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Where to Eat Ottawa

Ottawa’s Best BBQ: Hot off the grill

By Chris Lackner

You can’t bring your BBQ with you to Ottawa, so seek out these culinary delights that sizzle off the grill. Bet it grilled or smoked, here is our guide to the capital’s best BBQ food:

BBQ

Fatboys Southern Smokehouse: Southern hospitality with a biker ambience in the ByWard Market. fatboys.ca

Bytown Bayou: Smoke up at this gourmet BBQ food truck. bytownbayou.ca

Rosie’s Southern Kitchen & Bar in The Glebe.

Rosie’s Southern Kitchen & Bar in The Glebe.

Rosie’s Southern Kitchen & Bar: Ribs, steak, catfish and more in The Glebe, one of Ottawa’s trendiest neighbourhoods. rosiesonbank.ca

Foolish Chicken: Finger-lickin’ chicken and ribs (and cheesecake) in a casual Hintonburg café. foolishchicken.ca

Thankfully for your taste buds, Ottawa's Foolish Chicken is anything but foolish.

Thankfully for your taste buds, Ottawa’s Foolish Chicken is anything but foolish.

Little Red Shack BBQ: A saucy food shack that’s worth the drive to Stittsville. littleredshackbbq.com

SmoQue Shack: Their philosophy is, “Food comes first… licking the plate comes after.” Put it to the test by digging into everything from pulled pork, brisket and ribs to Jamaican jerk and BBQ chicken. Spotlighted on The Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here, this ByWard Market gem knows how to work a grill and a smoker. The coffee BBQ sauce leads a pack of nine saucy options; the Shack’s hefty combo platters are meant to be shared, and will turn the crowd at your table into regular Fred Flintstones. smoqueshack.com

Smoque Shack in Ottawa's ByWard Market.

Smoque Shack in Ottawa’s ByWard Market.

Burgers

Hintonburger: Ottawa’s iconic fast-food burger. Fast. Fresh. Local. Handmade. hintonburger.ca

Bite Burger House: Boutique burgers! Down your grilled goodies with specialty cocktails and fine wines. biteburgerhouse.com

Burgers n’ Fries Forever: Casual Bank Street burger joint with great shakes. burgersnfriesforever.com

The Works in Ottawa.

The Works in Ottawa.

The Works: Ottawa’s iconic gourmet burger is served at seven locations, but The Glebe restaurant is the most central. worksburger.com

Chez Lucien: One of the city’s best unsung pubs & best burgers (Editor’s Pick: the Bourgeois with brie and roasted pear) 137 Murray St.

Mother’s Day Brunch: 6 Best Spots to Kick-Start Mother’s Day in Ottawa

Mothers Day Ottawa Brunch

Mother’s Day in Ottawa: how to spoil mom on May 8th (Photo: Stacy Spensley)

Time’s running out to book a great table for Mother’s Day brunch in Ottawa. Here, we’ve compiled some of our top picks for the best places to spoil mom this Mother’s Day in Ottawa (and beyond!).

See the list of top brunches on Mother’s Day in Ottawa »

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Ottawa’s Best Patios

By Chris Lackner

Find your place in the sun. Our guide to Ottawa’s best patios covers your best bets for sun, suds, sangria, vino and vitamin D.

The Social patio in the ByWard Market's Clarendon Court. Courtesy: Ottawa Tourism.

The Social patio in the ByWard Market’s Clarendon Court. Courtesy: Ottawa Tourism.

ByWard Market

Clarendon Court: Secluded and cobblestone, its four restaurant patios feel European; discover the magic behind the shops on Sussex Drive, between George and York Streets, including spots like The Social and Courtyard Restaurant. (The Social537 Sussex Dr., Courtyard Restaurant: 21 George St.)

Earl of Sussex Pub: The best sun and sud combo in the market. 431 Sussex Dr.

La Terrasse: This open-air, summer restaurant offers stunning views of the Rideau Canal and Parliament. Their extensive wine and cocktail list pair well with the sun. Try a “Colonel By” Mojito. He would have wanted it that way. Located in Fairmont Chateau Laurier, even the sunbeams feel more elegant at this seasonal patio. 1 Rideau St.

Earl of Sussex patio.

Earl of Sussex patio.

The Highlander Pub: A place to people watch with eyes on the market’s pedestrian traffic. 115 Rideau St.

Cornerstone Bar and Grill: This market hotspot is a place to be seen. 92 Clarence St.

Murray Street: This leafy patio screams romance. And the charcuterie, cheese boards and wine list will only help matters. 110 Murray St.

Métropolitain Brasserie: Steps away from the Chateau Laurier and Parliament. Grab a table or an outdoor sofa. 700 Sussex Dr.

La Terrasse patio at Chateau Laurier. Courtesy Ottawa Tourism.

La Terrasse patio at Chateau Laurier. Courtesy Ottawa Tourism.

Elgin and Sparks Streets

D’Arcy McGee’s: Spot Ottawa’s who’s who at this upscale watering hole named after a Father of Confederation44 Sparks St.

Fox and Feather: Terrific topside patio with a bird’s-eye view of the bustling Elgin strip. 283 Elgin St.

Pancho Villa: Pancho’s margaritas, daiquiris, sangrias and pina coladas are as big in size as they are in flavour. It might not be Cancún, but close your eyes on the sunny patio and it will feel mighty close. 361 Elgin St.

Pancho Villa's patio.

Pancho Villa’s patio.

The Glebe

Feleena’s Mexican Cantina: Sangria, anyone? 742 Bank St.

Irene’s Pub: Discover the hidden courtyard patio at this live music hotspot. 885 Bank St.

Little Italy

Pub Italia: Ireland enjoys a bit of Italy’s sun. 434 Preston St.

Pub Italia patio.

Pub Italia patio.

Westboro/Hintonburg

Tennessy Willems: Small but sublime. Come for the pizza, stay for the sunshine. 1082 Wellington St W.

Churchills: P is for patio… and Public House. 356 Richmond Rd.

Water View

Canal Ritz patio on the Rideau Canal.

Canal Ritz patio on the Rideau Canal.

Dow’s Lake: Three restaurant patios overlook the lake’s busy birds and boaters. Choose your own adventure between Malone’s Lakeside Grill, Baja Grill and Lago1001 Queen Elizabeth Dr.

Canal Ritz: This classy canal-side gem is boat traffic central. 375 Queen Elizabeth Dr.

Mill Street Brew Pub: Located near the Canadian War Museum on LeBreton Flats, this historic gristmill turned brewpub is also the perfect stop along the Ottawa River bike path. 555 Wellington St. 

Three Hot Chocolates for Frosty Days

Chilly days call for warm beverages. Try one of these hot chocolates from three Ottawa eateries.

Chilly days call for warm beverages. Try one of these hot chocolates from three Ottawa eateries.

Truffle Treasures: Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate. Truffle Treasures is known for their decadent peanut butter cups — now you can get one in beverage form! 314 Richmond Rd., 613-761-3859, truffletreasures.com

Cacao 70: Giuseppe Lamma’s Bolognese Hot Chocolate. Based on an Italian recipe dating to 1660, this hot chocolate is infused with orange and spiced with cinnamon. 53 William St., 623-860-1991, cacao70.ca 

Stella Luna Gelato Café: Alpine Hot Chocolate. Chef-owner Tammy Giuliani uses fresh milk, quality chocolate, and a bit of cream in this rich, frothy recipe from the Italian Alps. 1103 Bank St., 613-523-1116, slgelato.com —Amy Allen

 

Pancake Heaven at Flapjack’s

Delicious pancakes await you at Flapjack's Pancake Shake, a food truck located in the Glebe.

Delicious pancakes await you at Flapjack’s Pancake Shake, a food truck located in the Glebe.

The sugar bush comes to the city at Flapjack’s Pancake Shack, a food truck that delivers create takes on the breakfast staple. Its panwiches are perhaps the most popular items on the menu: as the name suggests, you’ll find crammed between a stack of fluffy pancakes a variety of fillings, including bacon and eggs, marshmallows, Nutella, or strawberries. Their dine-in restaurant recently opened in Little Italy.
•Truck: 809 Bank St. (in the courtyard behind Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s); Restaurant: 354A Preston St., flapjacks.ca

The Sweet Stuff: Holland’s Cake and Shake

(Photo: Erica Filippelli)

Holland’s Cake and Shake specializes in artisanal mini cakes, delightful pastries, and hearty themed sandwiches. (Photo: Erica Filippelli)

Dessert lovers will feel right at home at Holland’s Cake and Shake. Although the menu changes weekly, you can expect to see cakes inspired by such culinary delights as cinnamon buns and popcorn. For a few bucks extra, you can have a cake of your choice blended into a milkshake; those with formidable stomachs may be tempted by the Overlord, a 16-ounce shake topped with a cake, a cookie, and a brownie. Brown bag lunches are also available; they include a hot or cold sandwich, a drink, and a treat. —Amy Allen
•229 Armstrong St., 613-695-3311, cakeandshake.ca

Fresco Bistro Italiano on Elgin Street

Fresco Bistro Italiano on Elgin Street serves up scrumptious Italian fare.

Fresco Bistro Italiano on Elgin Street serves up scrumptious Italian fare.

On what is arguably one of Ottawa’s most popular dining strips, Fresco Bistro Italiano brings jazzed up Italian cuisine to the table. Their food — including their popular veal meatballs — is made fresh in-house, and served in a chic, cozy dining room. Another plus: they serve brunch complete with traditional breakfast items, sandwiches, pizzas, and pastas.
•354 Elgin St., 613-235-7541, frescobistro.ca
Map and reviews

Old World Italian: Allegro Ristorante

Allegro Ristorante in the heart of Little Italy

Allegro Ristorante in the heart of Little Italy serves up classic Italian fare.

Allegro Ristorante is a long-running Ottawa establishment that recently changed ownership. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is its chef, which means you too can sample the hearty Italian food Ottawans have been enjoying for 20 years. They offer all your Italian favourites: fettuccine in pesto alfredo, linguine with shrimp, tortellini and prosciutto in a mushroom sauce, and good old spaghetti carbonara. The service is exceptional, too. —Amy Allen
•422 Preston St., 613-235-7454, allegroristorante.ca

A Craving for Cocoa

BY AMY ALLEN

New in town, Purdys Chocolatier makes delicious chocolates, truffles, and other sweet treats.

New in town, Purdys makes delicious chocolates, truffles, and other sweet treats.

You can’t go wrong with chocolate. A box of bonbons makes a perfect Valentine’s Day treat, be it for yourself or someone special. And what better way to dispel those winter chills than with a cup of hot cocoa made with fresh, high quality Belgian chocolate? Here, we highlight some of the best places to satisfy your sweet tooth.

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Starting From Scratch: Wilf & Ada’s

At Wilf and Ada's, delicious diner fare is made in-house from scratch.

At Wilf and Ada’s, delicious diner fare is made in-house from scratch.

After 20 years in business, the owners of Ada’s Diner, a beloved greasy spoon in Centretown, retired and sold the property to a new generation of restaurateurs. The location was reborn as Wilf & Ada’s and has been serving breakfast, brunch, and lunch ever since. Dishes are lovingly prepared from scratch wherever possible, using high quality products sourced from local suppliers. Popular choices include the hot chicken sandwich and the house-made sugar pie.
•510 Bank St., 613-231-7959. wilfandadas.com

Artisanal Flavour at Art Is In Bakery

At Art Is In Bakery, you'll find delicious artisan breads in a variety of flavours, including Dynamie cheddar jalapeño. (Photo: Kim Shumsky)

At Art Is In Bakery, you’ll find delicious artisan breads in a variety of flavours, including Dynamite cheddar jalapeño. (Photo: Kim Shumsky)

Bread is a staple of virtually every culture on earth, but Art Is In — as its name implies — makes it an art form.  Try the Dynamite cheddar jalapeno bread and their almond croissants. For a real treat sit in their casual restaurant and order one of the rich sandwiches on their menu. Built on a foundation of house-made bread, they’re packed with such luscious ingredients as slow roasted chicken, angus striploin, white truffle mayo, and Gruyère cheese. —Amy Allen
•250 City Centre Ave., Unit 112, 613-695-1226 ext. 801, artisinbakery.com

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