13 Best Restaurants In Kitchener To Eat At In 2024 (+ what to order)

Looking for the best Kitchener restaurants? You’re in the right place!

Mix a cup of the food desires of university students, half a cup of the appetite of art and science enthusiasts and professionals, a pinch of fresh local produce, and a sprinkle of international culinary prowess.

The outcome – a thriving food scene that is as local as it is diverse. That is Kitchener’s foodie paradise for you!

We have an exclusive round-up of some of the best restaurants in Kitchener that are absolutely worth checking out.

1. 271 West Restaurant

(4.6) Based on 1,344 Reviews

Area: Downtown Kitchener
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Price: $$
Photo Credit: carbalicious_

271 West Restaurant is a refined Italian eatery known for its fresh handmade pastas and housemade bread. Made with local produce and regional meats, the food here is as good as it looks. The interior is cozy and warm, and the patio is perfect for basking in the sun.

Their Garlic Bread with Cheese is a great appetizer to start your Italian fare with. Of course, the bread is handmade fresh, in-house, and tastes so wonderful with roasted garlic and a medley of cheeses.

Though you get served a few slices of garlic bread with all your pasta orders, it is so worth it to order a separate plate.

The Ricotta Gnocchi is a fan favourite! The gnocchi is handmade from scratch, and you can taste the freshness in every bite. The pesto white wine cambozola sauce is creamy with a mild pesto flavour and brings together all the elements on the plate delightfully well.

The 271 West Shrimp Pasta comes with a delicious pink (blush) sauce, which is likely to make you think that this might be one of the best pasta dishes you’ve ever had! The shrimp is juicy, and of course, the pasta smells and tastes fresh.

What to order: Garlic Bread with Cheese, Ricotta Gnocchi, 271 West Shrimp Pasta

Address: 60 Charles Street West, Kitchener, ON N2G 1B1

Website | Facebook

2. La Cucina Pizzeria Kitchener

(4.5) Based on 1,109 Reviews

Area: Downtown Kitchener
Cuisine: Italian, Pizza
Price: $$
Photo Credit: themunchiediaries

La Cucina is considered one of the best pizzerias in the region, serving wood-fired pizza and fresh pasta, paninis, and more. We’re pretty sure that you will be lured into the restaurant by the mouthwatering aromas from their custom-made pizza oven. Watch your pizza and pasta cooked right in front of you, or take a seat on the patio for a relaxed meal.

While you can never go wrong with the Margherita pizza at a popular pizzeria like La Cucina, why not branch out and try something interesting?

The Paesana is for all you meat lovers out there. With Italian salami, ham, calabrese salami, Italian sausage, fresh mozzarella, and San Marzano tomato, this pizza tastes every bit delectable.

The Genovese or white pizza is pure Italian simplicity. From the cheese to the mushrooms to the basil, everything on here is fresh, light, and delightful.

Their shrimp spaghetti – Fini Fini Al Gamberi – is just too good! Fresh pasta with plump tiger shrimp served in a cherry tomato and white wine sauce make for just what you’ll enjoy as a weeknight dinner.

What to order: Margherita Pizza, Paesana, Genovese, Fini Fini Al Gamberi

Address: 320 King Street W, Kitchener, ON N2G 1B7

Website | Instagram | Facebook

3. PUBLIC Kitchen & Bar

(4.6) Based on 698 Reviews

Area: Downtown Kitchener, Civic Centre
Cuisine: Canadian
Price: $$$
Photo Credit: flaxegg

PUBLIC Kitchen & Bar is a cozy spot where you get served tapas-style dishes that take inspiration from the chef’s love for Italian, Spanish, and French cuisines. With creative drinks, custom playlists, and low lighting welcoming and making you feel comfortable, this restaurant is best enjoyed with good company.

Perhaps their most popular dish is the Scallops. You get four juicy and plump scallops on your plate, seared to perfection, and served with rich and thick Haddock chowder and veggies. This can easily be your favourite dish here!

The Pot de Foie, or foie gras in a pot, is unique, rich, and delicate in its own way. Served with seasonal preserves, pickles, crostini, and house mustard, this is unquestionably an enjoyable plate of food.

Their Patatas Bravas come perfectly spiced and packed with flavour.

What to order: Scallops, Pot de Fois, Patatas Bravas

Address: 300 Victoria Street N, Kitchener, ON N2H 6R7

Website | Instagram | Facebook

4. J & B Family Restaurant

(4.7) Based on 500 Reviews

Area: City Commercial Core, Downtown Kitchener
Cuisine: Eastern European, European
Price: $$
Photo Credit: dragonskitchen

Known as Kitchener’s “best-kept secret”, J & B Family Restaurant is a casual dining spot serving Eastern European dishes. Made with the freshest ingredients, you get to taste the highly flavourful menu in a casual and friendly setting.

Ever heard of Karadjordjeva Schnitzel? If there is one place in Kitchener where you can taste this Serbian classic the right way, it is J & B Family Restaurant. The pork schnitzel roll is golden and crispy on the outside and juicy inside with a creamy and cheesy filling, tasting heavenly.

Their Battered Mushrooms, with a thin layer of breading, are crunchy and yummy with the dipping sauce.

Another popular Serbian dish that is popular here as well is Punjena Pljeskavica. This is a Serbian-style burger (patty), charbroiled to be juicy and delicious.

What to order: Karadjordjeva Schnitzel, Battered Mushrooms, Punjena Pljeskavica

Address: 79 Victoria Street N, Kitchener, ON N2H 5C1


5. Veslo Family Restaurant

(4.8) Based on 800 Reviews

Area: Downtown Kitchener
Cuisine: European, Eastern European
Price: $$
Photo Credit: itshonee

Veslo is a family-run restaurant serving delicious, homemade-style European food in a calm and friendly retro setting finished with wooden panels and booths. Everything here tastes homey, and the place is great for family gatherings.

Try their Gypsy Schnitzel and go with the hot version if you love spicy food. The meat is thin, breaded just right, and pan-fried to crispy goodness. The highlight is certainly the roasted tomatoes and peppers on top of the schnitzel, which add a combination of fresh, tangy, and homely flavour to the dish.

The Lepina bread is homemade – fresh and soft, and tastes amazing with their secret homemade cream cheese. This simple appetizer, by itself, will make your visit to the restaurant worth it.

There is a way you could simply elevate your Lepina bread – order Chepavi. This Serbian sausage is a mix of pork and beef, grilled to meld the flavours, which becomes extremely mouthwatering with Lepina and cheese.

What to order: Gypsy Schnitzel (hot), Lepina, Chepavi with Lepina

Address: 100 Arnold Street, Kitchener, ON N2H 6C9

Website | Facebook

6. Ellison’s Bistro

(4.6) Based on 308 Reviews

Area: Downtown Kitchener, City Commercial Core
Cuisine: Caribbean, Jamaican
Price: $$
Photo Credit: getintheloopkitchener

Ellison’s Bistro is the go-to place for the locals for authentic and unique Caribbean food, enjoyed in an intimate and relaxed atmosphere. The menu features a lot of vegetarian-friendly dishes, and every dish tastes homemade, thanks to the traditional recipes from the chef’s mother.

Jerk Chicken! Yup, how can you not try jerk chicken at a well-known Caribbean restaurant?! At Ellison’s, the Jerk Chicken is cooked with the chef’s own jerk seasoning, a little on the spicier end (an enjoyable spicy kick) but utterly flavourful.

If you visit the place for dinner, you could also ask for Jerk Pork, which is cooked with the same specialty jerk seasoning.

Curried Goat, a popular Jamaican dish, is another spicy and flavorful delicacy you can enjoy at Ellison’s Bistro. The goat is well-marinated with an aromatic blend of spices and herbs, which reflects in the cooked meat, and the slow-cooking process makes it juicy and melt-in-the-mouth tender.

What to order: Jerk Chicken, Jerk Pork, Curried Goat, Vegetable Jambalaya, Pumpkin Fritters

Address: 14 Charles Street W, Kitchener, ON N2G 1H2

Website | Instagram | Facebook

7. The Guanaquita Restaurant

(4.6) Based on 844 Reviews

Area: Downtown Kitchener, City Commercial Core
Cuisine: Latin, Salvadoran, Spanish, Central American
Price: $$
Photo Credit: curatedkw

Known to offer the best Salvadorean cuisine in town, The Guanaquita Restaurant is family owned and operated. The place is known for its home-style cooking, prepared with fresh ingredients, following family recipes. With a full bar and occasional DJs, the place will have you vibing with good food and music in no time.

The Pupusas here are a must-try. Available in different variations like pork, pork & cheese, chicken, bean & cheese, steak & beans, and more, these are freshly made and come with a lot of stuffing. The oozy cheese adds a punch to the dish; they also offer vegan cheese as a dairy-free option.

To get a taste of all of the restaurant’s signature dishes, go with the Combination Platter where you can choose any 4 dishes, from pupusas, tacos, pastelitos, tamales, and enchiladas. They also offer a Veggie Platter and Vegan Platter.

What to order: Pupusas, Combination Platter

Address: 273 King Street W 2nd Floor, Kitchener, ON N2G 1B9

Website | Instagram | Facebook

8. Kinkaku Izakaya

(4.6) Based on 3,934 Reviews

Area: Downtown Kitchener, City Commercial Core
Cuisine: Japanese, Sushi, Asian
Price: $$
Photo Credit: kwmoments

Kinkaku Izakaya is a tapas-style, all-you-can-eat Japanese restaurant located in a busy, urban neighbourhood. In addition to sushi, they also offer a wide selection of Japanese mains and an extensive sake list, and all their menu items are prepared with fresh and high-quality ingredients.

Among their must-try dishes is Takoyaki, which seems to have impressed diners immensely. These deep-fried octopus balls are slightly crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, with the octopus.

Their Eel Avocado Roll can become your new favourite craving even if you have never tasted eel before! This popular Japanese sushi roll tastes wonderful, with the sweet, oily and soft yet firm eel meat.

Kinkaku’s teriyaki has a constant spot in everyone’s orders, especially their Salmon Teriyaki and Beef Teriyaki. The beef always comes cooked perfectly medium rare, and the sweet and tangy teriyaki sauce is, of course, the highlight. As for salmon, you can expect a juicy, flaky, delicious, and teriyaki glazed yumminess.

What to order: Takoyaki, Eel Avocado Roll, Beef Teriyaki, Salmon Teriyaki

Address: 217 King Street W, Kitchener, ON N2G 1B1


9. Bangkok Cuisine

(4.6) Based on 529 Reviews

Area: Centreville Chicopee
Cuisine: Asian, Thai
Price: $$
Photo Credit: cindyxaya

Serving top-of-the-line Thai cuisine, Bangkok Cuisine brings to you authentic Thai dishes, many of which are likely to be among the best you’ve tasted. The restaurant is bright and cozy, and they offer a wide range of vegan and gluten-free options.

The Peanut Curry Noodles features rice noodles stir-fried with bean sprouts and green onions in their special coconut peanut curry sauce. The sauce is creamy, thick, and full of flavour; the peanuts and bean sprouts add varying textures to the dish, and you can choose the spice level based on your tolerance.

The Crab Cheese is a crunchy and satisfying appetiser. There is sufficient crab meat and cream cheese inside the crispy wonton, and the plum sauce compliments the saltiness and creaminess from the cheese.

You can easily recognize a Thai restaurant’s capability from the taste of their curry. Bangkok Cuisine knocks it out of the park with their marvelous curries, of which one of the best is their green curry or Keaw Warn. You can have your curry with pork, chicken, beef, tofu, seafood, or vegetables.

What to order: Peanut Curry Noodles, Crab Cheese, Keaw Warn

Address: 1500 Weber Street E, Kitchener, ON N2A 2Y5


10. Nostra Cucina

(4.9) Based on 404 Reviews

Area: Trillium Industrial Park
Cuisine: Italian, Canadian
Price: $$
Photo Credit: steeltownchowdown

Despite what looks like a tiny Italian sandwich shop, Nostra Cucina is widely known to offer the best Italian paninis in the whole of Waterloo. This quaint little space will steal your heart with its authentic Italian sandwiches, salads, and a few pasta dishes, everything fresh and made to order.

The Veal Parm Panino from their Hot Panini menu is a hot seller. You get lightly breaded and amazingly tender veal piled high on a super-fresh bun, with just the right amount of homemade tomato sauce and cheese.

You can make your Veal Parm HOT LOADED (roasted pepper, mushrooms, onion, and hot peppers) or SWEET LOADED (sweet roasted pepper, mushrooms and sweet onion).

The Oven Toasted Steak Sandwich makes a great grab-and-go meal. The seasoned shaved steak is juicy and tender, and you get an earthy flavour from the roasted mushrooms and some sweetness from the sweet roasted peppers. As always, the European bun used in the sandwich is freshly made and tastes great.

Their Artichoke & Asiago Dip is rich, luscious, and sinful.

What to order: Veal Parm Panino, Oven Toasted Steak Sandwich, Artichoke & Asiago Dip

Address: 31 Manitou Dr, Kitchener, ON N2C 1K9

Website | Instagram | Facebook

11. The Grand Trunk Saloon

(4.6) Based on 1,341 Reviews

Area: Downtown Kitchener, City Commercial Core
Cuisine: American, Bar
Price: $$
Photo Credit: brandonmarshphoto

The Grand Trunk Saloon has an exuberant 19th century vibe to it, and the place is chic and laid-back at the same time. Serving soulful Southern food and creative cocktails, this restaurant could be the regular hangout spot you’ve been looking for.

Whether you go for a piece of The Grand Trunk Saloon’s famous Buttermilk Fried Chicken or a bucket of the same, you will easily agree that it is one of the best in the region, even when compared to the popular chain restaurants. Crispy, juicy, and flavourful!

Quick tip – when you order their fried chicken, do yourself a favour and get their House Coleslaw; it works as a great palette cleanser between your fried chicken binge.

Their Cheddar Biscuits add a nice savoury note to your meal.

The Fried Brussel Sprouts get a yummy contrast in taste with the maple cider vinegar and will be a good starter course.

What to order: Buttermilk Fried Chicken, House Coleslaw, Fried Brussel Sprouts, Cheddar Biscuits

Address: 30 Ontario Street S, Kitchener, ON N2G 1X2

Website | Instagram | Facebook

12. Pupuseria Latinos

(4.8) Based on 686 Reviews

Area: Downtown Kitchener, City Commercial Core
Cuisine: Latin, Salvadoran, Central American, Mexican, Spanish, South American
Price: $
Photo Credit: plantiful_kw

This is another Salvadoran treasure you can find in Kitchener. Pupuseria Latinos is a casual restaurant popular for its traditional pupusas, and also serves other Central American comfort grubs.

Yes, their specialty is Pupusas, and they have multiple options that you can choose from. The Chicharrón & Cheese Pupusas are extremely satisfying and filling, with browned, crispy, and meaty pork chunks filled inside thick yet soft corn cakes.

Their Enchiladas – chicken, beef, or veggie – come with a wonderful balance between fresh, crunchy, and saucy.

They also have the most delicious Homemade Horchata. If you haven’t tried this drink before, now is the time! This Mexican rice and cinnamon drink basically tastes like the leftover milk from a bowl of your favourite cinnamon cereal.

What to order: Chicharrón & Cheese Pupusas, Enchiladas, Homemade Horchata

Address: 25 Eby Street S, Kitchener, ON N2G 3K6

Instagram | Facebook

13. Korean BBQ Restaurant

(4.5) Based on 459 Reviews

Area: Downtown Kitchener, City Commercial Core
Cuisine: Korean, Barbecue, Asian
Price: $
Photo Credit: Korean BBQ

Korean BBQ Restaurant gives you a taste of Korea in the most pleasantly unexpected way. For a restaurant that is so tiny and casual, it offers many delectable Korean and other Asian dishes, many of which hit the spot.

The Hot Stone Bibimbap at Korean BBQ Restaurant pushes all the right buttons, with fresh ingredients, crunchy rice, sizzling beef, and super yolky egg. It is the harmony of all the different textures and flavours that makes the difference.

An interesting dish you can try here is the Cold Noodle – highly refreshing for a hot summer day.

The Squid Fried Rice is simply delicious and addictive, thanks to the spicy and savoury sauce.

What to order: Hot Stone Bibimbap, Cold Noodle, Squid Fried Rice

Address: 265 King Street E (#204), Kitchener, ON N2G 4N4
Website | Instagram | Facebook

Planning to cover Toronto on your upcoming trip? We have exciting news! Check out our Best Toronto Restaurants piece to see the best places you can dine at and what to order there.

How We Create Our “Best” Lists

All Noms Magazine’s “best” lists are created using multiple factors and signals to help readers find the best restaurants, things to do, and places to stay at. Some of these factors and signs include personal experiences, correspondence with locals, and compiling experiences from review sites.

Each list is also created to be balanced (in terms of price, cuisine type, ambiance, and more) as possible. This means that the lists are not specifically created in ranking order. You should be comfortable picking from any of the spots on the list and generally have a good time. But of course, YMMV (your mileage may vary) and everyone may have different experiences/palates.