By ADELLE FARRELLY
Gluten-free Ottawa restaurants continue to grow in number and quality, but finding gluten-free comfort food in Ottawa still takes some digging. Well, we’ve done the work for you. For those with celiac or gluten sensitivity, here’s our list of some of the best gluten-free comfort foods available in restaurants across the city. Now you don’t have to stomach yet another salad while your dining companions dig into a generous portion of lasagna.
1. GLUTEN-FREE OTTAWA: PIZZA
Gluten-free pizza is available from the ubiquitous Pizza Pizza chain, but when you want to treat yourself to a more gourmet pie, ZaZaZa‘s two locations will come to the rescue. Both offer delicious crusts prepared in a 100% gluten-free facility, and dozens of toppings—all but three of them gluten-free.
• ZaZaZa, 143 Putnam St., 613-747-9292, zazazapizza.com
• ZaZaZa, 915 Bank St., 613-780-9292, zazazapizza.com
2. GLUTEN-FREE OTTAWA: BURGERS
Sometimes all you want is a burger with a bun — not a bare patty, or some bread-free substitution that always tastes like a concession. The Works combines 100 per cent Canadian beef with a gluten-free bun and 27 topping choices. With seven locations throughout the city, it’s always easy to get a gluten-free burger fix.
• The Works, 7 Ottawa locations, including 580 Bank St., 613-235-0406, worksburger.com
3. GLUTEN-FREE OTTAWA: POUTINE
The Holy Grail has been found: gluten-free poutine. And ribs. And wings. And cheesecake. Thanks to the Foolish Chicken, gluten-free diners can finally enjoy Canada’s national dish without compromise.
• Foolish Chicken, 79 Holland Ave., 613-231-4715, foolishchicken.ca.
4. GLUTEN-FREE OTTAWA: LASAGNA
Many restaurants now offer gluten-free pasta, but it’s the breadth of La Dolce Vita’s offerings that sets them apart. Gluten-free eaters: when did you ever expect to eat lasagna and garlic bread in an Italian restaurant ever again? Here’s your chance!
• La Dolce Vita, 180 Preston St., 613-233-6239, ladolcevitapreston.ca.
5. GLUTEN-FREE OTTAWA: CLUB SANDWICH
The club sandwich is a diner classic, and The Daily Grind’s gluten-free take on it — prepared with quality, fresh ingredients — is just one of the many gluten-free items they offer.
• The Daily Grind, 601 Somerset St. W., 613-233-2233, thedailygrindartcafe.com
6. GLUTEN-FREE OTTAWA: FISH AND CHIPS
Get hooked on haddock the way it’s meant to be eaten: battered and served with thick cut fries. Cat’s Fish and Chips serves up this comfort food staple fully gluten-free and loaded with flavour.
• Cat’s Fish and Chips, 319 St. Laurent Blvd., 613-748-3474, catsfishandchips.com
7. GLUTEN-FREE OTTAWA: CUPCAKES
For days when you don’t want “health food” for dessert, bite into one of Thimblecakes’ pretty little gluten-free cupcakes, topped with a mountain of frosting.
• Thimblecakes, 369 Bank St., 613-695-0109, thimblecakes.ca
8. GLUTEN-FREE OTTAWA: SUSHI AND SOY SAUCE
Sushi lovers that are sensitive to gluten usually find themselves sneaking in their own soy sauce or going without the condiment althogether. Luckily, Kiko Sushi Bar stocks plenty of gluten-free soy sauce — so get dipping!
• Kiko Sushi Bar, 349 Preston St., 613-695-3143, kikosushibar.com
9. GLUTEN-FREE OTTAWA: TACOS
This one comes with a caveat: Ahora’s staff is knowledgeable about gluten, and though their tacos are 100% gluten-free, their kitchen is not. Let the staff know and they will make every effort to prevent cross-contamination when you order their excellent tacos.
• Ahora, 307 Dalhousie St., 613-562-2081, ahora.ca
10. GLUTEN-FREE OTTAWA: CHICKEN WINGS
Wings are a classic choice when out with friends, but if you can’t eat gluten, the flour-dusted treats leave you settling for the celery. The Highlander Pub has your back. Pair the Highlander’s rice flour-dusted wings with a pint of Thornbury cider for the full pub experience. For those with severe gluten sensitivity, note that the pub’s menu is “gluten friendly” rather than gluten-free, so there may be cross contamination in the kitchen.
• The Highlander Pub, 115 Rideau St., 613-562-5678, highlanderpub.com