Written by Sophie Strobel
Sophie loves being a part of the warm community of Waterloo. She attends the University of Waterloo where she studies Science and Business and is currently working in marketing for science and tech companies.
Open, light, bustling, cozy. These words describe Smile Tiger, a beautiful coffee shop located in Kitchener. I think my favourite thing about Smile Tiger is that it is so spacious. Unlike many other coffee shops, I feel as though I have plenty of room to spread out my books and hold a conversation with no interruptions. Whether I am meeting someone for coffee, or if I am there to get work done, the layout really accommodates for all occasions.
The actual building itself is very “modernized industrial.” There are plenty of windows that shed light into the warm, rustic and wooden interior. Pipes can be seen along the ceiling with beautiful geometric lights hanging down over a large carved wooden table. Several tables and chairs seem to be antique, and there are many succulents and leafy plants used as table decorations.
Over the past year, Smile Tiger has become increasingly busier. Parking is sometimes hard to find, and they have added extra parking in the bus terminal area. I have never had an issue getting a seat in the store, but I am very excited that the coffee shop has announced that they are expanding to a second location. It has been amazing to see this local business that is managed by the owners of DVLB, grow and thrive. The new location is expected to open this year, and will be located in Uptown Waterloo.
One of the coolest things about Smile Tiger is the success of their coffee brand. Not only does this store receive plenty of customers, but they have also been able to distribute their coffee beans to many grocery stores in the region as well as other local businesses. I constantly stock up on it, and I also find that the visually appealing packaging lends well for gift baskets.
As for what to order, I have always recommended the chai tea. The spice has a bit of a bolder, and more unique taste compared to any other chai I have ever tried. Their lemon squares are a huge customer favourite and I find that they pair well with their flat white. The friendly baristas will also be willing to give you suggestions on what to order.
Smile Tiger has quickly become one of my favourite KW coffee shops. The open and light room, the coffee, and the table space are what keep me coming back. Go check it out if you haven’t already, and follow Smile Tiger on Instagram of Twitter to get updates on their new location!