The Tipsies: Best in bars

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Best dance club: Starlight Social Club

Nestled in the heart of Uptown, Starlight defies the expectations of a typical dance club. Exceptionally friendly staff and a safe, clean atmosphere make the nightly five-dollar cover well worth it. The venue is a fantastic social experience that allows club-goers to feel comfortable while letting their hair down. Bartenders are well-versed in any drink order you throw at them, and the interior has plenty of space to spare so that you never feel crowded when dancing. Consider venturing out to Starlight on a Friday, where the DJ swaps predictable club fare for old-school funk. — Bree Rody-Mantha, Features Editor

Runner-up: Phil’s Grandson’s Place

Best value: Phil’s Grandson’s Place

This one seems like a bit of a no brainer. $2.75 for a drink? You’re not going to get much better value than that. But Phil’s Grandson’s Place – Phil’s to the common student – saves you money in so many more ways. Cover is a manageable five dollars (yes, there’s a cover every night, but at $2.75 per drink the cover is excusable). Plus, the beyond-cheap drinks render a pre-drink almost unnecessary, and its location right at the corner of King and University means Phil’s is a walkable destination for first years in residence and inhabitants of the student ghetto alike. Sure, it occasionally smells like a hockey dressing room filled with puke, but there are very few places where your money will go as far is it does at Phil’s. Once again, at $2.75 per drink, it’s hard to argue against Phil’s.—Justin Fauteux, News Director

Runner-up: Chainsaw Saloon

Best food: Ethel’s Lounge

Located on the corner of King and Spring Streets, Ethel’s offers food that crushes cravings while moving beyond typical bar food. Since the location has no deep-fryer, rather than serving up delicious-but-boring chicken fingers and onion rings, Ethel’s boasts a diverse menu of home-made Tex-Mex and vegetarian foods. The lounge is most popular on a Tuesday, when two dollars and the purchase of a drink will get you more tacos than your stomach and tastebuds can handle. — Bree Rody-Mantha, Features Editor

Runner-up: Frat Burger

Best atmosphere: Failte

It’s uncommon that you would find a bar where patrons are drinking and singing merrily at one table and studying over coffee at another, but Failte is one of those rare finds. With drinks that are neither cheap nor pricey and food that could go either way, what separates Failte’s Irish Pub from other locations is the large tables fit for even the roudiest parties, an interior that is cozy but never crowded and some of the most welcoming staff in all of Uptown. Though the generally dim light may make Failte seem unwelcoming, once in you can feel comfortable whether you’re a solitary man or traveling in a crowd of rowdy students. — Bree Rody-Mantha, Features Editor

Runner-up: The Duke of Wellington

Best vegetarian options: Jane Bond

For those who are looking for a meal out but prefer the taste of hummus to steak, Jane Bond on Princess St. just west of King St. is the place for you. Vegetarian cuisine is the only thing on the menu. Offering a small but varied selection of foods, Jane Bond creates a comfortable and pleasant atmosphere in a bar that also doubles as a restaurant. Small, cozy and offering a refreshing change from typical deep-fried pub fare, Jane Bond is an excellent selection for vegetarians and veggie-curious diners. — Nick Lachance, Photography Manager

Best place for live music: Maxwell’s Music House

Maxwell’s is located just a stone’s throw away from campus and is one of the few bars that you can depend on to consistently offer up unique live performances, from unknown artists to rising stars. Though the bar unfortunately does not offer an exceptional variety of drinks, the establishment gets you by with your basic bands and makes up for its lack of selection by providing one of the most comfortable settings around. Despite a small venue, Maxwell’s comfortably seats a surprisingly large number of patrons and provides a concert experience that feels intimate without seeming
-cheap. — Bree Rody-Mantha, Features Editor

Runner-up: Starlight Social Club

Best place to bring a date: Symposium Café

Symposium Café, located in Uptown Waterloo, provides a cozy atmosphere ideal for an intimate date with that special someone. Plush armchairs across tables for two and dim (though sometimes too dim) lighting help set a romantic mood, while Renaissance period-inspired art on the walls keeps things classy, and may even provide a conversation piece for that awkward first date. Prices are reasonable, particularly as each night features a special deal on food or drinks, such as four-dollar martinis on Wednesdays and “Date Night” on Thursdays. Looking for something sweet? Symposium’s eight layer cakes and wide-ranging dessert menu provide the perfect platter for sharing. — Lindsay Purchase, Lead Reporter

Runner-up: The Heuther Hotel

Best place to bring your parents: The Duke of Wellington

For those days when your parents decide to treat you to a meal out, instead of dragging them to a chain restaurant you could find in any city, The Cord suggests the Duke of Wellington.
The authentic British pub at Waterloo Town Square has a large menu of tasty pub favourites as well as a small-but-satisfying selection of Indian food, so you’re sure to please even the pickiest moms and dads. With 17 beers on tap and live entertainment most nights, it’s a place that your folks just might feel a bit cooler after leaving. The pub is also well-known for its breakfast and brunch, so you’re not just limited to dinner outings.— Bree Rody-Mantha, Features Editor

Runner-up: Ennio’s Pasta

Best place to bring a date: Symposium Café

Symposium Café, located in Uptown Waterloo, provides a cozy atmosphere ideal for an intimate date with that special someone. Plush armchairs across tables for two and dim (though sometimes too dim) lighting help set a romantic mood, while Renaissance period-inspired art on the walls keeps things classy, and may even provide a conversation piece for that awkward first date. Prices are reasonable, particularly as each night features a special deal on food or drinks, such as four-dollar martinis on Wednesdays and “Date Night” on Thursdays. Looking for something sweet? Symposium’s eight layer cakes and wide-ranging dessert menu provide the perfect platter for sharing. — Lindsay Purchase, Lead Reporter

Runner-up: The Heuther Hotel

Best place to bring your parents: The Duke of Wellington

For those days when your parents decide to treat you to a meal out, instead of dragging them to a chain restaurant you could find in any city, The Cord suggests the Duke of Wellington.
The authentic British pub at Waterloo Town Square has a large menu of tasty pub favourites as well as a small-but-satisfying selection of Indian food, so you’re sure to please even the pickiest moms and dads. With 17 beers on tap and live entertainment most nights, it’s a place that your folks just might feel a bit cooler after leaving. The pub is also well-known for its breakfast and brunch, so you’re not just limited to dinner outings. — Bree Rody-Mantha, Features Editor

Runner-up: Ennio’s Pasta

Best place to watch the game: McMullan’s

This basement bar has an intimate atmosphere that lends itself well to large group outings. With an abundance of televisions, McMullan’s is comfortable enough to occupy for several hours. The best aspect of McMullan’s is undoubtedly the food. Though generic in selection, McMullan’s menu items are outstanding in taste and the perfect accompaniment to sports-focused outings. The standout of the menu is the pizza and the large selection of beers (including Rolling Rock, which is hard to find in Waterloo) is sure to attract any sports fan. — Bree Rody-Mantha, Features Editor

Runner-up: McGuinness Front Row


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