Spice up your life with these Indian restaurants in Ottawa

India is one of the most diverse countries on the planet and its cuisine is reflective of the geographic and cultural diversity of its many regions. Using endless combinations of spices, herbs, vegetables, meats and cooking techniques, these restaurants will spice up your life and satisfy your senses.

East India Company

1
210 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K2P 0J4

East Indian cuisine is simple yet elegant. Often rice based, it incorporates lots of fresh vegetables, dairy products, coconut and subtle spices to create colourful and nutritious meals. East India Company gives us a glimpse of this beautiful region’s dishes. The majestic and intricate interior sculptures will make you wonder whether you’ve somehow ended up at a museum rather than a restaurant. Leave some room for the desserts – they will have you coming back for seconds.

Ceylonta Restaurant

2
403 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K2P 0K1

South Indian cuisine is known for some of the spiciest and most flavourful foods in India. The fare is often rice-, lentil- or vegetable-based and always incorporates a vast array of spices (especially chilies – so brace yourself for the tears and the sniffles). Combining South Indian and Sri Lankan flavours, Ceylonta gives you a taste of the distinctive cuisine of the region; the dosas (fermented crepes) and vadas (lentil doughnuts) are not the typical Indian dishes many of us have come to know. Bonus: beer aficionados can sample some great tasting Sri Lankan beer.

Coconut Lagoon Restaurant

3
853 St. Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, ON K1K 3B1

Inspired by the breathtaking coastal state of Kerala in South India, Coconut Lagoon creates an exhilarating sensory experience with endless aromas and flavours, offering many dishes you won’t encounter at the average Indian restaurant that, in this part of the world, often serves north Indian cuisine. The restaurant specializes in parathas, idlis, dosas, curries and exotic seafood creations. Top off your meal with a mango lassi, Madras coffee, Indian chai or Indian beer.

Host India

4
622 Montreal Rd, Ottawa, ON K1K 0T6

The extensive menu at Host India caters to every taste, whether you’re in the mood for chicken, beef, lamb, seafood or vegetarian, spicy or mild. Beloved Indian dishes like samosas, pakoras, tandoori chicken, saag paneer and simple curry are prepared with care and beautifully presented. Complete your meal with the doughy goodness of naan bread, served plain, with garlic, or stuffed with minced beef, onion, fresh herbs and spices.

Light of India Restaurant Inc

5
730 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1S 3V4

The Deb family creates a cozy and welcoming dining experience at this Glebe dining spot. Light of India’s warm and friendly service has earned the restaurant a loyal customer base who continue coming back for the pleasantly delicious dishes. The Debs are so considerate of diners’ varying tolerance levels for spiciness that they’ve arranged the menu into gradients ranging from mild, hot, very hot to extremely hot. Face off your friends in a spicy challenge or simply enjoy the diverse veggie, creamy and meaty menu options.

Haldi Indian Cuisine

6
449 Preston St, Ottawa, ON K1S 4N5

Building on the ancient knowledge that turmeric – “haldi” in Hindi – is a spice with powerful healing capacities, Haldi creates nourishing meals around this key ingredient often. Subtle and aromatic turmeric is brilliantly incorporated into dishes like the daal soup (yellow and red lentils, lemon, cilantro). Take advantage of the (very British) curry and pint deals in the cozy and bright yellow interior in the best kind of east-meets-west amalgamation.

Mia's Indian Cuisine

7
917 Richmond Rd, Ottawa, ON K2A 0G8

How better to run a traditional Indian restaurant than by a father and son duo who are passionate about authentic Indian cuisine? Father Samsu and son Mostafa Mia want to provide customers with the best their home country has to offer. The Mias pride themselves in their famous tandoori dishes that are prepared in a tandoor oven at high cooking temperatures. Fun fact: tandoors were originally made of clay and have a long culinary history in many western, central, and South Asian countries

Little India Cafe

8
66 Wylie Ave, Ottawa, ON K2B 6M4

North Indian cuisine is a creamier and more well-known regional variation that often incorporates tandoor-cooked meats and naan bread, lamb, and spices like cumin, cardamom and saffron. Little India Café offers an authentic North Indian dining experience with a décor inspired by landmarks of the region, including the awe-inspiring Taj Mahal. Chef Ram Chander excels in everything he does, but the chicken dishes – butter, korma and tikka – are customer favourites.

Shafali

9
308 Dalhousie St, Ottawa, ON K1N 7E7

This Byward Market restaurant is named in honour of the owners’ family matriarch Shafali (also a fragrant Himalayan flower). This spicy spot is exotic in both ambiance and in the meals they offer. The fun-loving nature of the co-owners shine through with the brightly lit and decorated interior. Though originally from Bangladesh, they offer diverse Indian dishes that include curry in a hurry and curry a la carte. Their signature dish is the award-winning chicken tikka wrap that is topped with a special orange sauce made from a secret recipe.

Taj Indian Cuisine

10
3009 Carling Ave, Ottawa, ON K2B 7Y6

The Punjab region is known for tandoori cooking and for butter- and cream-based recipes. Family-owned Taj Indian Cuisine serves up the Punjabi-style cuisine in a warm and intimate dining area surrounded by brown brick walls decorated with intricate art pieces. The extensive menu includes many chicken, beef, and lamb options as well as plenty of vegetarian dishes. Bonus: the restaurant can also prepare vegan and gluten-free meals on request.

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.
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