Must-Try Restaurants In Ottawa, Canada

Photo of James Norman
9 February 2017

The capital of Canada, once a central hub for French and Irish immigrants, is known for being a multicultural city boasting a wide range of restaurants. From modern Canadian cuisine to Asian fusion, here’s a list of some of the best spots in Ottawa.

© Wladyslaw/WikiCommons


Bistro, Restaurant, Canadian, 0
Allium, a sleek restaurant meets bistro situated in Ottawa’s popular West Wellington/Hintonburg area, offers modern Canadian cuisine prepared with traditional French techniques. The menu, designed by Chef Arup Jana, changes monthly, but the fish dishes are typically the stars, each one made with a different preparation. Here at Allium, you can count on any item from the menu to be sensational and memorable.

Beckta Dining and Wine

Beckta Dining and Wine, offering innovative haute cuisine, is said to be one of the best restaurants in Ottawa. Combining local ingredients with carefully prepared dishes, Beckta keeps diners coming back with menu options spanning the spectrum, from seafood to meat. Go for the five-course tasting menu, designed by Chef Michael Moffatt, and be sure to BYO wine. Don’t miss the ‘5 degrees of chocolate’ cake, a mouth-watering dessert made for chocolate-lovers.

Beckta Dining and Wine, 226 Nepean Street, Ottawa, ON, Canada, +1 613 238 7063

Back Lane Cafe

Cafe, Restaurant, Italian, Brazilian, Canadian, $$$
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Back Lane Cafe, Ottawa
Back Lane Cafe, Ottawa | © The Urban Pear
Back Lane Cafe, is a cosy restaurant that prides itself on being a relaxed venue with large wood-fired hearths used as the main vehicle for preparing dishes. Emitting the smell of freshly baked bread (a reminder of home for many) throughout the space, you may find yourself spending extra time here dining and conversing. Located in the vicinity of the Great Canadian Theatre, this spot and its wood-fired dishes are something to be remembered.

The Urban Pear

By collaborating with dedicated organic farmers, The Urban Pear aims to work only with fresh and locally sourced products – Urban Pear’s way of reflecting seasonal ingredients in menu options. The meat comes from regional and Canadian farms, the fish locally caught, and the fruits and vegetables sourced from local farmers. Don’t miss out on the Canadian and local wines served here, and be sure to take advantage of the outdoor terrace during the warmer months. With a daily-changing menu, diners can return again and again, never to be disappointed and always pleasantly surprised with the chef’s newest creative concoctions.

The Urban Pear, 151 2nd Avenue, Unit C, Ottawa, ON, Canada, +1 613 569 9305

Canal Ritz

Restaurant, Bar, Italian, Canadian, Vegetarian, $$$
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Offering a wide selection of modern Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, Canal Ritz is an ideal location for those wishing to experience a taste of Europe in Ottawa. Beautifully positioned alongside the Rideau Canal, the restaurant offers a unique dining experience, with the owners priding themselves on the ‘one-of-a-kind’ view. Enjoy the stunning scenery, one that changes with each season. Aside from Mediterranean dishes, customers can also choose from a selection of Canadian classics like burgers, pizzas and salads. In winter, this is the perfect place to stop for a bite after spending some time ice skating on the canal.

Wilfrid’ s at the Fairmont Château Laurier

Head to the awe-inspiring Fairmont Château Laurier and find Wilfrid’s, an Ottawan favourite offering an array of culinary creations. The menu has options for any time of the day including breakfast, lunch and dinner, and follows a regional Canadian cuisine theme with both fresh seafood and meat dishes. All the ingredients are seasonal and carefully selected from the Ottawa Valley region. The view from Wilfrid’s, the Parliament Buildings, charms diners and provides a unique dining experience that has changed little since 1912 when the dining room of the Fairmont first opened. The hotel itself is a perfect testament to the classical era upon which it was built; a thing of beauty and elegance.

Wilfrid’s, Fairmont Château Laurier, 1 Rideau Street, Ottawa, ON, Canada, + 1 613 241 1414

The Whalesbone Oyster House

Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
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Oysters | ©Charlotta Wasteson
The Whalesbone Oyster House has quickly established itself as Ottawa’s leading oyster spot since its opening in 2005, offering a vast selection of oysters (depending on availability). The menu changes often and caters to all types of seafood lovers. Go for the clam chowder, a fan-favourite; although any choice from the menu is bound to satisfy. The eclectic décor, traditional seafaring icons, and 1980s-themed DJ set add to the charm of Whalesbone, and as an Ocean Wise-certified restaurant that serves only sustainable seafood, diners can leave happy knowing that they are eating from an establishment that cares about the longevity and stability of its local ecosystem.


Restaurant, Canadian, Vegan, Vegetarian
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E18hteen, known for its beautiful dining experience, is surrounded by traditional stone walls, but hosts a modern decor, blending themes of light and dark with a hint of supernatural flare. The spot is lit by candlelight and the cuisine, a reflection of seasonal ingredients, includes an array of options from meat to seafood representative of modern Canadian flavours. Think: steamed lobster, crab cakes, crispy suckling pork belly, elk tartare, wild boar and black cod. The service is impeccable, and be sure to go for the blind tasting: a five-course menu that is based solely on the chef’s choice.


Bar, Restaurant, Cocktails, Tapas, Canadian, $$$
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Tuna sashimi
Tuna sashimi | ©anokarina
Looking for a more intimate experience? Head to Sidedoor, a contemporary restaurant with a global twist, offering family-style dishes meant to be shared. Choose from Asian, Mexican, and Spanish inspired options, all prepared by Chef Jonathan Korecki and his dedicated team. Try the papaya salad, a standout dishes on the menu; and the Korean pork taco, a crowd-favourite. A must-eat while at Sidedoor: the hot house-made donuts for dessert, mouth-watering and unforgettable, and a must-drink: anything from the cocktail menu.

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