Culinary Delights of Ottawa: From Gourmet Burgers to Savory Poutine

Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, boasts a vibrant and diverse restaurant scene that caters to a wide range of tastes and preferences. With its rich culinary heritage and multicultural population, the city offers an array of dining options that are sure to satisfy any food lover. One of the notable culinary hubs in Ottawa is Wellington Street, a bustling thoroughfare known for its numerous restaurants and eateries. Additionally, no exploration of Ottawa’s food culture would be complete without mentioning the iconic Canadian dish, poutine, which holds a special place in the hearts of Ottawans.


Restaurants on Wellington Street

Wellington Street has evolved over the years to become a prominent dining destination in Ottawa. Originally known for its government buildings and offices, the area experienced a revitalization in the late 20th century, attracting new businesses, including restaurants, cafes, and bars. The street’s proximity to key attractions, such as Parliament Hill and the National Gallery of Canada, has contributed to its popularity among both locals and tourists.

The street offers a diverse range of cuisines, ensuring that there is something for everyone. From upscale fine dining establishments to cozy bistros and casual eateries, the street caters to various tastes and budgets. Whether you’re craving Italian, French, Asian, or fusion cuisine, Wellington Street has you covered.

Notable Restaurants and Their Unique Offerings

RankRestaurantUnique OfferingDescriptionLocationWebsite
1The Wellington GastropubExtensive craft beer menu, live music, and a cozy atmosphereThe Wellington Gastropub is a popular spot for both locals and tourists alike. It offers a wide variety of craft beers on tap and hosts live music events.Wellington St. W, Ottawa, ON K1Y 3B6Website
2The Red LionClassic British pub fare, including fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, and bangers and mashThe Red Lion is a classic British pub that has been serving up hearty fare for over 20 years. Enjoy traditional British dishes in a cozy atmosphere.ClosedClosed
3Joe’s Italian KitchenAuthentic Italian cuisine, made with fresh, seasonal ingredientsJoe’s Italian Kitchen is a family-owned restaurant that has been serving up authentic Italian cuisine for over 30 years. Enjoy a wide variety of pasta dishes, pizzas, and Italian favorites.Wellington St. W, Ottawa, ON K1Y 3B6Website
4Shinka Sushi BarFresh, made-to-order sushi rolls, sashimi, and nigiriShinka Sushi Bar offers a wide variety of fresh sushi rolls, sashimi, and nigiri. Enjoy a selection of delicious sushi options made to order.Wellington Street, Ottawa, 2900 Sheffield Road, Unit 3Website

The Best Poutine in Ottawa

Poutine, a beloved Canadian dish, originated in Quebec in the late 1950s. It typically consists of French fries topped with cheese curds and smothered in rich gravy. Over the years, poutine has gained immense popularity across Canada, including Ottawa, where it has become a staple of the local food culture.

In recent years, poutine has experienced a surge in popularity in Ottawa, with numerous establishments specializing in this indulgent dish. Its unique combination of flavours and comforting appeal has made it a favourite among locals and visitors alike.

When determining the best poutine in Ottawa, several factors come into play. The quality of the ingredients, including the freshness of the cheese curds, the flavour and consistency of the gravy, and the texture of the fries, all contribute to a memorable poutine experience. Additionally, the balance of flavours and the overall presentation of the dish are essential elements to consider.

Top Poutine Establishments in Ottawa

  • DEF Poutinerie: Known for their classic poutine with a twist, DEF Poutinerie takes this traditional dish to new heights. They offer a variety of creative toppings and sauces that add an extra dimension of flavour to their poutine creations. Whether you prefer a classic rendition or a unique variation, DEF Poutinerie is a must-visit for poutine enthusiasts. 
  • GHI Fries & Gravy: Tucked away in a hidden gem location, GHI Fries & Gravy has gained a loyal following for their exceptional poutine. Their attention to detail in preparing each element of the dish, from the hand-cut fries to the homemade gravy, sets them apart. With generous portions and a focus on quality, GHI Fries & Gravy is a poutine destination worth seeking out. 
  • JKL Poutine Emporium: For those looking for a wide variety of poutine options, JKL Poutine Emporium delivers with its creative and diverse menu. From pulled pork to vegetarian toppings, they offer a range of choices that cater to different dietary preferences. JKL Poutine Emporium’s commitment to using high-quality ingredients ensures a satisfying poutine experience for all.

Insider Tips for Ordering the Best Poutine

To enhance your poutine experience in Ottawa, consider the following insider tips:

  • Opt for freshly made fries to ensure maximum crispiness and flavour.
  • Look for establishments that use real cheese curds instead of substitutes, as the curds provide authentic poutine texture and taste.
  • Pay attention to the quality of the gravy. A rich, flavorful gravy can elevate the overall taste of the dish.
  • Experiment with different toppings and variations to discover your personal favourite poutine style.

Additional Culinary Highlights in Ottawa

Best Burger Places in Ottawa

  • The Works is a popular chain restaurant that is known for its huge, juicy burgers. They have a wide variety of toppings to choose from, so you can create your perfect burger.
  • Bite Burger House is a newer restaurant that has quickly become a favourite among burger lovers. Their burgers are made with fresh, high-quality ingredients and are cooked to perfection.
  • Gezellig is a Belgian restaurant that serves up some of the best burgers in the city. Their burgers are made with fresh, local ingredients and are cooked over an open flame.
  • B.A.S.H. Burger and Sushi House is a great place to go if you’re looking for a burger and sushi combo. Their burgers are made with fresh, ground beef and are topped with your choice of ingredients.
  • Burgers on Bridge is a food truck that serves up some of the best burgers in the city. Their burgers are made with fresh, local ingredients and are cooked to perfection.

Vegetarian and Organic Restaurants in Ottawa

  • Alice is a plant-based restaurant that serves up creative and delicious dishes made with fresh, local ingredients. The menu changes seasonally, but you can always expect to find a variety of options to choose from, including pizzas, kinds of pasta, burgers, and salads.
  • The Green Door Vegetarian Restaurant & Bakery is a long-standing vegetarian institution in Ottawa. They offer a wide variety of dishes, from hearty entrees to light fare, all made with fresh, organic ingredients. They also have a bakery that sells delicious pastries, cakes, and pies.
  • Pure Kitchen is a fast-casual chain that serves up healthy and delicious vegetarian and vegan meals. The menu features a variety of bowls, wraps, salads, and burgers, all made with fresh, organic ingredients.
  • Moringa is a vegan restaurant that serves up creative and flavorful dishes made with fresh, local ingredients. The menu changes seasonally, but you can always expect to find a variety of options to choose from, including curries, stir-fries, and pizzas.
  • Wilf & Ada’s is a vegan diner that serves up classic comfort food, all made with plant-based ingredients. The menu features a variety of pancakes, waffles, omelettes, and burgers, all made with fresh, organic ingredients.

Fast Food Options in Ottawa

GHI Fast Bites: For those seeking quick and convenient fast-food options, GHI Fast Bites delivers its menu of grab-and-go favourites. From burgers and sandwiches to salads and wraps, this fast-food joint offers a range of options to satisfy cravings on the move. 

JKL Chicken & Fries: Specializing in crispy fried chicken, JKL Chicken & Fries is a popular spot for indulging in comfort food. Their menu features a variety of chicken options, including sandwiches, wings, and tenders, accompanied by delicious sides like fries and coleslaw.

MNO Taco Express: Bringing authentic Mexican flavours to the fast-food setting, MNO Taco Express offers a selection of tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. With its focus on fresh ingredients and bold flavours, this establishment provides a quick and tasty Mexican food experience.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the must-try restaurants on Wellington Street in Ottawa?

Wellington Street offers a wide range of dining options, but some must-try restaurants include The Wellington Gastropub, Joe’s Italian Kitchen, ABC Bistro, and PQR Cafe. These establishments provide unique culinary experiences and showcase Ottawa’s diverse flavours.

Where can I find the best poutine in Ottawa?

For the best poutine in Ottawa, consider visiting DEF Poutinerie, GHI Fries & Gravy, and JKL Poutine Emporium. These establishments are known for their delicious and innovative poutine creations.

Are there any vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Ottawa?

Yes, Ottawa has several vegetarian-friendly restaurants. XYZ Veggie Delight, ABC Organic Bistro, and DEF Vegan Kitchen are among the top choices, offering a variety of plant-based dishes made with fresh and sustainable ingredients.

Which fast food options are popular in Ottawa?

Popular fast-food options in Ottawa include GHI Fast Bites, JKL Chicken & Fries, and MNO Taco Express. These establishments provide quick and tasty meals for those on the go.

Can you recommend some budget-friendly restaurants in Ottawa?

For budget-friendly dining options in Ottawa, consider visiting local food trucks, exploring the city’s diverse ethnic eateries, or checking out casual diners and cafes that offer affordable menus. These can provide excellent value without compromising on taste.