The culinary scene in Canada’s capital is brimming with delicious cuisine, including popular vegetarian and vegan eateries. From healthy and raw, to hearty and indulgent, you’ll find meat-less options to suit all your cravings and dietary restrictions. Prepare your taste buds for these creative and satisfying vegetarian restaurants, cafes and bakeries located throughout the Ottawa area:
When Pure Kitchen opened its first location in the trendy Westboro neighbourhood, it was love at first bite for vegetarians as well as omnivores. The popular restaurant has since opened several other locations in Ottawa, including downtown on Elgin Street and in Little Italy. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are all made from scratch. Favourites include cauliflower wings, hot or cold bowls, poutine, and mushroom walnut patty burgers. You can also order freshly made juices and smoothies, inventive cocktails, local beer and wine.
The Green Door Restaurant
The Old Ottawa East neighbourhood, located a five-minute drive from downtown Ottawa, is home to the beloved Green Door – an Ottawa staple since 1988. Follow your cravings and choose from the many savoury and sweet dishes served in the pay-by-weight buffet, like tofu broccoli stir fry, quiche and avocado salad. Dishes are all labeled to indicate which are organic, vegan, gluten-free, or contain dairy, egg, gluten, wheat, nuts, soy, or sesame. This casual spot also serves beer and wine.
Little Jo Berry’s
Wellington Village is also home to Little Jo Berry’s, a bright and funky vegan cafe. Depending on the day, you might find dishes like the family poutine with faux cheese, meatless ribs and mac & cheese, or pizza. Leave room for baked treats like doughnuts and pies, as well as Ottawa’s Oat & Mill vegan ice cream.
Strawberry Blonde Bakery
A few blocks from Little Jo Berry’s, Strawberry Blonde Bakery is a pick-up-and-go spot known for its allergy-friendly foods. Everything on the menu is free of gluten, wheat, eggs, dairy, nuts, and tree-nuts (with the exception of coconut). The bakery makes everything from doughnuts, cinnamon buns, tofu scramble breakfast tarts, cupcakes, pies and bread, to specialty treats like Nanaimo and cheesecake bars. In the summer, their vegan soft serve ice cream is especially popular.
La Belle Verte
Many people head across the Ottawa River to Gatineau, Quebec for the delicious menu options at La Belle Verte. The quaint restaurant serves both raw and cooked dishes including bowls, sandwiches, burgers and pizzas. Despite their healthy ingredients, the desserts you see under the counter taste as good as they look (try the raw and vegan strawberry-cream chocolate tart). You can also bring home select prepared frozen dishes as well as the addictive homemade crackers and kale.
Wild Oat Bakery & Café
The Glebe neighbourhood near downtown Ottawa is known for its village-like main street lined with independent businesses, like Wild Oat Bakery & Café. This casual, hippy spot is so committed to quality and value that it grows some of its ingredients at its own farm! Line up with loyal locals and choose from vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free baked goods and dishes that you can take with you or eat in the café.
Inside the lobby of a multi-use building in the vibrant ByWard Market neighbourhood, you’ll find Peace Garden, a tiny vegetarian eatery. This unassuming hidden gem has been serving international vegetarian and vegan cuisine since 1992. Choose from South Indian cauliflower curry, Mexican lasagna, the thali platter and an impressive array of treats like truffles and date squares.
Although BeaverTails are shaped like the tail of Canada’s national animal, its whole wheat dough is actually vegan! When ordering, just ask the staff to hold the butter and any other non-vegan toppings. BeaverTails were invented in the Ottawa area in 1978 and the original stand is located in the historic ByWard Market neighbourhood. In winter, check two items off your bucket list by getting an iconic BeaverTail from one of the kiosks on the Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s largest skating rink!
The name says it all: this vegetarian eatery uses only fresh chickpeas in its delicious dishes. Order one of the many falafel sandwiches wrapped in pita and topped with traditional Middle Eastern ingredients or unique toppings. Other healthy options include falafel bowls, several types of hummus, salads, soups and side dishes. Visit Chickpeas at their location near Lansdowne in the vibrant Glebe neighbourhood, or at their original space at the Train Yards shopping area east of downtown.
The Cinnaholic dessert shop at Lansdowne in the Glebe neighbourhood is a vegan favourite. Their gourmet treats are 100% plant-based as well as dairy, lactose, egg and cholesterol-free! Create your own cinnamon bun with over 20 frostings and toppings, or order one of the seasonal specials like Maple Harvest or Pumpkin Pie. Cinnaholic also offers cookies, brownies and raw, edible cookie dough!
Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, flexitarian or omnivore, you’ll find other amazing options at great Ottawa restaurants that are not veggie-specific. Share your favourite meals with us on social media by using #MyOttawa!