Exploring Waterloo’s top spots
Best dance club: Pearl (runner up: Phil’s Grandson’s Place)
If there is one thing Wilfrid Laurier University students like to do to let loose, it’s get down on the dance floor. There are plenty of dancing options in Waterloo but only one real premiere dance club.
Pearl is about the size of an aircraft hangar and has played host to some of the best EDM events in the province. If you like to wear florescent outfits and dance until you need to change shirts, Pearl is for you.
Best value: Phil’s Grandson’s Place (runner up: Chainsaw)
Phil’s is great for a lot of reasons but first and foremost, the value is unheard of. Most drinks are $2.25 and can go up as far as $5.00.
Most of you newcomers might be thinking that they are watered down and half full, but on the contrary, they are potent and plentiful. You can easily bring one crisp $20 bill and be set for the night. However, be prepared for the mountains of change you will have.
Best food: Ethel’s Lounge (runner up: Morty’s)
There are a ton of great eats in and around Laurier but Ethel’s Lounge has something special. Their menu is filled with quality pub grub, sharables and the best Tex-Mex in the region.
The service is perfectly paced which makes the food that much better. They also have a plethora of daily deals and weekly specials that would make any foodie weak at the knees.
Best atmosphere: McMullan’s (runner up: Wilf’s)
After a year long hiatus and one repaired roof, McMullan’s is back in business. This corner bar has it all: you can sit outside in the below-street-level patio or you can hop inside for some darts, pool and delicious cheese bread. To top it all off, the music is new, urban and more than smooth.
Best place for live music: Starlight Social Club (runner up: Maxwell’s Music House)
Starlight has probably the most diverse crowd out of any bar in the Laurier area. This is mainly due to the fact that they host so many different types of lives shows.
From underground hip-hop to heavy rock and everything in between, it perfectly caters to every type of person. For slower sounds they set up tables, candles and low lighting. On more upbeat nights, they have been known to have quite the dance floor.
Best place for a date: Marbles (runner up: RedHouse)
Marbles may be a touch off the beaten path, but it couldn’t be better to take a potential love interest.
Perfectly hidden from all the King Street hustle, Marbles looks like a mix between a hobbit hole and an urban eatery. The menu has something for everyone, the vibe is low key and the seating is private enough to get close but open enough to be comfortable. If you’re looking to impress, Marbles is your best bet.
Best place to bring your parents: Shoeless Joe’s (runner up: The Duke of Wellington)
Shoeless Joe’s has an easy menu with a solid atmosphere and good service. Plus, it’s central. The last thing you want is to send your parents on a wild goose chase to meet you at your favorite shawarma joint.
Conveniently located at King Street and University Avenue, Shoeless Joe’s is something relaxed that your parents probably know and love. It also has a wicked rooftop patio for ultimate parental approval.
Best place to watch a game: Morty’s (runner up: Shoeless Joe’s)
They have a hoard of TVs playing every different type of game. From rugby to hockey and everything in between, Morty’s probably has it playing.