Hidden Gem: Junction House Cafe & Spice Market

You’ve probably noticed the massive Canadian flag that billows over Dead Man’s Flats on the way to Banff just this side of Canmore, but unless you’re running low on gas, it’s unlikely you’ve ever stopped. The Junction House Cafe & Spice Market, however, gives weekend warriors a reason to linger.

The next time you’re headed to the Bow Valley, take the time to pull into Dead Man’s Flats for a solid meal — eat in or takeout — that could hold its own in any city.

The padpri chat, an Indian take on nachos, might not be pretty but it's a delicious dish for sharing.

The food is an intersection of Indian, Canadian and British influences, resulting in a diverse menu that offers a little something for everyone. And while the Southwestern decor with its mosaic tile tables and wooden spindle chairs seems out of place, the splendid views of Mount Lougheed and Windtower Mountain make for a scenic dining ambience.

Fusion fans should start with padpri chat — samosa chips smothered with a chickpea potato curry and topped with fragrant mango chutney. It’s an Indian take on nachos and ideal for sharing.

The fish and chips are made with a curry and Taj Mahal beer batter, putting an Indian twist on a classic English dish.

For mains, The Best Ever Butter Chicken is the real deal. All curries are made without gluten or dairy, and this dish comprised of golf ball size chunks of chicken and accompanied with cilantro rice, naan and cucumber onion salad is a hearty meal. Cool off this or the other curries with thick cucumber mint raita, and wash it all down with a bottle of Kingfisher beer. Or go for the fish and chips coated in a curry and Taj Mahal beer batter that’s flavorful without packing any heat.

With a kids’ menu and outdoor play equipment, families would do well to refuel here. And don’t leave without taking a peek in the freezer, chock full of ready-made curries you can take home (or to the campsite) with you. 

(120 1 Ave., Dead Man's Flats, 403-609-3671, thejunctionhouse.ca)

This story was part of Avenue's free weekly Food & Drink Newsletter. Sign up now and get fresh dining news in your inbox every Tuesday.



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