Find flair and flavor at Ottawa’s French bistros

French cuisine is some of the most delicious out there. Who hasn't craved a sinus-clearing steak au poivre or some tartare with a fresh egg on top? When in Ottawa, there’s no need to resist the urge. From the casual to the elegantly formal, the city has no shortage of French restaurants. Bon appetit!


276 Preston St, Ottawa, ON K1R 7R5

Committed both to local ingredients and the cuisine of France, MeNa achieves an enviable balance between approachability and haute elegance. You won't necessarily be cozy here in the minimally chic grey and black decor, but you will have plenty of options: Their tasting menu is available all the way from three courses to 12 courses, all with clever wine pairings. If you’re feeling hungry, go for the 12-plate option: The plates, while flavourful, are small.

Benny's Bistro

119 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5M5

Primarily a lunch and brunch establishment, Benny’s Bistro’s is tucked behind The French Baker in the ByWard Market. Opened by the aforementioned baker, who came to Ottawa from Paris, the menu is modest but stupendously tasty, anchored by his famous bread. For lunch, there’s a daily sandwich or, for something carb-less, a kale salad. For brunch, why not pair your Confit Albacore Tuna with wine? Day-drinking is certainly possible here.

The Metropolitain Brasserie

700 Sussex Dr, Ottawa, ON K1N 1K4

With the pressed tin ceiling and the red banquette seating, the Metropolitain Brasserie feels like a slice of Montparnasse in Ottawa. All the classic dishes you love are available here: Coquille St. Jacques, steak au poivre, steak tartare, escargot. The Metropolitain also has Ottawa's largest fresh oyster bar. It's not cheap, but neither is it especially pricey, as far as French restaurants go. The patio is a lively spot in good weather. Open for lunch and brunch as well.

Black Cat Bistro Inc

428 Preston St, Ottawa, ON K1S 4N2

The Black Cat Bistro, located in the heart of Ottawa's Little Italy, is not for those who want to keep their wallets in their pockets, but as the saying goes, if you're going to eat French, don't skimp. The menu is not large, but it is seasonal and well-considered. How about chicken liver pate to start and Cornish hen as a main? Or, if you are seeking something equally delicious but more affordable, the menu also features the delectable Richard's Burger.

Signatures Restaurant

453 Laurier Ave E, Ottawa, ON K1N 6R4

Signatures Restaurant is located in the gorgeous, historic Munross mansion, also the premises of Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School. If you like white tablecloths, winding staircases, chandeliers and outstanding service, you will find yourself at home here. As the Le Cordon Bleu restaurant, Signatures offers a large menu that often changes: Their lunch menu is new every week. If you're having trouble deciding, you can't go wrong with the scallops.

Chez Lucien

137 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5M7

At Chez Lucien, the charm begins at the entrance, thanks to a wooden door with an iron handle that has a distinctly antique feel. It continues inside with brick walls, slowly-rotating ceiling fans and a wooden bar where patrons can sit. The atmosphere is cozy and relaxed. This isn't haute cuisine but well-made comfort food like the Lucien burger or the classic croque monsieur.

The Caesar is a true Canadian classic invented in a Calgary hotel in the 1960s. But this beloved Canuck cocktail is just as popular in Halifax as it is on the Prairies. The vodka flows freely, the Clamato juice is plentiful and there’s lots of pepper to go around. From downtown to the North End, sally forth and seek your perfect Caesar.
Halifax has a healthy food scene, but is still finding its footing with ramen; the selection is limited with stark variations in quality and diversity. Don't despair though – there are some wonderful places that have sprung up in the last few years where you're bound to find ramen to your liking.
Halifax is a town built for eaters and drinkers: Whenever a new spot opens, there's always plenty of interest in and debate around it. In order to hold your own as a restaurant here in Halifax, you have to do something tasty and interesting. This holds especially true for that cherished dish: The salad. All the traditional iterations are here, as well as succulent Cobb versions to citrus Caesar salads.
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