Orleans, let's admit it: we're often overlooked. When tourists come to the city or when people are looking up new places to eat in Ottawa, they're always drawn to somewhere in the ByWard Market or some place in the centre.
The real truth is that some of the best places to eat in the city, believe it or not, are right here in suburbia. For a suburb so outside the downtown core, Orleans has practically every cuisine you can imagine: Vietnamese, burgers, poutine. All of which people come from all across the city to actually try.
We're not talking about the chain restaurants here. The Mandarin is absolutely the key to my heart and I'll always have my mind on Broadway's breakfast poutine, but the real gems in this part of town are the family-owned local restaurants you really won't find anywhere else.
Orleans is a secret foodie heaven and here are 10 items you need to cross off your bucket list on this side of town:
1. OCCO Kitchen // 3018 St. Joseph Blvd.
A locally-owned (and locally-sourced) tiny burger joint that prepares practically everything from scratch in the kitchen. It's local done right and people all across the city can taste the effort that's put into their hearty burgers and delicious tacos. It's not only one of the best take-out restaurants in Orleans - it's one of the best in the city.
2. LunchBox // 2817 St. Joseph Blvd.
St. Joseph's a street where a lot of local businesses come and go, but I have a good feeling that this one will be here for a while. This new restaurant boldly came to Orleans to serve, well, lunch boxes. It's a 90s themed restaurant and for us millennials who grew up in suburbia, this restaurant is practically an ode to our childhood.
3. Cedar Valley // 1615 Orleans Blvd.
The pride and joy of Orleans shawarma. You ask anybody in Orleans where to get shawarma and most are going to say the two words: Cedar Valley. Ottawa's the shawarma capital of Canada and Cedar Valley is the shawarma capital of Orleans.
4. Fritomania // 2442 St. Joseph Blvd.
Do we need to explain this one? People from Kanata make a pilgrimage to Orleans to try this poutine. This little shack has fed poutine to practically every Orleans restaurant at least once. Deservedly so, this place is a little shack of heaven in suburbia.
5. Al Jue Ask 4 // 2208 St. Joseph Blvd.
A family owned restaurant with a vintage feel and loaded with plenty of Coca-Cola memorabilia, this one has become a local favourite since it opened back in 2013. Brave the 1lb burger or try one Al and Julie's varieties of poutine. You'll feel welcome the moment you walk in the door.
6. Delicious Steakhouse // 2080 St. Joseph Blvd.
One of the best places in Orleans to grab a proper breakfast. The best part? You can sleep in and grab an omelette, eggs benedict, or any breakfast dish your heart desires until 2pm.
7. Pho Truc Lien // 3010 St. Joseph Blvd.
A little bit of Vietnam right across the street from Place D'Orleans. This family-owned Vietnamese restaurant attracts pho lovers from all across the city. It's not the most known place in Orleans, since the interior of the restaurant is tucked away in a little house. But keep your eye out next time your driving down St. Joseph.
8. The Great Canadian Poutinerie // 915 Watters Road.
Oh my God. Anyway, The Great Canadian Poutinerie prides itself in the traditional poutine, but it's the international poutines that keep me coming back. There's the Great Italienne Poutine, the Great Greek Poutine, the Great Mexican Poutine. Basically, a whole world of flavour is right here. Try the club sandwich poutine for some very different (and delicious).
9. Soul Stone Sushi Grill and Bar // 2701 St. Joseph Blvd.
Upscale sushi at an affordable price that came to Orleans not too long ago. There's no need to mission downtown (or to Sushi Kan) to get your sushi fix - this place has got some of the best right here. Definitely try the wonton soup.
10. Greek Plus // 6505 Jeanne D'Arc Blvd.
A down-the-hill favourite whose owners will make you feel welcome the moment you walk in. Their shawarma wraps are delicious, but the real treat here are the garlic potatoes. Oh, and when he asks for the garlic sauce on top, say "Yes." Their platters are absolutely filling as well and are one of the best values in the city - you could share one with two people, easily.