Nestled along the picturesque banks of the Ottawa River, Canada's capital city is not only celebrated for its historical landmarks and cultural treasures but also for its thriving culinary scene.
From cozy bistros serving local favourites to sophisticated fine dining establishments pushing culinary boundaries, this city has it all for food enthusiasts. Join us at the Ask Genie blog as we explore the best restaurants in Ottawa, where every plate tells a unique story, and every bite is a captivating journey for your taste buds.
The Best Restaurants In Ottawa You Should Try
Whether you're a local looking for the perfect date night spot or a visitor who wants to sample Ottawa's amazing food, you're in the right place. Let's tuck in!
Address: 361 Elgin St Unit #6, Ottawa, ON K2P 1M7, Canada
Gitanes has earned its place among Ottawa's finest restaurants thanks to its exceptional blend of French culinary tradition and contemporary creativity. This restaurant truly stands out because of its unwavering commitment to using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients.
Every dish that lands on your table is a masterpiece of freshness and flavour, transporting your taste buds to the heart of France. From their rich French onion soup to their melt-in-the-mouth crème brûlée, Gitanes crafts each plate with artistry and precision.
But it's not all about the food - it's the whole experience. The cozy atmosphere and attentive service go a long way in making everyone who comes through the doors feel like a treasured guest. So, if you're looking for an unforgettable French-inspired dining adventure in Ottawa, Gitanes is the place to savour.
2. The Whalesbone Bank
Address: 430 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1Y8, Canada
Part of the Whalsebone group, The Whalesbone Bank is Ottawa's original oyster house. This seafood restaurant is a place where fresh oysters are the stars of the show. They're shucked to perfection and served simply.
But it's not just oysters. There's a range of delicious seafood dishes, from lobster rolls that redefine delicious to fish dishes that change daily depending on what they catch! If you're not a big seafood fan, they also offer hearty plates of steak frites and thinly sliced beef tartare.
At the Whalebone Group, they're all about sustainability, so you're not just eating well; you're eating responsibly. The vibe is relaxed and intimate, perfect for a laid-back evening or a special occasion. If you're on the hunt for the best seafood in Ottawa, The Whalesbone Bank should be your compass.
3. The Green Door Restaurant & Bakery
Address: 198 Main St, Ottawa, ON K1S 1C6, Canada
The Green Door Restaurant & Bakery is much loved among locals and tourists alike. Vegetarian and vegan cuisine takes center stage, and it's done so brilliantly that even dedicated meat lovers become fans.
The menu is a delightful kaleidoscope of flavors and textures, with fresh ingredients that sing with health and taste. And it's a buffet-style setup, so you can load your plate with as much deliciousness as your heart desires. Plus, they're super-mindful about dietary needs, so whether you're a lifelong vegan or just curious about plant-based dining, The Green Door is a welcoming haven.
It's casual, comfy, and eco-friendly, making it perfect for a satisfying meal without the fuss. So, if you're exploring Ottawa's dining scene and want a healthy and delicious twist, this place should be right up your alley.
Address: 540 Rochester St, Ottawa, ON K1S 4M1, Canada
Why is Atelier on everyone's must-visit list? It's all about how they push culinary boundaries to the limit. Atelier is the Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory of fine dining. Chef Marc Lepine works his magic and creates a tasting menu that changes like the seasons.
The dishes are edible works of art, complete with smears, foams, and delicate arrangements that'll leave your taste buds and Instagram feed utterly delighted. This place is all about molecular gastronomy, where science and food meet to create a symphony of flavors that are out of this world.
The cozy ambiance, stellar service, and the fact that you get to watch the chefs in action add to the charm. If you're a foodie on the hunt for a unique and unforgettable dining experience, Atelier is your Ottawa-based golden ticket.
5. Fraser Cafe
Address: 7 Springfield Rd, Ottawa, ON K1M 1C8, Canada
Fraser Cafe is a welcoming spot where you feel like you're dining with friends - friends who happen to be amazing chefs. The menu is a love letter to seasonal and local ingredients, so you know your meal is fresh and top-notch. Whether it's a mouthwatering, perfectly cooked steak or a dessert that's a sweet symphony, they've got it down to an art. Oh, and did I mention they serve killer cocktails too?
The atmosphere is all about relaxed elegance, perfect for a date night or a special celebration. If you're after a dining experience that's rooted in fantastic food, warm vibes, and a touch of culinary artistry, Fraser Cafe is where you want to be in Ottawa.
Address: 296 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1M3, Canada
Town is one of those places that just gets everything right. What makes it a gem in Ottawa's dining scene? Well, they're all about farm-to-table goodness. That means the menu changes daily based on what's fresh and in-season. You could visit again and again without ever getting bored of the menu.
Expect things like roast chicken with house-made Boursin and smoked Ontario Lake whitefish. You can taste the freshness of every ingredient.
The vibe is upscale but cozy, so it's perfect for a fancy night out or a celebratory dinner. You're also supporting local fishermen, farmers and producers. If you're on a quest for food that's not just delicious but also socially responsible, Town should be right up there on your list.
7. Arlo Wine & Restaurant
Address: 340 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K2P 0J9, Canada
Arlo Wine & Restaurant is making waves in Ottawa's dining scene and for some pretty delicious reasons. First, it's all about the natural wine, and they've got an impressive selection. So, you know you're in for a good time if you're a wine aficionado. But it's not just about what's in your glass; it's what's on your plate too. The menu is a mix of modern and classic, small plates and mains, with a focus on locally sourced and seasonal ingredients.
The atmosphere is fancy without being stuffy, which is perfect for a romantic evening or a close-knit celebration dinner with family. Let Arlo wine and dine you!
8. Restaurant Les Fougères
Address: 783 Quebec Rte 105, Chelsea, Quebec J9B 1P1, Canada
Restaurant Les Fougères is creating quite a buzz in Canada's capital city. It's a foodie oasis set in the Gatineau Hills, surrounded by expansive gardens. The dining area is rustic but elevated, and you'll find no shortage of amazing dishes.
The whole menu is a celebration of seasonal ingredients and regional flavors. Their commitment to local produce and artisanal ingredients shines through every dish. It's like taking a delicious journey through the Ottawa Valley.
And if you're into wine, they've got an impressive selection to pair with your meal. Whether you're planning a special celebration or just craving an exceptional dining experience, Restaurant Les Fougères ticks all the boxes.
Book Your Dream Ottawa Restaurant With Help From Spin Genie
Whether you seek classic French cuisine at Gitanes, farm-to-table experiences at Restaurant Les Fougères, or a plant-based journey at The Green Door, Ottawa's culinary offerings cater to all tastes and preferences. With cozy atmospheres, attentive service, and a focus on local and seasonal ingredients, these dining establishments promise memorable experiences for food enthusiasts and explorers alike.
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FAQs About The Best Restaurants in Ottawa
What Is The Most Popular Food In Ottawa?
Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, boasts a diverse culinary scene with a wide range of popular foods. While there isn't a single 'most popular' food, here are some dishes and food items that are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike in Ottawa:
- Beavertails: Beavertails are a Canadian pastry treat that originated in Ottawa. These deep-fried dough pastries are stretched into the shape of a beaver's tail and can be topped with various sweet toppings like cinnamon sugar, chocolate, or maple syrup.
- Poutine: Poutine is a classic Canadian comfort food made of french fries topped with cheese curds and smothered in gravy.
- Shawarma: Ottawa has a significant Middle Eastern population, and shawarma is a popular choice for a quick and delicious meal. You can find shawarma restaurants throughout the city, including the much-loved Shawarma Palace.
Is Ottawa a Foodie City?
Ottawa has transformed into a flourishing foodie city in recent years. With its diverse culinary scene, emphasis on farm-to-table dining, growing gourmet establishments, and a strong focus on local and international flavours, Ottawa has become a destination for food enthusiasts.
Whether you're looking for innovative fine dining, global cuisine, or food truck delights, Ottawa offers a wide range of dishes and delicacies to suit your tastes and preferences.
Where Can You Get The Best Pizza In Ottawa?
Ottawa has no shortage of excellent pizza spots to serve you up a slice (or the whole pizza), including:
- Heartbreakers Pizza: Heartbreakers Pizza is known for its delicious wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas with creative toppings and high-quality ingredients. The cozy ambience makes it a popular choice.
- Tennessy Willems: The Tennessy Willems pizzeria offers New York-style pizzas with a thin crust and generous toppings. It's known for its classic and speciality pies, including gluten-free food and vegan options.
- Fiazza Fresh Fired: Fiazza is a fast-casual pizza joint where you can customize your pizza with fresh ingredients and watch it cook in a wood-fired oven.
- Colonnade Pizza: A local favourite for over 50 years, Colonnade serves up classic, thick-crust pan pizzas. Their 'Colonnade Special' is a must-try.
- Louis' Pizza: Louis' Pizza has been serving Ottawa for generations. It's famous for its thin-crust pizzas with a wide range of toppings and a secret sauce recipe.
What's The Best Ramen Restaurant In Ottawa?
While tastes can vary, one standout ramen restaurant that's often recommended by locals and visitors alike is Sansotei Ramen.
Sansotei Ramen is well-regarded for its authentic and flavorful ramen dishes. They offer a variety of ramen styles, including Tonkotsu, Shoyu, and Spicy Tan Tan, each made with care and precision. The rich and savoury broths, perfectly cooked noodles, and high-quality toppings make it a top choice for ramen lovers.
Where does the best burgers in Ottawa?
If you want to sink your teeth into a great burger, you’re in luck. Ottawa is spoilt for choice when it comes to burger joints. The Works Craft Burgers & Beer is known for its creative and customisable burgers with a wide range of toppings and condiments.
Elgin Street Diner is an iconic spot famous for its classic diner fare, and that includes delicious, no-fuss burgers. It's the perfect spot for a classic burger and milkshake.
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