Charcoal Steak House

4.4
1815 reviews
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CAN$30 and under
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Steakhouse
Top Tags:
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Business Meals
The Charcoal Steak House is an independent local steakhouse serving the Waterloo region community for over 60 years. Enjoy Oxford County AAA Steaks, slow roasted prime rib, fresh seafood, mouth-watering Conestoga pig tails, legendary smoked ribs and more. At lunch we feature an extensive menu with burgers, sandwiches, bowls and healthy salad choices. Our pastry team has crafted delicious desserts to add that perfect finishing touch. Round out your dining experience with a selection from our Sommelier -selected wine list.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Steakhouse, Seafood, American
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 4:30pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 4:30pm - 11:00pm
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Phone number
(519) 893-6570
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Terry Salmond
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Fairway Road North
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Reviews from verified diners
1,815 reviews
4.4 out of 5 Stars
Outstanding
54%
Very Good
33%
Good
9%
Fair
3%
Poor
1%
4.3
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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WO
3.0Dined 7 days ago

The decor is dated. Specials did not demonstrate much creativity. Blackened Arctic char was OK. Flank steak was small but accompaniments were not inspiring.

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C
5.0Dined on July 10, 2018

Excellent decor, great food and value and terrific service.

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SB
3.0Dined on July 8, 2018

Our experience at Charcoal was enjoyable. Our server knew his stuff and educated us on the wine and steaks. The only downfall was lack of service, we were left waiting for a long amount of time which made things very long but worth the wait.

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TF
5.0Dined on July 6, 2018

Amazing food and server. Would highly recommend and look forward to the next visit.

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JJ
3.0Dined on July 5, 2018

Had good experiences here in the past, but service was terribly slow; our waiter disappeared for 30 minutes and came back smelling like cigarette smoke. Table next to us ordered after us, and were eating their desserts by the time our main courses arrived. Restaurant was only half-full.
Quality of the food was okay, but probably not worth the $50+ per person.

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OT
5.0Dined on July 4, 2018

We live in SC now, but came back to The Charcoal for Celebrating my wife’s birthday. We also surprised our friends whom we have not seen in a couple of years!

Taylor, our server, with his great personality, knowledge of wines, food and his humour helped to make the evening fabulous!

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OT
5.0Dined on June 29, 2018

Our experience was amazing from start to finish. Service was fantastic and food was perfection.

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A
4.0Dined on June 28, 2018

We were quite surprised when we asked the waiter for some bread, he politely informed us that there was no longer any bread service at the table. When we asked what was the reason, he told us that with today's diet restrictions such as gluten free, or low carb or any other number of reasons they had made a decision to withdraw bread service. They said they were throwing out quantities of bread at the end of the night.
The look of shock must have been evident on our faces and as the manager was passing our table we called him over to give us the low down on their decision. He did say that should we still want bread he would bring some to our table.
We said thanks but no thanks. Our first thought was this was a very cheap decision on their part, but I must say that with no bread to fill up on we enjoyed our meal even more and saved the extra calories for a wonderful fresh strawberry cheesecake. They must have brewed a fresh pot of coffee and it was delicious with the dessert. Maybe this is a new way to look at dining. Nothing too terrible, but it was a surprise. The food (as usual) was wonderful as was the service.

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BV
5.0Dined on June 23, 2018

Our server was very knowledgeable and friendly. Attentive throughout the meal. The special desert for our anniversary guests was a great touch.

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TB
3.0Dined on June 18, 2018

Used to love Charcoal. I find food dissapointing now other than steak. They no longer serve bread and prices warrant some warm bread. Drinks are very expensive. My favourite prime rib sandwhich from Martinis menu that I ordered in Charcoal now made with frozen meat not prime rib. I will not be back. Atmosphere is nice as always. Will still try Martinis once more and see how that goes.

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KM
5.0Dined on June 17, 2018

Excellent food and service. It's our favourite place to go for "date night"

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BL
5.0Dined on June 17, 2018

The meal was fantastic. Service attentive. All in all an extraordinary meal. Was a little disappointed in the child's Burger but the child steak was fantastic value for the money. It's not a cheap restaurant but for a special occasion definitely worth the money. Our table had a variety of food from Lobster, prime rib, and ribeyes all were excellent quality and presentation.

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SS
3.0Dined on June 17, 2018

The Father’s Day Brunch was way overpriced... selection was ok... sausage was ice cold, roast beef was hard and overcooked, desserts were few... storebought squares. When I mentioned the sausage to the staff they just said there’s more on the way.

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RO
5.0Dined on June 13, 2018

Food was excellent and serving size was just right. Service was attentive and caring when one member of our party had a minor health issue. Prices are on the expensive side but reasonable for the food and atmosphere. Would definitely recommend this restaurant. Noticed that is did have a private area for dinner/business meeting.

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OT
4.0Dined on June 10, 2018

We booked a reservation for 6 to celebrate our son’s graduation from University.
The server (Erin) was exceptional and looked after our table as if we were the only people in the restaurant. The meals were all very well prepared and were exactly as ordered.
This is a great restaurant for any occasion.

Well Done!

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J
2.0Dined on June 9, 2018

My wife want to gift card 4 charcoal and several other restaurants owned by that same group. I had always wanted to try charcoal so that's where we settled on. On arrival, ambiance was very nice and the waiter was very welcoming and knowledgeable. For appetizers we had the oysters which were good and we ordered the calamari. Calamari was disappointing as it had maybe 4 pieces of actual calamari the rest was battered vegetables. Don't call it calamari if 20 percent of the order is various veggies. The breading wasn't very good either. Ceasar salad was great. Appetizers can fairly quickly however the main course took a while. My wife had the risotto which was under seasonsed and undercooked. I ordered a ribeye steak which was decent but I expected way better for charcoal, Ive had a better steak at Montana's. Expected te steak to be on par with say The Keg, the rib eye was not. Garlic shrimp Skillet was delicious, the hollandaise with crab that came as a side for the steak was delicious. The manager came around table to table, we are usually reluctant to mention anything about issues with food however he was very professional and receptive and without even asking removed the calamari and the risotto from the bill, which we did not expect. Was a good night overall however was a little disappointed, would likely have gone back to Dels if we could do it again.

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RG
4.0Dined on June 2, 2018

Excellent service, attentive, friendly and knowledgeable server. Excellent pasta main course. Ribs were nice size but over done and a bit tough. Overall, would happily return.

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LA
4.0Dined on May 30, 2018

The food was not up to its usual high standard. The pasta was lukewarm and notably under-cooked and the crab cakes were rather charred on the outside but tasty inside. The strawberry rhubarb pie (normally to die for!) required a steak knife to cut through the bottom and sides of the pastry.

Must have been a bad day in the kitchen. This was a special lunch with an elderly aunt who wanted no fuss about the meals so we didn't complain.

It really is unusual to get a bad meal at the Charcoal - we've been going there for over 45 years and have had maybe 2 or 3 bad experiences in all that time. This was really a bad day.

WE'll be back!

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MC
5.0Dined on May 27, 2018

Great food, great service. Nice atmosphere. I would recommend to my friends.

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JR
4.0Dined on May 26, 2018

My Ribs were Good-Food was Hot!-3 Members of our Party Ordered the Prime Rib (Medium) -They all arrived looking like three different dinners--Upon Arriving-We asked the waitress if they served Bread-Sorry No! Had to Order 4 little Pieces off the Menu for 14$-A Bit Pricey for what we Received-Prefer Golf's!

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AD
5.0Dined on May 26, 2018

The food was delicious! and the waitress was priceless...she was very friendly and very attentive...I visit the charcoal many times no complaints.. I will return again and highly recommend to my friends and family

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T
5.0Dined on May 25, 2018

Everything was lovely. One found that the ribs are not the quality that existed for so long. Another suggested that now that Schneider’s no longer exists may account for the lesser quality ribs.

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OT
3.0Dined on May 24, 2018

All in all it was good. First impression when I walked in was awesome, looked really nice. Waitress was very nice and attentive. I had sword fish which I have never had before and I thought it was over cooked as it was dry. Other than that, it was enjoyable. I will be back.

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d
3.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Server did not mention special menu of the night. Would have been interested.

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A
4.0Dined on May 19, 2018

The food was delicious as always, but on this occasion we had one service issue that disappointed. Our server did not advise us of the specials that evening and my wife would have had one of those choices if she had known it was available to her. She had already ordered and we had theatre tickets so she did not have time to change her order after I heard another server tell a table near us about the specials. She didn't hear him, but she saw it on a board on our way out. I probably over-tipped based on this experience.

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PL
5.0Dined on May 18, 2018

We have enjoyed the Charcoal for special occasions for over 50 years. Tim and the staff are always give first class service. Comfort food and atmosphere to enjoy.

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GK
5.0Dined on May 16, 2018

The food was fabulous. Very nice restaurant for a special occasion

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JR
4.0Dined on May 16, 2018

We went to the Charcoal for our 38th wedding anniversary. We had a nice comfortable table, the waitress was excellent, the two prime rib dinners were cooked to perfection and tasty, and the wine [although a tad expensive] was a good choice. All in all, we had a very good dinner and will definitely be back!

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KW
4.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Mothers day brunch, a bit smaller selection then previous years and kids section was 2 items so not worth separating in my opinion, good? Yes... great? Hmmm 50 bucks a person so for 50 I’ll call it good but readily acknowledge I’ll be going next year so let that be your review

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CT
5.0Dined on May 12, 2018

We have been coming here for many many years. The service is always excellent and the food is almost always excellent. My prime rib was ok but not wow this time and my son's steak was tough but usually it is great.

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B
3.0Dined on May 12, 2018

Excellent Salads, Tenderloin and Seafood Risotto .
Had to ask for lemon 3 X
Had to ask for the peppercorn sauce ( very watery) to be served when it did not appear with the Tenderloin
Over poured the wine ( too much in the glass) therefore took over that task
Family Style Dining .

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TC
5.0Dined on May 12, 2018

We attend charcoal steakhouse for our 30th wedding anniversary. It was a delightful meal with exceptional service via Rebecca our server.
We did not feel rushed and totally enjoyed the experience Rebecca’s customer service was exemplary!
Kindest Regards
Tracey Croth

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JP
4.0Dined on May 11, 2018

We ordered Tenderloin steak and my son ordered the Sirloin steak. The meat was cooked to liking and we were pleased. The Calamari appetizer was a bit different to what we are used to. The oysters were wonderful. They could have served bread or rolls given the price. The margaritas are a little pricey.

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L
5.0Dined on May 10, 2018

Had a great server and the food did not disappoint. A little on the pricy side for the amount of food you get. My only complaint is that we’re rushed through our meal. We had just gotten our drinks when our salads appeared. And barely finished our salads when our mains arrived. Server should have paced things better.

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OT
5.0Dined on May 9, 2018

First time to Charcoal and I had only ever heard rave reviews. Disappointed immediately at where we were seated. Mentioned this to the hostess who apologized but said it was the only available table. Shortly thereafter she returned saying she mentioned my disappointment to the Manager and he has offered for us to move to a table in a closed off section. Very thankful and appreciative for the consideration. The Manager stopped by the table, apologized for the situation and offered up complimentary appetizers. We were very impressed with how they handled my disappointment. Hey stuff happens but it’s how you handle it and make it right that counts! Top notch customer service!! Excellent meal and service. We will return again.

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R
4.0Dined on May 8, 2018

The Charcoal Restaurant has retained its good name and general quality over the decades. I was disappointed that in choosing this restaurant, well-known for its Prime Rib (amongst other things) yet by 7:30pm the night we went our waitress had to be the bringer of bad news in that the Prime Rib was "finished" for the evening . I have been places where at that hour I might be told that "medium rare" is no longer available, but none was apparently.

The New York strip I substituted was pleasant, but not the reason for my visit that day.

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LP
4.0Dined on May 6, 2018

a local favorite for fine dining for our family and when friends or relatives come to visit.

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MR
3.0Dined on May 4, 2018

Over the last few years we've noticed The Charcoal not quite as on point as they used to be.
The last experience made us decide we won't go back. They did comp my husbands meal but the meat should have never left the kitchen. Any chef worthy of a fine dining restaurant should have been able to identify what a poor cut it was.
Carling our server was great....the best part of the evening.

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EI
4.0Dined on April 28, 2018

Food and service was great, however the parking lot is a death trap! Please be advised of the pot holes as I was walking back towards our car and had lost my footing and sprained my ankle, scarping up both my knees and hands, ripping my jeans and ruining my designer purse and boots. Injured so badly that even after three days i'm having a hard time walking!

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JG
3.0Dined on April 28, 2018

It was my anniversary. I had asked for a quiet table. They sat us at a table and bench. I would have thought being an occasion we would get a booth or window . There was booths available. I asked for my steak medium well. It was bloody and the outside was burnt , like charcoal. Baked potato with toppings very dry. Veggies were good. Ordered an escargot , it came with very thin bread. We did get an anniversary desert. Our server was good

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