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Meet the owner

Sometimes great things come from humble beginnings, and this is certainly true of Mamma Teresa Ristorante. In 1960, the Boselli family left the hills of Parma in Northern Italy and settled in Canada's capital. The family brought with them their lust for life, great wine, traditional homemade Italian cuisine and the warm hospitality of a traditional family dinner.

In 1970, Giuliano Boselli and his mother, Mamma Teresa, decided to share these passion with their new hometown, so they opened their arms and kitchen doors to the public with a small family business named in honour of the family matriarch: Mamma Teresa Ristorante. 

Located in the heart of downtown Ottawa close to Parliament Hill, Mamma Teresa Ristorante has been the spot for politicians to dine and debate since the 1980s. "There's a lot of history in these walls," says co-owner Frank Schimizzi. "We are known as the unofficial 'Liberal headquarters' and the Trudeau's are regular diners. The constitution was signed here!" he exclaims, pointing to a wall covered in historic photos and autographed head shots.

Read the story of Mamma Teresa Ristorante

Ratings & Reviews - Mamma Teresa Ristorante

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  • Atmosphere: 3.6/5
  • Food: 3.6/5
  • Service: 4/5
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Hillary H
By

Best Italian food in Ottawa! Great service, homemade food, big portions, good prices. Will definitely be returning!!

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Emmanuel T
By

Excellente restaurant italiem ! pas de pizza mais que de la bonne cuisine italienne. Le cadre est vraiment sympa ; c'est chic mais pas trop. Nos différentes pates etaient tout simplement délicieuses. Petite préférence pour la mamma teresa et la carbonara. Le tiramisu excellent, la mousse au chocolat, bof, trop de liqueur de café. Personnel bilingue et efficace.

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nick1
By

NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE

This Italian restaurant used to be very good place, but it's in desparate need of renovations. The restrooms didn't seem clean. The food is bland and expensive, The spaghetti sauce tastes like it came from a bottle in the supermarket . Service was average. I used to go to this restaurant at least twice a month years ago. I have been back there this summer and was truly disappointed from looking for a parking place in the area. The menu was limited and expensive. The tables were too close to have a private conversation. Please renovate and find new chefs. There is a lot of competition for Italian food that have popped up over the past few years. I will not go back again.

Atmosphere: 1/5
Food: 1/5
Service: 3/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Mamma Teresa's is something of a legend in...

Mamma Teresa's is something of a legend in Ottawa. I can only conclude that it's because a lot of politicians eat there (note the pictures on the wall). There is no way it's because of the food. This was by far the worst italian meal I have ever had. If you want good Italian go down to Preston St. and find something there. As far as I'm concerned this place is a waste of money. My veal and my husbands was absolutely tasteless and the sauce on my daughter's spaghetti and meatballs tasted canned.

Atmosphere: 3/5
Food: 1/5
Service: 3/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Great food with amazing service

I love this restaurant. I just discovered it not long ago and it is now my favourite place to eat. It's a perfect place if you want to go out as couples, a group or large parties. I sugest making a reservation as they are usually busy, especially on weekends. The food overall if very good, and the menu offers a wide selection of food. The service is what makes the night even better. They are always on top of everything, checking on us and making sure everything is perfect. I definatly recomend restaurant which has a beautiful italian heritage inside its walls

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

great start to a bachelorette weekend

The girls met up in Ottawa to celebrate with our soon to be bride Cristina. The weekend started on a great note from the get go. We all got dolled up for the opening night of our stay and left our hotel for our 8 pm reservation at Mamma Teresa's. From the moment we walked through the doors of this victorian style home, we experienced hospitality at it's finest. The maitre d Walter received us as if we were his long time friends and made us feel welcome. He showed us to our table which was set and ready for us, then introduced us to our waiter for the evening, Frank (or Francesco as he played it up with us ) What a Charmer! And he even knew his job, very well. He suggested a menu for us and helped us choose some fabulous wine to suit our menu as well as our taste buds. Everything was superb. The attention we were given was overwhelming. The service impeccable and the food terrific. We enjoyed ourselves so much that we never left till past midnight. We had a great experience and look forward to going back soon for a reunion weekend with the girls. Highly reccommended.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Probably one of my favorite places to go in...

Probably one of my favorite places to go in Ottawa Highly recommend

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

This restorant has a delightfoul atmosphear with...

This restorant has a delightfoul atmosphear with food to die for. It reminded me of being in italy If you are in Ottawa you should deffently give this place a shot.

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

I feel this restaurant is a true gem of Ottawa...

I feel this restaurant is a true gem of Ottawa. The evening was very enjoyable and the food was even better. I would recommend this place to any one that would love some great Italian food and a fun night out.

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

The food was good I found that they had a good...

The food was good I found that they had a good northern Italian flavor great quality. Service is great, they speak Italian. Would go back next time I am in Ottawa

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

if you are looking for a good italian meal with...

if you are looking for a good italian meal with a super service,this is the place to reserve. excellent.

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

The steak looked as if it was boiled- grey and...

The steak looked as if it was boiled- grey and rubbery- the italian food was average- rather go to a cafe on Preston St, Another old Ottawa restaurant that can't make the grade with the better new comers. Overrated and overpriced.

Atmosphere: 3/5
Food: 3/5
Service: 3/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Low grade food with matching wine Service is a...

Low grade food with matching wine Service is a joke Used to be a good place in the old time, too bad

Atmosphere: 3/5
Food: 3/5
Service: 2/5
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Restaurantica12
By

The largest menu I have ever seen. How can they...

The largest menu I have ever seen. How can they do any one thing good? Well at our table of 6, there were 6 things not very good. Even the basic tomato sauce was bland.This is an old Ottawa intitution and has rested on it's laurels far too long. Soory to see something so revered go down.

Atmosphere: 2/5
Food: 2/5
Service: 2/5
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August 17, 2017

I do not get out to dinner very often, so I chose a place that I know for our wedding anniversary. Mamma Teresa has never disappointed. Always great food. Always great service. Thanks!

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

August 16, 2017

Outstanding service...excellent meal...can't say enough good things...

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

August 16, 2017

Superb dining experience. Great service, great ambience and best of all: great food. We always try to have at least one dinner here when we visit Ottawa, usually with friends and colleagues. And it's within reasonable walking distance from the hotels we usually stay at. Highly recommended.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

August 13, 2017

We started to eat after more than an hour and a half from the order

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 3/5

Service: 2/5

August 14, 2017

Great

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

August 13, 2017

Franco is the best! Always very satisfied, best servos in town!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

August 9, 2017

The food is BLAND!!! Far from quality Italian flavors. Garlic alone does not make it Italian food. The price of your salads is some kind of a joke. The tomatoes in our tomato and mozarella salad were NOT RIPE!!! The gorgonzola salad was disappointing in quality. We will not be returning to Mama Teresa

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 1/5

Service: 2/5

August 8, 2017

Great restaurant! Food atmosphere was a fantastic!!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

August 8, 2017

The food was amazing, I thought I was in Italy. The service was on point and our waiter was very polite and knowledgeable! My husband and I can't wait to go back to Ottawa and go here again.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

August 6, 2017

Absolutely awesome. Staff was knowledgeable and attentive. Food was great and perfect serving sizes. I recommended this restaurant to anyone looking for a great place to dine in Ottawa.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

August 6, 2017

Dining at Mama Teresa is a must every time we visit Ottawa. Always a great experience, service is unmatched and the food is quintessential Italian. The menu is extensive and everything is excellent but Raviolli Mama Teresa is the best!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

August 4, 2017

It was a great experience and my family quite enjoyed the atmosphere, the food and the service.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 4/5

August 4, 2017

The best experience.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

August 1, 2017

Was very disappointed with our server ..forgot appetizer /special of the day ordered and my husband's glass of house wine ..had to ask for both ..very disappointed though the food was excellent . My mother who is 84 will no longer return

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 2/5

August 1, 2017

Wish I had noted the name of our server. He was terrific.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

July 28, 2017

We are neighbours of Mama Teresa and always enjoy the atmosphere there. The food is excellent and the service relaxed. The decor, with the carpets, allows for easy conversation.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

July 26, 2017

We don't back to this restaurant often enough. Everything is absolutely amazing. The best veal in the City.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

July 25, 2017

Always an excellent meal with great service! One of the best restaurants in town.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

July 12, 2017

The best Italian food we've had in Ottawa. Service was impeccable. Food was beyond incredible. Atmosphere was very unique and welcoming. We plan to come back regularly!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

July 4, 2017

Loved it!! Best restaurant we visited in Ottawa.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

July 3, 2017

Some of the best Italian I've ever had! Loved it.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

July 4, 2017

Was an excellent experience to cap off our Canada Day weekend in Ottawa. Visiting from Kitchener>

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

June 28, 2017

A standard and a classic. Just as expected. Does not change, remains excellent.An Italian classic

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

June 27, 2017

Just love that place ... I am going there since so long and wont stop 😜

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

June 23, 2017

My family thouroughly enjoyed our dining experience. The food was delicious as usual and our server, John was fantastic.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

June 22, 2017

Excellent Food, Excellent Service as usual.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

June 22, 2017

It was my 79 year old mother's birthday and she was treated like a queen. Attentive service, always going the extra mile. many thanks. Mama T's i s our family's celebration place. Donna

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

June 20, 2017

An excellent restaurant, great food, good atmosphere. All in our party loved their meals.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 4/5

June 18, 2017

The best Italian dinner we have had outside of Italy!! Johnny was an xcellent cheerful professional waiter who provided exceptional advice. We would love to have this restaurant near home. Don Caledon

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

June 19, 2017

Very nice restaurant and great service. I always enjoy eating there and it is one of my favourite restaurants. The server brought a slice of birthday cake with a candle for my girlfriend after we casually mentioned it was her birthday.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

Appears in 3 Smart Lists

Editor’s Pick
Ottawa’s best Italian restaurants

Ottawa’s best Italian restaurants

Giuliano Boselli and his mother Teresa opened this restaurant in 1970 to showcase the tastes of Parma, Northern Italy, in the Canadian capital. The friendly, warm and welcoming Italian way of living comes to life through the homey atmosphere at Mamma Teresa’s. Enjoy al fresco dining on the relaxing outdoor patio during the summer months. Menu highlights include veal bocconcini stuffed with fine meat and cheese, as well as a hard-to-resist risotto Parma Rosa.

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Enjoy family-style dining at these Ottawa restaurants

Enjoy family-style dining at these Ottawa restaurants

Established in 1970 by Guilano Bosseli, many a Canadian politician and celebrity have dined here, enjoying his mother’s Parma-inspired comfort food. Legend has it, the Canada Act of 1982 materialized over plates of pasta prepared by Teresa herself. Her recipes are still served today and include family-favourite staples such as cannelloni al forno, linguini in clam sauce, fettuccine alfredo, and spaghetti aglio olio picante with porcini mushrooms. Rather than ordering individual plates, ask for a pasta sampler and share a few different dishes. Be sure to check out the autographed photos of famous diners adorning the walls.

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Business lunches in Ottawa’s Centretown

Business lunches in Ottawa’s Centretown

Mamma Teresa Ristorante brings an authentic dining experience to Centretown with their traditional Italian cuisine. Pasta lunches are complemented with the soup of the day or a salad picked by the chef. Spaghetti Mamma Teresa comes with meat, mushrooms and cream sauce, while their linguine alla Tina is served with smoked salmon and shrimp.

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