• Only Cafe

  • 3.0 stars
    (24 reviews, average rating: 3.0/5)
  • Cuisines: Cafe
  • (705) 743-7591
  • 216 Hunter Street West Peterborough, ON K9H 2L2
  • Neighbourhoods: Town
Recommend Restaurant?
11 people have voted
27% of voters recommend
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Restaurant Details
Price range
$$ ($11-$25)
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dglenn
14 Reviews
2012/06/10
  • I've reviewed "The Only" here before and...
  • 4.0 stars
  • I've reviewed "The Only" here before and mentioned how horrible the staff is. This has changed, I mean the staff had been replaced some months ago. I'm happy to say the new staff is much much better. Friendly and respectful for the most part.

 
CharlieD
2 Reviews
2012/01/28
  • very impressed!
  • Overall
    3.0 stars
    • Food
      4.0 stars
    • Services
      3.0 stars
    • Atmosphere
      3.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $11-$25
    • Visit Again?: Yes
    • Party Size: 3
  • WOW! I wish that I'd discovered this place sooner. I was thoroughly impressed with the food and portion sizes. The service was ok. I paid at the bar right away, so I didn't really have any issues. I also didn't mind the wait, once I saw my plate! Never in my life have I not been able to eat my brie because there was too much. How great is that?!
    It was delicious, and very filling! They also had no issue swapping out an item... no fuss, no extra charge for it, nothing... I AM VERY HAPPY and this good, cuz I AM VERY PICKY when it comes to food.

    I did not enjoy the loud music so much, it was hard to have a conversation...
    Being a "foodie"- music affects digestion and the music needed to be a little less "intense".

    Otherwise- BRAVO!

  • Order: Cowgirl
 
KellyGrishin
2 Reviews
2011/07/29
  • All Ya Really Need
  • Overall
    3.0 stars
    • Food
      4.0 stars
    • Services
      2.0 stars
    • Atmosphere
      4.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $11-$25
    • Visit Again?: Yes
    • Party Size: 2
  • I've been to the Only a few times, usually for drinks in the evening, but I have also been there for breakfast a couple times. Maybe I am always too immersed with the atmosphere and the people I go with to notice any dirty looks from the staff or rude behavior. I often go there with my bf and he is a very friendly and easygoing person. The interaction between us and the staff never seemed like there was disdain or anything like that. But it is very different from some restaurants where they are all about pleasing the customer, smiling, chatting with them and going out of their way for them. After all, at The Only, they don't ask you what you would like, you just have to go up and tell them, then wait a while for your food to arrive, but at least the food is good and the portion sizes are satisfying. Yes, they would get more business if they were sweet and cheery and went out of their way to serve the customer, but they still get a good amount of business as is. It's a good place to go if you just want to do your own thing with friends or family and you don't care about having staff/customer interaction. If I want to go somewhere that has that then I will, but The Only is nice for other reasons. Patio, atmosphere, food, drink, and beer selection. Sometimes that's all ya need.

  • Order: breakfast, beer
 
Judy
4 Reviews
2010/05/08
  • Terrible place and the service, what there was of...
  • Overall
    2.0 stars
    • Food
      3.0 stars
    • Services
      1.0 star
    • Atmosphere
      2.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $0-$10
    • Visit Again?: No
    • Party Size: 6
  • Terrible place and the service, what there was of it, was presented by the most surliest unpleasant person. Unbelievabley rude. If it wasn't for the opportunity to see my son who we don't see very often we would have left immediately. However, the food was not that bad but not good enough to ever go back there. I was appalled.

  • Order: Sunday morning breakfast.
 
Sentinel007
1 Review
2009/10/22
  • This has got to be the worst restaurant / bar in...
  • Overall
    2.0 stars
    • Food
      3.0 stars
    • Services
      1.0 star
    • Atmosphere
      3.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $11-$25
    • Visit Again?: No
    • Party Size: 3
  • This has got to be the worst restaurant / bar in Peterborough. Its so bad, that I actually took the time out of my schedule to write this review!

    Not only was the service horrible, the waiter actually REFUSED to serve me. Reason? He wanted a tip upfront for a service that he had yet to provide. At the time all I had on me was the cash needed to pay for the food and I specifically told this person that I would go back and tip (depending of course on the service and quality of the food - which was already shot to sh*t).

    The thing is friends it doesn't end here. After the person refused to serve me, I went back gathered up my friends (who had ordered through me) and we proceeded to leave. This person called me over as I was walking out the door and decided to lecture me on how restaurants work here in Canada because since I'm brown "I must not be from around here".

    .....words cannot describe how I feel about that hell-hole.

  • Order: Grilled Turkey Sandwich, Salad, Beer
 
CartonMags
1 Review
2009/04/11
  • As always, the food is great at the Only Cafe...
  • Overall
    3.0 stars
    • Food
      4.0 stars
    • Services
      1.0 star
    • Atmosphere
      4.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $0-$10
    • Visit Again?: Maybe
    • Party Size: 1
  • As always, the food is great at the Only Cafe.
    As always, the atmosphere is great at the Only Cafe.
    As always, the service is crap at the only cafe, and it always will be. Deal with it.

    The Only Cafe enjoys the distinction of being the probably most popular bar in downtoen Peterborough. Because the staff see on a day to day basis that most of their friends and peers are drunks, even those who once looked like they were doing something with their lives. Day in, day out, respect goes out the window and servers get jaded. No end to this cycle. Because the tips are huge being fired is the only way out of the cycle: lets face it, would you exchange respect for your community for $1000 a week working at a BAR?? people don't know this is what they get into before they start. they just think it a great job. then they see the sh*t that comes from working there, day in and day out. it drives them crzy, but they can't quit. why would they quit? the money is good, and the hours keep minds away from planning an escape - or a better life.

    yeah, the service sucks at the Only. The food is great, and the customers let you to think it's okay to do nothing important with your life but work at a call center and drink five nights a week. Thats why the Only Cafe exists - harvests it's clientelle from disgruntled students and small-time artists + keeps them from doing anything good by beating everyone down. it's a cess pool.

    Sounds awful doesn't it? It is. It's an inccestuous adiction fueled cancer, and if this message is hitting you close to home, then you're already part of the problem. I should know. I worked there longer than you.

    BTK

  • Order: All the food is great - best in town.
 
myname
1 Review
2009/03/16
  • I wanted to write this review, not about...
  • Overall
    3.0 stars
    • Food
      4.0 stars
    • Services
      1.0 star
    • Atmosphere
      4.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $11-$25
    • Visit Again?: Maybe
    • Party Size: 4
  • I wanted to write this review, not about 1 experience in particular...but more of a statement of years of visiting only and giving them my hard earned money.

    Never have I experienced such rude customer service (YES! Only Staff...you're in the SERVICE industry) There are a few rays of sunshine in there however, and not ALL of the staff are total jerks. But for the most part in return of your money and patronage you get sarcasm, attitude and dirty looks.

    It's ironic really, because it's built on a foundation of acceptance and, for that reason I still go there. It's a place where you can go, be relaxed and be yourself without having to deal with total idiots. (Peterborough has it's share) So it's great having a place to go, hear good music, be around good people and eat good food (despite the 2 week waiting list)

    With that being said, the staff and some of the regulars are the worst offenders of being total elitists and treat everyone who isn't a regular bar fly (who they basically have no choice but to warm up to) like total sh**.
    There is an air of "you think you're better then me?" attitude...which is funny because THEY THINK THEY ARE BETTER THEN EVERYONE!!!

    It's interesting to me that the owner would tolerate such bad service, because if he actually hired people who LIKED other people...MORE people would come back...but since there is a strong following of people like myself...who basically accept the abuse and go there for the atmosphere and great patio...it wont have any trouble paying the bills.

  • Order: beer, food, attitude
 
Terrance
1 Review
2008/12/17
  • Terry R Went for Breakfast on Mon.Dec.15 with...
  • Overall
    3.0 stars
    • Food
      3.0 stars
    • Services
      1.0 star
    • Atmosphere
      4.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $0-$10
    • Visit Again?: No
    • Party Size: 3
  • Terry R Went for Breakfast on Mon.Dec.15 with my son and his girlfriend. We put are orders in, 3 bacon and eggs. Twice we asked were the food was and told 15 minutes. One hour and 45 minutes ,and still no food. As we left we told the waitress the situation and still no apology.and there was no food on the grill.

  • Order: No service and no food.....
 
AmieR
1 Review
2008/12/13
  • I rated the food as a three star... but really, I...
  • Overall
    3.0 stars
    • Food
      3.0 stars
    • Services
      1.0 star
    • Atmosphere
      4.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $11-$25
    • Visit Again?: No
    • Party Size: 3
  • I rated the food as a three star... but really, I wouldn't know. I never actually got served. When we walked in I politely said hello and asked how the staff member serving me was. The response: "Terrible, what do you want?" Myself and the other two members of my party ordered a breakfast (nothing complicated, just bacon and eggs) After an hour and a half of waiting, and after watching people who come in after us being served before us, I tried to be nice and asked if ours was going to be much longer of a wait. I was told it was going to be about another 15-20 min... for bacon and eggs. At this point I had to be at work in half an hour and decided not to wait. They didn't even have our food on the go.... it is now an hour and 45min since we walked in. I don't care how busy or "bohemian" you think you are, but making people wait almost two hours for bacon and eggs is ridiculous. I would rather sacrifice some atmosphere and go to speak easy down the street where I am served with a smile and within 10min. The pictures that entertain me on the wall get really boring after two hours of starvation. This place is great to be in for drinks, but I don't work hard to be treated badly when I try and spend some of my money in any establishment. I wonder if it is a requirement during the interview process at The Only to be rude, inconsiderate and completely unorganized? My review: Its not worth it, and if you don't have two hours to kill, don't bother.
    (p.s. after two hours we walked out, never actually getting our breakfast).

 
Raphael
14 Reviews 2 Helpful
2008/11/26
  • One thing I love about this place is the patio...
  • Overall
    4.0 stars
    • Food
      4.0 stars
    • Services
      3.0 stars
    • Atmosphere
      5.0 stars
    • Price Range (per person): $0-$10
    • Visit Again?: Yes
    • Party Size: 3
  • One thing I love about this place is the patio. It is gorgeous and right next to creek! I love the look of the place. I haven't had a bad experience like most people here have posted, and I'm thankful for that. I can see where it would come from though. The blonde lady was nice even when I didn't have cash (I didn't realize that they take cash only). I went to the CIBC and took care of that. When I came back, I paid a very grouchy looking middle-aged man. He didn't say a word to us, but took the money and returned the change. I almost feel like I shouldn't have tipped based on his behaviour.

    Besides that, the place is clean, and the beer selection is great! Suggested improvements is to get a machine for credit/debit payments and for that guy to be nicer to customers. I recall seeing him once before and he was equally dissatisfied.

    I can't rate the food as I never ate there, so my food rating is based on the beer selection.

  • Order: Beer
 
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