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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


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 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.


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.

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.

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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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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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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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 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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