Unique Ideas for Date Night in Waterloo Region

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What makes a good “date night” restaurant? It’s hard to say: every relationship, either budding or long-established, is different; each date with a significant other, whether first, second, or many months in progress, might require a special emphasis and considered attention. Here are some ideas for planning your next date night in Waterloo Region.

A walkable date
Meal at The Berlin in Kitchener, Ontario
The Rich Uncle Tavern

Depending on the weather, you can keep things moving along: do a little “progressive” dinner-date crawl.

In Waterloo, start with cocktails at the White Rabbit, move along to an appetizer and perhaps a beer at Abe Erb, and finish up with an entrée at the popular and cozily quaint Red House Uptown. Perhaps some good tequila and a sampling of tacos is your idea of a dynamic way to finish up the short date and dining tour?

In downtown Kitchener, that travelling date could start at Grand Trunk Saloon for a Negroni before turning the corner for a short jaunt and an appetizer at The Rich Uncle Tavern – where the menu changes several times a week. Then, it is a couple blocks’ trek to 271 West in the west end. There, the night can finish (or at least the restaurant portion of it) with a main course, a sweet, or an after-dinner drink.

Sharing plates …and passion?

An increasingly popular style of sharing a meal is shareable plates. Enjoy a Spanish getaway in Kitchener at La Lola Tapas Bar with its authentic Spanish tapas and homemade Sangría in an intimate setting.

Look for charcuterie boards and sampler dishes at restaurants like Red House and The Bauer Kitchen (TBK) in the Bauer Buildings near the heart of Uptown Waterloo. The foods at TBK change regularly, but they always offer the chance to chat and nibble in the energized, Soho-inspired atmosphere and décor.


Cocktails may be the desire for your desired. (But, please, don’t drink and drive – walk, take a bus, cab, or rideshare on your date night!).

Proof Kitchen and Lounge has the right formula for a special beverage or two that can be sipped over conversation in a cool vibe. Perhaps a charcuterie board can accompany?

Wine bars both, Solé  in Waterloo and Blackshop! in Cambridge have an elegant but not-too-formal ambiance along with a strong selection of wines and cocktails for a relaxing evening to get to know your date better.

Abe Erb in the Tannery in downtown Kitchener provides a dynamic and energized setting with upscale casual and pub fare. Sample unique and tasty locally-made brews, watch people and be part of the craft beer scene in Waterloo Region – if that is your pint of Kolsch. There are also Abe Erb locations in Waterloo and Ayr – each with its own unique ambience. 

A caffeinated date?

Waterloo Region has some wonderful coffee shops that have the perfect atmosphere for an afternoon or evening date. 

In Kitchener, that could be Matter of Taste for a macchiato or Café Pyrus for an Americano in its uniquely casual setting; in Cambridge, Monigram Coffee Roasters has a wonderful urban feel.

There’s also Smile Tiger Coffee Roasters on Ahrens Street in Kitchener – offering seasonal, direct-trade coffees that are roasted on-site.

Courting in the country

Outside of the municipalities are a few quiet restaurants in which to spend a date. The Easy Pour Wine Bar in Cambridge (in the tiny hamlet of Blair) is a cozy choice in the setting of an 1856 heritage building. The wine list is well-curated and you can share small plates with live music in the background.  

Puddicombe House in the beautiful town of New Hamburg features casual fine dining in an historic 1868 building – and, for a truly romantic night out, dine outdoors in one of their private greenhouses, complete with a fireplace to keep you warm!

Going the extra mile

In downtown Cambridge, you will find a hypnotizing view of the rushing Grand River at the historic and elegant yet relaxed (and lovingly restored) 19th-century Cambridge Mill.

Of course, the very finest restaurant food and service is available at Langdon Hall in Cambridge. The glorious dining room of the historic country house hotel and spa – a top hotel destination, according to respected travel magazine Conde Nast – is elegant yet relaxed; or, there is the quiet charm and warm aroma of a wood fire that can be found in the quaint Wilk’s Bar at Langdon.


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