Ottawa-Gatineau Restaurants Scene



Ottawa has a number of blessings that make for an interesting collection of restaurants. It has a strong immigrant community, it is home to many embassies, and its high-tech and civil service workforce are well-travelled, and exposed to many cuisines and culinary influences. His creates a demanding audience, attracting a number of innovative chefs and restaurateurs.

There are a number of areas that seem to attract more than their fair share of dining spots: Byward market, eclectic Elgin Street, Bank Street & the Glebe, Preston Streets' Corso Italia, and Somerset Heights' Asian corner.

Patio restaurant in the Byward Market

Byward Market is known for its classic stone architecture and turn-of-the-century wooden structures. There are many restaurants taking advantage of the architecture and atmosphere in Ottawa's oldest neighbourhood. The types of restaurants run from simple greasy spoons & bagel joints to very toney restaurants serving the last blend of fusion cuisine.

The Downtown core, west of the Rideau Canal, has a number of restaurants that cater to the office worker. Many are in office towers, and several are located in unique heritage buildings that dot the area. The restaurants tend to be along the major thoroughfares parallel to Wellington, or on the Sparks Street pedestrian mall.

Griffins patio on Elgin Street

Close to downtown, just west of the Canal, is the eclectic Elgin Street, which runs from the NAC south to the Queensway. There are many restaurants and boutiques in this neighbourhood, taking advantage of brick buildings that date back to the 1910s and 20s. The area is residence to the city's arts communities, being close to the core and very convenient to the city's two universities.

Also south of downtown, but a little further west, is the Bank Street and Glebe area. While there are enough restaurants along the Bank Street Promenade north of the Queensway, Bank Street's charm doesn't reach the peak of its charm until it gets south of there. North of the Canal is the Glebe residential area, and further south is the neighbourhoods of Riverside and nearer to Carleton University.

Preston Street's Corso Italia

Just north of Dow's lake and Carling is Preston Street, which is the heart of Ottawa's Italian community. This neighbourhood has a number of Italian restaurants, featuring various typical and unique Mediterranean dishes.

Somerset Heights is located on Somerset Street West, from Bay to Rochester
This is Ottawa's Asian village marketplace, with a great selection of restaurants showcasing cuisine from China, Vietnam, and Thailand.

Hull (a specific subset of the larger regional municipality of "Gatineau") is right across the river from downtown Ottawa, and is known for a number of interesting heritage spaces, great French cuisine and wines and all the accoutrements that go with that. The restaurants here cater to the many civil servants working around Place du Portage by day, but by night they cater to the businessmen, diplomats and other seekers of fine cuisine.

Use the pop-down list at upper-left to quickly find restaurants by cuisine. You can use the Restaurant Search Form to quickly filter the restaurants by community/neighbourhood AND by cuisine. You can even search by postal code, even by street to find all restaurants really close to you.

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