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Help me get Excited about Ottawa's Food Scene!

I posted a few weeks ago re: food recs for visiting Ottawa and thought I'd give it another shot. In the interim, I've had a chance to "research" possibilities for our upcoming 3 day visit and at least from the menus I have seen, it *seems* like Ottawa may be much like D.C. (Washington) in the sense that restaurants are very pricey, with food that may not always live up to expectations. I have tried to whittle down some options.

Here is my list so far: Sidedoor, Next, and/or Murray's for dinner: I would really love a more affordable (entrees in the teen range rather than 20's and 30's) option or 2, but cannot ocme up with any, so any recs would be so appreciated...or feedback about my 3 choices...

I would also like to hit Susi Q. Donuts, Scone Witch, Art Is In, BeaverTail, the Byward Market.... Someplace for Ottawa's famed eggrolls (recs?) and also, Schawarma (recs?) Butter Tart recs would also be very welcome...even on the way to Montreal... I was also reading about the Westport Bakery, which sounds amazing. Is that on our way to Montreal? or perhaps on the way to Ottawa, coming from NYC?

What I'd love most though are some affordable dinner options. We will be staying near Byward Market, but will have a car and we're willing to travel for good *affordable* eats. We will be hitting Montreal after Ottawa, and I don't want to blow our food budget right away.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. For the eggrolls Golden Palace is the place to go. http://goldenpalacerestaurant.ca/
    The Westport bakery is not likely on your way unless you are crossing the border in Buffalo? If you are then it is not too much of a detour if you leave the 401 at Kingston and take highway 10 to Westport. To get from Westport to Ottawa you will want to cut over to highway 15. If you decide to do this then you should also plan a stop at the Forfar Cheese Factory (just off highway 15) for fresh curds and some great aged cheddar. http://www.forfar.com/

    2 Replies
    1. re: cheesymama

      Forfar went out of business, I don't know why they still have a 5 year old web site online. They still have a store in the old dairy location in the town of Farfar and I gather they have some cheese made for them on contract but they haven't made their own cheese for several years.

      1. re: bytepusher

        Thanks for the update. My family used to have a cottage not far from Forfar, but it has been quite a few years since I have been by there.

    2. Definitely hit up Suzy Q Doughnuts. I love the plain sugar coated, but honestly they are all delicious. Art Is In has delicious sandwiches, but be prepared to wait. Line ups are long and the service isn't particularly efficient. They also tend to sell out of the chicken early (my favorite). You can get excellent croissants, almond croissants, pain au chocolat, and canelé at Macaron et Madelaines.

      1. You should take a look at https://ottawafoodies.com/ for ideas and don't miss http://www.artisinbakery.com/

        If you Google for restaurants on Bank Street there's quite a selection not that far from downtown.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mexivilla

          I did see the ottwafoodies site... thanks! i will check out bank street...

        2. get a shawarma and some poutine. if you want old school french and don't mind a bit of a drive check out "l'oree du bois" in chelsea. i thick about a 20-30 min drive? it's been a while. but it's good value and the food is good. i haven't been in a while, though.

          1. Westport is way out of the way for you, way out of the way for anyone unless they are headed from Toronto to Ottawa and wanting a detour through some scenic country and a couple of nice small towns. I highly recommend the drive from Kingston to Perth through Westport in leaf peeping season.

              1. Thanks everyone for your recs and suggestions... Looks like I will have to save Wesport Bakery for another trip... Any thoughts on the best schawarma in town? Keep in mind, we have some pretty great schawarma here in NYC...but I would be curious to know if there are any differences...

                4 Replies
                1. re: brooklynsabra

                  Best schawarma in town ?!

                  How 'bout the best in Canada ! : Schawarma King 530 Rideau St. Not fancy, but Get Ye There, and order one of everything (best to go when it is busy though, means a longer wait and fewer available tables, but the freshest food).

                  Chez Lucien for wicked good burger and amazing fries. REALLY wicked good (but be sure to order the burger medium rare). Great local beers too. Casual, affordable, good music, and cozy atmosphere. It is the Ottawa version of the Corner Bistro.

                  Stay away from Wellington Gastro Pub. You will be disappointed.

                  1. re: PoppiYYZ

                    Chez Lucien's burger is not all that frankly. I've had it a few times and each time I've ordered medium, it was served to me well done; gray and dry. Burgers, generally, are not a Canadian strong suit as they are in The US. And the fries? They're ok, but now that I'm living in Brussels, I know what fries and mayo are supposed to taste like.

                    1. re: BlackMambaSommelier

                      Sorry to hear about your CL burger experiences.

                      I've eaten at Chez Lucien at least a dozen times now and had only one "bad" burger which was over cooked. Since then, I always ask for medium and they have been very accommodating. Great charred exterior but still juicy. It is critical to not get their burger overcooked.

                      As for the fries : great potatoes, thin cut, cooked in lard, perfectly seasoned. Next to a trip to Belgium, they are the best IMHO.

                  2. re: brooklynsabra

                    You may want to consider Ceylanta - solid Sri Lankan, a bit of a walk, but worth it IMO. The shawarma in Ottawa tends to be Lebanese style BTW.