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Jul 14, 2014 05:50 AM

Best Casual Ottawa Eats?

So I recently posted re: other food-centric cities beyond Toronto that would also offer some fun activities for my tween... It looks like, at this point, that we will combine Ottawa with a couple days in Montreal. There seems to be a lot to do in Ottawa for my kid--so I am sucking it up... even though I am not really feeling their food scene...(My apologies if I am mistaken, but it *seems* like they may have a few gems here and there...but foodwise, it is a city that is very much a work-in-progress. At any rate, I was thinking we'd do most of our splurges re: food in Montreal (we have been there twice before) and seek out more casual spots in Ottawa.

I read thus far, that the city is renowned for its schawarma, Beaver Tail pastry and egg rolls? So I am open to recs for those and any other specialties / local cuisine. We're from Brooklyn and pretty much have it all any unusual / unique to Ottawa/Canada eats are really what I am looking for.... I was also reading about Susi Q. Donuts.. Are they worth trying? Are there any outdoor food markets worth visiting? Fun supermarkets (where we often pick up local treats on our trips)?

Thanks in Advance!

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  1. I went to Ottawa recently and had some great restaurant experience there. While good restaurants are far and few, there are some good gems.

    First, you have to checkout The Scone Witch (150 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1L4). They are very family friendly and the scones are all to-die-for. Go for their brunch and you won't regret it. It has a location downtown but it's a little hard to find. You just have to trust the sign on Elgin street and follow it to the actual cafe.

    There are two great taco restaurants. El Camino is very popular. It's a little less family friendly but they offer takeout. Corazon de Maiz is in the Byward Market. It's a great place to grad lunch while you are in the market. Speaking of the market, there are many little stores and restaurants you can check out while you are there. It's a little "touristy" but I really like it.

    Hope these tips help! Have fun in Ottawa!

    1. Two places to look into that may make you reconsider your casual only position on Ottawa, Beckta and Atelier.

      The Ottawa Egg Roll thing I'm not sure about, locals love them but I think it's mostly nostalgia working there. The local style is to make them very meaty, roll them open ended then deep fry them so the exposed meat on the end gets crispy, almost burnt. The canonical place that invented this style is Golden Palace but my spies report that Ruby Inn is better (at Walkley and Bank, not too far from the Science Museum)

      1. Thank you, Yq214 and bytepusher.... I am open to "fine dining" in Ottawa...but don't want to get burned in terms of paying big bucks only to be disappointed... My tween is a fairly adventurous eater and fine with dining somewhere more formal-ish...but if it makes more sense to stick with casual eats I am good with that (NYC has an amazing ethnic food scene and offers some great budget options that are often more satisfying than some of the higher-end we often eat that way...) At any rate, thanks for the recs and interesting explanation re: egg rolls!

        1. Will you be driving up the 416 from the 401? If you are then a stop in Kemptville to check out Grahames Bakery is worth while, they have been baking with a wood burning oven since 1885 at the bakery.