Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario

From GoonsWithSpoons
Jump to: navigation, search


Kitchener-Waterloo The Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge area is a sprawling collection of small cities that have more or less merged together. Each town still seems to maintain a separate culture of sorts which plays out in restaurant selection. Originally populated by German immigrants with a (to many) boring culinary scene to match, things have been improving steadily as the booming tech sector brings more and more people of various origins to town.

Of particular note are the many fantastic farmer's markets in the area. The one in the village of St. Jacobs just north of Waterloo is particularly great.


Contributors residing here:[edit]

  • Toast - off and on resident

General[edit]

  • Symposium Café
    • Uptown Waterloo (King and Erb in old Waterloo Hotel)
    • Lovely Patio (Adjacent to Margitas)
    • Nice though not spectacular food, I found them a bit overpriced for what was on offer.
    • Good variety, sometimes came up as default choice for work dinner.
    • Great desserts (see desserts section)
  • Heuther Hotel:
    • Uptown Waterloo - King and Princess
    • Converted old hotel that now contains several bars and eateries
  • Heuther Hotel - Lion Brewery
    • Basement of the old hotel, neat decor with an emphasis on their craft brewed (cheap and tasty) beer.
    • Pizzas and Panzerottis are excellent as is the beer battered fish and chips. Though I've never had them personally, the ribs and lamb looked and smelled divine.
  • Vidalia
    • St. Jacobs (Just north of Waterloo)
    • Decent if not entirely imaginative bistro, seems to be the middle level of the three restaurants in town run by the same outfit.
    • The Ribs were decent and I'm told the Sweet Potato Fries were to die for.
  • Rude Native Bistro/Lounge
    • Uptown Waterloo (by the square)
    • Overpriced and underwhelming
  • Marbles
    • Uptown Waterloo: King and William
    • Cute little place with interesting decor.
    • Fairly varied menu with some great choices. Service can be slow.


Pub Grub[edit]

  • Waterloo:McMullen's
    • King and Princess
    • Excellent beer selection, great pizza and nachos
    • Decent screen setup for watching sports
  • Fox and Fiddle
    • Waterloo:King and Princess
    • Southern Ontario Chain
    • A few decent menu items, don't miss the Beer and Cheese soup when it's featured.
  • Heuther Hotel - BarleyWorks
    • See review for Lion Brewery above.

Breakfast[edit]

  • Mel’s Diner
    • UW University Plaza
    • Sadly burned to the ground in April 2010, plans to rebuild in progress.
    • Great cheap breakfast and diner food. Loyal following and can be busy.
  • Harvest Moon Restaurant
    • St. Jacobs (Just north of the main drag up the hill)
    • I noticed this place was always full of locals so I decided to give it a try one sunday morning while my parents were in town. I was really glad that I did.
    • Massive plate of Eggs Benedict for 7.50 made with thick cut ham and great likely local eggs. My mother had a waffle smothered in fresh strawberries while my father stuck with a basic breakfast.
    • The entire meal cost us under $30 with tips and a drink each and we were so stuffed that we skipped lunch and had a really late dinner.
    • In short, good food, great prices for breakfast. I would suspect lunch and dinner are the same.


BBQ[edit]

  • Lancaster smokehouse
    • Kitchener on Lancaster just south of bridge st. http://www.hogtailsbbq.com/smokehouse.php
    • Great selection of BBQ brisket, ribs, pulled pork and fried chicken with a ton of sides.
    • Huge portions for a decent price
    • Big selection of ontario beer.
  • Hog Tails BBQ
    • Waterloo at Laurelwood and Erbsville
    • Quick serve take out and limited seat outlet of Lancaster smokehouse

Bubble Tea[edit]

  • Sweet Dreams
    • UW University Plaza
    • By far the best of the university bubble tea places
    • Good variety of flavours, nice board games and service that actually seems to welcome you as a customer (Perhaps YMMV at the others if you're asian?)

Burgers and Fries[edit]

  • The Grill
    • UW University Plaza
    • Really tasty burgers and fries, better food at better prices than most of the burger joints around
  • Sonny's Drive In
    • Waterloo: King and University
    • Typical Drive in Fare
  • The Works
    • Waterloo on King near town square. An ontario chain.
    • Big selection of burgers with toppings ranging from plain cheese to peanut butter and bananas.

Carribean[edit]

Chinese[edit]

I have yet to find a good authentic chinese place in town, most seem to cater to the junk food-esque american style or cater mostly to Asian students with a very limited english menu.

Dim Sum[edit]

Same as above


Desserts/Bakeries[edit]

  • Symposium Café
    • Uptown Waterloo (King and Erb in old Waterloo Hotel)
    • Lovely Patio
    • Also Serves Dinner (See above)
    • Very tasty desserts varying from Cakes and Tortes to massive waffle concoctions.
    • Seems to do a thriving business in takeout slices for young women (do they not want to be seen eating this?)


European[edit]

Greek[edit]

Indian[edit]

  • Masala Bay
    • Uptown Waterloo (King and Erb in behind Waterloo Hotel, very tough to find on your first visit)
    • Excellent buffet at a reasonable lunch price (I'm not sure on dinner cost) Also has a small patio.
    • Dinner a la carte is a bit pricey but really tasty. Lamb Rogan Josh was very good as was the Masala. Korma on the other hand was rather bland.
    • Service is a bit odd. On one visit when placed by the door, the hostess propped the door open on a very cold windy day without even asking us.
  • Classic Indian
    • Waterloo Northfield east of King
    • Decent and affordable lunch buffet
    • Unless the price has changed it's roughly the same cost as Masala Bay and not quite as good.
  • Curry in a Hurry
    • UW University Plaza
    • Chain (I believe?)
    • Somewhat pricey for quality, small portions.

Indonesian[edit]

  • Bhima's Warung
    • Waterloo on King St just north of University
    • Great mix of indonesian, malay, thai and other south asian cuisines
    • Open for supper only, can be expensive with mains $25-40 but very large portions, usually enough left over for a second meal.

Deli/Sandwiches/Pita[edit]

  • Pita Factory
    • UW University Plaza (and elsewhere)
    • Fast and friendly service, excellent fresh made pitas at an affordable price (more bang for your buck than elsewhere)
    • Dishes of Note: Factory Pita, various toppings and served with French Fries wrapped inside, sounds disgusting but is surprisingly good
  • Pita Pit
    • Same as any other location in the world I imagine
    • UW University Plaza location has several themed pitas
  • Mambella's Italian Deli
    • Waterloo (Columbia just west of Phillip)
    • TAKEOUT ONLY (lunch only as well I believe) also catering, has several small tables and a picnic table or two.
    • Great italian sandwiches and takeout pasta. Portion sizes not amazing for the price, but quality is excellent
    • Swamped with RIM employees at lunch, expect to wait.

Italian/Pizza[edit]

  • Ennio's
    • Waterloo (King just north of Columbia)
    • Second location in Kitchener, fairway rd just east of manitou
    • Tasty Northern Italian Cuisine, I've never been for dinner but the lunch menu is nicely varied and quick.
  • Mambella's Italian Deli
    • See Deli Section

Mexican and Central/South American[edit]

  • Margaritas
    • Uptown Waterloo (King and Princess in the old Waterloo Hotel)
    • Tasty though not especially spicy Mexican, interesting interior and a nice patio for the summer.
    • Service can be slow as they seem to try to get by with a minimum number of waitstaff.
    • Probably the best Margitas I've had in the loo (not that that takes much)


Middle Eastern[edit]

Thai/Laotian[edit]

There is an absolute dearth of quality Thai places in Waterloo (and indeed southern Ontario.) Most of the places that purport to be Viet-Thai are in fact Vietnamese with a few dishes of Thai tacked on. Most thai dishes (especially pad thai) are prepped in that overly sweet manner that you've likely tasted in other Viet-Thai places, often tasting like they've used globs of honey or double the brown sugar. The mall chain Spring Rolls produces thai of similar quality to most supposedly thai places in town and at half the price (at the food court stall)

  • MyThai
    • Uptown Waterloo (One block south of King and Bridgeport)
    • Small Ontario chain that nonetheless produces some of the better thai food in Waterloo.
    • Dishes of Note: Emerald Curry Chicken, Sweet Basil Beef
  • Golden Mango
    • UW University Plaza Waterloo
    • Terrible food in a terrible location, I had a window leaking on me with a draft blowing constantly in January.
    • Pad Thai of the "Sauce is Ketchup and Brown Sugar" variety
  • Ben Thanh
    • Various Locations (Northfield Waterloo location reviewed)
    • My co-workers loved this place, I was kind of meh. Purports to be viet thai but true thai dishes are few and far between despite their menu seeming to have 500 dishes.
    • Much better vietnamese dishes, noodle bowls were filling and tasty with a little hot sauce. Fruity smoothy drinks are quite good as well.
    • Oversized menu makes meal selection time with a large group somewhat onerous, also mystifyingly packed more or less all the time while myThai is usually easy to snag a table.

Vietnamese[edit]

  • Ben Thanh
    • Various Locations (Northfield Waterloo location reviewed)
    • My co-workers loved this place, I was kind of meh. Purports to be viet thai but true thai dishes are few and far between despite their menu seeming to have 500 dishes.
    • Much better vietnamese dishes, noodle bowls were filling and tasty with a little hot sauce. Fruity smoothy drinks are quite good as well.
    • Oversized menu makes meal selection time with a large group somewhat onerous, also mystifyingly packed more or less all the time while myThai is usually easy to snag a table.


Vegetarian[edit]