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TOP TEN QUALITY AND BUDGET-FRIENDLY EATS IN WR

The culinary scene in Waterloo Region is eclectic, with everything from the delicious, one-of-a-kind dishes at Bhima’s Warung in Waterloo to the mouth-watering buffet at The Cambridge Mill in Galt. But what about when you want to eat well but not break your piggy bank?  

We asked the KW Tech Slack and local Reddit communities for their affordable favourites across the region—and they did not disappoint. So whether you are trying to stick to a budget or simply looking for something new, here are ten amazing ways to eat cheap and good in Waterloo Region.  

HONG KONG SEAFOOD 

(700 Strasburg Rd., Kitchener)  

Downtown Kitchener is not the only place to find great deals. Hong Kong Seafood on Strasburg Rd. has daily lunch specials for $9.75 plus tax. One of the favourites mentioned on Reddit is the chicken curry with steamed rice or the General Tao’s Chicken with vegetable fried noodles.  

SOI THAIFOON 

(345 King St. W. #102, Kitchener)    

A new face in the Downtown Kitchener restaurant scene, SOI Thaifoon serves up vibrant Thai food at its location downstairs from Gowlings WLG. SOI Thaifoon has a monthly “buy one, get one” special that has featured drunkard noodles and pad thai in the past. Visit their website to see December’s special offer.  

HIGHLAND HALAL SHAWARMA  

(200 Highland Rd. W., Kitchener)  

Ask around for shawarma recommendations, and you will likely hear about Highland Halal Shawarma. But the hole-in-a-wall on Highland Rd. is also a great choice for gyros. They have a daily special offering two gyros for $9.50  

THE CIVIL  

(151 Charles St. W. R12, Kitchener)    

You cannot go wrong at The Civil, with everything from great cocktails to mouth-watering pizzas. Located in the Tannery Building on Charles St., The Civil has a daily lunch special featuring a small pizza and pop for $11. Try the Civil Disobedience pizza, featuring smoked ham, pineapple and pickled jalapeños.  

VINCENZO’S 

(150 Caroline St. S., Waterloo)  

There are sandwiches, and then there are Vincenzo’s sandwiches. This midtown market has been the place for deli meats, cheese and more since 1967. Their sandwiches are not only a must-have meal, but  a great deal, starting from $6.99. You can customize everything on your sandwich, from the type of bun to the sauce, including Vincenzo’s famous The Bomb topping.   

BAHN MI GIVRAL DELI 

(210 King St. E., Kitchener)  

The Banh Mi Givral Deli serves delicious sandwiches packed with BBQ pork, sliced cucumber, pickled carrots, and savoury sauces. You can find sandwiches, steamed buns and spring rolls—all for under $6. 

ACE SHAWARMA 

(1655 Bishop St. N., Cambridge; 82 King St. W., Kitchener)  

The days of $9.99 shawarma may be behind us, but that does not mean there are not still great ways to eat on the cheap. Ace Shawarma has daily specials, including a chicken shawarma or falafel wrap for $15 on Fridays.  

YUNSHANG RICE NOODLE 

(170 University Ave. W. #35, Waterloo)   

You can find great deals at University Plaza, but one place to take note of is Yunshang Rice Noodle. The restaurant offers unlimited noodle refills for $15, so you can enjoy every ounce of broth. 

COSTCO  

(930 Erb St. W., Waterloo; 4438 King St. E., Kitchener)  

Inflation may be out of control, but a hot dog and a fountain drink are still only $1.50. Plus, there are always free samples. 

ETHEL’S LOUNGE  

(114 King St N, Waterloo)  

Our last good and cheap recommendation is a Waterloo Region classic. Every Tuesday, you can get four tacos for $3 with the purchase of a drink. The tacos are served with your choice of salsa, sour cream or guacamole—and you don’t have to stop at only one order.  

Visit kwmotion.com for more daily deals across Waterloo Region.  

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Alex Kinsella is a freelance content marketer and writer based in Waterloo Region, Ontario. He's behind the TL;WR newsletter–Waterloo Region's weekly events newsletter. He's worked with some of Canada's most well known tech companies in roles including customer success, development, product management, PR, social media and marketing. Alex has contributed to publications including BetaKit, Grand Magazine and more.