Two Great Finds

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?

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6 Comments

Filed under food

6 responses to “Two Great Finds

  1. H.

    Great question!
    One that i hope gets lots of responses!

    Watering hole I love – Bauer. Obvi.
    But i also love Boathouse for some weird reason – the service is awful, its hard to get a seat, and temperature is always wacked out, but it’s a fun little place. Kind of like sitting in a friends basement.

    Maybe Cherries on Top and RQ should team up for a summer watering hole review???

    H.

  2. Darleen

    The Boathouse at Victoria Park, in Kitchener does have amazing food. I have never had bad service – so hoping it was an anomaly, and not a new feature:)
    There are several good restaurants in KW and Cambridge area – some being a bit on the pricey side for dinner. I tend to not eat out at lunch as is more expensive than making it myself, but is sometimes nice to meet others for lunch. I will have to try Little Bean.
    My favorite place to eat would be outside the area – we ride motorcycles so often ride until dinner time. Fergus and The Breadalbane Inn – go to the Pub side, as not as expensive of fancy.

  3. The best lunch in town for under 10 bucks is Big John’s Subs on Belmont near Union (Bemont Village). They offer a zillion different subs but I highly recommend just plain assorted. Their secret sauce is to die for, service is impecable and lightning fast.

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