I love a good night in, but with Valentine’s Day around the corner, you may be looking for a different place to take a loved one for a special meal. Many restaurants offer specific Valentine’s Day specials, but remember you don’t have to get out on February 14th to celebrate time together. If the day doesn’t suit or you want to avoid the prearranged chaos, try a different evening, weekday lunch or weekend brunch instead. It’s about making the effort to arrange something and spending time with someone you love, whether it be child, spouse, friend or sibling.
If you’ve been checking out my Tour This Town posts you’ll know I love checking out and recommending amazing restaurants and cafes, so I’ve selected my top 10 independent choices in the area (many of which have not hit my Tour This Town posts yet). Here are my recommendations:
- Easy Pour Wine Bar & Restaurant– Blair/Cambridge
This is my top choice almost every time. This converted heritage house is intimate and perfectly charming. The food is delicious, wine list is impressive and they have the friendliest service. You can also catch live music some nights. My must get dish is the mixed board to share over a glass of wine!
2. Wilhelm’s Café & Bar – Belmont Village
I can’t get over how gorgeous this new hot spot is. Casual yet sexy, meet up for an pre-dinner drink or some afternoon snacks with your loved one. Snuggle up in a booth or grab a drink at the bar, you’ll feel the warmth of the space and the glow from the village.
- Timeless Café – Waterloo
This place holds near and dear to my heart because we had our intimate wedding here several years ago. Rustic and charming, this converted hen house brings the relaxation of a country setting right through your meal allowing you to linger on flavour and conversation. For something different, try a casual breakfast with a loved one to start your day or check out their usual date night with live music on Thursdays.
- Still Waters Plate & Pour – Paris
If you’re looking to impress with a spectacular view, this is your stop! A large selection of options and some tasty combinations are found in their menu. Enjoy the casual setting while taking in the breathtaking view of the Grand River.
- Imperial Market & Eatery – New Hamburg
For something new, try a small town treasure with comfort food in a farmhouse vintage setting. Reserve dinner in or simply enjoy a meal to-go, such as their rotisserie chicken meal, for a quieter meal at home.
- Casa Rugantino – Belmont Village
Nothing is sexier than fresh pasta and Italian wine. A classic choice with mouthwatering options in an freshly updated gathering place. Gorgeous and delicious, you can’t go wrong taking anyone here and ordering anything off the menu.
- The Berlin – Kitchener
If you’re looking to impress and be impressed – this is your stop. Carefully curated dishes, the menu is always changing and sure to be a delight to your tastebuds. An unpretentious ambiance creates an approachable atmosphere allowing you to direct your attention to high-end, mouthwatering plates.
- Relish Cooking Studio – Uptown Waterloo
New location coming soon! If you’re looking to spice up your Valentine’s outing, try joining a cooking class together, or for the ultimate date, book your own private cooking class. Learn from the professionals, watch a demonstration or get your hands dirty, all while enjoying some delicious food. From pizza making to culturally diverse cuisine, you’ll be sure to find a class that excites your tummy and date!
9. Red House – Uptown WaterlooNear the heart of Uptown Waterloo, this gem keeps their menu fresh and fun. You can’t go wrong with going for any meal, but I recommend mixing things up and taking your special someone for a Saturday brunch and having the crème brulee French toast!
- The Common – Stratford
Stratfords culinary scene just improved greatly with this new restaurant. A theatrical ambiance with a delishious approachable menu, this restaurant is sure to delight all the senses. If you’re going for lunch, I highly recommend the buttermilk fried chicken thigh sandwhich.
These additional options are on my list to try next:
- The Cork – Elora
- Puddicombe House – New Hamburg
- Revival House – Stratford
- Public – Kitchener
- 39 Carden Street – Guelph
- Table32 – Ayr
- Bhimas Warung – Kitchener
Where will you be enjoying a meal for Valentine’s this year?