zoe’s big sister, Molly, caught wind of our lunch and was pretty upset she wasn’t able to go. Looks like we’ll have to make another visit soon for brunch. Maybe we’ll see you there!