As a major city in Canada (the sixth largest), Ottawa–the capital of the country–attracts visitors year-round. They are always on the hunt for great eateries after a day touring landmark buildings, the beauty of the river and parks, and the rich culture presented in museums and exhibitions. Ontario residents alike are eager to find great places to relax and enjoy a great meal in the best Canadian style. As it turns, out they have ample choices.
Each neighborhood (such as Preston, Wellington West, and ByWard Market) in the capital city is unique and is ripe for exploration of its varied ethnic food scene. Local markets are part of epicurean walking tours that also includes Chinatown, Eddy Street, and the Glebe area. Food artisans, chefs, and culinary hunters populate colorful districts like Little Italy. A nice treat can be found at the maple syrup production facility called Fulton’s. Families and kids have their own special places.
Some restaurants stand out, however, for their innovative and tantalizing cuisine. Signatures at Le Cordon Bleu, for example, tops many lists with critical accolades galore. It is part of the famed school that trains top chefs of the world.
Furthermore, for gourmet French delights, Le Baccara in the Casino du Lac-Leamy is a must. The incomparable food will please the most discriminating palate, not to mention wine aficionado (its cellar boats 13,000 personally-selected bottles!). Why not combine nightlife and fine dining in one venue.
While international fare is within easy reach (you want French, Italian, Chinese, steaks or seafood? You got it!), for Canadian specialties, there are many restaurants of note. Some serve the regional dish “poutine” of Quebecois origins that features French fries topped with gravy and cheese curds, a local favorite. (There is also a stuffed potato dumpling version called “poutine râpée.”) Chocolate lovers will gravitate to A Thing for Chocolate on Wellington West for their proprietary gianduja spread. Highly recommended!
Every taste can be accommodated in Ottawa with a bit of research. Word-of-mouth says that patrons love the Empire Grill (sexy door with chic martinis), Shore Club (succulent prime Alberta beef), Perspectives (local ingredients only!), the Fish Market (a nautical delight), Social (playful and experimental, Murray Street Kitchen Wine & Charcuterie (strictly regional and seasonal), Restaurant E18hteen (classy, funky, and trendy), Courtyard (contemporary flair), among many more. You won’t run out of options in this sophisticated and worldly city. Bonuses are the microbreweries for diehard beer enthusiasts. Stop in enjoy local flavour magic. In addition, the Ottawa Specialty Foods Association offers food markets during the year and keeps on top of local vendors.
With so much to offer, it is no wonder that people in the know consider Ottawa a true world-class culinary destination. The city is working on a program called Savour Ottawa to inform locals and visitors of the rich traditions of the city. Soon everyone will know that it is a secret foodie paradise available to all adventurous gourmets.