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Where to Eat the Best Food in Ottawa?

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Where to Eat the Best Food in Ottawa?

Ottawa is the capital city of Canada, not just for it’s government but for the people too. As the city’s population grows, so do the amount of restaurants and dining options. From cafes to fast food to high-end restaurants, it can be hard to choose where to go and what to eat in Ottawa. Knowing the best places to dine in this vibrant city is key to getting the full experience.

Luckily, Ottawa is a great dining destination with plenty of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, making it a great place to find something delicious for everyone. So, what are the best places to get food in Ottawa?

Atomial Gastro Pub

This pub serves up classic pub foods with a unique twist. Located on Rideau Street, Atomical Gastro Pub keeps their appetizers inspired by recipes from around the world. From loaded nachos to silky mac and cheese, there’s something for everyone. Entrees are also modernized, from burgers to pasta dishes. Be sure to check out their poutine selection— they really know how to elevate it.

The Whalesbone Oyster House

For seafood lovers, The Whalesbone Oyster House is a must. This place specializes in sustainably sourced seafood and fresh seafood dishes. Located just steps from the Byward Market, the Whalesbone comes alive with the smell of braised mussels and battered cod. You gotta start with the platter of oysters but be sure to check out their chowders and salads too. Finish off your meal with a glass of sparkling rose— it’s all about indulgence here!


ZenKitchen is a staple in Ottawa for vegan cuisine and all of their dishes are plant-based. Their menu, which is filled with flavourful and creative dishes, is constantly being updated with new items. Choose between shared plates like Thai Spring Rolls or go for something more substantial like Chinese Eggplant with Fired Rice to get your vegan fix.


Head over to Originals in Hintonburg for a dining experience like no other. This upscale-casual restaurant serves up classic comfort food with a side of local craft beers. All menu items are produced in-house and are thoughtfully crafted by the chefs. From burgers & fries to ramen bowls, they make sure each dish comes with its own special flare. Top it off with one of their famous desserts— their Apple Strudel Tart is a crowd favourite!

Murray Street

For a more relaxed yet classy dining experience in Ottawa, hit Murray Street. Their white-washed walls and soft blues provide a calming atmosphere for their prix-fixe menu. Choose between set dinners or sample from a la carte options like oyster veloute or butter-roasted chicken for a traditional yet modern meal. To top it off, Murray Street’s wine list is expansive and sure to please every palette.


Ottawa is a great destination for food lovers looking for something new and exciting. From pubs that serve modernized classics to vegan eateries and upscale dining experiences, There’s so much to explore and so many restaurants to try. So next time you’re looking for the best food in Ottawa, be sure to check out Atomical Gastro Pub, The Whalesbone Oyster House, Zen Kitchen, Originals or Murray Street!
For more information on places to eat in Ottawa be sure to read Ottawa Tourism’s Guide To The Best Places To Eat.

An Insider’s Guide to Ottawa: Where to Eat the Best Food

If you are a foodie planning a trip to Canada, Ottawa should be on your radar. This charming capital city has a unique gastronomy scene that combines French, British, and indigenous Canadian influences. From the classic poutine to the contemporary fusion cuisine, there are plenty of eateries to choose from in Ottawa. In this insider’s guide, we will show you where to eat the best food in the city and explore some of its top attractions, cultural experiences, and off-beaten-path suggestions.

Top Attractions

Before we dive into the local food scene, let’s take a look at some of Ottawa’s top attractions. One of the most popular tourist spots in the city is the Rideau Canal. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a scenic canal that runs through downtown Ottawa and offers boat tours, bike paths, and skating rinks. Another must-visit attraction is the Parliament Hill, the iconic complex of Gothic-style buildings that houses the Canadian government. The Changing of the Guard ceremony, held every morning in the summer, is a must-see event.

If you are a nature lover, don’t miss the Gatineau Park, a vast green area located just 15 minutes from downtown Ottawa. Here, you can hike, bike, ski, snowshoe, or simply explore the scenic trails and lakes. For history buffs, the Canadian Museum of History and the National Gallery of Canada are two excellent museums that showcase the country’s rich cultural heritage.

Dining Spots

Now let’s move onto the main topic of this insider’s guide- where to eat the best food in Ottawa. The ByWard Market is a historic outdoor marketplace that offers a wide array of eateries, from casual street food stalls to upscale restaurants. Here, you can try the famous BeaverTails, a delicious Canadian pastry that is deep-fried and topped with sugar, chocolate, or fruits. Another popular snack is the poutine, a hearty dish made with french fries, cheese curds, and gravy. Head over to Smoke’s Poutinerie for a modern twist on this classic dish.

For a taste of France in the heart of Ottawa, La Bottega Nicastro is a cozy deli that offers fresh croissants, charcuterie boards, and imported cheeses. If you’re in the mood for Italian, Giovanni’s is a family-owned restaurant that serves authentic pasta dishes, pizzas, and wines. If you’re craving some Asian flavors, try the creative sushi rolls and sashimi plates at Jadeland or the spicy Thai curries at Coconut Lagoon.

Cultural Experiences

To truly experience Ottawa’s culture, it’s worth attending some of its unique festivals and events. The Winterlude Festival, held in February, is a month-long celebration of winter that includes ice sculptures, snow slides, and hot chocolate stands. The Tulip Festival, held in May, is a colorful display of over one million tulips that were gifted to Canada by the Netherlands as a symbol of gratitude for the country’s aid during World War II.

Another way to immerse yourself in Ottawa’s culture is to visit some of its local neighborhoods. Chinatown is a vibrant district that offers a diverse range of cuisines, shops, and landmarks, such as the Chinatown Arch and the Taoist Temple. Little Italy is another charming area that boasts many Italian restaurants, gelato shops, and bakeries, as well as the Preston Street, a trendy shopping boulevard.

Local History

Finally, if you want to learn more about Ottawa’s fascinating history, there are plenty of landmarks and sites to explore. The Rideau Canal, mentioned earlier, is not only a scenic attraction but also a historic one- it was built in the early 19th century as a military defense system and transportation route. The Royal Canadian Mint is another interesting site that offers guided tours of its coin-making process and exhibitions of rare coins and medals.

If you’re interested in the indigenous history of Canada, the Canadian Museum of History has an impressive collection of artifacts, artworks, and interactive exhibits that showcase the First Nations, Inuit, and Metis cultures and traditions. Ottawa also has many historic buildings and monuments, such as the National War Memorial, the Rideau Hall, and the Chateau Laurier.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Suggestions

Last but not least, we have some off-the-beaten-path suggestions for intrepid travelers who want to uncover Ottawa’s hidden gems. The Diefenbunker is a unique museum that showcases Canada’s Cold War history by offering guided tours of its underground bunker, which was built to shelter the Canadian government in case of a nuclear attack.

For a tranquil escape from the city, visit the Fletcher Wildlife Garden, a serene park that offers bird-watching, butterfly gardens, and nature trails. If you’re a beer lover, head over to the Dominion City Brewing Co., a local brewery that serves craft beers and hosts live music events. And finally, for a quirky photo opportunity, visit the giant spider sculpture, called Maman, in front of the National Gallery of Canada.

We hope this insider’s guide has inspired you to explore Ottawa’s food, culture, and history. With its unique blend of Canadian, French, and British influences, Ottawa has something for everyone, whether you’re a foodie or a history buff.

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Where to Eat the Best Food in Ottawa?

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!