I remember the first time I went to The Princess Café. It was late at night and my mother and I were leaving a movie at the Princess Twin Cinema in the same building. We were in the lobby putting on our coats when we noticed the café was still open. Through the glass window came the faint clinking of dishes and the smell of food and coffee. It looked so cozy and quaint, so naturally we decided to stop in for a while before setting off into the cold night air. The two of us each got a cup of hot tea and a slice of pie. The plates and mugs were all different from one another; they reminded me of the patterned dishware one might find at a Grandmother’s house. I remember admiring the café as I hugged the warm mug in my hands: the eclectic mix of tables and chairs, the unique art peppered here and there on the walls, the dark blue streets of Uptown outside the large front window. Since then, The Princess Café has become one of my most beloved cafés in Waterloo.
The Princess Café is a well-loved and well-attended venue, located at 46 King Street North, open every day from 11am until 10:30pm. The café is conveniently nestled beside the Princess Twin Cinema and two local shops all sharing the same lobby, placing it in the perfect location for shoppers or movie-goers in search of coffee, lunch, or a sweet treat. It’s one of the only cafés in Uptown Waterloo open as late as 10:30pm every night, making it a favourite spot for late night desserts or drinks with friends.
If you enter the café and see your name scrawled on the little blackboard at the cash register, you’re in luck! Each day, anyone who has the “name of the day” gets a coffee on the house. I’m still eagerly awaiting the day I see my own name written there, because the coffee served at The Princess Café is damn fine.
They also have tea, lattes and a rotating selection of local craft beers, making it one of the few cafés in Uptown that sells alcoholic beverages. Their food is equally delicious. They a have wide range of Panini sandwiches served on fresh, locally baked bread, garnished with a sliced pickle on the side (my good friend always lets me have her pickle when we come here), as well as homemade soups, salads, and a number of delectable baked goods. The butter tarts are always a crowd-pleaser and the lemon squares are delightful. Tasty vegan and gluten-free options are available as well. The food has received raving reviews from customers and has even won awards!
In addition to all this, The Princess Café also offers grilled cheese sandwiches from the local sandwich shop Cheeses Murphy. They are offered all day in the café and from 12am until 3:30am on Friday and Saturday nights from the take-out window inside the café lobby.
The atmosphere at The Princess Café is charming and sweet; it’s a lovely spot to meet with friends, to get some work done, or to simply sit and have a good cup of coffee. I often like to perch myself at the counter along the window, sipping a drink and watching all the people on King Street go by. Or I’ll tuck myself in the back next to the painting of the moon and read a good book. The café has a slightly retro feeling to it, owing to the weathered wooden floors and mint blue accents. It feels like it’s fixed in its own time. The music played in the café is very tasteful, low-key and not too loud. The staff are all very friendly and welcoming.
There’s something so harmonious about the pairing of dinner and a movie. Is there any better way to spend an evening? At The Princess Café, you can get a Panini, a side of your choice, a dessert and a coffee or tea plus a movie ticket at either of the Princess Cinemas (the Princess Twin right next door, or the Original Princess on Princess Street) for only $24.50. My friends and I love to take advantage of this amazing deal whenever a good movie comes out. The café also hosts many events such as live music performances by unique and talented local bands, trivia nights and comedy nights. These events are always a lot of fun for everyone; the people are kind and the environment is warm and lively.
All in all, The Princess Café is a wonderful venue. It receives warm praise from all. There’s something about it, a certain quality or mood, which sets it apart from the rest. Maybe that’s just my own bias talking, but I really do believe it’s special.