One of my biggest beefs with living in Kitchener-Waterloo has been the lack of truly great restaurants. There are many places that are OK, but none that have stood out as of late, especially in the “reasonable” category (under $25/entree).
Last Saturday friends took us to the Raintree Cafe in Waterloo, one of their frequent stops. Located in an unattractive strip mall, Maxwell’s Music House is just next door, the Raintree is understated to say the least. Looking like a cross between a tea house and university pizza haunt, the cafe’s interior isn’t winning any awards. But that’s where the negative commentary stops. The food is amazing.
As a mixed carnivore/vegetarian group we all found something appetizing – the specials are really worth the ask – and even managed to make a dent in their truly exceptional desserts. The offerings are diverse, think lentil soup to rack of lamb, and weigh in $10+. Dinner for 2 with salads, entree, 1/2 a bottle of wine and 1 desserts cost $75. One of the best investments we’ve made eating out.
Living and working in downtown Kitchener I am also always on a quest for lunch and after work watering holes. I’ve been a fan of Little Bean since we stumbled upon it in its first week. Tucked in beside Ziggy’s cycle and sandwiched between the Kaufman Lofts and the Tannery, Little Bean offers one of the best lunch values for actual, real food. Gluten free and vegetarian options are on offer and the selection of breads are just fantastic. The staff are always very friendly and accommodating.
We were very excited when Little Bean gained its liquor license and started offering an after 6 menu. The lights dimmed, the comfortable space becomes venue for salsa and swing lessons, local music and even karaoke on a weekly schedule. On St.Patrick’s Day our green beers were accompanied by pics from their tapas menu and, as always, the food was truly tasty (and under $10).
What’s your favorite dining venue and watering hole in KW?