I'll have 2 days and would love to know what I must try--I'm open to anything but I'm mostly interested in local specialities... however common or unusual.
Unique to Ottawa would be Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro in the Market area. Local cheeses can also be found in the Market area at La Bottega, the Cheese Shop. If you wander over to Wellington St. in the Westboro area (Wellington St. between Island Park Dr. and Parkdale Ave), there are lots of small but fabulous food shops that carry lots of interesting food items: The Bagel Shop (not just bagels), the Herb and Spice, Nectar Fine Teas, Thyme and Again, Parma Ravioli has a sit in lunch counter, for a great dinner go to The Wellington Gastropub. These are just some of the shops here. Other restos that are wonderful: Play Food and Wine (Market area) , Beckta (downtown) and specializing in local ingredients specifically are Domus and Murray St. Bistro (both Market area).
Enjoy your 2 days.
Search the board for other suggestions.
108 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N5M6, CA
85 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N5M5, CA
226 Nepean St, Ottawa, ON K2P0B8, CA
Play Food and Wine
Ottawa, Ottawa, ON , CA
If you're looking for unique Ottawa specialties, the only one I've heard of it fried pickles, which apparently are plentiful here in bars (haven't tried one myself). I think my favourite purely local treat is Pascal's ice cream,which is sold all year through The Piggy Market, in Westboro, with everything from sugar pie, chocolate chili, bacon, and plum icecreams, depending on the week. Some of the best ice cream I've ever had. The Sconewitch's mini and multiflavoured scones might also be considered unique
The only other suggestion would be that Ottawa's large Lebanese community boasts that we have the best shwarma in Ontario - as some Toronto chowhounds attest. There are numerous shwarma shops, but supposedly Shwarma Palace, 464 Rideau Street is the ultimate.
Have fun exploring !