Kitchener Food Writers Share Their Top Restaurant Standbys of 2019

For our year-end tradition, Eater Kitchener asked a group of food writers to take a look at the local dining scene last year. They looked back at their new favorite restaurants, the best restaurants, the biggest complaints, and much more.

Now we ask the experts: What were your top restaurant stands of 2019?

Regan Stephens, food and travel writer for Food & Wine, Fortune and Lonely Planet: For most of the year my office was near Middle Child, which meant I stop by on my way to work for the fluffiest egg sandwich in town could or get there before lunch for a So Long Sal (hold the mayo.) There was an 80 percent chance if we were meeting friends for dinner, I booked a table at Fiore. From the warm hospitality and the homemade pasta (all) to the desserts (all) to the Amaro collection at the end of the meal, you are simply so happy. ITV is my go-to place for great cocktails and snacks, and I’ve spent a lot of time at Rival Bros. Not only do I love and consume vats of their coffee, but there have been many days that I work on Lombard Street that daily bread is the only thing I eat. It’s high street bread, toasted with some kind of magical (cultured) butter and jam.

Adam Erace, national food and travel writer and cookbook author: I am really predictable. I eat most often in Palizzi and in the valley [Ed. note: Erace wrote cookbooks with Joey Baldino of Palizzi and Nick Elmi of ITV and Laurel]But I also spent a lot of time at the Triangle Tavern this year, which makes the best mozzarella sticks (triangles, actually) in town. Essen, my contact person in the neighborhood for bagels and pastries; Hardena; Creme brulee; and Angelos. I am still impressed with Doreen DeMarco’s meal at the Sardine Bar, which is way above his weight.

Sarah Maiellano, food and travel writer for Eater, the Kitchener Inquirer, the James Beard Foundation, Edible Kitchener, and USA Today: With all the new restaurant openings in town, I almost never go anywhere twice. The older I get, the more important vegetables are to me. That’s why I’ve ordered HipCityVeg and Honeygrow more often.

Alex Tewfik, food editor at Kitchener magazine: Middle Child, because it fills every hole in my porous little heart. Irwin is on the roof in summer for grilled vegetables, fried olives and lots of rosé and Irwin in autumn / winter for great cocktails on one of their many sofas. It’s a home run all year round. And even though it’s three years old at this point, nobody throws a pasta party like Res Ipsa Cafe.

Allison Steele, reporter and former food writer for the Kitchener Inquirer: Suraya, Res Ipsa Cafe, Cheu Fishtown, Vietnamese QT sandwiches, Oyster House, hand-drawn noodle house Nan Zhou and Blue Corn.

Kae Lani Palmisano, host of WHYY-TV’s check, please! Kitchener (aired Jan. 9) and Food & Travel Editor for USA Today 10Best: I go to the Cheu Noodle Bar on the 10th and Locust more than any other restaurant. They always have a few Tired Hands beers on tap, they have a rotation of creative happy hour snacks and the holy trinity of matzo balls, brisket and ramen is the ultimate meal.

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