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Nov 7, 2009 08:52 AM

Near University of Waterloo

I'm taking my son out for a birthday dinner, along with my 2 other kids. Besides the usual suspects are there any reasonably priced restaurants near U of W that you could recommend? Any type of food is good, although my daughter is a vegetarian.

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  1. Near the 2 universities, most places cater to students, however, Mongolian Grill in the University Plaza gets a lot of business people from RIM, Open Text, etc. You select raw food from a buffet add the seasonings and sauces that you want and they grill it for you. It's a somewhat different experience and reasonably priced. Vegetarian is clearly an option.

    If you want something truly unique for Waterloo country which might not be accessible for your son if he doesn't have a car, try the Heidelberg House in Heidelberg, about 10 minutes north of the university. It has old fashioned Mennonite cooking, such as pigs tails, pock hocks, schnitzels, etc. Vegetarian might be a bit difficult, but the battered mushrooms are great. The towns of St. Jacobs and Elmira have some interesting restaurants as well.

    The following are upscale, so maybe pricier than you want:

    Up King Street:
    Rushes - in the Waterloo Inn
    Wildcraft near the Waterloo Inn

    Downtown Waterloo:
    Janet Lynn's Bistro

    425 King Street North, Waterloo, ON n2j 2z5, CA

    Janet Lynn's
    92 King St S, Waterloo, ON N2J1P5, CA

    15 King St N, Waterloo, ON N2J2W6, CA

    1. My family likes this place for special occasions like birthdays, etc. It's near UW (kinda behind Waterloo Town Plaza), and has a nice ambiance. It can be pricey depending on what you order, but you can have a reasonable bill if you choose the pizzas or pastas.

      1. If you want upscale environment (and slightly more pretentious prices too) then I'd recommend Wildcraft. Their W burger is very good, but there are lots of vegetarian options that will please your daughter.

        Here's what I'd recommend in the area:
        Ennio's (on King St) - Italian, midscale with a nice range of different dishes (& vegetarian too) that are all consistently decent quality, owned by a local family to boot;
        Pho Ben Thanh (on Northfield) - Vietnamese/Thai, a local mini-chain, excellent food for very very reasonable prices, with plenty of vegetarian options that are actually delicious;
        Benny's (on Weber) - this is roadhouse all the way - nothing too horrible, but nothing great either, but if that's what you would like, the portions are huuuuge and the prices quite reasonable;
        If you are willing to drive a little, you might consider the Charcoal Steak House / Del Dente's (which is in the basement) in Kitchener off Fairway. Both levels serve very solidly good food. Again, slightly higher prices but good portion sizes.
        Another place further away is Arabesque (on Victoria), which serves Middle Eastern cuisine (shawermas, falafels, etc). The prices are incredibly reasonable, and the food fresh and very delicious.

        I would have to disagree with the rec for Mongolian Grill - in my mind, it's actually pretty bad food, gimmicky to say the least, and in this day of H1N1, I'd avoid places with raw meats left out on open buffets like the plague pits they likely are. And while I haven't been to Heidelberg House in about 5 years, it's because the last time I ate there, the place was dark, dim and dingy. But I am a mother of a 5 year old, so I'm very picky about the cleanliness of where we eat.

        Good luck, hope you enjoy your birthday celebrations.

        425 King Street North, Waterloo, ON n2j 2z5, CA

        2 Replies
        1. re: mcvixen

          I second the disagreement with Mongolian Grill. That place has been there over 15 years and really hasn't changed. Average food at best and definitely gimmicky.

          A few other ideas with vegetarian options:
          Masala Bay - good Indian Food
          Lucy's Seafood Kitchen

          Lucy's Seafood Kitchen
          75 King St S, Waterloo, ON N2J1P2, CA

          1. re: kayehm

            Lucy's is closed. No great loss.