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Mother-daughter Ottawa trip

I am travelling with my 9-year-old daughter to Ottawa on the May 31-June 3 weekend. We love good (but not expensive) food. We are both major foodies; we love escargot, poutine, and farmer's markets and everything in between. We also love the food network and visiting food network restaurants?

Thoughts? Especially things we can't get in T.dot, like food trucks (damn bylaws) and street food other than hot dogs.

I need three dinners, two lunches, and two breakfasts.

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  1. I'm afraid food trucks in Ottawa are pretty slim pickings. The city has grandfathered their licences so whoever has a food truck now is okay but as their licences expire the city is not issuing new ones. Food trucks can now only be set up on private property. As it stands our food trucks sell mostly sausages. Having said that we have three food trucks I can recommend: Stone Soup Foodworks which is located on the University of Ottawa campus most of the time but they travel around to various festivals in Ottawa over the summer months. For locations please check their website: http://www.stonesoupfoodworks.ca/. The other place is called Bite This on Scott Street in the west end neighbourhood of Westboro. It's actually a nice neighbourhood a short bus ride/drive from downtown - lots of nice shops and restos to visit especially if you and your daughter are foodies. There is a new food truck on Bank Street called Wanna Wafel and they specialize in waffles. They are located on Bank at Fifth in the Glebe which is located just south of the downtown core.

    If you like poutine I could recommend Smokes Poutinerie although I believe there are a few locations in Toronto already so it might not be new to you. They are located on Dalhousie just south of the Byward Market. Right next door is Island Flava which specializes in Carribbean cuisine and apparently their jerk poutine is quite good.

    You mentioned the Food Network - if you have been watching Top Chef Canada you could go to Sidedoor in the Byward Market (where Jonathan Korecki works) or the Courtyard Restaurant (where Curtis Luk used to work) both places are very good. And you can check out Stoneface Dolly's especially for their brunches - they were featured on Eat St. awhile ago.

    If you like farmers markets I could recommend the Ottawa Farmers Market located on Sunnyside at Bronson. You would have to drive or take the bus there though. They have a "food court" area set up so you can get breakfast type dishes (eggs, bacon, etc.) and other dishes featuring local ingredients. And it would be a fun outing to wander around the market and visit the stalls after.

    If you are looking for lunch places I could recommend La Bottega, Planet Coffee, The Sausage Kitchen, and any of the restos in the Byward Market Square - all in the Byward Market of course. I could also recommend the German Town Deli for their incredible home made soups and nice selection of sandwiches on Slater just off Bank. They are only open from Monday to Friday though. I could also recommend afternoon tea at Zoe's in the Chateau Laurier - it might be a nice mother daughter thing to do-;


    You mentioned breakfast - do you and your daughter like dim sum? If so I could recommend either the Yangtze or Chu Shing for dim sum. They are located on Somerset Street near Bronson - right where Chinatown begins. They are right across the street from each other and both are popular dim sum spots.

    As for dinner I can recommend Ahora (Mexican food) and Café Shafali (Indian food) both in the Byward Market. I could also recommend the East India Company for their all-you-can-eat Indian buffet and they are located on Somerset Street downtown. And lastly I could recommend Edoko Japanese Steak House on Queen Street just of Elgin. They have teriyaki on the menu and can make it at your table.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ottawaoperadiva

      I remember the creator of WannaWafel on Dragons Den circa 2010?

    2. Same bylaws in Ottawa so the food truck scene is pretty poor here.

      Byward farmers market downtown or the Ottawa farmers market on Bronson

      Benny's Bistro - only open for breakfast and lunch behind the french bakery storefront on Murray

      Murray Street Kitchen has lunch for 12-15$ on Murray

      Chez Lucien on Murray - casual place and good for an early dinner before it gets busy - nice burgers and some other good specials

      222 Lyon on Lyon - Spanish tapas place -$9-14 each (2 is usually good for an adult) and also open for weekday lunch with a slightly lower price for lunch

      Dunn's have montreal style smoked meat sandwiches

      1. Thanks for all these great suggestions. We are staying at the Arc hotel and are getting in around 8-9pm. Any suggestions for a quick late bite within walking distance of the hotel (5 min or so).

        3 Replies
          1. re: ottawaoperadiva

            A few places open late on Elgin and 222 Lyon is open till 10pm (closed Sunday) but I would probably head to byward market since lots open there..

          2. re: Toronto Fastfoodie

            We did an Izakaya dinner Tuesday night at the C'est Japon à Suisha, a Traditional Japanese Restaurant about 1-2 blocks from Arc Hotel on Slater.


            another lunch spot near you is Sconewich on Albert and Lyon.

            Also Le Cordon Bleu school's Signature restaurant has a nice 3 course menu at lunch Wed-Fri for $26 but not as thrilled with this weeks options:

          3. Shawarma Palace! Hubby and I make a point to eat there when we are visiting Ottawa and the place is always packed :)

            1. forgot to mention Petit Bill's Bistro on Wellington have lobster Poutine

              1. Just got back from the big trip. Thanks for all your suggestions…they were a great starting point for us. Here's the highlights of where we ended up:
                1. La Bottega in Byward Market. My daughter declared it the best lunch of her life.
                2. Beavertails…because we had to. And they really lived up to their hype. Maple butter is to die for!
                3. Tea at Zoes at the Chateau Laurier. I had the centennial menu on exactly the 100th anniversary (June 1) How cool is that? Such a special experience.
                4. Dinner at Fresco Bistro on Elgin St. I know…not the newest or hippest place, but it was really good food, comfortable and lively atmosphere, and within walking distance.

                Now the "meh" places:
                1. Got the chili from stone soup food truck. Got the "kid" size to share with my daughter for a little snack. Man, was it spicy! I like spice but for a kids festival menu item? My 9-year-old couldn't take more than two bites.
                2. Cora's breakfast. I know its a chain but had heard good things (?). Next time I'll stick to that other great Canadian chain--Tims.

                Love the city…can't wait to try some of the more "upscale" restaurants next time we're in town and my little princess is a little older.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie

                  Cora's sucks. Really, really sucks. And they gouge you on top of their suckiness. I think the original back in Montreal was probably good once upon a time, then they expanded. I'll take Tim's any day.

                  Sorry, I just had to respond, so hopefully no one else gets sucked into the Cora's vortex. :)

                  1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie

                    NIce TO Fastfoodie.

                    What did you have at Zoes? Heard about the centennial menu.

                    Had eaten at the original Cora in Montreal many times when I was living there about 10+ years ago. Ate once at the one on Merivale in Ottawa when it first opened and never again for the franchisees.

                  2. Do you travel with just your daughter often?
                    I have a 9 year old daughter and would love some mother daughter trip ideas which include great food