Where to eat in Ottawa?
We will be attending a meeting for 5 days. I am the plus one. My birthday is included in the dates of the meeting. Are there some special restaurants to try? We will eat most anything, but when travelling like to eat what the locals eat. Suggestions?
Ahora is a great little Mexican joint for lunch, not at all fancy - yhou order at a counter and they bring it to your table, but cozy and good food.
Chez Lucien has great gourmet burgers (even a brie & poached pear-topped burger, ack!) but can be really busy.
For upscale lunch, Restaurant Eighteen is super-trendy, expensive and really good, but I tend to go more low-brow when I'm in town. :-)
My cheapie low-brow picks: Elgin St. Diner for Poutine or all-day breakfast, La Bottega for amazing italian sandwiches, and the BEST Ottawa-style pizza (big cheesy old-school) at The Colonnade. Many rave about Ottawa-style meaty-greasy Egg-Rolls from Golden-Palace (but not the rest of their food) and The Scone-Witch keeps being raved-about by my foodie pals.
And No trip to Ottawa for me is complete without a stop at The Highlander in ByWard for genuine, cheap, pub fare, their great apple-cranberry dessert pastry and one of their over 100 examples of rare single-malt scotch. Slainte! :-)
Tacos at Sidedoor during happy hour. The chef is on this season's top chef canda. Its 9$ during reg hours, 6$ during hh. I dont think they're worth 9$. Think gourmet tacos like what you see on Eat St.
Smoqueshack in the market for southern bbq. Better than fatboys which also just opened in the mkt.
Whalesbone for oysters on bank.
But if you got wheels, id go to the quebec side. I really like the resto at the wakefield inn and the lac leamy hilton, or fougere but not cheap.
I also like the burgers at chez lucien in the mkt. 10$ for a burger and side.
Second Shawarma Palace.
Also recommend Domus.
I like Middle East Bakery, too. No place to sit, but a great place to pick up some take-home dips and pitas.
85 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N5M5, CA
21 George St, Ottawa, ON K1N, CA
1325 Wellington St W, Ottawa, ON K1Y3B6, CA
143 Putman Ave, Ottawa, ON K1M, CA
110 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N5M6, CA
Play Food and Wine
Ottawa, Ottawa, ON , CA
464 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON K1N5Z4, CA
Seconding DiRienzo's. Make sure you go to the real deal at 111 Beech St. That location is the original. The others aren't related. They serve probably the best deli sandwich in town. They have a large variety of Italian meats that they would slice when you order the sandwich... which pretty much guarantees freshness. A warning: There is usually a giant lineup during the lunch hours (11AM~1:30AM or so), so expect to wait 10-15 minutes to get to the front of the line. Get yourself a sandwich (my favourite is the Paradise de Paolo), a cannoli, and head to the park across the street and enjoy an outdoor picnic.
I'd also recommend a place called Les Grillades on Wellington West (85 Holland Avenue). Lebanese food cooked over real charcoal. They also serve the traditional raw meat kebbe if you call at least one day ahead. If you're going on a Friday, call ahead since there is usually a line of cars with diplomatic plates enjoying a post service meal.
While Wellington Gastropub is a great restaurant for a fancy meal, getting a last minute reservation may be difficult. I think The Courtyard is a decent alternative. It's located in the middle of Byward Market (21 George Street). They have a nice tasting menu, and its sous chef is currently on Top Chef Canada...
One particular stop I would not miss is The Works. It's an Ottawa burger institution. One look at the menu and you'll be hooked.