Ottawa is a very sweet city. Don’t believe us? Try these decadent desserts that Canada’s Capital City has to offer, and see for yourself.
In the ByWard Market Neighbourhood
The BeaverTails stand sits right next to Lois N’ Frima’s in the ByWard Market neighbourhood. A trip to Ottawa is not complete without sampling this classic Canadian pastry, so named because the pastry looks like a beaver tail. These Canadian treats can be topped with cinnamon and sugar, bananas and chocolate, maple bacon, or even with Reese’s Pieces. BeaverTails uses 33.5 tonnes of their chocolate hazelnut spread per year (which is equivalent to 67 moose and 11 beavers by Canadian measurements)
The Cupcake Lounge
Located at 6 Byward Market Square (and at 324 Richmond Road in the trendy Westboro neighbourhood), this dessert shop specializes in gourmet cupcakes. They have staple flavours like chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet available every day as well as specialty seasonal flavours that rotate throughout the week (check their website). Some unique cupcakes are matcha green tea, white chocolate strawberry, cookie dough, and chocolate peanut butter. If cupcakes aren’t your thing, try one of their other delicious treats, like toffee, brownies, and alfajores. Their locations are licensed and they have wine pairing suggestions.
Lois N’ Frima’s
This little ice cream stand at 71 George Street has been serving their homemade ice cream to Ottawa since 1986 and has over 50 flavours available, including dairy-free and sugar-free options. Their ice cream is made fresh with ingredients from Ontario, making it rich and mouth watering, especially on a hot summer day.
Oh So Good
At its original location at 25 York Street (and at its second at 261 Richmond Road in Westboro), Oh So Good specializes in decadent cakes and coffees. They believe that “Coffee + Cake = Love”. Different menu items are available by day, but you will always find an extra sweet cake, pie, or tart to pair with a delicious hot drink.
Located at 14 Byward Market Square, Zak’s has been an Ottawa staple for over 30 years, this 50’s style 24-hour diner offers a variety of interesting foods, but the deep-fried mars bar is a special treat. It’s a regular mars bar wrapped in pastry, deep fried, and then loaded with ice cream, whipped cream, and caramel sauce- perfect for those late nights in the ByWard Market neighbourhood. If you’re looking for something a little more classic, try Zak’s apple pie, which can be served with ice cream or melted cheddar.
Feleena’s is a Mexican cantina run by a couple passionate about bringing the best food and atmosphere to your table. Everything they serve is made in house - including the tortilla chips - and the décor is completely unique, down to the hand-painted chairs. They are located at 742 Bank Street in the lovely Glebe neighbourhood. By far the sweetest treat on their menu is the deep-fried ice cream. Vanilla ice cream is wrapped in churro dough, deep fried and seasoned with cinnamon and sugar, drizzled with caramel or chocolate sauce. In the summer, you can enjoy this delectable dessert on their colourful outdoor patio.
The five businessmen who started Mavericks Donuts love making the doughy treats. They first opened at 1500 Bank Street in the suburb of Alta Vista, and now have a more central second location at 46 ByWard Market Square. Their doughnuts are made fresh each day and with flavours like cherry cheesecake, lemon ricotta, PB&J, and bacon on maple icing. If you’re feeling creative or craving something not on their menu, you can customize your own doughnut. Start with vanilla, chocolate, maple or caramel glaze and then top it with more than 15 different topping options, ranging from fruit loops, to crushed chocolate bars.
Life Of Pie
Found at 1134 Bank Street in the Old Ottawa South area, Life of Pie was created by a hobby baker who was told by her friends that she needed to sell her pies. All pies are baked fresh every day without preservatives and with locally-sourced ingredients. Check the website ahead of time to see which of the different kind of pies are available for your visit. You can place an order for a full, freshly baked pie to take home, or you can order an un-baked pie to store in your freezer until you are ready to bake it yourself. Classes are offered throughout the week, so you can learn how to expertly bake pies, tarts, quiche, scones and more.
Little Jo Berry’s
This vegan bakery located at 1305 Wellington Street West in the trendy Wellington Village neighbourhood serves some of the most delicious sweets and beverages around. All of their baked goods are 100% dairy and egg free, and certain items are also gluten free. The vegan Poptarts are the most popular menu item, while other favourites include Twinkies, “Cookie Crunches”, chai spice cake, and matcha scones.
This Gelato shop has won multiple awards around the world (including in Italy)! Since opening its original location in the Old Ottawa South neighbourhood in 2011, the owner opened a second location in the Hintonburg area. On Sunday nights between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. the gelato is 40% off, but arrive a couple minutes early to avoid a long line. Stella Luna also has a vintage gelato push cart that moves around the city. Check the feature on their website to see where the cart is located - it might be right around the corner!
SuzyQ Donuts, located at 969 Wellington Street West in the Hintonburg neighbourhood, is always coming up with new and interesting flavours. Some of their classics include maple bacon, cookies n’ cream, salty caramel, and dirty chocolate. They also offer seasonal and experimental doughnuts like blue vanilla Fruit Loop, mango lassi, and London fog. To make their doughnuts, SuzyQ follows the traditional Finnish recipe for Sugar Munkki. In 1940, a family that escaped the Winter War in Finland brought the recipe to their new home in Ottawa. The rest is SuzyQ history!
Looking for more refreshing treats? Take a look at our suggestions for the Best ice cream (and other frozen treats) in Ottawa!