These Waterloo region restaurants will serve up warm meals this holiday weekend

These Waterloo region restaurants will serve up warm meals this holiday weekend

With Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Christmas, festive foods take center stage this season, whether it’s candied yams and hoppin’ john, latkes and sufganiyot or turkey and sides.

When it comes to cooking a big holiday meal for a day, some people would prefer not to take on the task — or maybe they just don’t want turkey.

In addition to takeaway pizzerias and Chinese restaurants, there are a few full-service restaurants open on December 25th and 26th. (Please check with individual venues for changed hours and food availability.)

Visit the Arabesque Family Restaurant on Victoria Street, specializing in Lebanese cuisine. The large menu includes family platters ranging from $49 to $97 for a “full mixed grill.” Their wood-fired pita with baba ghanoush dip is simply delicious.

A white bowl of Baba Ghanoush from Kitchener's Arabesque restaurant sits on a mottled grey-brown counter.
Try Lebanese dishes like Baba Ghanoush at Arabesque. Or bring the whole family to the Oriental Restaurant’s family plates, which include a full mixed grill. (Andrew Coppolino/CBC)

Bombay Cuisine at King St E. in Sportsworld Crossing is open and their Butter Chicken Poutine is said to be very popular.

With locations in Cambridge and downtown Kitchener, both open on Christmas Day, Ace Shawarma and Burgers is a mix of Middle Eastern and Indian flavors. Try Ammar’s beef shawarma cheeseburger and Grainharvest Breadhouse brioche-style bun, both local businesses.

That Symposium Cafe Restaurant and Lounge in Cambridge is open on December 25th from 9am to 9pm and on Boxing Day until 11pm.

You can also find the Red Lobster on King St. E. in Kitchener, open from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m

In Waterloo, Proof Kitchen and Lounge is serving a turkey dinner with sticky toffee pudding December 24-26 for pickup or eat-in. Quantities are limited so call ahead.

The restaurant at Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa is open on Christmas Day; a Relais and Châteaux estate of 30 hectares. The boutique hotel’s kitchen and dining room is ranked fifth best in the country by Canada’s 100 Best magazine.

In Fergus, the Breadalbane Inn has nine menu options on its special Christmas Day menu, including pan seared scallops, turkey dinner, beef wellington (or “veggie wellington”) and sticky toffee pudding. Served from 1pm to 7pm, reservation required.

Restaurants are giving back this holiday season

Many people in the Waterloo area are lucky enough to have plenty of food to buy this holiday season, many others are not.

Numerous restaurants regularly and under the radar offer food to our community’s vulnerable and vulnerable citizens, and they often do so without fanfare or recognition.

That’s the case at Downtown Kitchener’s Slices restaurant and neighboring Ace Shawarma restaurant, both of which regularly serve meals to people unable to pay.

Storefront - ACE Shawarma Fast Food Restaurant in downtown Kitchener on King St. W.
ACE Shawarma’s downtown Kitchener and Franklin-Bishop Cambridge locations are open on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Drop by for Middle Eastern-Indian fusion cuisine. (Andrew Coppolino/CBC)

When asked about this, Ace owner Irfan Darsot says they support the Food Bank of Waterloo Region, A Better Tent City and House of Friendship and have made several monetary donations to various causes in the Waterloo Region.

Frannie’s Restaurant and Bakery in Wroclaw raises and donates money to Food 4 Kids Waterloo Region. Owner Fran Adsett is putting together a meal for the kids early in the New Year.

Hemlock Barn in St. Jacobs brought backpacks full of toothbrushes, socks, hats and scarves and plenty of snacks to the oneROOF youth services.

“We also brought them 40 meals earlier this week,” says Hemlock owner Josh Perovic.

Sari-sari Filipino cuisine Often caters to people who are food insecure in their neighborhoods and asks regular customers to let them know of families who need support.

“We always try to help during the holiday season,” says Ylynne Rosales Enriquez of Sari-Sari. “The idea of ​​family and gathering is important in our Filipino culture and we wish to share our blessings with our neighbors.”

In Ayr, chef and restaurateur Steve Psaroudis has been opening Gus and Guido’s Backyard to vulnerable and vulnerable people for three years – and before that for eight years when he had a Gus and Guido’s in Brantford.

This year, Psaroudis is again offering vulnerable and vulnerable people a free turkey meal on Christmas Day ($20 cash-and-carry for those who can pay).

Gus and Guido's owner Steve Psouradis stands in the restaurant's kitchen with a big smile on his face.
Steve Psaroudis, owner of Gus and Guido, opens his doors to vulnerable and vulnerable people every holiday season because “People need. I have”. he says. (Andrew Coppolino/CBC)

“I’ve made Christmas dinner for over 300 people every year. people need. I have. That’s all there is to it. There are so many of us who are wealthy, so I give,” he said.

Psaroudis also organized a campaign to collect around 300 winter coats and deliver them to those in need in Kitchener.

In Belmont Village, Kyle Stewart owns and operates The Munch Box, a small food shop.

This Christmas, Stewart hosted a pay-what-you-can Christmas soup and cookie event for the first time on December 25th from noon to 4pm (or while supplies last).

“Everyone in the community is invited. I hope everyone can rub their shoulders, have a bowl of soup and walk up and down the village,” says Stewart.

Shop Front - The Munch Box
This year, The Munch Box is hosting a Christmas, Pay-What-You-Can Soup and Cookies themed event in Belmont Village on December 25th. (Andrew Coppolino/CBC)

He notes that other services typically offered by various organizations may be limited during the holidays and wants the soup and biscuit event to fill that gap while creating a sense of community.

“I’m always looking for ideas to use my business as a resource for the community as opposed to something that always benefits from the community,” Stewart said.

“This idea came to my mind and I had the opportunity, so let’s play it.”

Proceeds and donations go to Lutherwood Employment Services and are earmarked to help homeless people downtown, Stewart said.

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