Although I love a good spin dip from Wilf’s, the foodie in me loves trying a new delish spot even more (but without having to hop onto the GRT). Here are some mouthwatering places to try if you’re bored of basic burgers, simple salads and plain pasta. This is a perfect guide if you’re looking to try new cultural cuisines with the comfort of being close to Wilfrid Laurier’s Waterloo campus.
1. Butter Chicken Roti, 253 King St N Unit: FC5, 5 min walk from campus
The immensely popular Butter Chicken Roti is infamous around the GTA (and now Waterloo) for its large warm rotis (Indian flatbread made from flour). They're stuffed and wrapped with delicious non-vegetarian and vegetarian Indian curries like butter chicken (obviously) and chana (chickpea) curry. This flavourful South Asian joint offers many customizations, like spice level (mild to nuclear hot), toppings and sides to your favourite curry. It’s a perfect place for those looking to try Indian cuisine as well as those who already love it. Don’t forget to sip on a mango lassi while you enjoy your delicious box of flavourful curry on a warm bed of roti or rice.
2. Hot Star Large Fried Chicken, 255 King St N, 5 min walk from campus
Despite the long name of this place, Hot Star Large Fried Chicken is serving up even bigger chicken. Popular for their bigger-than-your-face chicken cutlets, this joint serves up delicious Taiwanese favourites like popcorn chicken (my personal favourite) and sweet potato fries. Fried fresh on the spot, Hot Star Large Fried Chicken offers unique flavours like seaweed or spicy, as well as the classic salt and pepper. Let’s be honest, after a tough exam who wouldn’t want a 30 cm long chicken cutlet. This spot is perfect if you’re craving flavourful fried chicken with an interesting new twist.
3. Shinwa Asian Cuisine, 160 University Ave W, 10 min walk from campus
If you have never tried Hakka food in your life, what are you doing? Shinwa Asian Cuisine is popular in Waterloo for the best Hakka eats. With classics such as specialty Shinwa Chow Mein and saucy chili chicken, this place offers over 100 dishes from crispy honey garlic wings to savoury Manchurian tofu that will please even the pickiest of eaters (P.S. it’s also certified halal). As a bonus for the broke student (aka me), this eatery offers loaded daily specials for only $8.75, perfect for when you want to take home family-sized meals that will leave you with leftovers! Be sure to check out Shinwa Asian Cuisine for huge portions of delicious Hakka goodness, a perfect place for picking up dinner with the roomies.
4. Ken’s Sushi 256 Phillip St, 10 min walk from campus
Ken’s Sushi is a cozy Japanese restaurant serving up fresh sushi and sashimi in Waterloo. This hidden gem has terrific and affordable lunch specials, as well as bento boxes which are perfect for a student's budget. Ken’s Sushi has multiple five-star reviews with an emphasis on their amazing quality and welcoming customer service. If it is your first time trying sushi, I suggest Ken’s Special, with salmon sashimi, assorted sushi and a California roll; this is a perfect box so you can try the best that Ken’s Sushi has to offer. Be sure to check this place out if you're looking for high quality and affordable sushi close to campus!
WLU is truly one of the best campuses with tasty, diverse eateries scattered around so closely. Although these four are not the only places, they surely are some of the best, and I hope you do get to try them and share the delish with those you love.