“Where do you want to eat?” It’s the age-old question that’s haunted every couple since the dawn of man.
Every restaurant you want to try depends on your mood, what type of cuisine you want and the overall vibe you’re both looking for. We gathered a list that’s a little bit of everything so that you shouldn’t have a dilemma that ends up you staying in the house tonight. Here’s 13 bucket list restaurants every couple should conquer in Ottawa:
Riviera // 62 Sparks St.
Go for: A classy date night with a cosmopolitan atmosphere in a beautiful dim ambience. The Riviera is one of the city’s newer restaurants and embodies the stylish, trendy fare Ottawa’s foodie scene is striving for.
Atari // 297 Dalhousie St.
Go for: Creativity. Atari’s dishes are original and stand out. Whether it’s their gnocchi poutine or their customizable tartars, you’re bound to be trying something new when dining here. Their cocktail and drink selection also offers up some innovation, including a drink with cotton candy on top. Also, note for date night: Tuesday is ladies night where ladies eat free from 6pm onwards.
The Soca Kitchen // 93 Holland Ave.
Go for: Spanish tapas. This Latino restaurant offers authentic Spanish finger food that’s made for sharing and sampling. Almost as good as the real thing in Madrid or elsewhere in Spain.
Mamma Grazzi’s // 25 George St.
Go for: Italian fare. Centrally-located in the ByWard Market with a genuinely authentic northern Italian ambience, Mamma Grazzi’s pays homage to Italy’s rich food culture. Their pasta is made in-house and they offer authentic Italian wines. Also, their complimentary bread is some of the best in the city.
Feast + Revel // 325 Dalhousie St.
Go for: The ambience. Located in the ByWard Market’s new Andaz Hotel, Feast + Revel offers sustainable Canadian fare made from top of the line chefs. After a quick bite to eat, head upstairs to Copper Spirits and Sights to sip on a cocktail while enjoying stunning, one-of-a-kind views of Ottawa’s skyline.
The SconeWitch // Various Locations
Go for: Cute, quick lunch. The SconeWitch’s scones and sconewitches are a nice lunchtime treat. Personally, I love their brunch items. The eggwitch — eggs, ham and cheese on a savoury scone — is absolutely delicious. The atmosphere, especially of the location nearest to the War Memorial, is very clean and elegant.
Sweet Jesus // 97 Clarence St.
Go for: Ice cream. Sweet Jesus’ changing menu of creative soft serve is some of the most aesthetically pleasing in the city; and it actually tastes good, too. They’re oh so generous with their rich toppings and offer terrific value for what you pay for.
Origin Trade // 111 York St.
Go for: Coffee. Ottawa’s is plentiful with cute cafes, but Origin Trade takes the spot on this list with its cute atmosphere and quiet location in the ByWard Market. The patio in the summer, when lit up at night, is gorgeous, but the interior (the couch, the couch, the couch) is very homie. You may even want to make this your regular hangout spot.
Tomo // 109 Clarence St.
Go for: Sushi. Again, Ottawa has its fair share of sushi restaurants, but Tomo’s gorgeous interior (even their bathrooms) are stunning and create an immersive, Asian vibe.
Das Lokal // 190 Dalhousie St.
Go for: European cuisine. Inspired by German fare, Das Lokal offers a delicious, changing menu with occasional live music and a beautiful fire pit patio.
Wilf & Ada’s // 510 Bank St.
Go for: Brunch. Whether you’re looking for eggs benny or perhaps the best home fries in the city, Wilf and Ada’s made-from-scratch breakfasts are both colourful and flavourful dishes. Breakfast is all-day, so you can sleep in, too.
Ace Mercado // 121 Clarence St.
Go for: Mexican fare. Ace Mercado, another fairly new restaurant in the growing ByWard Market, is modern and offers delicious takes on all the classic Mexican cuisines: Tacos, churros, carne and more.
Pelican Seafood Market & Grill // 1500 Bank St.
Go for: Seafood. Pelican’s been serving Ottawa proudly for nearly 40 years and serves all your seafood essentials: Lobster, oyster plates and our favourite appetizer, calamari. Let’s not also forget to mention the creamy garlic PEI mussels — absolutely amazing in every respect.