Ottawa is a very culturally diverse city, with immigrants from all over the world calling the city home. Its restaurants reflect this, with a wide range of ethnic foods at a wide variety of street vendors and restaurants. Chinatown, Little Italy, and the Byward Market are all great places to browse if you haven’t got a specific restaurant in mind.
Beavertails – Though this is a chain, this doughy, deep fried treat is an Ottawa specialty. Traditionally topped with cinnamon sugar, it’s available with all manor of toppings, whether sweet or savory. During winter, you’ll find them in food trucks on the canal, though you can also get them in the Byward Market on George St. The local favorite is the Killaloe Sunrise, which is cinnamon sugar and lemon juice.
Allium – Opened in 2004, Allium serves an eclectic array of Canadian and French in a modern-bistro setting. Menus change monthly and are paired well with their wine list. Meals are created and inspired with fresh, local ingredients.
The Green Door – serving vegetarian and vegan food, The Green Door is Ottawa’s oldest vegetarian restaurant. Opened in 1988, The Green Door aims to serve food as close to its natural state as possible. Everything is made in house, using seasonal, fresh and often organic ingredients from local producers. There is no set menu, and food is made daily from scratch based on supply of fresh produce. the menu varies greatly from day to day, you can always find something delicious like quiche, lasagna, or broccoli tofu stir fry.
Thai Flame Restaurant – A true hidden gem in the heart of Ottawa, Thai Flame is always fresh and authentic. Meals are beautifully prepared and come at your requested level of heat. Enjoy a good mix of flavors, and deliciously made curries (their specialty), pad thai, beef penang, and other traditional Thai dishes.
Next -Next provides an eclectic variety of meals from many different cuisines, somehow blending them into a perfectly cohesive menu. Sashimi, steak tar tar, foie gras, pulled fuck confit with couscous, and short ribs are just some of the items on this unique menu. Next specializes in small plates, many of which are meant to be shared. Meals are imaginative and fun and wholly satiating. The atmosphere is casual and relaxing. An open kitchen allows you to watch the chef at work!
Pelican Grill – This casual bistro serves seafood and fish, and is attached to a fresh fish market. Aiming to serve the freshest catch possible, each dish is carefully prepared, whether it’s the catch of the day or one of their menu staples. They also have an extensive gluten-free menu for both lunch and dinner, and a carefully cultivated list of wines and local beers.
Aperitivo – This intimate restaurant serves Mediterranean inspired cuisine, concentrating on Spanish style tapas which are meant to be shared. They have a strong partnership with local producers and farmings, creating their menu around current availability. Wines and cocktails change along with the menu so that both your drink and your food will highlight one another.