By The Making Box @themakingboxco
We here at The Making-Box love Guelph. Why wouldn’t we? The support we’ve got from this community has turned our tiny pop-up comedy experiment into a full-blown storefront theatre and improv training centre. We’re happy to be among some incredible other local businesses. After polling some members of The Making-Box Brigade (our improv performance ensemble), we’re happy to share some of our favourite “Making-Box approved” spots in town.
Hayley’s Guelph in Summary:
Guelph has a small town vibe with a big city attitude. I’m happy to be part of it.
Hayley’s Top Picks:
Before I had to give up gluten (sigh) I would go to Capistrano for fast to-go breakfast. They make a mean breakfast croissant (get that thing with cheese!) and their dirty chai latte is hands down the best in the city. I can’t go for the sandwich any more (double sigh) but I always go out of my way for that DCL. Kevin knows what’s he’s doing.
This bar is the perfect dive. If you want to pretend to be a regular somewhere, shoot some pool or toss some darts,this is the spot. It’s grungy, they have whiskey and they do live band karaoke on Friday nights. Pro tip: make up a fake persona for yourself when you go. I always do. Who doesn’t love a quick character study?
Ok. I’ll admit it, I don’t like bowling. Bowling gives me anxiety. So why did I include The Woodlawn Bowl in my list? They have an air hockey table. Their air hockey table is always open because everyone is bowling for $1. While everyone wears borrowed two-toned shoes, I grab a gin & tonic from the bar and play air hockey in my socks. It’s easily one of my favourite things.
Josh’s Guelph in Summary:
I’ve been here since I was 5 years old. It’s the best. Even the scarier people are friendly. Also everyone has a dog.
Josh’s Top Picks:
It’s a nerd haven! I play Magic there, I play board games there, I drink mead there, what’s not to love? It’s my go to thing to do every time I have anytime at all. Which is always but somehow also never.
This is no doubt in my mind, the best sushi in town. But because Kisara doesn’t have fancy iPads, it is often overlooked. Well give me a pencil and tiny slip of paper because I’m not eating sashimi anywhere else! (Unless my friends want to go somewhere else, I’m not very picky).
Or the Woolwich Arrow? Is that what it’s called? Used to be called? Whatever it’s called, it’s the go-to hangout spot for the Brigade! We have meetings there, we have hangouts there, and heck, sometimes we get team deals on apps because they’re nice enough to consider us a sports team. Go order the Smokey on a vegetarian patty. It’s called the McNutt. Hey isn’t that the last name of Brigade regular Jason McNutt? My point exactly.
Kate’s Guelph in Summary:
FIND ME ANOTHER TOWN WITH A GARBOSAURUS. YA CAN’T.
Kate’s Top Picks:
I overlooked this place for ages, because when they first opened, I was told it was a craft beer spot. Well, don’t judge a book by it’s soft opening. The Royal Electric has the number one best burger I’ve ever had in my entire life. The food is always crazy good and lightly decadent. It’s my go-to lunch-with-parents spot because it feels fancy but still within the realm of what my dad would call “normal food.”
I had a duck here that was so good I cried a little bit. Their cocktails are amazing and when I feel like dropping some more serious cash on a meal I am hard pressed not to just go to my favourite spot and order the same thing: Duck Confit + whiskey based cocktail. And don’t get me started on their brunch.
It’s so fun to have a pint here and they always have something fun and funky on tap. Once I did stand-up there, and during a joke my pants accidentally got caught on my underwear and I bare-assed mooned the whole audience. The owner was so embarrassed for me he gave me a free drink. I needed it. I’ve heard they started doing pizzas on Friday and I need to get over there ASAP and try that.
Jason’s Guelph in Summary:
Sports leagues. Local Organic restaurants. Craft beers. I was only able to live there for a couple of years but it still feels like home to me every time I visit.
Jason’s Top Picks:
The name says it all! At first glimpse, it may appear like a dive with nothing to offer except outdated decor and signage, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only a top tier pool hall that hosts professional pool and dart league play, but also one of the best pizza places around. In a city that boasts some incredible wood oven pizza restaurants, this pool hall pumps out some of the best. Plus, you get a free hour of pool with the purchase of a pizza. They also offer some incredibly cheap prices and specials on some of the better domestics and imports such as Steamwhistle and Moretti. It’s also a great place to catch any sports game on a variety of big screens.
Huge Thai restaurant with way too many tables located inside of Quebec Street Mall. It has relatively cheap prices for some very fresh veggie-packed (not just noodle and meat) Thai dishes. Some of the best fresh rolls and the best pad Thai I’ve ever tasted. The in-house hot sauce and peanut sauce are fantastic and will make your nose run and tummy smile.
Not just comfort foods. They are constantly changing its impressively diverse menu of pub and cultural favourites. It offers some of the finest, locally sourced and made-from-scratch dishes in town. The best onion rings I’ve ever had, an enormous list of craft beers on draught, and food and drink specials every night of the week including $5 Mill St. pints and $8 pounds of wings on Mondays! Also has a few TVs to catch the game on with a decent sports package.
Oliver’s Guelph in Summary:
When I discovered the community here, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to relocate here. I do not regret my decision.
Oliver’s Top Picks:
You will never eat a tastier Chicken Shawarma ever…EVER!!! This wonderful gem isn’t just for meat lovers, they have many veg options as well. The owners are so sweet and delightful. This food is made with 100% love. It’s comfort food all year round. What are you still doing reading this? Go there now!!!
If someone asks me what my favourite restaurant in Guelph is, my immediate answer is Miijidaa. I have frequented this establishment the most out of any in the Royal City and have never been disappointed by my experience. First of all, the staff has always gone above and beyond to make me feel like a valued guest. Their burgers…holy moly, their burgers!!!
After your visit to Miijidaa, step through the wall (literally) into The Bookshelf. I have spent many hours browsing the stacks. The Bookshelf is of course not just for book lovers. Why not jaunt upstairs, to catch the latest independent film release. I’ve been introduced to many films here both old and new.
Monica’s Guelph in Summary:
Science! No literally I came to Guelph to do science at the University of Guelph and in addition to finding some cool scientific results, I found an amazing city, community and new friendships.
How could you not adore an establishment that has fluffy kittens and a cupcakes in the shape of said fluffy kittens. Plus the adjoining Depanneur (convenience store in Quebecois) has anything you could possibly need post kitty cuddles. All of the cats in the cafe are up for adoption too so you if you find just visiting is not enough for you, you can take one of the cats to their forever home.
If you want to chat more with these lovely people about their lovely Guelph spots, make sure to check out an upcoming live comedy show – we have one every Friday! Who knows? Maybe we’ll become your new favorite hangout.