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Where to Eat Ottawa

Contemporary Cuisine at Courtyard Restaurant

Situated in a historic building in the heart of the ByWard Market, Courtyard Restaurant serves up contemporary Canadian cuisine with international flavours.

Situated in a historic building in the heart of the ByWard Market, Courtyard Restaurant serves up contemporary Canadian cuisine with international flavours.

In the heart of the ByWard Market, the Courtyard Restaurant has been serving fine contemporary cuisine for over 30 years. Housed in a handsome limestone building that dates back to 1837, the restaurant exudes a comfortable, yet refined, ambience that is matched by chef Ian Reed’s menu. Here, you’ll find beautifully plated wild boar, pan roasted Pacific halibut, and bacon-wrapped elk striploin. —Amy Allen
•21 George St., 613-241-1516, courtyardrestaurant.com 
Map and reviews

5 Vegetarian Restaurants in Ottawa

BY AMY ALLEN

This hearty chili is just one of many tasty vegan dishes on offer at SimplyRaw Express. (Photo: Courtesy of SimplyRaw Express)

This hearty chili is just one of many tasty vegan dishes on offer at SimplyRaw Express. (Photo: Courtesy of SimplyRaw Express)

In this day and age, plenty of restaurants include at least one vegetarian item on the menu. But wouldn’t it be nice to sit down at a place where the entire menu caters to those who have foregone meat altogether? Well, never fear — the Ottawa region has plenty of delicious options for vegans and vegetarians.

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Rustic Charm at MeNa

MeNa serves up elegant, French-inspired cuisine in a cozy, rustic setting.

MeNa serves up elegant, French-inspired cuisine in a cozy, rustic setting.

Named for owner Bryan Livingston’s wife, MēNa serves French-inspired cuisine in a cozy setting. With an emphasis on small menus and portions, the restaurant delivers such delicious options as lamb leg, arctic char, pork shoulder, beef flank, and corn flan with gnocchi. They also have a sommelier on hand to explain the wine menu and make pairing suggestions. —Amy Allen
•276 Preston St., 613-233-6462, menarestaurant.com

Game, Set, Match: Real Sports Bar and Grill

Real Sports is a great place to take in the big game, or just kick back and relax with friends.

Real Sports is a great place to take in the big game, or just kick back and relax with friends.

Take in the big game at Real Sports Bar & Grill, where sporting events are displayed on a 27-foot big screen and 99 additional HD televisions. Part sports bar, part lounge, it’s the perfect place to not only catch the game on the big screen, but also catch up with friends. The extensive menu boasts traditional and upscale bar fare, and the patio and second floor terrace offer the opportunity to kick back and relax. —Amy Allen
•90 George St., 613-680-7325, realsports.ca/barandgrill
Map and reviews

Ottawa Weekend Calendar for Nov. 21 to 23

Adam Cohen, son of Leonard, performs at the Algonquin Commons Theatre on Saturday night.

Adam Cohen, son of Leonard, performs at the Algonquin Commons Theatre on Saturday night.

Friday, Nov. 21

Is the cold weather getting you down? No need to despair. Ottawa Bourbon Week kicks off on Friday night, with enough bourbon-inspired food and drink to put a fire in your belly. On Friday night, head over to Two Six {Ate} for some old-school bourbon cocktails with a modern twist. Admission is free. See website for other events throughout the week.

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Pizza on the Go: Fiazza Fresh Fired

(Photo: David Irvine)

Fiazza specializes in fresh, custom-made pizzas. (Photo: David Irvine)

Fiazza Fresh Fired is one of the newest restaurants in town. Start by choosing your sauce (red san marzano and alfredo are among the options), then pile it up with cheese (offerings range from blue to goat to vegan). After that, select your toppings, which run the gamut from traditional (pineapple, naturally smoked bacon) to unusual (truffle oil, arugula). —Amy Allen
•86 Murray St., 613-562-2000, fiazza.ca

Pancho Villa in Ottawa

Pancho Villa is a cozy restaurant that offers hearty Tex Mex and unique cocktails.

Pancho Villa is a cozy restaurant that offers hearty Tex Mex and unique cocktails.

Small, cozy, and nestled under an apartment building on Elgin Street, Pancho Villa has traditional Mexican fare on offer. Burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and enchiladas stuffed with beef and chicken dominate the menu, but vegetarians and vegans will also find something here to enjoy. Round off your meal with a southern-themed cocktail — try the Pina Colada or the Acapulco Sunset — and a delicious serving of deep fried ice cream. —Amy Allen
•Pancho Villa, 361 Elgin St., 613-234-8872
Map and reviews

Pizza With Flair: ZaZaZa

ZaZaZa offers gourmet pizza with an assortment of unusual toppings.

ZaZaZa offers gourmet pizza with an assortment of unusual toppings.

Yet another brainchild of local restaurateur Ion Aimers, ZaZaZa offers thin crust pizza made with fresh dough, fresh sauce, and an assortment of unusual toppings. Guests are first asked to choose a crust (cornmeal, honey oat, or gluten-free); they can then peruse the playbill menu, which boasts such flamboyant pizzas as the Bleekinator (mozzarella, tomatoes, bacon, and parmesan), Lover’s Leap (mozzarella, pepperoni, hot Italian sausage, tomatoes, and black olives), and the Scary Roommate (mozzarella, kraft dinner, hot dogs, cheddar, and parmesan).
•1079 Wellington St. W., 613-798-9292, and three other locations. zazazapizza.com

Yangtze Dining Lounge in Ottawa

For more than 25 years, the Yangtze Dining Lounge has been cooking up some quality Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine.

For more than 25 years, Yangtze Dining Lounge has been cooking up some quality Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine.

Got a hankering for cheap yet tasty dim sum? Well, Yangtze Dining Lounge can hook you up. The place has been an institution in Chinatown for more than 25 years, and its menu is packed with spring rolls, assorted soups, noodle bowls, meat dishes, and plenty of options for vegetarians. It offers both Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine, and you can sit in or take out. —Amy Allen
•700 Somerset St. W., 613-236-0555. yangtze.ca
Map and reviews

Deacon Brodie’s Pub in Ottawa

Deacon Brodie's Pub is new in town, and it's offering some traditional Scottish pub fare — try the haggis!

Deacon Brodie’s Pub is new in town, and it’s offering some traditional Scottish pub fare — try the haggis!

Deacon Brodie’s Pub is named after a Scottish thief who was hanged for his crimes in the early 18th century. There’s plenty of traditional pub fare on offer, but there are some unusual items on the menu as well, such as lobster and salmon pot pie, ginger crusted pickerel, and malai kebab chicken. And be sure to keep an eye out for the haggis, that traditional Scottish dish made of sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs. —Amy Allen
•247 Elgin St., 613-236-6464. deaconbrodiespub.com

Modern Cuisine at Gezellig

Delicious modern food is on offer at Gezellig, a cozy restaurant in the heart of Westboro.

Delicious modern food is on offer at Gezellig, a cozy restaurant in the heart of Westboro.

Restaurant entrepreneur Stephen Beckta and executive chef Michael Moffatt’s newest venture Gezellig (gah-zell-ig), named after the Dutch adjective for “convivial”, is both comfortable and inspiring with its modern menu and cozy atmosphere. Located in a converted 1950s bank building in Westboro, the restaurant specializes in big plates designed to be shared, such as the St. Louis back ribs with swiss chard, cherry tomatoes, grilled peppers, and butter-fried cornbread. The menu gets inspiration from around the world, including the wine pairings, while still supporting local producers.
•337 Richmond Rd., 613-680-9086. gezelligdining.ca
Map and reviews

Travis Persaud

Union Local 613 in Ottawa

Communal seating, southern cuisine, and a vast selection of bourbon are part of Union Local 613's charm.

Communal seating, southern cuisine, and a vast selection of bourbon are part of Union Local 613′s charm.

Nestled in Ottawa’s Somerset Village, Union Local 613 has caused a wave of excitement in the nation’s capital with its bold take on Southern cuisine. Communal seating covers the majority of the restaurant, allowing raucous conversations to travel across shared tables — and once your order comes, raucousness will continue. Buttermilk-fried yardbird, cracker crusted Louisiana catfish and cheddar, and roasted garlic hominy grits are just a few of the items worth shouting about. A selection of bourbon makes you feel as if you’ve stepped into a Kentucky saloon.
•315 Somerset St. W., 613-231-1010, union613.ca
Map and reviews

Travis Persaud