We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great Food, Great Bar” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ethel's Lounge

Ethel's Lounge
114 King St, Waterloo, Ontario N2J 1P5, Canada
(519) 725-2361
Website
Menu
Improve this listing
Ranked #50 of 304 Restaurants in Waterloo
Price range: $0 - $10
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Ontario
Top Contributor
206 reviews 206 reviews
161 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
“Great Food, Great Bar”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014

I have been here twice in the last few weeks with clients. The first time I was introduced to their Thursday special, very good meatloaf with either mashed or scalloped potatoes. The meal was excellent. The second time we had the burgers. I had the Big Ethel, and my client had the Junior Ethel. The difference? 8 oz. of delightfully seasoned beef patty. That's right. I was astounded and hadn't really looked at the menu and just ordered on the recommendation of a friend. There were TWO huge 8 0z. patties on a great bun with toppings. I could hardly get my mouth around it. I finally got it finished but it took my 30 minutes to do so. So, for the hungry person that burger is the one to have. Portions are very generous for other food items. What was interesting is that they do not have a fryer, so no french fries. They have a real chef and the food is above average for what you might think of as a bar. Busy every day at lunch, after work and on the weekends. Get there early for lunch as the parking lot is not big enough for all the customers who come to enjoy the good food served here.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

49 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    20
    15
    8
    1
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
“Love this place.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2013

Started going here for taco Tuesday years ago, which is still my favorite day to go. They have great priced beer and really good food. The patio is one of the best in uptown Waterloo. Overall one of the best places in Waterloo for drinks or food.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waterloo, Canada
Top Contributor
125 reviews 125 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“A decent burger with cold beer (served with an inside joke)”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

EL takes some explaining: it is a 'local' to many patrons; it is close by two universities with many thirsty students; it is a nostalgic watering hole to generations of alums; it is a patio venue in the warm weather. The food is actually pretty decent for 'pub fare' (try a handmade burger, especially on Tuesdays when they are offered at special price). Understand that the gruff treatment of regulars by servers is an 'insider joke'. The servers' advice: "When you order, do it briskly and in a clear, audible voice. Don't mumble." If you are new to EL yet get the gruff server persona, it is likely because you have been mistaken for a 'local'. This is just a 'put on' -- so suck it up with the beer.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“in a word..."awful"”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

What a dive. Dirty tables, floors, menus, condiment bottles. They obviously want to watch their hydro bill as it was both cold and dark in there. Waitress was disinterested at best. I ordered a basic hamburger. It was served charred. With a side of greasy potato chips. The hamburger had so much garlic powder in it I couldn't finish it. And 12 hours later....lets just say I had "digestive issues" that kept me up for a few hours. I would NEVER go again, nor would I recommend it to anyone.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waterloo, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Decent food, terrible service”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2013 via mobile

The food here is consistently good. I've been here many times. BUT...the service is consistently horrible! The waitresses I've dealt with are rude and snap at you. I was so turned off by my last experience that I felt the need to write a review.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Ethel's Lounge also viewed

Waterloo, Region of Waterloo
Waterloo, Region of Waterloo
 
Cambridge, Region of Waterloo
Waterloo, Quebec
 

Been to Ethel's Lounge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Ethel's Lounge, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.