Ethical eats: Ottawa’s best farm-to-table dining

Seasonality is the key ingredient for farm-to-table dining, inspiring flexible and adaptive menus that chefs continuously change according to locally available products. Local sourcing gives restaurants an opportunity to support local farmers and gives diners more than just a great culinary experience – it offers them a deeper connection to the food on their plate.

The Albion Room

1
33 Nicholas St, Ottawa, ON K1N 9M7

Chef Stephen La Salle’s breakfast, lunch and dinner plates showcase local growers, producers and artisans. Savour Ottawa member The Albion Rooms source all of their products locally from the best our region has to offer. A “constitution of food, drink, and good company,” the trendy, warm and intimate dining room speaks to the restaurant’s appreciation for the social nature of food – great company is an integral part of great food.

The Green Door Restaurant

2
198 Main St, Ottawa, ON K1S 1C6

An Ottawa institution, The Green Door Restaurant has been serving nourishing vegetarian and organic food since 1988. The menu is created every morning according to the daily supply of fresh produce. The restaurant is a member of Savour Ottawa, a network of producers, suppliers, restaurants and retailers who source locally. Visit The Green Door’s website for an extensive list of ingredients used in all of their dishes. You can even purchase the Green Door Cookbook if you want to brush up on your vegetarian cooking.

The Black Tomato

3
11 George St, Ottawa, ON K1N 8W5

A list of farms, suppliers, bakers and distilleries are showcased on The Black Tomato’s website, assuring you that your meal is made of the freshest ingredients regionally and sourced locally. The restaurant is located in an historic ByWard Market stone building that dates back to the late 1800s. Enjoy a delicious dinner in the charming and dimly lit dining room decked out with subtle antiques or on the sunny cobblestone patio. Don’t miss out on the excellent selection of local craft beers.

Two Six Ate

4
268 Preston St, Ottawa, ON K1R 7R5

Who says Sunday nights can’t be fun? Celebrate Sunday at the weekly Beats ‘n’ Eats with a live DJ at Two Six Ate and share some tasty small plates with your buddies. This trendy Little Italy restaurant serves contemporary dishes inspired by seasonal ‘nose-to-tail’ cooking using local ingredients. In the summer months, many of the products are even grown in the gardens of owner Emily Ienzi’s parents. Come in for surprise daily specials that are created by chef Steve Harris depending on the week’s harvest

Share Freehouse

5
327 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K2P 0J8

Newcomer to the Ottawa dining scene, Share Freehouse offers a fresh new take on social and seasonal dining. All menu options are meant to be shared and reflect the restaurant’s emphasis on constantly changing ingredients and meals made from scratch with every order – hence the short menu. The rustic décor itself is a work of art that incorporates tasteful touches into the wall space, bar and lighting. Bask in a truly gratifying dining experience with brilliant flavour combinations and plate presentation as well as warm service.

The Whalesbone Oyster House

6
430 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1Y8

Sustainable seafood is becoming harder and harder to come by. Thankfully The Whalesbone is a source of certified Oceans Wise seafood, both at its Oyster House and as a supplier for restaurants all over Ottawa. You can be sure that the fish and seafood served here won’t compromise the long-term stability of species or ecosystems. The menu changes daily to reflect the day’s catch. As they say, “we’re all at the mercy of mother nature and the fisherman’s luck.”

Play Food & Wine

7
1 York St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5S7

Bright and spacious with baby blue walls, an open concept kitchen and a dynamic crowd, Beckta’s more low-key sister restaurant in fact encourages you to play more. The small-plate menu changes almost daily to reflect seasonal ingredients, with many dishes made entirely from locally sourced products. Chef Michael Moffat’s personal appreciation for small plates and the opportunity to sample several different flavours inspire his inventive menu creations.

Supply And Demand

8
1335 Wellington St W, Ottawa, ON K1Y 3B6

What’s in a name? Demand for great sustainable dining is on the rise and Supply and Demand is here to help. Chef Steve Wall opened the restaurant with his wife after many years of experience with the fine dining scene in Ottawa. The short and sweet but diverse menu is always changing and highlights the culinary traditions of raw food. Ottawa foodies love the hip and retro ambiance (especially the signature seahorse wallpaper) and contemporary dishes that are sourced from different farmers and producers around the city.

Fraser Cafe

9
7 Springfield Rd, Ottawa, ON K1M 1C8

Brothers Simon and Ross Fraser run the urban joint Fraser Café and more upscale sister restaurant Table 40 with an appreciation for and dedication to seasonal dining. Communal seating might seem intimidating to more reserved diners, but fear not – the friendly and cozy atmosphere at Fraser Café will make you feel right at home. The beautiful long tables made of reclaimed tree trunks from B.C. add a unique charm to the dining area. Adventurous diners love the kitchen’s choice: a surprise dish prepared by the chef just for you (no special requests or modifications – you’ve got to commit).

Allium Restaurant

10
87 Holland Ave, Ottawa, ON K1Y 0Y1

Allium’s head chef, Arup Jana, is so inspired by his passion for fresh and local ingredients that he creates an entirely new menu every month, always based on products available from local suppliers. “If they have it, we put it on the menu,” says Chef de Cuisine Luke Baxter, who crafts delectable fare using traditional Canadian cuisine and French cooking techniques. You can also order surprise appetizers and mains from the kitchen and a glass of vino from the extensive wine list. Ambiance? A dimly lit bistro-style restaurant, perfect for a romantic date.

Town

11
296 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1M3

Word on the street: Town is Centretown’s go-to spot to unwind, relax and enjoy an ever changing selection of dishes that each tell a story about the region’s many farms and ranches. Everything from the lighting, decor, high tables, friendly service, and beautifully intriguing art pieces create a warm and inviting ambiance. Their slogan says it all: “Town loves you and wants you to be happy.”

Weekends in the Glebe are social events that often include a relaxing brunch with family and friends. Local residents love these brunch spots that serve everything from a lumberjack-style breakfast to gourmet crepes to Southern soul food like chicken and waffles.
Late nights and early mornings are not uncommon in the nation’s capital. Whether you’re looking for a morning pick-me-up or a cozy meeting spot, these coffee shops will give you the energy boost you need to get through the day.
Little Italy is not the only spot for top-notch Italian food in the capital. Treat yourself to the tastes of Italy’s diverse regions at these casual and fine-dining restaurants. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the variety of dishes and flavour combinations that go far beyond your average pasta dish.
Close menu