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5 Don’t Miss Culinary Gems in Ottawa

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As Canada’s Capital, Ottawa is home to seven national museums as well as important landmarks such as Parliament Hill. But did you know that the city is also home to a vibrant and constantly evolving culinary scene?

In Ottawa for a meeting or a conference? Discover five of the city’s culinary gems that are perfect after a long work day or for a quick snack on the go. Regardless of the culinary experience you choose, you can be sure that it will be memorable. Head out and savour Canada’s capital city!

SuzyQ Doughnuts:

Located at 969 Wellington St. W, this artisan doughnut shop is a local favourite and is well-worth the small detour from Ottawa’s main downtown core.

If you’re craving sugar, stop here, where you’ll find delicious, handmade doughnuts that are most likely unlike anything you’ve ever tried. These creations go far beyond the typical coffee shop offering! Try creative flavours such as PB&J, S’Mores, Maple Bacon and even London Fog – an Earl Grey tea-inspired doughnut. And make sure to have your phone or your camera with you. These doughnuts are delectable, pretty and very social media worthy. This is an Ottawa treat that you won’t soon forget! SuzyQ is open seven days a week.

Atelier Restaurant:

If you’re looking for a gourmet Ottawa dining experience, look no further than Atelier. Located at 540 Rochester St. next to Ottawa’s bustling Little Italy neighbourhood, Atelier puts a modern twist on fine dining.

Here, you’ll find a multi-course tasting menu each evening that utilizes the freshest local ingredients owner and Head Chef Marc Lépine can get his hands on. And you can be sure that each plate will taste as amazing as it looks. Chef Lépine has won many culinary awards and in 2014, Atelier’s sommelier Steve Robinson, was named the ‘2014 Best Sommelier in Ontario.’

Settle in for an evening of great food, wine and a quiet ambiance. Also, Atelier is truly a local Ottawa gem, being only found by those who know the address. The restaurant’s name is not on the building. Look for a grey brick building with a modern look.

Try an Ottawa taco:

It’s true! This is now an Ottawa thing! There are two places that you’ll want to try a taco from in Ottawa. The first one is El Camino. Located at 380 Elgin St., El Camino is a tacos, tequila and raw bar. Here, you’ll find delicious tacos as well as dumplings, fresh green papaya salad and more. Choose from pork, beef, crispy fish, even Japanese eggplant tacos and more. Also, this is a great place to grab a bite if you have a short break between a meeting or a conference session. Just walk up Elgin Street to El Camino’s convenient take-out window and get your order to go!

And in Ottawa’s historic ByWard Market neighbourhood, you’ll find SIDEDOOR Contemporary Kitchen & Bar. Located at 18 York St., Sidedoor offers fresh menu items including delicious made-to-order tacos. Try savoury tacos with jerk chicken, spicy braised beef, Bajan crispy fish and more. And here’s the best part… For dessert, order Sidedoor’s warm and sweet mini donuts. Like the tacos, these are also made-to-order. Try flavours such as white chocolate and cranberry, cinnamon sugar, dark chocolate and more.

Playa Del Popsical:

If you’re looking for a unique and refreshing Ottawa summer treat, give this colourful food truck a try! Located in a courtyard at 809 Bank St. in Ottawa’s trendy Glebe neighbourhood, Playa Del Popsical offers delicious artisan popsicles made with fresh fruit and more.

Have a little bit of downtime during your meeting or conference? Opt to enjoy your icy treat on Playa Del Popsical’s vintage-style sandy beach. Around the truck, you’ll find a small wooden boardwalk, tons of sand as well as beach chairs. Discover this quaint little summer oasis located at just a short drive south of Ottawa’s downtown core. The truck is open daily from noon to 9:00 p.m.

Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute:

You don’t have to go all the way to France for an authentic Le Cordon Bleu experience. You can find it right in the middle of Ottawa’s downtown core!

Located at 453 Laurier Ave. E, this famous cooking school is housed in a beautiful 1877 former lumber baron mansion. If you have some time to spare, opt to take part in one of the school’s Gourmet Short Courses. Over an afternoon – from roughly noon to 4:00 p.m. – you can learn the art of crêpe-making, vegetarian cuisine, gluten free desserts and more. Alternatively, you can also choose to see a culinary demonstration. In this experience, you sit amongst Le Cordon Bleu students as a chef teaches them the art of candy-making etc. This is a great way to get useful cooking or baking tips. And the best part? You get to sample everything that was prepared at the end.

Or if you prefer more of a hands-off approach, opt to enjoy a meal at Le Cordon Bleu’s Signatures Restaurant. Entirely separate from the famous cooking school, Signatures is run by Executive Chef Yannick Anton and offers modern French cuisine. Enjoy quiet, private dining rooms, soft lighting and delicious food. Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute is a member of Destination Canada’s Canadian Signature Experience collection, which aims to showcase once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences found in Canada.

But these are only a few highlights we’ve pulled from Ottawa’s expansive culinary scene. Want to see what else you might be able to fit into your Ottawa meeting or conference visit? Discover more of Ottawa's culinary scene in the Culinary Experiences section of our website.

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