Highlevel Diner – Edmonton, Alberta

Highlevel Diner
10912 88 Ave
High Level Diner on Urbanspoon

With Sarah’s father coming into town on the long weekend, we needed a place to go for a breakfast/lunch/brunch. Originally we thought Culina Highlands would be the place, but with a misunderstanding of hours on my part*, we went with the back up plan, Highlevel Diner. Located on the now-packed northern tip of 109th, Highlevel Diner has racked up quite the success over the years, with big shout outs for their ketchup, hamburgers, and cinnamon buns.

High Level Diner Ketchup

The restaurant, which shows it’s age in a well-used diner way, was full when we arrived. It was nice that tables were turning over in a steady fashion, which meant we only had to wait about 10 minutes before being seated. I noticed a few specials on the board, including a sweet potato brisket, but our server did not mention any of them when filling our cups with coffee. The brunch menu is short and straight forward, making the selection process relative simple; Sarah’s dad went with the Farmer’s Omelette3 free-range egg omelette with bacon, onion, potato, and cheddar served with hashbrowns and 7-grain toast, while we both (as strangely as it sounds) ordered the Hot Multigrain Cereal w/ Wild Blueberries. Of course, we started with one of their famous Cinnamon Buns.

The cinnamon bun, which might just win for largest bun around as well, was quite the treat. Warm to the touch when it arrived, the sugary crisp exterior gave way to a moist and surprising light center. Even as someone who grew up with fond memories of the cream cheese laden Cinnabon style offerings, this lightly sweetened, freshly baked bun was fantastic. I can truly appreciate their bun awards.

The farmer’s omelette was loaded with cheese and did it’s breakfast job at filling up Sarah’s dad. The one thing I picked up on was the hashbrowns, which by all accounts could have definitely been crispier and more golden brown. The mulitgrain cereal arrived piping hot and took some time to cool down enough to make it manageable. The well softened grains had clearly spent enough time in the oven/slowcooker/pot, and combined nicely with the warm milky base. We both added a side of wild blueberries. Definitely a stick to your ribs bowl of food, my biggest complaint was that even with the berries, it suffered from being a one note show. I think both of us were a bit tired of the taste when everything was said and done and even with just sweeter berries in the mix (frozen, tiny, wild blueberries don’t offer much), I don’t think you’d find a problem.

At the end of our meal, it was great to still feel welcome with comments to take our time and enjoy another cup of coffee. Besides the food, this welcome feeling is one of the best parts about finding a good diner. Unlike, for example, Cora’s, where tables are turned over every 30-40 minutes, Highlevel Diner provides a tasty place to sit, catch up, and enjoy some food love. Oh, did I mention the cinnamon bun….

*Lesson of the day – never grab your cell phone and make a reservation request the first thing you say and/or do in the morning. Instead, wake up, splash some water on your face and pour some coffee before trying.

6 thoughts on “Highlevel Diner – Edmonton, Alberta

  1. The Highlevel Diner is our favourite place in YEG… we go there every Saturday after my daughter’s swimming class, and its simply the best place to relax, chill and eat some simple, delicious food. Never had a bad meal there, and never felt rushed out. The service is friendly and efficient, and of course the cinnamon buns are to die for.

    Also check out their events menus, they are really good, witha very pronounced local flavour to them.

  2. I have only ever been there for lucnh. I”ll have to try breakfast/brunch there sometime! Also, even though I am full from dinner, I suddenly want to bowl of oatmeal… my favorite breakfast food 🙂

  3. This place is indeed a classic. Good that its still thriving after all these years and the pace of eating there is still understated and relaxing.

  4. Just to add an FYI – they actually have a complete Gluten-free menu, and make painstaking effort to inform customers of potential issues (house made ketchup has gluten in it – they provide store-bought ketchup for celiacs), as well as to stop cross contamination. For people with Gluten-intolerance, Celiacs, etc.. this is a wonderful place to eat.

    Like you, I’ve also had some fantastic service here. Very welcoming. A bit pricey, but nonetheless, an enjoyable place to dine.

  5. I went there once and thought it was average — have been going to the Sugarbowl ever since for their relatively cheap and interesting offerings.

  6. I have tried the Sugarbowl and found it to be a poor substitute for the Highlevel diners food and atmosphere. The Sugarbowls buns, although 15 cents cheeper, are under baked. A poor copy of the HLD’s bun.

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