All (barley) work and no play

For this very special summer edition of LizzDrew Take On The ‘Loo, your favorite food reviewing duo took a trip to the classic Barley Works.

Restaurant board.
Bronte Behling/Editor-in-Chief

Located in the historic Huether Hotel at 59 King St. N., it stands as a convenient place to get a bite, play some billiards or have a quick stop at the café, both of which are located on the ground floor of the hotel.

The Barley Works Lion.
Bronte Behling/Editor-in-Chief

The historic architecture added to our final rating of ambiance and atmosphere, as we sat at the top
of the restaurant’s trademark elevated patio, which gave us a great view of Uptown Waterloo.

As our readers know, we love to start with an appetizer, but clearly our choice of spinach and artichoke dip must be a smash hit, as they had sold out the night before. As a result, our hungry stomachs couldn’t take it anymore and we had to jump right in with an entrée.

Lizzie made a split-second decision and ordered the classic barley clubhouse. The ciabatta bread was, as she puts it, “scrum-diddly-umptious,” but the chicken was dry. However, that is pretty par for the course with this tried-and-true sammy. (If she knew she didn’t like them, why did she order it? Our readers and Lizzie herself may never know).

Andrew went with the crispy buffalo chicken wrap. While it was nothing to write home about, it hit the spot. The buffalo sauce lacked the kind of kick he was looking for, but the lettuce and tomatoes were great as always and the inclusion of ranch dressing in the wrap was a unique and valued addition.
The true standout of the meal was Lizzie’s side order of waffle fries with chipotle sauce. The fries were incredibly well seasoned and tender and with the added sauce, it would make any Chick-fil-A fan nod in approval.

With the food out of the way, we must give special mention to the Barley Works specialty cocktail we had, called the Scooby Snack. Modeled after the Scooby-Doo gummies that were surely a staple of many a lunch box, it was amazing — so much so, that Andrew made sure to drink nearly all of
it (even though it was ordered by Lizzie).

Overall, Barley Works is a nice place to spend an afternoon or evening if you’re in Waterloo, with good bites, good vibes and an even better location. If you feel inclined to go enjoy some time in the sun at Barley Works, tell them LizzDrew sent you!


  • Ambiance: 8 out of 10
  • Drinks: 7.5 out of 10
  • Food: 7 out of 10
  • Affordability: 6.5 out of 10

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