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Heading to Ottawa

Next weekend my family and I are heading to Ottawa to pick up some beer, and watch my daughter in a synchro competition. We will be there from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon.

Where should we eat dinner, must be kid appropriate please. My children are amazing and act like adults, but it's not fair to bring them to an adult restaurant. So ideas, kid friendly, should be from scratch food as much as possible, not screaming loud, not BBQ (for the love of god, please no BBQ)..

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  1. Some pretty decent restaurants there, but for a family I'd go with the Vittoria Trattoria at the Byward Market location. Excellent Italian dishes and pasta/pizza for the kids. Big bonus is you can stroll a very good market prior to noshing. And no, pulled-pork rizzoto is not on their menu.

    1. For a really cool breakfast try Art Is In Bakery ( 250 City Centre Ave #112, Ottawa). Really great place with awesome food and definitely kid friendly.

      Murray Street is a great restaurant but I cannot comment on the kid-friendly part - perhaps if you eat early it might be okay.


      1. With kids... Zac's diner in the byward market if it's still around.

        1. Zak's Diner is still around and definitely kid appropriate. Across the street is Tuckers Marketplace with an all you can eat brunch buffet including ice cream bar which is a real hit with the kids. Neither are from scratch but they might be good back up places if you can't find anywhere else to go.

          Also in the Byward Market area is Ahora (Mexican food) where everything is made from scratch and is fresh and delicious. If you like pizza I could recommend The Grand - they make thin crust pizzas and everything is made in house - dough, sauce, the works, and is super tasty.

          Going down Elgin I could recommend Pancho Villa, also Mexican, and very good. There is a new place across the street called El Camino which is probably my favourite place on Elgin but very loud. Just off Elgin on Somerset is East India Company. Their most popular attraction is the all you can eat buffet and their food is very good.

          If you don't mind heading over to Metcalfe Street (a block over from Elgin) I could recommend The Colonnade. It is also a pizza place which specializes in thick crust pizzas topped with lots of cheese. Not sure about the rest of the food but their pizzas are solid, it's quiet, and kid appropriate.

          Have a nice trip!

          1. Don't miss the Golden Palace, for a taste of the world's BEST eggroll




            1. I second the Colonnade.... there's also a Cora's in the Market that is great for kids, and adults at times, too (as long as you know what to expect of course!)

              1. I second Art Is IN bakery, seriously amazing! IMO we don't have any bakeries as good in Toronto. We have a 3 year old and go there for brunch whenever we are in town.
                Oh Golden Palace, ate one too many egg rolls there one year...... it is awesome and such a throwback!

                1. So we went to Ottawa, picked up 7 kegs of beer and had a great time.

                  We ate at Big Rib on Friday night. The food was good, I would eat there again, staff was incredible.

                  I won't tell you about the crappy food we ate, we did have Suzy Q doughnuts, thank freaking god we don't have those in Oshawa. I would die of a heart attack. Damn fine doughnuts. Go there if you are in Ottawa.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: BusterRhino

                    "We ate at Big Rib on Friday night."
                    I thought you didn't want any BBQ!
                    You obviously meant Big Rig right?

                      1. re: BusterRhino

                        Funny I've been to Big Rig twice (more out of location and convenience) and have had the worst experiences. Ambiance is good, especially to watch a game.
                        Food was terrible both times. Ordered my daughter mac and cheese and no joke, it was KD (and $7).
                        I asked the waitress if it was in face KD and she just smiled and said "ya!"
                        Our food was no better, dry flavourless burger.....
                        Glad your experience was better, the place seems to be doing well. Their beer is good on a plus note.

                        1. re: Baelsette

                          Baelsette your obervations about Big Rig food is fairly consistent with what others have told me. Beer selection is decent but food not so much. I certainly wouldn't recommend it to out-of-towners based on what I've heard about the place. At least BusterRhino enjoyed his meal and I guess that's the important thing.

                          1. re: ottawaoperadiva

                            I, in fact, had a good meal. The food was good, not amazing, definitely edible. The service was above and beyond though. Excellent, excellent service and that alone would get me to go back (we also have their beer on tap right now, which means I will go back).

                            Overall the waitress's in the places we visited were top notch (except breakfast).

                      2. Any other recent recommendations? I would be open to trying BBQ as well if is at least better than the Toronto area options. Heading up this weekend for their version of Nuit Blanche. Not planning to do any fancy meals but looking for more fast casual or not too fancy. I will definitely be checking out SUzie Qs

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ylsf

                          ylsf: I don't know how I missed this post but I can make a couple of suggestions if I'm not too late?...

                          If you like bbq I could recommend The Smoque Shaque in the Byward Market. (There is also Fatboy's in the Byward Market but hadn't been getting very good reviews when it opened. If anyone has recent experience there feel free to jump in...) If you drive D&S Bbq in Carlsbad Springs is apparently very good. It's about a half hour to 45 minute drive southeast of Ottawa.

                          If you are looking for something fast casual The Grande in the Byward Market makes awesome thin crust pizza. El Camino on Elgin Street makes really good tacos and if you go make sure you sit at the bar near "the taco machine" (my expression...). It looks a little like a pasta maker but the rollers are round and it is hand cranked. The kitchen staff can crank them out at amazing speed and it's always fun to watch... Union Local 613 on Somerset makes good soul food (their grits are excellent), and Whalesbone on Bank Street makes delicious fish dishes (I believe they only use sustainable seafood and fish).

                          That's all that comes to the top of my head. FWIW I usually frequent these places at dinner but they are open at lunchtime too. I could also recommend some lunch spots too if you'd like...