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Feb 17, 2009 06:41 AM

OTTAWA ~ Byward Market questions?

Thanks for looking. We are going to Ottawa for Winterlude this weekend (staying at Residence Inn). We'll have our three young children in tow. We appreciate fine food but understand that is difficult to come by with accompanying children.

1) Are there any kid-friendly restaurants in the Market that have GREAT food? We are not looking for "cuisine" ~ just hoping for great food in an unpretentious atmosphere. We love ANY type of food ~ French, Thai, Greek, Indian, German. We'd love to find a great unpretentious French restaurant, if that is even possible. :)

2) Any good patisseries or bread shoppes in the Market or near our hotel?

We would love other reccs that are outside the Market and might require a drive. The Market is just the easiest. :)


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  1. Benny's Bistro is amazing for brunch. There is a lovely bakery at the front of the building and the restaurant in the back.

    have fun!

    3 Replies
    1. re: sydandsys

      THANK YOU SO MUCH for the suggestion! I am DEFINITELY going to check that out right now.

      Any other suggestions out there?

      1. re: SYR2IAD

        I wholeheartedly second Benny's Bistro! I was there last month with my mother for the first time and we LOVED LOVED LOVED it. And, don't forget to go to their bakery first thing in morning at 7 to pick up some of their daily fresh breads and croissants... one of the epitomes of perfect breakfast in O.DOT, hands down. Ppl. behind the counter at the bakery can get a little cliquey and aloof around newbies, especially non-French speaking ones. But, don't let that deter you from going there! For lunch, head down to La Bottega Nicastro's for a sandwich (you get to choose from a variety of meat cuts and breads but do try their foccacia though!) or some kicass old-school style pizza... you see families with kids coming in and outta there all the time, so you should have no problem on that part there. Aaand, eyecandies and all the other goodies add even more fun to the experience! If you're a fan of cheese or lebanese cuisine, try the International Cheese & Deli Shop as well, which is also located in the market! Gotta admit folks there a lot nicer than the ones at La BN's! For dinner, try Ahora Mexican or Shawarma Palace on Rideau St or even Colonnade Pizza (Mama's Pizza over here can't even be compared! Only order their pizza though, the rest of their stuff are forgettable mess at best)... trust me, they're all worth every cent of your money!

      2. re: sydandsys

        Seconded. Never had their brunch, but they have some of the best bread and hands down THE best butter croissants in town.

      3. Not very close to your hotel but down Elgin Street you will find Johnny Farina (italian) and should be family friend. Also in that area is Dunn's deli (can't reccomend as I have never been).

        A little further down is the Brown Loaf Bakery (at Somerset).

        I realize this might be quite a walk but I love the spinach buns there.

        Benny's would be your best bet.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ceebee1

          Oh how I miss Ottawa! Enjoy the festivities at winterlude and be sure to grab a beavertail or two. Anyways time to pick my brain....

          I recommend Benny's again for the french food and along with that the french baker for some outstanding croissants and baked goods. Mamma Grazzi's might also be an option for casual italian dining-food is similar to Grazie's in Toronto. Chez Lucien I'm not sure if you could take kids here but they do have very good pub fare in a casual surrounding. Planet Coffee would be a nice place to take a breather if you are in the market looking around they have some nice cookies/squares in a cozy cafe. Maybe Khao Thai or Royal Thai for thai food although the latter has been getting some off reviews lately. If you are willing to drive all the way out to chelsea for some great french/quebecois food Les Fougeres would be a nice choice as well.

          This site might be of some use as well:

          1. re: ceebee1

            THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Looking into them right now!

          2. Not going to lie, I had probably one of the best meals of the year at Domus Cafe. Fresh, local, seasonal Canadian cuisine that was quite moderately priced. All of their dishes worked perfectly on the plate and their flavors packed a lot of punch. They do tasty food well. Something salty, with something sweet, with something earthy, with something rich, all balanced out with something acidic and perfectly complimenting one another.

            While I was there they seemed to be quite accommodating to young children and the service was excellent as well. Very friendly, good humored, and unpretentious.

            By far the best meal I had in Ottawa, (didn't get to try Beckta but I hear good things) I would go back there in a heartbeat. I kind of wish I could find a mid-range restaurant here in Toronto that could give me the same experience that Domus did. So far, the Harbord Room, Tati, Grace, Rosedale Diner, Foxley, etc haven't been able to touch Domus in my opinion.


            2 Replies
            1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

              Try the Wellington Gastropub next time you are in Ottawa for an unpretentious mid-range and very tasty meal. Haven't tried Domus yet-its on my list...


            2. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! All of the reccs sound wonderful! Hopefully we'll be able to get into at least a couple of these places. :) Definitely have to grab some French Baker croissants & goodies. THANK YOU!!

              1 Reply
              1. re: SYR2IAD

                Can't believe I forgot about DOMUS. Used to go there and the Ritz restaurant in the market all the time.