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11 cultural foods that you haven’t tried in Ottawa

One of the greatest joys of travel is discovering new foods. One of the greatest joys of Canada is that you really don’t need to travel very far to eat said food. Beyond pho and shawarma however, Ottawa’s many menus can be harder to navigate than the parking lot at the Bayshore Shopping Centre. We’re here to help guide you in branching out and discovering some new favourites. Here are our top bites, organized by the country they are from:

Korea

What’s popular in Ottawa? Korean BBQ / Korean Fried Chicken
What we suggest you try: Gamjatang at Alirang. Get there early for their take on this delicious, hearty Korean pork bone soup. Spicy comfort food. Other favourites include bibimbap (that crispy rice at the bottom of the bowl!), naengmyeon (korean cold noodles), and bulgogi.

Special shout out to Seoul Mart – a grocery store that also makes hip korean bites including savoury donuts stuffed with bulgogi.

Malaysia

What’s popular in Ottawa? Pad thai
What we suggest you try: Chili Fish (Sambal Ikan) at Chahaya Malaysia. One of the best dishes in town if you’re craving a high level of spice. Haddock in a thick tomato-based sauce spiced with chilis, belacan (shrimp paste), galangal, lemongrass, and garlic.

Lebanon

What’s popular in Ottawa? Shawarma
What we suggest you try: Kafta at New Middleast Supermarket – just put this seasoned meat on a barbeque, pair it with some pita bread and you’ll be in heaven. While shawarma gets most of the love in Ottawa Lebanese joints, the meat and cheese selection here will make you forget all about those ubiquitous wraps.

Special shout out to Les Grillades for their Lebanese breakfast (try fateh or foul) and La Brioche for arabic desserts like knafah and halawet el jibn.

Vietnam

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What’s popular in Ottawa? Phở
What we suggest you try: Bún bò Huế at Huong’s Vietnamese Bistro. The soup, which originates from the Central Vietnam city of Hue, is one of Vietnam’s must-try noodle dishes. Fragrant, spicy, sour, sweet, salty, it’s basically got a bit of everything. Other favourites include bún riêu (a rice noodle soup with a tomato and crab soup base, a staple in Hanoi), papaya and beef jerky salad, bánh xèo (sizzling crepe-like pancakes) … We have a soft spot for vietnamese food so the list could go on and on and on – explore for yourself!

Special shout out to SEN Asian Cuisine, which is a local restaurant hidden amongst chains in Lansdowne. Their Vietnamese menu has a lot of options you can’t find elsewhere, including the legendary bún chả Hànội!

El Salvador

What’s popular in Ottawa? Tacos
What we suggest you try: Pupusas at La Cabaña or Tukan. Thick tortillas stuffed with combinations of cheese, beans and pork, what more could you need? The El Salvadorian staple is enjoyed best when topped with curtido (fermented cabbage) and tomato sauce. Wash it down with marañon (cashew apple pulp juice), tamarindo (tamarind drink), or horchata (nut-and-spice based drink).

Haiti

What’s popular in Ottawa? Beef Patties
What we suggest you try: Haiti’s combination of African and Caribbean influence makes it a cuisine that is tasty to discover. Though Fried Chicken, Rice and Beans, or plantains may sound like familiar items, topping them with a creole red sauce or pikliz (a spicy cabbage slaw), makes everything pop. Fried pork cubes “griot” are also worth trying. We recommend Margo Caribbean or Soleil Des Iles for your Haitian fix.

Venezuela

What’s popular in Ottawa? Tacos
What we suggest you try: Arepas at Gooney’s. Surrounded by buildings in the downtown core, it is surprising to find arepas hiding in a local lunch spot. These corn-based cakes are a blend of crunchy and soft and taste great when stuffed with shredded beef, pulled pork or a variety of other fillings.

Sri Lanka

What’s popular in Ottawa? Ceylon Tea. Indian food.
What we suggest you try: Kothu Roti at Kothu Rotti. When driving through the Sri Lankan countryside, it is not uncommon to hear the clang of metal blades against hot griddles as street vendors prepare this national specialty. A combination of chopped roti, meat, eggs, onions, and chilis. Don’t forget a squeeze of lime! You can also find this dish at other Sri Lankan restaurants in town including Ceylonta and Karuna Cafe.

Mexico

 

What’s popular in Ottawa? Tacos
What we suggest you try: Pozole – extremely flavourful pork stew with hominy corn and Mole – a thick, rich, chocolate-tinged complex sauce that is often served with tortilla or meats. These dishes are on rotation at El Camino and well worth it. Mole can also be found at La Bonita.

Special shout out to By Abuela (formerly known as The Heirloom Kitchen), who also sometimes serve these dishes during their pop-up events.

Thailand


What’s popular in Ottawa? Pad thai
What we suggest you try: We love Northern Thai cuisine for its spice and complexity. Some dishes from that region that are worth trying include Larb/lahp – spicy minced chicken or meat salad, and Khao soi – a rich coconut curry egg noodle soup. Social Thai and Wandee Thai offer variations of these.

China


What’s popular in Ottawa? Golden Palace egg rolls, Dim Sum
What we suggest you try: There have been a variety of authentic Chinese restaurants that have opened in Ottawa over the past few years. We recommend you dive right into the deep end by trying a variation of noodle dish like the “Hot oil topped handmade noodles” at Rice Pea, the “Beijing noodle with fried bean and meat sauce” at Xiangzi, or the “Preserved Cabbage, Bamboo, Pork with Fried Noodle” from Cafe Orient. You won’t be disappointed.

Best Of

Top 10 Favourite Places in Ottawa in 2017

There was a lot to love this past year on the Ottawa food scene. While we have so much to recommend, these were our top ten favourites that we kept coming back to. If any of these are new to you, we’d say they’re certainly worth a look in 2018. You may even catch us there.

Moo Shu Ice Cream & Kitchen

Not just for their always amazing ice cream, but for the expanding occasional options including pork wontons/ma po tofu at lunch, bubble waffles and Hong Kong milk tea on Waffle Wednesdays™ and more! We’re excited for whatever their future holds.

MeatPress

We never cease to be amazed by the creativity and flavour of their lunch options, which typically involve delicious meat pressed between two pieces of bread. They’ve added on brunch and dinners that are equally tasty.

La Cabana

We like the pupusas here, a lot (one of our favourite cheap eats). Homestyle, non-pretentious vibes and the attached Central American grocery store means that we always stop by when in the area.

Equator Coffee

Equator’s Westboro cafe is cozy and their brewed beverages are always consistent.

Yakko Takko

 

Some of the best Mexican food in Ottawa, we loved this food truck in the Glebe and are eagerly anticipating its return when the weather warms up.

Coconut Lagoon

South Indian dishes that are masterful in their execution. We love the curries, naan and biriyani here.

Bread & Sons Bakery

Thincrust pizza, “perfect” chocolate chip cookies and vegetarian sandwiches/pastries. The espresso (from 49th parallel) is on point too!

Stella Luna Gelato Cafe (Hintonburg)

We love the decor in here and the gelato is the best in town.

Flora Hall Brewing

Newcomer to the Ottawa craft beer scene, we’re blown away by how quickly they’ve hit the ground running. The converted space is beautiful and their West Coast IPA is definitely worth a try.

Citizen


A close call between Citizen and their sister restaurant town. (another Bytown Bites favourite), we chose Citizen for the list because we love its atmosphere and also quite enjoyed their Meatless Mondays courtesy of guest chef Mike Frank.

Best Of

Top 10 Ottawa Coffeeshops

While Ottawa’s coffee scene is still growing in comparison to many larger Canadian cities, there are still plenty of places to get your coffee/espresso fix in the capital region, even for the most discerning. Below is a list of our ten favourites, with an emphasis on quality caffeinated kicks.

1) Equator Westboro

#piccolo perfection at @equatorwestboro @equatorcoffee

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Our favourite coffeeshop in town, they do a lot right and they roast locally in nearby Almonte. Take a photo beneath their instagram-worthy COFFEE sign and sip some heaven. An Equator affogato (ice cream + espresso) on their patio in the summertime is one of our favourite things.

2) Cafe Delice

Espresso and chocolates. They use Vancouver’s 49th Parallel beans for their espresso beverages and pull as consistent a shot as you can find in the downtown area. Only open on weekdays.

3) Ministry of Coffee (Elgin) / Ministry of Coffee (Hintonburg)

The cure for a case of the Mondays at @theministryofcoffee

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With a rotating variety of Canada’s best roasters, Ministry is usually a consistent place for espresso/drip and in the warmer months, our favourite cold brew (on Nitro) in town. Those seeking a sweet indulgence may also enjoy their Nutella lattes.

4) Bread & Sons Bakery

#BreadandSons bakery is a place we ❤️ #macchiato

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Though we frequent Bread and Sons for their baked goods, their espresso/drip coffee should not be overlooked! They use Vancouver’s 49th Parallel beans, which pairs well with the best chocolate chip cookie in town.

5) Quitters Coffee

Worthy of a drive (or bike ride, for the ambitious) to Stittsville, Quitters brews Toronto’s Pilot coffee and has a great atmosphere. You might even spot a local celebrity there…

6) Red Door Provisions

Our go-to for coffee in the east end, they rotate through different roasters for their drip and typically brew Pilot espresso. Their preserves, baked goods and menu of grilled cheeses are also worth a look.

7) Cafe Qui Pense

A charming small wifi-less cafe that brews Equator coffee and also sells Wakefield’s Blue Barn beans. We typically get their “European Cappuccino”. It’s also next door to The Green Door, one of our favourite vegetarian restaurants in town.

8) Little Victories Coffee Roasters

Some “magic” from @littlevictoriescoffee

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One of the newer local roasters in the Ottawa region, you can find their beans in all sorts of places. Their shop is located in the front of a bike shop in Hintonburg. They have a passion for roasting and we’re excited to see how the brand continues to develop.

9) CC’s Corner

A #chemex from @ccscorner_coffee_curios, worth the drive from #Ottawa to #Richmond.

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Half antique shop/half coffee shop in Richmond, Ontario. We love the vibe in here. They typically brew Bridgehead beans, though they often have other beans from Canadian roasters on rotation. A nice place to enjoy a coffee while sifting through rarities and oddities.

10) Happy Goat Coffee Company

Local roaster Happy Goat recently opened a storefront in Sandy Hill. A great place for students and for coffee lovers alike. You can also find their beans spread across town at places like Arlington Five and Bar Robo.

Honourable mentions: Black Squirrel Books & Espresso Bar, Alice’s Village Cafe, Bread By Us, Art Is In Bakery, Equator Coffee Roasters (Almonte), Morning Owl (Elgin Street), Little Jo Berry’s, Bridgehead.

Best Of

Top 10 Late Night Eats in Ottawa

(As featured on Apt613.)

So you’ve hit the town (or the books) and you’re hungry for some late night eats. Don’t fret, we’ve got ten places in Ottawa that’ll serve you up something delicious, no intoxication required.

Union 613 (Wednesday to Saturday – 2 am)

Nights at @613union613, with punches and summer #cocktails.

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Union 613 has a tasty late night menu, complete with chicken wing specials (including surprises like peanut butter and jelly flavour or fish sauce (our personal favourite)) and drink deals.

The Fry (Sunday to Thursday – 12 am / Friday and Saturday – 2 am)

Korean Fried Chicken under a flatscreen television playing K-POP videos, it certainly doesn’t feel like you’re on Elgin Street.

El Camino (Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday- 12 am / Thursday to Saturday – 2 am)

Full on a Tuesday for good reason, @eatelcamino never disappoints! 🙏 #mexicanfood

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The best tacos in town (and betel leaves, and churros) are served up late from both indoors and their takeout window.

The King Eddy (Monday 1 am, Tuesday 1 am, Wednesday 12 am, open 24 hours Thursday to Sunday)

feels nice to have a real burger again #thekingeddy #kelovesall

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There are a few late night diners that could be listed here but we prefer King Eddy’s for their quality eats, like their King Eddy Burger and the Northern Fried Chicken and Waffles. They’ve recently started to stay open for 24 hours on weekends and is our go-to in the Byward Market.

The Manx (late night menu usually ends around 12:30)

We love the Manx’s cozy vibes and their food is deceptively good. Their late night menu is typically served up until 12-12:30, but we’d stick around longer to enjoy a few beers.

New Pho Bo Ga La (Monday-Friday 2 am / Saturday-Sunday 4 am)

Rainy day meals in #Chinatown

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Fragrant, flavourful broths and sodium are a time-tested way to prevent hangovers. We prefer our fix from New Pho Bo Ga La.

Kettleman’s (open 24 hours)

#Kettlemans famous chopped liver, always with the onions @bagelottawa

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Montreal-style bagels with all sorts of fixins, they’re open 24 hours and cannot be beat for 4 am eats near Lansdowne.

Two Six Ate (open until 2 am every night except Tuesday)

Tasty share plates that are somehow still available all the way until 2 am.

Shawarma Palace (Sunday-Wednesday 1 am / Thursday 2 am / Friday-Saturday 3 am)

A feast fit for a queen (and an entire royal family) at #shawarmapalace.

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Ottawa is Canada’s destination for Shawarma, so there’s really no better way to complete your night. Shawarma Palace is open late, serving up their famous shawarma with next level garlic sauce.

Shawarma King (Monday-Wednesday 2 am / Sunday and Thursday 3 am / Friday-Saturday 4 am)

We are ready for you OTTAWA! #Shawarmasking

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When you’re out in Centretown and you wander by Shawarma King late at night, you’ll be sure to see a line of characters. Tasty shawarma served up late, get the garlic potatoes if you’re not going to be talking in someone’s close proximity for the next 16-24 hours.

Honorary mentions: Elgin Street Diner, Pho Bo Ga 2

Best Of

Top 10 Cheap Eats in Ottawa

Whalesbone Elgin

#Haddock catch of the day brown bag lunch at @thewhalesboneonelgin 🎣

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From 11:30AM-4:30PM each day, the Whalesbone location on Elgin Street serves up famous brown bag lunches, featuring an ever-changing “Catch o’ the Day” cut of fish on a bun for approximately $10. Whalesbone prides itself on fresh seafood and and its usually one of our favourite sandwiches in the city. If you’re in the mood to splurge, for a couple dollars more, you can try their other rotating lunch specials or fish n’ chips.

Price: $10/Catch o’ The Day brown bag lunch, $13.50/Fish n’ Chips

Shawarma Palace

We’ve tried many shawarma places in Ottawa, but none beats the palace. While shawarma may be known to some as a means to prevent a hangover, shawarma here deserves your full, sober attention. Both the beef and chicken varieties are packed with flavours and never teeter on the too-dry side of things. For a real treat, and provided no one will need to smell your breath for the next couple of days, get potatoes on the side with extra garlic sauce.

Price: $5-7/shawarma sandwich, 5$ for garlic potatoes; 15$/ shawarma platter

Quê Hùóng

$5 well spent. #banhmi #quehuong

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Pay a visit to this tiny Vietnamese eatery for homey, no-fuss cheap Vietnamese staples like bánh mì sandwiches or lemongrass beef on vermicelli.

Price: 5$ for subs, under 8$ for vermicelli bowls.

New Pho Bo Go La

Whether it be 4pm or 4am, the only obstacle to satisfying a craving for pho is deciding between the never-ending options of restaurants with startlingly similar names. This one serves our favourite bowl, with a fragrant broth and all of the fixins. We’d also recommend their BBQ Pork Rice Wraps ($5.50).

Price: $8.50 for a “small” bowl; $5.50 for BBQ pork rice wraps (2)

La Bottega

This quaint Italian grocer has been selling great-value panini at the back of their shop to for years. Quality bread, cold cuts, cheese and toppings (e.g. spicy eggplant) make for generous, custom made, meat-filled, hunger-satisfying sandwiches.

Price: 6$/sandwich

Di Rienzo

14 with the spicy eggplant, one of my favourite lunches in #Ottawa #dirienzo

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This family-run grocer in Little Italy is known for their cheap custom made sandwiches, and tasty, no-fuss pasta (served to-go in styrofoam containers). A special trip on weekends is worth it for Italian pastries (“leave the gun, take the cannoli”), imported from Montreal.

Price: under 6$ for sandwiches and pasta; 2$+ for pastries

Pataterie Hulloise

While it’s hard to find poutine that beats one you’d find in a small Quebec town that has an unrecognizable name, La Pataterie Hulloise knows all of the secrets to a good poutine: fresh fries with multiple layers of tasty gravy and audibly squeaky cheese curds.

Price: $5.45 for a medium classic poutine

Bread and Sons

This cozy bakery serves our favourite pizza by the slice (also available at the Bank Street location of Herb & Spice). Their thin crust slices with creative toppings like ricotta, kale or squash make for a satisfying quick lunch. They also happen to serve one of the tastiest cookies in the city – it’s warm, chewy, and chocolaty with candied orange and likely also contain some of what dreams are made of.

Price: under 5$ for a pizza slice; about $2.50 for their Perfect Cookie

So Good

The best #tofu in #Ottawa #sogood

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King of pan-asian cuisine, made to satisfy the Canadian palate, So Good offer up tasty treats like salt and pepper tofu (bet you can’t eat just one). It’s…so good?

Price: Fried tofu with pepper-salt: $10.95

Alirang

One of our all time favourite spots in Ottawa for delicious Korean food. Our mouths water at the thought of bibimbap, gamjatang, and their bulgogi or spicy pork.
Price: 8 – 20$

Other favourites: Kothu Rotti, YKO, El Camino and Datsun windows, Corazon de Maiz, La Cabana, Meatpress, Sansotei.

*Prices are approximate and may change with time

Best Of

Top 10 Patios in Ottawa

The “best” patio in Ottawa can be difficult to define. Is it a place with incredible food? A great beer selection? Smaller crowds? A nice view? We considered all of the above when formulating this list (which is in no particular order) and tried to include options in a range of neighbourhoods. Above all else, each of the following 10 patios has a vibe that we’d enjoy on a sunny day, in and around the Nation’s capital. They’ll also have good beer.

Sir John A
Best for: A pint of domestic or foreign beer.
While there are a selection of patios on Elgin Street, we enjoy Sir John A for its fantastic beer list, street level people watching and reasonable turnover, meaning there’s usually not a huge wait to be seated.
Copper Spirits and Sights
Best for: A bird’s eye view of the city, with cocktails.
Copper Spirits and Sights is the rooftop patio of the Andaz Ottawa Byward Market. Without question, it’s one of the best views in the city. Though the food menu is limited to snacks, the cocktail list and atmosphere are well worth the elevator ride.
Mill Street Brew Pub
Best for: A view of water.
While there are a few Mill Street locations, none can rival the view from the patio in Lebreton Flats, a converted mill originally built in the 1800s overlooking the Ottawa River.
Mill-Street-Brew-Pub
Quinn’s Ale House
Best for: A pint of Ashton beer and pub grub.
An Old Ottawa South institution, Quinn’s has a great range of draft options from Ashton Brewing Company and reliably tasty pub staples.
Bistro L’autre Oeil
Best for: An extensive beer list and quaint surroundings.
With one of the most impressive beer lists in the Ottawa region, L’Autre Oeil is worth the drive (or bike ride) over to Aylmer. Plenty of room and only a short distance away from the Aylmer waterfront, a great place to catch a sunset.
Metropolitain Brasserie
Best for: People watching and classy snacks (mussels, oysters).
The French Brasserie’s patio is tucked beside parliament and is frequented by government types. After-work patio snacks on special during their famed “Hill Hour” (4-7 pm on Mon-Fri) include oysters and steamed mussels.
The Lieutenant’s Pump
Best for: A pint of domestic or foreign beer.
Partially subterranean and always buzzing, the patio of the Lieutenant’s Pump is a staple on Elgin Street. Enjoyable if you can get a seat.
Soif
Best for: One of the best wine lists in town.
Soif, located in Gatineau, pairs small plates with some fantastic wines. All the more enjoyed under the sun.
Pub Italia
Best for: A literal bible of beer.
While known for its kitschy interior decor, Pub Italia’s patio is also a great place to enjoy a selection from their extensive beer list.
Chelsea Pub
Best for: Poutine, beer and charm.
The beautiful surroundings of Chelsea and a range of unique beers, Chelsea Pub is one of our favourite Ottawa getaways.

Honorable mentions:
Les Vilains Garcons, Social, Irene’s, Brother’s Beer Bistro, Les Brasseurs du Temps, Lowertown Brewery, Union Local 613, Fairouz.

Best Of

Top 10 Favourite Places in Ottawa in 2016

Ottawa’s ever-evolving culinary scene brought us a lot of highlights in 2016. Listed below are our most memorable experiences, from trendy eatery to ice cream shop and everything in between. We’re looking forward to what 2017 has in store, Ottawa’s dining scene keeps growing and we’ll be here to share our favourites.

Fairouz

Fairouz brought Middle Eastern food with upscale flair to Ottawa and their array of healthy options, including muhammara dip, falafel and halloumi, kept us coming back. We’d recommend it for adventurous groups that are open to sharing.

La Cabaña

We discovered homey El Salvadorean pupuseria La Cabana by chance and we’ve since become big fans of these fried tortillas stuffed with fillings like cheese, pork and the mysterious edible flower ‘laroco’. Topped with tomato sauce and fermented cabbage “curtido”, it’s one of our favourite lunches.

North & Navy

Prettiest pasta in recent memory. @northandnavy’s #rhubarb and spring garlic #corzetti

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A sleek setting to enjoy North Italian cuisine in Centretown, North & Navy was one of our favourites for group dinners or date night. What more do you need than some fresh pasta and a negroni?

Supply & Demand

Speaking of fresh pasta, Supply & Demand always delivers. Their well curated menu is one of Ottawa’s best. They also occasionally offer pasta making classes that are an excellent way to spend an evening.

Meatpress

#Meatpress is one of our favourites for a reason, this #porchetta is 👌

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A go-to for lunch. Meatpress somehow always manages to surprise with flavourful, upscale ingredients stuck between two pieces of bread.

Union 613

Though the year brought a lot of trendy new places, we always end up back at Union 613 for cocktails and atmosphere. Their speakeasy is our favourite place in town.

Sansotei Ramen

It’s cold out there ❄! Nothing like a bowl of #ramen (with black garlic oil) on a frigid day from @sansoteiramen.

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Authentic Japanese tonkotsu finally arrives in Ottawa. The occasional lines at Sansotei Ramen are worth it for rich, flavourful broth and the best noodles in the city. Top it with some garlic oil for an extra treat.

Edgar

Edgar – at the top of our #brunch list for a reason. Toujours un vrai délice. 😋merci @marysolfoucault

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Our favourite place for brunch before the year started and it still is as the year ends.

Moo Shu Ice Cream & Kitchen

Though a lot of ice cream/gelato shops opened in Ottawa this year, Moo Shu was miles ahead with innovative flavours that changed our perception of what ice cream can be.

Mariposa Farms

Literal farm to table, our drive out to Mariposa Farms led to a magical Sunday lunch, feasting on incredible duck confit after seeing exactly where it came from.

Best Of

Top 10 Ottawa Area Date Night Ideas

So you’ve finished your favourite Netflix series and you’re in the mood for an adventure that doesn’t consist of a VIP cinema seat at your local Cineplex (and you’re not yet ready to re-marathon all of Stranger Things). Bytown Bites has you covered with our top 10 Ottawa Area date night ideas.

Aylmer

Explore the main strip of Aylmer, accessible via a short drive or a longer bike ride from Ottawa. Bistro L’Autre Oeil is one of our favourite patios (if weather permits) with an extensive craft beer list. Antonyme has tasting menu options that defy their pricepoint and a walk on the marina before sunset is sublime.

Quand t’es en #Outaouais, mais t’as l’impression d’être dans les maritimes. #sunset

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Byward Market
Explore one of the best art collections in the country at the National Gallery before grabbing some gelato at Mantovani 1946. Take your gelato to go and have a seat at Nepean Point to to watch the sunset, catch some fall colours and largely avoid the Byward Market chaos that is close by.

Centretown
There are a lot of options in a neighbourhood that keeps reinventing itself. The Museum of Nature is free to explore on Thursday evenings and is a nice way to precede or follow dinner at Whalesbone or Fauna and some of the unreal ice cream at Moo Shu‘s. Alternatively, dine in the intimate atmosphere at Fairouz or Town before catching a performance at the National Arts Centre.

Chelsea
Get to Nordik Spa early and enjoy North America’s largest outdoor spa before finishing the evening at Chelsea Pub, for a beer and a poutine to undo all the health that preceded it. Stop by Boucanerie Chelsea Smokehouse and pick up some of the best smoked salmon we’ve ever tasted before you drive back home.

perks of the job. #aufguss overdose.

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Gatineau

Start a weekend at Edgar for our favourite brunch in the Ottawa area before diving into all there is to discover in Gatineau Park. Personal favourites include the Carbide Willson Ruins and Pink Lake.

The spoils of living in Ottawa #nofilter

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Hintonburg
Start with some coffee from the Ministry of Coffee and Social Affairs and grab a donut from nearby SuzyQ to have one of the best morning combos that we can think of. Spend the rest of the day window shopping and exploring various shops around the area including Danish Modern and the always surprising St. Vincent De Paul‘s thrift store. Stop in for lunch/brunch at Meatpress or have a pint at Tooth and Nail/take some growler’s to go from Beyond the Pale.

The perfection of @theministryofcoffee #coldbrew.

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Little Italy
Grab one of Dirienzo‘s famous sandwiches (our favourite is a #14 with the eggplant), pasta and/or a cannoli and have a picnic in the Dominion Arboretum before having a relaxing stroll around Dow’s Lake. Finish the night with cocktails at The Moonroom.

14 with the spicy eggplant, one of my favourite lunches in #Ottawa #dirienzo

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Lowertown
Enjoy Alirang‘s famous Gamjatang stew (or if it’s out, you can’t go wrong with bibimbap) before catching an arthouse film at the Bytowne Theatre.

Old Ottawa South
Check out the hip Belmont Snackbar for a meal or a drink, visit Stella Luna for some of Ottawa’s finest gelato. Follow that with a film at the Mayfair or spend your evening playing arcade games at the House of Targ, which has some amazing perogies if you’re in the mood for more food.

There are some delicious #brunch options at @belmontottawa #oldottawasouth

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Wakefield
Wakefield is a gem that is within driving distance. Walk along the water and have a fantastic meal at Village House. Finish the evening with a show at local institution, the Blacksheep Inn, and try not to start looking up real estate prices in the area.

Can’t get enough of these #autumn walks.

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Best Of

Top 10 Brunches in Ottawa

So it’s Sunday morning and you’re in the mood for some variety. Your stomach may be grumbling for a variety of reasons but let the anxiety of indecision not be one of them by simply choosing from one of our favourites.

Bytown Bites Top 10 Brunches in Ottawa.

  1. Edgar
    A cozy brunch haven in Gatineau. Folks flock here for indulgences like their famous “dutch baby” with maple syrup, sharp cheddar and pork belly ($14).
  2. Benny’s Bistro
    Tucked in the back of the French Baker, Benny’s Bistro is consistent and full of brunch surprises like their confit albacore tuna loin ($19). Breakfast (with a smaller menu) available on weekdays.
  3. The Manx
    Affordable and delicious, The Manx offers up a variety of brunch, bruncher and bruncherer options. Our favourite is “The Soho” which consists of two eggs, cowboy beans, braised mushrooms and hashbrowns ($10.50)
  4. Fraser Cafe
    Upscale surroundings and brunch options that will take your around the world including the Huevos Rancheros ($13.50) and Okonomiyaki ($14.50).
  5. Union 613
    Soul food brunch, their fried chicken and waffle sandwich (with poached eggs, pickled green tomatoes and spicy maple syrup) is a sight to behold ($15)
  6. Les Vilains Garcons
    An adventurous menu that always changes, with options typically around $15. A great change of pace for brunch.
  7. Art-Is-In Bakery
    Despite its large warehouse setting, the lines for brunch never seem to dissipate. And for good reason. Their famous fried pickle melt ($8.95) is a must.
  8. Wilf & Ada’s
    A scratch diner that does the basics and more. “Eggs in Purgatory” ($13.50) features eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce that will set your brunch on fire (in a good way). Full menu available on weekdays.
  9. Brother’s Beer Bistro
    More than just beer, their brunch features many items made in-house, including a 36-hour sous vide porchetta served with eggs ($15)
  10. Mariposa Farms
    Literal farm to table. If you are looking for an adventure, drive out to Mariposa Farms and try their $45 3-course “Sunday Lunch”. Ingredients like duck confit and foie gras can’t get any fresher.