When touring downtown Ottawa, either as a first time tourist, or as a local just visiting for the evening, you won’t be disappointed with time spent at any of these cool foodie locals. These top ten restaurants of downtown Ottawa include stops both classic and trendy, all are innovative.
For lunch and dinner, very modern and casual, but never disappointing at 1208 Wellington St. West. With bilingual menu proudly sourcing fares from local farms and fisheries. Absinth chefs are happy to showcase, so watch for special events like pop-up dinners at theatre venues, giving away burgers at Taste of Wellington, and the inaugural Knives Out Ottawa foodie festival.
Black Cat Bistro
A neighborhood bistro at 428 Preston Street serving modern French food, self proclaimed “simple, classic, inspired,” with top rating from the Huffpost Living. You’ll especially enjoy the Wednesday night special, “Burger and Bordeaux.” Closed Mondays, but otherwise open for dinner 5-9PM.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner at 7 Springfield Road. A “seasonal kitchen” of the best traditional Canadian fare with kids menu and gluten free options. Be sure to check out the weekend brunch. Vegans will feel especially welcome here.
Lunch and dinner in the Dutch tradition of “everything convivial and cozy, with belonging, general togetherness, or time spent with loved ones…”
337 Richmond Road hosting free BYO every Monday evening.
Uniquely Asian-Canadian cuisine at 6400 Hazeldean Road. Seriously surprising casual fun dining is the “Brunch Board,” fifteen clever dishes on one solid piece of wood that serves two. Also open for lunch and dinner.
Coffee House and Lounge, with soup/sandwich menu and bar. A trendy meeting place at 111 York Street, especially on Soiree Thursdays 5-9PM happy hour with music. Fulfill your snacking dreams here with special Charcuterie Board.
Named for its historic house at 18 York Street, Restaurant 18 has earned the AAA 4 Diamond rating. For seasonal bests request the Chef’s Tasting Menu, a five course dinner. Happy Hour 5-7PM, even on Mondays.
Steak, Seafood, Cocktails, and wait – an art collection? Yes, at 11 Colonel By Drive, all dining and cocktail areas feature paintings amid wood and suede walls, with emphasis on locally renowned artists. Dress Smart and enjoy lunch or dinner within a unique ambience.
What can be better than Thai Tacos? Nothing, according to Anne DesBrisay’s Capital Dining. This surprisingly cozy contemporary kitchen and bar of 18b York Street, proclaims “make tacos not war,” with an earlier 4:30-6:30 happy hour.
There are four locations for “Ottawa’s best seafood,” but 430 Bank Street is the original spot. All locations are welcoming for lunch and dinner daily. And if someone in your party isn’t in the mood for scallops ceviche, lobster or steelhead trout (go figure), then they can order a Hanger Steak with blue cheese butter and fries.