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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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

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 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

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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March 17, 2019

Very good

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

March 16, 2019

The pasta in the fetuchine Alfredo was extremely thick. The sauce was delicious but the thick pasta spoiled it.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 3/5

Service: 5/5

March 14, 2019

Excellent lunch and the staff were very good. I would highly recommend this restaurant.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

March 13, 2019

We loved everything - great food and excellent service!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

March 12, 2019

Food is always awesome. Service always top notch. Love coming to this restaurant.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

March 10, 2019

Very nice evening. Our server was very friendly without being intrusive. Make a good meal great! Will be back again.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

March 6, 2019

And they have some parking!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 24, 2019

Relaxing and enjoyable experience. Will definitely go back.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 24, 2019

The service was inpeccable. Going there regularly, the staff makes me always feel welcome and appreciated. The food is rich and delicious, full of comfort and good memories. My daughter has deams of the Tortellini Giuliano, they are that good. If you want to loose weight, this isn't the place to go, but if you wish to have a wonderful time with friends and family then you can't go wrong with Mamma Teresa. Mille grazie.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 25, 2019

A great evening.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 21, 2019

My clients were very impressed. It is a lovely restaurant and the service was impeccable. Our server was very professional and the food was delicious. I would highly recommend Mamma Teresa's.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 17, 2019

Definitely worth the drive from Mississauga! See you next time!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 16, 2019

Always a delight! It is the place of choice for good italian food in Ottawa!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 4/5

February 16, 2019

We felt rushed and wine list is needs a update or more variety. The bruschetta is disgusting compare to other we’ll known Italian restaurant and the free bread with olive oil and balsamic is very cheap sandwich bread. The service was ok but for a 120$ I would stick with Bistro vitalia or vattoria. Need to up your game !

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 2/5

Service: 3/5

February 15, 2019

Everything was excellent!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 15, 2019

I have been coming to Mama Teresa's for years and they never cease and continue to exceed my expectations, each and every visit. Everything was absolutely perfect. As usual the service and stsff were excellent.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 10, 2019

Excellent food and service, as always !!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 7, 2019

An excellent meal served by a very attentive server. An overall great experience. I would highly recommend this restaurant.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 6, 2019

We will definitely return. So many wonderful menu items still to try . The atmosphere was a perfect balance of classy service and relaxed friendly attention .

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 3, 2019

Once again our dinning experience was exceptional! Of course the food was scrumptious, the ambience was beautifully traditional, but what elevated the night was our waiter a total professional, serving the ladies first, never reaching across a guest once, and keeping in touch with our party at just the right frequency! A total dinning pleasure! - if fact, it was a total night out! Best regards, j Jerry Johnston

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 4, 2019

Amazing service, had to sent by some dishes back , no questions asked, all was good. I would go back again.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

February 2, 2019

We are return diners. Always have had great service and food. Will be back

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 2, 2019

It was our first time at Mama Teresa and we enjoyed it! Our waiter, Johnny, was very helpful and friendly. The food was delicious and we will definitely be coming back!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 1, 2019

We were happy with everything...

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

January 27, 2019

Great

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

January 22, 2019

As usual

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

January 20, 2019

Delicious food, great service!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

January 20, 2019

We have been going to Mama Theresa for over 25 years and have consistently had amazing service, great atmosphere and amazing memories. Everything is fresh and they always go out do their ways to make you feel like you are part of the family. I strongly recommend it!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

January 21, 2019

Delicious dinner and great service.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

January 17, 2019

My niece and I enjoyed a delicious pasta meal in a cozy environment. The garlic bread was to die for and our meals were very tasty and we had enough to bring home. Would definitely come back to enjoy this beautiful restaurant again!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

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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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