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Mar 30, 2009 01:48 PM

Best Restaurants in Ottawa ?

I'm in town and Zagats does not have any ratings here. Any suggestions? Diner time is very soon.

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  1. check out this thread:

    Domus is my favourite restaurant in Ottawa.

    85 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N5M5, CA

    1. Price range? Location?

      My fav is Wellington Gastropub.

      Beckta for really high end fine dining, then there's their new sister resto (small plates) called "Play" which I haven't tried yet.

      Domus gets a lot of love in Ottawa too. And there's Black Cat.

      Here's some links:


      11 Replies
      1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

        I've heard some good stuff about Play from my friends in Ottawa. Good food, good value, etc.

        1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

          I'll second Wellington Gastropub. A fantastic addition to the Ottawa restaurant scene.
          La Roma has been a family favourite for years. Amazing food, amazing service, and comparatively amazing prices.

          Some of my other faves are Mandarin Court for Szechuan (on Baseline), Golden Palace for Cantonese-style Chinese (on Carling), and Royal Thai in the market.

          I grew up in Ottawa, and those are the places I always try to hit at least every couple years between my trips back.

          Cactus Grill always satisfies too, for a fun place in the Market with really good Mexi/burgers/ribs grub.

          1. re: Shattered

            Be warned: Royal Thai has gone, according to many people I've spoken to and my own personal experiences, way downhill in the last few months. It's a shame, really, because it used to be decent.

            I also don't mean to slam your opinion, but are you referring perchance to the Blue Cactus Bar and Grill? Perhaps it used to be good, but according to the ratings over at, it's the lowest rated restaurant in the Ottawa region, so I don't think it can (at least now) be recommended.

            I definitely would recommend Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro. Amazing, amazing food.

            1. re: vorpal

              What do you like the most at Sweetgrass, vorpal?

              1. re: phoenikia

                The wild boar belly was absolutely divine, although the portion was small. I also adored the rabbit dumplings and the Navajo Frybread.

                As for mains, I ordered the grilled buffalo and my dinner companion the duck leg. While we both found our entrees to be beautifully prepared, we ended up trading. I'm eager to return soon to try other things on the menu.

                1. re: vorpal

                  Thanks for your quick response, vorpal. Sounds great.

          2. re: Splendid Wine Snob

            What are your favourite dishes at Wellington Gastropub, SWS & Shattered?

            1. re: phoenikia

              The menu changes daily at the Welly so I can't say I ever had anything twice there. Some of the best dishes I had included scallops, and a beautifully grilled fresh trout.
              The service is really really lovely, honest and real.

              1. re: phoenikia

                Almost forgot: Be SURE to try the homemade ice cream at the Wellington. Holy cow its GOOD (and I'm an ice cream snob too!) :)

                1. re: Splendid Wine Snob


                  Had a quick visit to Ottawa earlier in the week and popped into the Wellington Gastro-Pub for dinner Wednesday night. Another excellent meal, marinated albacore tuna to start and the main course of grilled pickerel. Both were excellent.

                  As you said, SWS, excellent/honest service this time from Nathan and Adam as I as is usually the case when I am dining solo, I sat up at their bar. The head waiter I remember from Beckta was eating there as well.

                  As is usually the case I enjoyed their interesting wine selections and speaking with Shane. Did not get a chance to speak with Chris as they were quite busy.

                  If you get a chance and they have tartare on the menu, treat yourself as the kitchen does it very well.

                  Also enjoy Beckta, Benitz Bistro, Whale Bones, Navarra, Murray Street, Domus and Stella but this was an "in one night, and back out the next trip" so did not have the time to check any other trip.

                  Would like to try Atelier and Beckta's new place.

                  1. re: Bob Mac

                    Thanks for your comments, Bob Mac. Much appreciated.

            2. I recently ate at Fraser's cafe, Bekta, and Atelier. Fraser's was by far the best and the most reasonable. Bekta put in a lot of effort, but didn't deliver on the food. They do have a great cheese sommelier (or maitre fromager, if you prefer). Bekta is known for their sommelier/owner who made a name for himself in NYC. I didn't find the pairings, with our tasting menu, to be exceptional. That said Fraser's has a very limited wine list.

              1 Reply
              1. re: dubchild

                Signature Restaurant at Le Cordon Bleu for fine dining. It is one of the few 5-diamond restaurant rated by CAA. I've been there several time for their tasting menu and was always pleasantly surprise. Price is ~$150 / person with wine paring.

              2. Have heard wonderful things about the Fraser Cafe on Beechwood and about Navarra on Murray St. in the Byward Market, but haven't been to either in person as they opened just after I moved to Toronto. Our favourite was always the Black Cat Cafe which has recently relocated to Preston Street..

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