Top 5 Girl's Night Out Restaurants in Mississauga

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Before writing this article, it was not apparent to me that the definition of a "ladies' night" is both varied and contentious. Some see it as an opportunity to enjoy beverages and dancing among female friends; others, including myself, view it more generally as time spent with female friends (assuming you, too, identify as female) doing any sort of activity that bonds - usually dancing and relishing in beverages, but also venting about life, joking and bickering. Simply enjoying each other's company. To many women, ladies' nights out are some of the most cherished of memories; what is better than laughing with friends, but doing so over the accompaniment of delightful eats?

Since this topic can lead to heated debate, and - let’s face it - varies largely with age and personal circumstance, I have decided to split the topic up into two parts: a relatively quiet evening meal or snack as the first part; drinking, dancing and the craziness that ensues as the second part (which will come out at a later date).

With the broad definition of a girl's night in mind, here are the top five ladies' night eateries in Mississauga.

5. Bliss Dessert Cafe & Bistro

There is nothing quite like conversing with a friend while savouring sweet treats. Located at the corner of Living Arts and Square One Drive (in the base of Limelight Condominiums), Bliss Dessert Cafe & Bistro is an excellent choice for an outing of catching up or lifting a friend's spirits. Though the restaurant looks small from the exterior, Bliss is a deceptively large dessert place, making it easy to carry out a conversation, without the worry of combating other voices or booming music. When sitting down at Bliss with a longtime friend, my perception of this hangout was confirmed by a group of three women sitting to our right: laughing, enjoying themselves, just as we were. It took me a long time to decide what to try, given the extensive menu; I ended up with a crepe, strawberry and ice cream concoction; the portion was large, and left me satisfied. I recommend Bliss for an evening of chatting in a more intimate space, especially if you want a decadent dessert.

4. The Cold Pressery

The Cold Pressery is unique to any other spot on this list, simply by virtue of its more healthy choices and subtly geeky undertones. When I think of a "ladies night," I usually imagine decadent desserts; however, many of my friends are just as keen on eating healthy as they are on chocolate (paradoxical, I know). For this reason, The Cold Pressery is a strong contender. The Cold Pressery mainly focuses on its raw treats, but has several worthwhile food options to boot. When I first walked into this spot, I immediately fell in love with the beautiful cityscape mural of Mississauga. In addition, I am a lover of board games, so I was impressed with their collection (which is available for their patrons to play while snacking). I had an open faced portobello pesto concoction and an oreo doughnut (and yes, even though it was vegan, it was very enjoyable). Yes, I ordered a doughnut at the healthy restaurant. From Cards Against Humanity to Settlers of Catan, if you feel like having a low-key night out, The Cold Pressery is just the place.

3. Dunk N' Dip

Another sweet treat eatery that screams ladies night is the famous Dunk N' Dip, located in Port Credit. With an extensive dessert menu - numerous options for gelato, crepes, waffles, fondue and so much more - Dunk N' Dip is an ideal location for sharing some laughs after a meal or before heading to a bar. The decadent deserts (most of which are covered in a layer of melted chocolate) are beyond delightful. Moreover, portions are large enough to lend themselves to sharing. I was impressed with the service from beginning to end; the ease in being able to make a last minute reservation on a Sunday night, the phone call to let me know my table was ready, the server putting up with my desire to try many gelato flavours and the wait service. Although the tables are closely arranged to allow for the full space to be utilized by customers, my friend and I were able to carry on a long conversation without feeling pressed to leave. A few words of caution, however; if you plan to attend, book a reservation at least two days in advance or you may be surprised with the one or two hour wait list for walk ins.

2. Spice Lounge & Tapas

It is often difficult to find a late night bar or eatery that is hip enough for an evening out, while being quiet enough to carry on a conversation. Spice Lounge & Tapas evades this problem beautifully with its rather small space, well-sectioned booths and its smooth interior. Complementing this ideal atmosphere for a ladies' night out is a sharing menu that is ideal for larger parties. The tapas menu is perfect for trying several items and - if your friends are like mine - discussing our culinary preferences with great fervor. I was delighted with my two choices - a cheese board and seared scallops. To top it all off, the location of this spot is perfect. Situated on Lakeshore Road in the heart of Port Credit, Spice Lounge is very close to many nightlife options, so after you're done your meal and a few drinks, it's easy to find a spot for continued good times. If you do choose Spice Lounge, however, be warned: some of the items on the menu are a little adventurous, so attend with a willingness to try something new.

1. Port House Social Bar and Kitchen

Located on the southwest corner of Lakeshore and Hurontario, Port House is an upscale restaurant that is just perfect for a ladies' night out. It's rare that I have occasion to visit a restaurant with an unofficial dress code; while minor - work casual attire - it felt good to get dolled up. With large, comfortable booths, a simple - but elegant - decor, and a sophisticated menu, Port House has everything I look for in a restaurant where I want to have a few laughs with the ladies, reminisce about old times and catch up on the current affairs of one's life. The server was hospitable and attentive, and certainly did his best to give us strong service without being too intrusive. I recommend Port House after work on weekday, which has a lot less hustle and bustle than on a weekend; for me the simplicity of good company complimented by a strong menu is all I need.

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