From fast-food chains to big name restaurants.
From chic bistros and cafes to small "mom and pop" businesses.
Family-friendly dining? Romantic evening for two? Got a sweet tooth?
Want to leap off the diet wagon?
Food in the National Capital is a diverse and engaging gastronomical event.
Ottawa Wine and Food Festival
Being the capital of Canada, Ottawa attracts many world-class chefs, restaurant entrepreneurs, and food enthusiasts. There is no shortage of gourmets on hand when the Ottawa Wine and Food Festival takes place in the fall. This year, it will be taking place on October 31 – November 3, 2013 at the Ottawa Convention Centre. This four-day event gives you the opportunity to sample a variety of wines, spirits, and beers and taste a huge range of different foods. You can join celebrity chefs and cookbook authors at kitchen demonstrations during the celebration.
Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Insitute Signatures Restaurant
Ottawa is also home to Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Institute: the only North American branch of its kind. Besides training world-class chefs, they also operate Signatures Restaurant, Le Cordon Bleu’s bistro. A "must-visit" on the list of Ottawa Restaurants! Located at 453 Laurier Avenue East, it’s a great opportunity to experience the seasonal French haute-cuisine offered by Chef Yannick Anton.
If you find yourself craving authentic Asian food, head down to Somerset Street, where you will find yourself in the heart of Chinatown with numerous Ottawa restaurants specializing in Asian cuisine. Scattered all around Ottawa, you will find small Asian grocery stores that cater to quick-fixes for suburbanites that don’t feel like heading into Chinatown (land of the parking meters). Recently however, the huge Asian grocery store, T and T Supermarket opened on 224 Hunt Club Road. With a huge selection of Asian groceries and dim sum take-out/eat-in counter, T & T is always busy.
Italian Food is also popular, with a high concentration of Ottawa restaurants specializing in Italian cuisine on Preston Street (also called Corso Italia), or "Little Italy" to Ottawa natives. There, you will find dining, groceries, retail, entertainment and events celebrating all things Italian.
Canadians are a multicultural bunch–if you are craving different ethnic foods, Ottawa restaurants do not disappoint. Throughout Ottawa, you will find many restaurants proudly sharing their ethnic cuisine, including (and I apologize in advance, if I’ve missed any favourites): Irish Pubs, Greek restaurants, French cuisine, Vietnamese Noodle Houses, Thai Food, Chinese Food, Middle Eastern eateries, Lebanese restaurants, Indian Food, Sushi places and others.
If you prefer to make your own meals, wander through the many farmer’s markets in Ottawa and see what fresh, local produce is available.
Downtown Ottawa’s major market is the ByWard Market with over 120 vendors. Outdoor vendors are an integral part of the ByWard Market experience. You’ll find ByWard Market vendors outside, no matter the weather, 363 days per year (closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day)! Typically, agri-food vendors are open from May to October from 7:00 a.m. and remain open until 6:00 p.m. Bad weather will rarely stop them from selling. Art and craft vendors usually operate from mid-May to mid-September and start at 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. At the market, you will find a variety of produce, eggs, maple syrup, bedding plants, cut flowers, arts & craft items, and retail food items with both indoor and outdoor stores and stalls.
The smaller, Ottawa Parkdale Market has about 29 stands with produce, bedding plants, cut flowers, cheeses, organic produce, frozen meats, eggs, honey and apple items. As part of the Ottawa Parkdale Market, you can find the Field House which is the (year-round) indoor portion of the market. The Field House offers summer hours: Friday-Sunday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and winter hours: Friday-Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. You will find the Field House at 21 Hamilton North (at the corner of Hamilton N. and Armstrong).
For a more complete list of the available farmers’ markets, visit the website www.farmersmarketsontario.com.
Ottawa Food on the Internet
A favourite Ottawa food columnist is Ron Eade. He writes the blog called "Omnivore’s Ottawa", Ron Eade has been the Ottawa Citizen’s Food editor since 1998. Click here to see his recommendations for dining out in Canada’s Capital (from an article featured in the Ontario Culinary Adventure Guide 2011).
Rachelle, a food blogger since 2008 keeps an amazing on-line food diary with pictures that make you want to pick up a fork and jab your monitor. Her blog will connect you with a lot of other interesting food blogs too!
This is a community of food enthusiasts that share opinions about Ottawa restaurants, shops and individual menu items. If you are the type of person that likes to read other people’s recommendations, this is a great site to do some preliminary homework about Ottawa’s best food.