The appetizer: More important than the actual meal itself. It's the immediate satisfaction that's given to your hunger and the part of the menu that's home to some of our favourite finger foods. We're talking mozzarella sticks, deep fried pickles, but let's get real and discuss the most sacred of appetizers: The nachos.
It's the food that has defined Super Bowl parties and has become the penultimate bar grub north of the Mexican border. From the very first moment you pull the first chip off the plate and watch the cheese stretch off the rest of the toppings, it's bliss.
We rounded up 10 of our favourite cheesy, delicious nachos in Ottawa for you to check out:
1. Nacho Cartel // 200 Wilbrod Street
One of our favourite food trucks in Ottawa and just another reason why this summer's looking bright. These messy (but elegant) nachos are served as if they're a painting on a canvas. They're gorgeous, but more importantly, they're tasty and mixed with the proper ratio of toppings and chips. On the upper hand, they're also more affordable than the average appetizer nachos you'll find at a pub.
2. Corazon De Maiz // 55 ByWard Market Square
Si, si, si. Corazon De Maiz always offers up a colourful plate of nachos at their small location in the heart of the ByWard Market. There's a three dollar price difference between a small and a large plate of nachos, but please, as all foodies should, opt for the bigger size ($11.00).
3. Big Rig Brew // 2750 Iris St.
They just barely ever make the plate. The Big (no pun intended) Rig's nachos with pulled chicken are loaded with black beans, green onions, corn and an oh so generous layer of cheese melted on top.
4. Cornerstone Bar & Grill // 92 Clarence St.
Another ByWard favourite, their nachos are always a solid option for those who live for those warm patio days with the squad. They're absolutely shareable and are always layered with a solid amount of veggies and cheese.
5. Pancho Villa // 361 Elgin St. #8
The "Super" nachos with shredded chicken or beef (or perhaps both on top, if you'd like), are melted perfectly in the stringy, thick cheese that's always warm on top. Pancho Villa also uses their own house sauce instead of canned or bottled salsa, which adds a uniqueness that you can taste on one of their mammoth plates.
6. LOCAL Lansdowne // 825 Exhibition Way - Unit 107
Fully loaded, as advertised, with pulled chicken, avocado (blessed), jack cheese, black olives, amongst others. They're light on the salsa, but the proportions of the other toppings seem to make up for it. You can also order a personalized half nachos for half the price.
7. Zak's Diner // 14 ByWard Market Square
Step aside Zak's breakfast, we're talking about the nachos now. Nothing cures a late night in the ByWard Market like the good ol' Calvin Nachos with black beans and three cheeses. I don't mind the nachos just as they are, but adding chicken for the extra three dollars is something I'll never contest.
8. Lieutenant's Pump // 361 Elgin St.
So pumped. The so-called "Pumped-Up" plate is like a small mound of nachos on a gigantic silver plate. These nachos have a pretty firm cult following and are one of the biggest plates in the city.
9. Mill St. Brew Pub // 555 Wellington St.
Mill Street's loaded nachos with pulled pork are a total triumph, and are even better with their beef 'n chilli on top. If you'd like, you can go "all the way" and get both extra toppings on top of their already delicious tricoloured nachos.
10. Ola Cocina // 62 Barrette St.
The famous "Ignacios" platter is something of a bucket list item for the devoted nacho enthusiast. Try it with some Al Pastor (Mexican shawarma) on top and enjoy it in the mountain of chips, six salsas, black beans, guacamole and many more toppings that this restaurant practically gifts to you.
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