Olde Main Eatery 

When it comes to hospitality and graciousness, Olde Main Eatery in Elk River makes the top of my list. I have, on very good authority, heard it called the best place for breakfast in the northwest metro, and I couldn’t agree more. A casual, homey, small town place where you can feel right at home. I went with my mom and sister, who each live in towns adjacent to Elk River – so this is a local spot for them. If you love generous portions and down-to-earth staff, this is your place. I fell in love with all the historic photos, newspaper clippings and postcards on the wall that hold the story of the area and the location. And, although the premise behind the MNBucketList is to constantly try new things, I know this wont my last stop to Olde Main. While they do have a line out the door on a Sunday after church service, don’t be deterred. They will always find a spot for you

Babock Memorial Park

Constructed in 1938-39, Babock Memorial Park‬ was named to commemorate Charles M. Babcock (1871-1936), who served as Minnesota’s first Commissioner of Highways and who initiated the “Babcock Plan,” which established the state trunk highway system. The project was announced in the January 20, 1938, issue of the Sherburne County Star News:

‪‎Elk River‬ is to have a large and attractive roadside park along the‪ ‎Mississippi River‬ east of town, to be known as the Babcock Memorial Park. . . . The park will be developed along rustic lines, with trails, stone picnic tables, fireplaces, rustic footbridges and other improvements. Native split stones will be used in the work and the whole scheme will blend in to the natural beauty of the scenery, with the small brook running through the park being used to good advantage (Sherburne County Star News, Jan. 20, 1938).

Pictured is that very brook.

The Sunshine Depot

The Sunshine DepotThe Sunshine Depot in Elk River, although the sign says the Depot, Elk River, is up next. This informal, bar / neighborhood comfort hangout is nothing short of an homage to the city and citizen of the town. Check out the crazy ceiling! With quick and easy food like baskets, burgers, salads and sandwiches, it’s hard to go wrong. The patio outside gives one of the best views of the Mississippi River as it’s right next to the River’s Edge Commons Park. The place is owned by Sue Anderson, whose sons, Steven and Brian spent most of their lives at my parent’s house, being my brother’s best friends and all. I stopped in with my Mom and cousin and sure enough, I ran into both of them. It’s so full of history (mine and the towns), it definitely worth checking out.