Enjoy weekend brunch in Ottawa’s Centretown

Whether you choose to enjoy French toast with a stack of newspapers or a round of mimosas with a group of friends, few meals are as relaxing as weekend brunch. Fuel up for the day with bacon and eggs – or something more inventive – at these popular Centretown restaurants.

Lieutenant's Pump

361 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1M7

Sure, it’s hard to throw a rock without hitting a pub in Centretown, but the food at the Pump is a cut above most. Try one of the six variations on eggs benny, such as eggs Parisienne, made with mushrooms and Brie. Other choices run the gamut from a low-carb protein plate to sourdough French toast, and the menu also includes a number of gluten-free and vegetarian options. Extra points for the wide selection of juices, including grapefruit-orange and pineapple-orange-lime. In warm weather, the large patio is almost always packed.

Wilf and Ada’s

510 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1Z4

This unassuming diner looks like a typical greasy spoon from the outside, but inside you’ll find exposed-brick walls, pendant lamps and hip fare made from scratch with local ingredients. The menu features breakfast stalwarts such as French toast and eggs Benedict, but ask the regulars and you’ll learn there’s only one true choice for weekend brunch: eggs in purgatory (poached in a spicy parmesan-tomato sauce). The rich, sweet baked beans are beloved, too. Wilf and Ada’s doesn’t take reservations, so come prepared to wait.

Atomic Rooster

303 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1X7

In the evenings, Atomic Rooster rocks with open mic nights, karaoke and live bands. On weekend mornings, with its wide-open space and big brunch crowd, it’s only slightly quieter. But if you wanted a Zen-like breakfast, you’d have stayed home, right? Admire the current art exhibition on the walls as you nosh on daytime favourites such as pancakes or steak and eggs. Or why not try something different? The indulgent bread pudding (made with croissants, chocolate and butter-rum sauce) will appeal to those with a sweet tooth.

Manx Pub

370 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1N1

Tucked away below street level, the Manx feels like a secret hideaway – but just about everyone in Centretown knows about this cozy pub’s standout weekend brunch. The menu extends far beyond bacon and eggs (although you can get those, too, if you like). Vegetarians will find several tasty choices, including a curried vegan tofu scramble and a veggie burrito of the day. For carnivores, even the BLT has a gourmet twist, with maple-glazed bacon, baby arugula and tomato jam. Be prepared to queue for a table at this popular brunch joint.

The Scone Witch

150 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1L4

Surprisingly, this cutely named café actually has an edgy industrial vibe, with concrete floors and lots of exposed ductwork. The EggWitch is miles beyond standard breakfast sandwiches, with scrambled eggs tucked into a savoury scone. And the brunch plate of scrambled eggs, topped with accents such as mushroom ragout or smoked salmon, is a true weekend treat. Order at the counter, then seat yourself at one of the casual tables and wait for your number to come up. Tip: Despite the street address, the entrance is half a block west of Elgin, on the north side of Gloucester Street.

Good Eats

388 Albert St, Ottawa, ON K1R 5B2

In a Victorian house on a little-trafficked block, tiny Good Eats serves an eclectic brunch menu with lots of choices for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Highlights include shakshuka (eggs baked in tomato sauce), mid-east eggs (poached in a mixture of nuts and spices), corn cakes with grilled haloumi, and nine-grain toast topped with smashed avocado and an optional chorizo crumble. Wash it all down with Equator coffee roasted in nearby Almonte. Take note: brunch is served on Saturdays only.


171 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1W5

Even if you normally avoid chain restaurants on principle, give this one a try. One of just two Ontario locations of a Montreal-based company, its 7:00 am opening time makes it one of the few early-bird brunch choices in Centretown. Not surprisingly, the menu features egg dishes galore, from omelettes to eggs benny, but you’ll also find chocolate chip pancakes, flambéed French toast, lots of fruit and yogurt dishes, breakfast bagels and more, along with fresh-squeezed juices and an espresso bar.

Jak's Kitchen

479 Bronson Ave, Ottawa, ON K1R 6J7

In a somewhat improbable spot on a traffic-clogged road, Jak’s serves up locally sourced organic fare. Inventive twists on classic brunch dishes include the Popeye Benedict (spinach, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions and lemon Diablo sauce) and, if you’re feeling brave, The Bomb: an omelette filled with shallots, smoked jalapeno, bacon and Brie, accented with house-made barbecue sauce. For carb lovers, there are house-made breads and granola, as well as banana bread French toast.

Martinis are old news in Ottawa – unless they’re made with herb-infused vodka from an artisanal distillery. These days, craft cocktails are all the rage at the capital’s trendy restaurants. Whether it’s shaken, stirred or garnished with a sprig of rosemary, a drink from one of these inventive establishments will quench your thirst in a whole new way.
Frothy bubbles, elegant flutes, that one-of-a-kind tingle – nothing says “special occasion” quite like a glass of champagne or sparkling wine. Whether you’re looking to celebrate an engagement, an anniversary, a promotion or simply the weekend, here are some excellent places to clink your glasses.
If there were a hall of fame for comforting aromas, the scent of fresh-baked bread would surely make the cut. And when it comes to tastes, buttercream icing can transport you right back to Grandma’s kitchen. Having a stressful day? A few delectable treats from these Ottawa bakeries will help cheer you right up.
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