Monday, June 17, 2024

The 10 Best Restaurants to Dine Out in Ottawa (Ranked)

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Lucian Shon
Lucian is a civil engineer by profession but loves to write blogs about his hometown of Ottawa. He has worked in construction and building administration, growing his network of professionals over time.

As Canada’s capital city, Ottawa is a culturally diverse and historic city with many interesting attractions. A major advantage to Ottawa’s cultural diversity is its incredible food scene, featuring a wide variety of cuisine and dining experiences.

You’ll never run out of great food options in this city. There’s always another choice for fresh seafood, natural wines, craft beer, pizza, fried chicken, beef tartare, sushi, and any other delicacy your heart desires in Ottawa. So we’ve come up with a list of place after place you can try main courses, desserts, and more at around Ottawa. Here are Ottawa restaurants you should not miss out on.

1. Atelier


Atelier is the most innovative and unique restaurant in Ottawa and perhaps all of Canada. Owned and operated by sommelier and Executive Chef Marc Lepine, Atelier is an exclusive fine-dining restaurant with an ever-changing blind-tasting menu.  

Located in an intimate space inside a townhouse overlooking Commissioners Park in The Glebe, Atelier is a good place to try if you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience. Chef Lepine creates a whopping 44-course tasting menu paired with wine chosen by head sommelier Bernard Joseph Lemoyne. 

Each course is a bite-sized work of culinary art, beautifully presented and inspired by the Canadian palate. On top of that, the restaurant has extremely professional and friendly staff serving you good food all throughout the night.

Address: 540 Rochester St. Ottawa, ON K1S4M1

Phone: +1 613-321-3537


2. Beckta


Stephen Beckta’s Beckta Dining & Wine is a beloved wine bar and high-end Canadian restaurant in a multi-faceted dining space in Centertown. The establishment has the perfect spot right in front of Ottawa Courthouse and City Hall. Beckta offers a fine-dining menu to enjoy in its elegant private dining rooms or the more casual wine bar lounge at a reasonable price.

 The expertly curated wine list and cocktail menu offer the finest wines from around the globe. The fine-dining menu uses fresh local ingredients to create a stunning presentation of multi-course dishes that encompass global flavors.

A signature small plate at Beckta is their crispy veal sweetbreads with charcoal-grilled asparagus, pickled ramps, Halloumi, corn puree, and chimichurri sauce. 

Address: 150 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON 

Phone: +1 613-238-7063


3. Thali


From renowned chef duo Joe Thottungal and Rajesh Gopi, Thali is a modern Indian bistro in downtown Ottawa. The clean, sleek space features communal wooden tables, copper light fixtures, and a refined atmosphere.

“Thali” means “round plate.” It refers to the Indian culinary tradition of plating multiple dishes on one large plate, with every dish collectively offering the full range of flavor profiles. 

Thali’s unique menu items that you definitely want to try an order include their different Thalis, or large plates, each featuring a variety of:

  • Vegetables
  • Curries
  • Rice
  • Salads
  • Chutneys

The presentation is a vibrant assortment of colorful dishes in small tins atop a large, round copper plate. 

Address: 136 O’Connor St, Ottawa ON K2P 2G7

Phone:  +1 613-594-4545


4. The Whalesbone

The Whalesbone

The Whalesbone Oyster House is an oyster bar and seafood restaurant with locations in Centretown, Downtown, the Glebe, and Wellington Village. It’s a longstanding and quintessential culinary staple in Ottawa. It offers a bustling atmosphere with quirky décor and vinyl records serenading your lunch or dinner meal.

Each location has something unique to offer, with some spaces accommodating outdoor patio seating and private events. Other spaces feature an intimate oyster bar and tavern experience. Every location has a stellar beer, wine, and cocktail menu to accompany a delicious seafood spread.

The menu utilizes a wide range of flavors and cooking methods, from baked oysters with cheddar to bay scallop ceviche. 

Locations: Kent Street, Elgin Street, Bank Street 

Phone: +1 613-231-8569


5. Fairouz


Fairouz is one of the best restaurants in Ottawa. It’s a beautifully designed Middle Eastern bistro and café in the heart of Ottawa’s historic Byward Market. By day, Fairouz offers a light and airy café atmosphere to enjoy an authentic, fresh meal with quick service.

By night, Fairouz transforms into a lavish cocktail and wine bar with a fancy bistro atmosphere to enjoy a romantic dinner. There’s also an onsite food and wine boutique if you’d rather pick up prepared foods or a nice bottle of wine. 

You’ll find all the traditional mezze, middle eastern flatbreads, entrees, and desserts prepared with an upscale aesthetic.

Address: Byward Market, 15 Clarence Street, Ottawa, ON

Phone: +1 613-422-7700


6. Riviera


Located between the Parliament of Canada and Confederation Park, Riviera Ottawa is a classic fine-dining New Canadian bistro and cocktail lounge. Its gorgeous old-school dining space is inside a historic Canadian building, creating a romantic atmosphere.

The service is as impeccable as the food, with the best cocktail menu in town. Whether you get a steakhouse-style burger or a fine cut of steak, the quality and presentation of each dish are nothing short of dazzling.

The menu uses the freshest ingredients and changes weekly. It takes inspiration from global flavors. There are items like Italian-inspired ricotta gnudi and New Canadian innovations like Fogo island cod with hedgehog mushrooms and lobster sauce. 

Address: 62 Sparks Street Ottawa ON K1P 5A8

Phone: +1 613-233-6262


7. Sansotei Ramen 

Sansotei Ramen

Sansotei Ramen is an authentic chain of modern Japanese ramen houses, focusing on Tonkotsu-style Ramen from the Kyushu and Hokkaido regions.

Sansotei has various locations around Canada, including a fast-paced, casual kitchen in Ottawa’s Centretown. Originating in 2012 in Toronto, Sansotei Ramen expanded rapidly due to its widespread appeal. 

Their menu assumes a classic Izakaya, with a full menu of sake, sake cocktails, and imported Japanese beer to accompany ramen bowls and hot Japanese appetizers. Their signature Tonkotsu ramen features house-made pork broth with chashu, black fungus, a soft egg, and green onion. 

Address: 153 Bank St., Ottawa ON

Phone: +1 613-695-1718


8. Fraser Cafe

Fraser Cafe

A New Edinburgh neighborhood treasure since 2008, Fraser Café is a charming farm-to-table restaurant with a globally inspired menu. They source all ingredients from local vendors to create a diverse multi-course menu of beautifully plated meals.

 The intimate space has industrial-chic décor with exposed brick walls and small-top tables with comfortable booth seating. There’s an adjoining wine shop with prepared foods for customers wanting to enjoy a gourmet meal at home.

The well-rounded menu has dishes for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. Their crispy duck confit is spectacular. They also have creative seasonal vegetable dishes like celtus and water chestnut slaw with charred broccoli, cashews, and white balsamic. 

Address: 7 Springfield Rd, Ottawa, ON K1M 1C8

Phone: +1 613-749-1444


9. Fauna


As one of the best restaurants in Ottawa, Fauna is a beautiful, industrial-chic restaurant specializing in multi-cultural New Canadian cuisine. 

Chefs and co-owners Jon Svazas and Billy Khoo use their multi-cultural heritage and vast experience in Canada’s finest kitchens to bring an award-winning menu using locally sourced seasonal ingredients.

The unique modern design of the restaurant and bar features blown glass light fixtures, tile floors, exposed brick walls, and large paintings of wild game to give you a preview of the culinary creations to come.

Their dry-aged burger will be the best burger you’ll ever taste.

Address: 425 Bank Street, Ottawa ON K2P 1Y7

Phone: +1 613-563-2862


10. Edgar


Located across the Ottawa River, Edgar is a gourmet brunch and lunch eatery. This stunning eatery features regional Quebec favorites as well as globally-inspired dishes.

The small, country-chic café space has an open kitchen with a tantalizing pastry and baked goods case. They serve their delicious meals on tastefully mismatched vintage fine China dishes, adding to the restaurant’s charm. 

The weekend brunch at Edgar offers the best, most varied menu. Dishes like their giant Dutch baby garner a large following. This dish is a fluffy pancake topped with pork, apple, sharp cheddar, and cherry reduction. Expect a line out the door!

Address: 60 Rue Begin, Gatineau, QC JPA 1C8

Phone: +1 819-205-1110


Honourable Mentions

  • Shawarma Palace
  • Restaurant Les Fougères
  • Cumberland Pizza
  • Di Rienzo Deli in Little Italy
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