Secret’s out. There’s some gems in Ottawa that you can’t find on the top 10 TripAdvisor lists nor on a quick Google search. The best perspective is always the local’s perspective and we gathered a list of 10 spots that are cherished by Ottawa locals. Have a place that didn’t make the list? Let’s keep it a secret, ’cause we’ve already spilled too much info.
Ward 14 // 139 Preston St.
A quirky bar that also sides as a consignment shop. Almost very vintage piece of furniture that decorates the bar can be bought, which makes this place different from many other bars in Ottawa that are truly rooted in tradition. The interior is ever-changing and no experience at Ward 14 is the same as the last.
Aquatopia Conservatory // 2710 March Rd.
For those long, long Ottawa winters, there’s a place that keeps us breathing in the fresh air year round. At Aquatopia, an indoor water garden, you can sip on a coffee in a serene greenhouse.
Lunchbox // 2817 St. Joseph Blvd.
Let’s talk sandwiches. The gentlemen at this unassuming little white house in Orleans throw you back to your 90s school days with incredibly freshly-made sandwiches and some cookie dough on the side. You won’t find cleverly-named, unique sandwich combinations like these anywhere else in the city.
Playa Del Popsical // 809 Bank St.
A popsicle truck straight out of 1980s Miami, Playa Del Popsical is an adorable truck that was last seen in the summer tucked away in an alley on Bank Street. They’ll be coming back this summer and rest assured, their $2.50 popsicles will be cherished by many on those humid July and August days.
The King Eddy // 45 Clarence St.
While everyone else is at Zak’s (and there’s nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with Zak’s), the real locals are dining just around the corner at The King Eddy. With one of the cheapest all-day breakfasts in the city and those salty and savoury chicken and waffles, this place has left its legacy very shortly after it opened in late 2014.
Biscotti & Cie // 6 Chemin Scott, Chelsea, QC
A homey little cafe that’s actually outside of Ottawa but still within a 15 minute reach by car in beautiful Chelsea. Biscotti’s a little red roadside cafe with one of my favourite, rustic outdoor sitting areas, and some fresh brunch offerings that can’t be passed up in the area. If you’re visiting Gatineau Park and need to decide on one place for a rest-stop, Biscotti is centrally located and ideal.
The SconeWitch // Various Locations
Confession: Not a totally big fan of scones, but the savoury scones at The SconeWitch are golden, flaky eye candy that are just so incredibly comforting to eat. Please try the EggWitch, which is scrambled eggs and ham sandwiched between two of these said scones. No need to thank me now.
Pressed // 750 Gladstone Ave.
Gourmet sandwiches and an exhaustive list of freshly pressed (get it) waffles and also amazing live music gets Pressed on this list without hesitation. They got local beers on tap and just generally have a really nice vibe, especially if you’re thinking of a date night with your SO.
Arlington Five // 5 Arlington Ave.
Every true Ottawa cafe enthusiast has the famous picture of Arlingtons Five’s coffeeshop exterior at night. You’ll find this place behind another gem, Wilf & Ada’s, which is owned by the same people. You’ll find the light food of typical coffee shops, like muffins, and coffee that’s sourced from Happy Goat Coffee in Little Italy, keeping it local like any charming coffeeshop.
Origin Trade // 111 York St.
A relatively young, and cute little coffeeshop hidden away on the quieter section of York Street in the ByWard Market. Overall, Origin’s an amazing place to lounge, with their dimly lit atmosphere, their leather couch and their locally-sourced brew. Oh, and ladies, on Fridays: Free cheese board with the purchase of any bottle of wine. Keep it a secret, though.