A variety of food displayed on a table

Zak’s Cantina | Sofie Sharom, Ottawa Tourism

Where to eat in Ottawa

A variety of food displayed on a table

Zak’s Cantina | Sofie Sharom, Ottawa Tourism

Thanks to a multicultural population, you can sample unique food traditions and cooking techniques from around the world. And you’ll find a variety of places that cater to dietary restrictions, including kosher, halal and vegan restaurants in Ottawa.

Many restaurants also work with local farms and producers in the Ottawa Valley, sourcing fresh, seasonal ingredients to provide you with a true farm-to-table dining experience.

Here is a selection of must-try restaurants in Ottawa.

Breakfast and brunch

Wilf & Ada’s

This small, charming diner serves classic favourites such as buttermilk French toast, florentine eggs benny, BLTE (bacon, lettuce, tomato and egg) burgers and poutine galvaude. Or opt for a baked pastry and hot cup of coffee for the perfect start to your morning.

Wilf & Ada’s is open on Wednesdays to Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, so show up early to secure a table at this popular place.

Location: 510 Bank Street, Ottawa

Mazarine Restaurant

Mazarine Restaurant specializes in Mediterranean-inspired food created with local Canadian ingredients. The bright and airy restaurant with simple blue and white décor is reminiscent of the Mediterranean seascape.

Pick from a diverse menu of breakfast and brunch foods such as avocado salmon toast, shakshouka and beef kofta sandwiches. Vegetarian options are available, like crispy cheese cigars and halloumi omelettes.

Mazarine Restaurant is open on Wednesdays to Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and on Saturdays to Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The restaurant is dine-in only and does not take reservations.

Location: 282 Kent Street, Ottawa

Feast + Revel

You don’t need to stay at the Andaz Hotel to dine at Feast and Revel. Large windows let in plenty of natural light, illuminating the sleek, modern design of this contemporary brunch spot.

Choose from light breakfast options like avocado toast or berries and oats or pick a heartier meal like smoked salmon lox or a full breakfast with eggs, bacon, tomatoes and potatoes. You can also eat here for a casual dinner, with delicious meals including roast chicken, vegetable coconut curry and margherita pizza.

Feast + Revel is open for reservations for breakfast on Mondays to Fridays from 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 7:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. It’s also open for dinner every day from 6:00 to 9:45 p.m.

Location: 325 Dalhousie Street, Ottawa

Cocotte Bistro

Located steps away from the Rideau Canal and ByWard Market, Cocotte Bistro features authentic, modern French cuisine. Created with locally sourced ingredients and prepared in a French oven, a “cocotte,” you’ll enjoy gourmet French food in an open-concept dining room inspired by classic bistros in France.

The restaurant’s brunch menu includes quiche, salmon bagel, French toast, Montreal benedict and cassoulet (stew with duck confit). Dinner is also available, featuring dishes like bouillabaisse, filet mignon and Arctic char meunière.

Cocotte Bistro is open for reservations on Mondays to Fridays from 7:00 to 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 to 10:30 p.m. It’s also open on Saturdays and Sundays from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 to 10:30 p.m.

Location: 123 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa

Lunch and dinner

Cantina Gia

The warm lighting, brick walls and bottle-lined cabinets of Cantina Gia will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a restaurant in Italy.

Choose from a wide variety of southern Italian dishes such as carbonara, spaghetti pomodoro and grilled corn arancini. For dessert, try the classic tiramisu or the sweet buttermilk panna cotta served with seasonal fruit. It’s no wonder Cantina Gia is one of the top Italian restaurants in Ottawa.

Cantina Gia is open for reservations on Mondays to Fridays from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Location: 749 Bank Street, Ottawa

Toro Taqueria

Sample the best tacos in tow at Toro Taqueria. Specializing in Mexican street-style tacos, these tacos are made with small corn tortillas that are cooked until lightly charred, then steamed until soft.

Choose fresh meat and vegetables to put in your taco, then top with pickled red onions, white onions, cilantro and lime. Gluten-free options are available. Complete your meal with a drink of agua fresca, Jarritos Mexican soda or coconut water.

Toro Taqueria is open on Mondays to Fridays from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Reservations are limited to groups of more than eight people.

Location: 139 Bank Street, Ottawa

Mia’s Indian Cuisine

Experience authentic Indian dining at Mia’s Indian Cuisine, one of the top Asian restaurants in Ottawa.

This restaurant features appetizing halal and gluten-free food, with many vegetarian options available. Unique menu items include chicken masala, beef curry, vegetable samosas and tandoori roti. Keep an eye out for limited-time deals like the Valentine’s Day dinner date menu.

Mia’s Indian Cuisine is open on Mondays from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Tuesdays to Fridays from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Reservations can be made online.

Location: 917 Richmond Road, Ottawa

The Green Door Restaurant & Bakery

Among the vegan friendly restaurants in Ottawa, The Green Door Restaurant & Bakery stands out. It’s been serving vegan and gluten-free food for over 30 years.

Using only fresh, organic ingredients, this vegetarian buffet offers a diverse selection of vegetable-based meals such as tofu broccoli stir fry, two-bean chili, Greek salad and mushroom and spinach lasagna.

The Green Door Restaurant & Bakery is open on Tuesdays to Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Reservations for groups of more than five people can be made over the phone.

Location: 198 Main Street, Ottawa

Riviera Ottawa

If you’re looking for the perfect restaurant for date night, Riviera is one of the most romantic restaurants in Ottawa. It was listed as one of Canada’s top 100 restaurants by Canada’s 100 Best in 2019.

Riviera is situated inside a former bank building, with a modern and elegant interior perfect for a high-end dining experience. It features a revolving menu of delicious dishes, with past menus including seafood chowder, roasted duck breast and braised lamb shank. Riviera is also one of the best cocktail bars in Ottawa, so be sure to try one of their signature creations.

Reserve a table on Mondays to Wednesdays from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. and on Thursdays to Saturdays from 5:00 to 11:00 p.m.

Location: 62 Sparks Street, Ottawa

Fairouz Café

Discover the flavours of the Middle East at Fairouz Café, located in ByWard Market.

The menu is comprised mainly of halal meals inspired by Lebanese and Turkish cuisine. Enjoy muhammara with homemade pita, pide (Turkish-style flatbread), shish tawook (marinated chicken), crusted lamb sirloin and more. They also have a gluten-free dinner menu, as well as the option of a “sofra”: a three-course tasting menu ideal for a party of four. At night, turn your meal into an upscale dining experience by selecting a bottle from the café’s curated wine list.

Fairouz Café is open for reservations every day from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Location: 15 Clarence Street, Ottawa

The Soca Kitchen

In the heart of Ottawa’s Glebe neighbourhood, The Soca Kitchen serves Spanish and Latino fusion cuisine.

Chef Daniela Manrique crafts unique dishes such as Spanish charcuterie, octopus plancha, beer-battered cod tacos, huevos a la cacerola and cauliflower steak. Pair your meal with one of the restaurant’s famous cocktails, then finish with sweet dulce de leche mousse cake or traditional cinnamon sugar churros.

For a fun way to try new flavours, consider the “Chopping Block,” a blind tapas-tasting dinner that will treat you to a selection of the chef’s favourite dishes.

Reserve a table on Tuesdays to Wednesdays from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. and on Fridays to Saturdays from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Location: 151 Second Avenue, Ottawa

Johnny Farina

Located inside a former movie theatre within the upscale Elgin Street district, Johnny Farina is a casual Italian eatery and one of the best family restaurants in Ottawa. Dark wood furnishings and incredible 11-metre ceilings accentuate the majestic dining room, while the restaurant’s famed wood oven gently smokes in the kitchen.

Start with calamari, bruschetta or another scrumptious tasty appetizer. For your main entrées, you can choose from a diverse menu that includes pizza, lasagna, linguine, sandwiches and salads.

Johnny Farina is open on Mondays to Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., on Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., on Fridays and Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. Reservations can be made online.

Location: 216 Elgin Street, Ottawa

Alice

Traditional and modern fermentation techniques shine in Alice, a staple for vegan food in Little Italy.

Sample an eight-course, vegetable-focused blind-tasting menu in a fine dining atmosphere. Past dishes include sourdough bread with butter made from fermented rice, eggplant with pickles in cucumber sauce and salad with almond milk dressing. Each ingredient and dish is carefully crafted to perfection by award-winning chef Briana Kim. Fermented wine and juice pairings complement your distinctive and delicious meal.

Reserve a table on Wednesdays to Saturdays from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Location: 40 Adeline Street, Ottawa

Yangtze Dining Lounge

A must-eat Ottawa place for dim sum, Yangtze Dining Lounge serves delicious Cantonese dim sum and Szechuan cuisine in the heart of the city’s Chinatown.

Some of their most popular dishes are fried rice, vegetable soup, stuffed eggplant, General Tao chicken and braised duck. Take advantage of the All-Day Dim Sum menu for delicious foods like shrimp har gow, pork shui mai and stuffed bean cake at any time.

Yangtze Dining Lounge is open for reservations on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m., Fridays from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Reservations can be made over the phone.

Location: 700 Somerset Street West, Ottawa

Play Food & Wine

Play Food & Wine serves appetizer-size portions of haute cuisine so you can sample many different dishes without committing to a single main course. Meals are cooked with seasonal and sustainable ingredients sourced from local farmers.

On the menu, you’ll find smoked duck breast carpaccio, coconut arancini, ramp gnocchi, soy marinated steak and more. A rotating selection of curated wines lets you pick the best to pair with your meal. This is a great place to end your day after visiting the nearby National Gallery of Canada.

Play Food & Wine is open for reservations for dinner on Sundays to Wednesdays from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. and on Thursdays to Saturdays from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. It’s also open for lunch on Wednesdays to Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Reservations can be made online.

Location: 1 York Street, Ottawa

Desserts and sweet treats

BeaverTails ByWard Market

An iconic Canadian treat, BeaverTails were created in 1978 when Grant and Pam Hooker turned their family recipe for fried dough into a business and opened the first BeaverTails stand in ByWard Market.

No visit to Ottawa is complete without trying these hand-stretched, whole wheat pastries and countless toppings to choose from, including chocolate hazelnut, apple pie, vanilla icing, maple or the original with cinnamon and sugar.

BeaverTails at ByWard Market is open on Sundays to Wednesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Location: 69 George Street, Ottawa

Strawberry Blonde Bakery

Circular chandeliers and pastel blue and yellow décor complete the whimsical design of Strawberry Blonde Bakery. All products are guaranteed to be nut-free, gluten-free, vegan and kosher. The delicious creations include apple fritters, brownies, cupcakes, Nanaimo bars, lemon squares and much more.

Strawberry Blonde Bakery is open on Mondays to Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Fridays to Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Location: 111 Richmond Road, Ottawa

Moo Shu Ice Cream & Kitchen

With new and memorable flavours every month, Moo Shu Ice Cream & Kitchen is the perfect spot when you’re craving ice cream.

Choose from classic ice cream flavours like local strawberry, vanilla bean and vegan chocolate, as well as unique creations like Hong Kong milk tea, honey lavender & Earl Grey, Vietnamese coffee and Froot Loop cereal milk. Vegan flavours and gluten-free cones are available. Keep an eye out for Moo Shu’s Instagram-worthy seasonal ice cream treats, which in the past have included cat cones and reindeer face cones.

Moo Shu Ice Cream & Kitchen is open on Tuesdays to Fridays from 3:00 to 10:00 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 10:00 p.m.

Location: 477 Bank Street, Ottawa 

Late night spots

Zak’s Diner

Open since 1986, Zak’s Diner is the go-to Ottawa spot for classic Canadian diner food. Its retro design features red booth seats, checkered flooring and even a Mustang car counter with a licence plate reading “Zak’s Diner.”

Its menu hasn’t changed much since the 1980s, with milkshakes, burgers and fries being among the most popular orders here. This family-friendly diner also serves all-day breakfast with favourites like pancakes and eggs, breakfast burritos and three cheese omelettes.

For something extra fun, check out Zak’s Cantina, a Tex-Mex addition to the Byward Market diner location that’s open Friday and Saturdays from noon to midnight.

Most of Zak’s Diner locations are open on Sundays to Wednesdays from 8:00 a.m.to 9:00 p.m. and on Thursdays to Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Location: 14 Byward Market Square, Ottawa, 220 Elgin Street, Ottawa and 334 Richmond Road, Ottawa

GoGiYa Sushi ‘n’ Poké

Enjoy traditional Japanese sushi at GoGiYa Sushi ‘n’ Poké. These handcrafted, bite-sized pieces are made with fresh fish and other healthy ingredients.

You’ll also find the popular Hawaiian-style poké bowls on the menu, as well as classics like miso soup, shrimp tempura, gyoza dumplings and edamame beans. The place is open until late at night on most days, so it’s a great place to visit if you’ve got a sushi craving.

GoGiYa Sushi ‘n’ Poké is open on Thursdays to Tuesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Location: 504 Bank Street, Ottawa

The Rabbit Hole

Creative cocktails and scrumptious bistro dishes await you at The Rabbit Hole.

This vibrant bar is situated in a historic building in the heart of Ottawa’s Centretown, with a downstairs dining room for sit-down meals and a tropical rooftop bar that overlooks the cobblestone Sparks Street. The place is also one of Ottawa’s top bars with live music and after-hours dancing, so you can enjoy their fresh oysters, artisanal pizza and calamari into the early hours of the next morning.

The Rabbit Hole is open on Tuesdays to Fridays from noon to 2:00 a.m. and on Saturdays from 5:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.

Location: 208 Sparks Street, Ottawa

Wolf Down

Experience delicious German-fusion street food at Wolf Down.

Opened in 2019, this popular restaurant serves tasty döners, sandwiches and rice bowls, featuring chicken, beef or tofu with secret or spicy sauce. Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, keto and halal options are available, as well as a variety of toppings to customize your döner to your liking.

Wolf Down is open every day from 11:00 to 1:00 a.m.

Location: 380 Bank Street, Ottawa

Trio Bistro and Lounge

Unwind in the relaxing atmosphere at Trio Bistro and Lounge.

This casual hangout spot is a favourite among Westboro locals for its amazing selection of food and drinks. Share small plates of meat, cheese, quesadillas or potatoes with your friends while listening to great music playing overhead. You can pick from a variety of wines, cocktails and micro-brewed beers on tap to go with your dessert: crème brûlée or chocolate torte.

Trio Bistro and Lounge is open on Mondays to Thursdays from 4:00 p.m. to midnight and on Fridays and Saturdays from 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.

Location: 307D Richmond Road, Ottawa

Shawarma Palace

Great as either a quick meal or a filling dinner, Shawarma Palace offers generous portions of chicken, beef, fish or vegetarian shawarma.

Choose from a range of side dishes, including falafel, chicken wings and poutine and sweet and crispy baklava. With three locations across Ottawa, it’s a fast and convenient place to visit whenever you’re hungry for shawarma.

Most Shawarma Palace locations are open every day from 11:00 a.m. to midnight. Check the individual location of your nearest Shawarma Palace to confirm the opening hours.

Location: 464 Rideau Street, Ottawa, 2440 Bank Street, Ottawa and 4230 Innes Road, Ottawa

Guided and self-guided food tours

C’est Bon Cooking

With the goal of spreading the love for the culinary arts, C’est Bon Cooking offers gourmet food walking tours through some of Ottawa’s top foodie neighbourhoods.

Cycle along the city’s most scenic bike paths and delicious eateries with the “Bike & Bites” tour or learn about how chocolate is made (with bonus samples to taste) with the Chocolate Lover’s tour.

If you prefer to move on your own, you can explore ByWard Market with the help of C’est Bon Cooking’s geo-localized digital map. As you walk through the market, you’ll be pointed to hidden gems, learn interesting facts and eat at some of the best food stops thanks to the downloadable map.

Location: 200 Dalhousie Street, Ottawa

La Vida Local

La Vida Local provides guided food and wine tours across the Ottawa Valley and rural Eastern Ontario, stopping at some of the top wineries, distilleries, craft breweries and local food spots in the region.

Sample award-winning wines, artisan cheese, wood-fired pizza, gelato and more. Join an affordable public tour or book a customized private bus tour for a one-of-a-kind experience.

Location: Ottawa

Of course, this is just a small sample of what Ottawa has to offer. Find more great restaurants in Ottawa and more food and drink highlights that make this city so dynamic.

Last updated: May 5, 2023

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