Great gourmet dining spots in Ottawa

Once upon a time, Ottawa foodies wanting a gourmet meal knew just the place to go – Montreal. Those days are so over! Amazing fine dining establishments have been sprouting up all over the city for years, boasting food on par with the world’s best. Here’s a list of shining examples to tempt you.

Beckta Dining & Wine

1
150 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1L4

The brain-child of chef Stephen Beckta, who’s credited with starting Ottawa’s foodie wave, this spot has a well-earned reputation as one of the city’s most sophisticated fine-dining eateries. Indeed, you’ll be delighted with the offerings, including exquisite dishes like beef tartare, oysters and scallops with chanterelles. You’ll feel relaxed in the surrounding decor too, with its quirky mixture that’s just the right level of modern without feeling pretentious. There’s also a new wine bar in the back, perfect for a glass of wine and a light bite.

North & Navy

2
226 Nepean St, Ottawa, ON K2P 0B8

Occupying Beckta’s original spot, Italian restaurant North & Navy does a fine job filling its shoes. You’ll feel relaxed surrounded by the gorgeous Italian-inspired decor while you enjoy sophisticated cuisine at its best. North & Navy offers up ever-changing creative masterpieces like charred octopus and Humboldt squid, or Corzetti with pancetta honey and walnuts. The beautifully fresh, melt-in-your mouth mackerel and smelts are also a must-try if you’re a fan of seafood. To complete the package, you’ll be in good hands with the pleasantly engaging and knowledgeable servers.

The Albion Room

3
33 Nicholas St, Ottawa, ON K1N 9M7

Soak up the hipster early-evening vibe as you sip on your cocktail, before getting treated to inventive gourmet dishes using locally sourced produce at an affordable price. Start off with one of the impressive charcuterie boards, including combinations like house-prepared salmon and foie gras with burnt honey, and follow it up with a delicious elk burger or one of the amazing house cauliflower-based dishes. The scotch egg is also a must-try! You’ll leave here with a gourmet buzz, but with money to spare in your wallet.

Black Cat Bistro Inc

4
428 Preston St, Ottawa, ON K1S 4N2

This go-to spot for Ottawa’s food connoisseurs has the perfect ambience for a great evening out with friends or a romantic dinner for two, with its dim lighting and chilled-out music playing in the background. You’ll be delighted by the modern French bistro dishes, like the mushroom risotto, juicy Cornish hen and the incredible chicken liver pate. Make sure to try the creative sharing plate, combining tuna with beet salad, truffle oil and popcorn! The professional, attentive staff will keep your glass filled all night too.

Restaurant 18

5
18 York St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5S6

Located in an 18th-century heritage building in Ottawa’s ByWard Market, Restaurant e18hteen (yes, that’s the right spelling) prides itself on providing cutting-edge French cuisine. The ambience provided by the softly lit stone interior of one of the city’s most attractive buildings is hard to beat. But the food is the real star here, with standout dishes like lobster risotto, braised boar shank and a memorable seared foie gras. The chef’s five-course blind tastings paired with wine selections are highly recommended.

The Whalesbone Oyster House

6
430 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1Y8

The array of oysters from this popular seafood eatery are so reliably good that other Ottawa restaurants buy them to serve at their own establishments! If you don’t know your Ruisseaus from your Lambertinis, fear not; the knowledgeable staff will be happy to walk you through your oyster adventure. But the Whalesbone is also so much more than just an oyster house, as it serves a variety of amazing seafood choices including lobster, trout and a seared tuna tataki. Sophisticated foodies love this intimate little place.

Play Food & Wine

7
1 York St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5S7

Owned by the same culinary genius behind Beckta, this upscale small-plates spot on ByWard Market’s border serves up incredible dishes, with the gnocchi, pork belly and octopus standing out as favourites. Diners love the small-plates concept, which is wonderfully conducive to sharing, allowing for delicious sampling opportunities with your fellow diners! The engaging servers will set you up with great wine pairings to go with your food selections too. Casual yet classy, gourmet yet reasonably priced, this is a must-try for anyone visiting Ottawa.

Edgar

8
60, rue Bégin, Gatineau, QC J9A 1C8

If you’re looking for a high-end brunch experience, you simply must try this super trendy place. Forget eggs Benny and omelettes; sophisticated house specialties here include duck confit with bacon, huevos rancheros and a sublime polenta with pork belly and poached eggs. It’s not easy to get a table in this tiny establishment, but when you do, the mouth-watering food will be well worth the wait! There’s also a patio for when it warms up, which helps accommodate all of those drooling foodies waiting in line!

Town

9
296 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1M3

This Italian-inspired restaurant packs them in, bringing a fantastic bustling energy that creates the perfect setting for dinner with friends before a night out on the town. The sophisticated food is what brings in the crowds, with small and large plate selections adorned with delicious octopus, crispy pork belly and incredible gourmet meatballs. The low lighting lends to the buzzy vibe, helped further along by a superb, friendly waitstaff and great cocktails with unique, sophisticated ingredients – try the delightful “Fern Gully,” which contains rosemary and egg whites!

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