Even though Ottawa isn't the biggest city in the world, there are still some spots that go unnoticed. Not to say they're not great, because they 100% are but with popular spots it's inevitable that some would be under the radar. But that's what makes them so great!
A ton of these places are 'hidden' but a lot of them are secret just because you've probably never heard of them before! And what's better than dining at a spot that not many people know about? Hint: You probably won't see anyone you know and that's the best part.
If you find yourself bored of the same routine, the same restaurants because none of your friends can decide, or drinking the same coffee, then you're welcome. Just because Tequila Jacks is super easy to get into doesn't mean there aren't better bars out there. So grab your friends and put these spots on your bucket list! I promise you'll fall in love with them and want to keep them a secret.
Rosie's Southern Kitchen & Raw Bar
Where: 895 Bank St // Lansdowne Park
Why you should go: Rosie's Southern Kitchen & Raw Bar is exactly what is sounds like. A mix of southern food and their signature oysters, anyone will love this menu. Their fried chicken is a must try!
Where: 610 Bronson Ave // The Glebe
Why you should go: Because this spot is actually hidden. In the basement of a commercial building, this Korean restaurant has everything you could want and more. From fried rice to fire chicken noodle, Table 85 will blow your mind!
Where: 10 Byward Market Square // ByWard Market
Why you should go: If you love Zak's Diner, you'll love Zak's Cantina. Right next store to Zak's Diner is this relatively new and exciting Mexican restaurant that will make your day. They have sharing plates, tacos, burrito bowls, and so much more! And obviously, margaritas.
Where: 1242 Wellington St W // Westboro
Why you should go: Because this spot literally opened up less than a month ago! Bar Lupulus is so unique, as their restaurant serves craft beer, wine and Mediterranean dishes. From charcuterie boards to a list of pastas, you'll want to keep this gem secret.
Where: 8 ByWard Market Square // ByWard Market
Why you should go: Not only is this the cutest restaurant ever, but they have unreal Asian food. You'll want to try everything on the menu, and I wouldn't judge you for it. They have everything from rice wraps to chicken fried rice to huge bowls of pho. Yum!
For Bars, Click "NEXT"
The Albion Rooms
Where: 33 Nicholas St // Downtown
Why you should go: Located in the Novotel Hotel downtown, this is the perfect spot to go for after work drinks! They have great cocktails, and if you're hungry, you should try one of their amazing charcuterie boards. If you're not into drinking, they also have Kombucha on tap!
Bab El Hara
Where: 1818 Bank St // Ellwood
Type: Shisha Bar
Why you should go: If you're sick of the same old bar, this will definitely change things up! This shisha bar is hidden near the airport, and you can sit back and relax with a drink with friends if you're looking for a low key night.
Copper Spirits and Sights
Where: 325 Dalhousie St // ByWard Market
Type: Cocktail Bar
Why you should go: While this clearly isn't hidden, as it's become super popular, you wouldn't just see it while walking down the street. Located in Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market, Copper Spirits and Sights gives the most amazing view of downtown. This is perfect for a date night, a birthday, or even just a Friday night!
Where: 139 Preston St #1 // Little Italy
Type: Consignment Bar
Why you should go: Why shouldn't you go?! This bar is so unique that you'll want to go back every single week. You can drink here, shop here, hangout here, make plants here. It's insane! Everything in the bar you can buy, which is so amazing.
Where: 111 York St // ByWard Market
Type: Coffee Shop/Bar
Why you should go: Because this is literally a coffee shop that turns into a bar. They serve wine and beer which can make for a great place to lounge around with friends if you're looking for a quiet night in. Or if you're not a drinker, you can still order coffee!
For Cafes, Click "NEXT"
Where: Simons // CF Rideau Centre
Why you should go: I mean, just look at that view! Whether you check out this cafe to study at, or you need a break from shopping, this unique gem is definitely worth checking out. They also have a ton of healthy food options, which will refuel you no matter what you're doing there!
The Grounds Cafe
Where: 5703 Hazeldean Rd // Stittsville
Why you should go: From coffee and tea to breakfast and lunch, The Grounds Cafe has everything you could want. Even if you're gluten free, they have a ton of options for you that will keep you coming back! This gem is hidden away in Stittsville, which is the cutest part of town.
Union Street Kitchen Cafe
Where: 42 Crichton St // New Edinburgh
Why you should go: This is actually the cutest cafe ever. From the floors to the plates, if you're looking for an Instagrammable cafe, this is it! They have a ton of options and everything is made from scratch. Love avocado toast? You can find it here!
The Dreamland Cafe
Where: 200 Laurier Ave W // Downtown Ottawa
Why you should go: Aside from the absolutely adorable and unique decor, this cafe sells unreal Italian food to go. It's made in house, and this cafe will literally make you feel like you're in a dream. It's hidden away in a commercial building, but once you've been in there once you'll want to go back daily for their unreal pasta.
Where: 273 Britannia Rd // Britannia
Why you should go: From a rose gold counter to the most delicious homemade treats, there's no way you can beat Britannia Coffeehouse. Attached is actually the cutest ice cream shop as well so this cafe literally can't get more perfect. If you're looking for a low key cafe, this is it!
For Breakfast/Brunch Spots, Click "NEXT"
Chesterfield's Gastro Diner
Where: 1433 Wellington St W #111 // Westboro
Type: Gastro Diner
Why you should go: First of all, this is the cutest brunch spot in Ottawa. The couches and the wallpaper will give you such 70's vibes! Anyways, their food is absolutely delicious and will leave you full all day. Their food isn't greasy, and it's more of an upscale breakfast/brunch spot. They're only open until 2 pm, but you can order breakfast up until then. You also need to try their pralines and cream encrusted French toast. Yum!
White Horse Restaurant
Where: 294 Tremblay Rd // Overbrook
Type: Home Cooked
Why you should go: From the first picture, it may not look like much. However, if you're looking for cheap, delicious and straight to the point breakfast/brunch, White Horse Restaurant has it! They have breakfast plates for $5.50 and up! Their breakfast is all day, so feel free to try it out whenever you want. You won't regret it.
Where: 60 Rue Bégin // Gatineau
Type: French Bistro
Why you should go: Edgar is such a unique breakfast spot in Gatineau. They have limited seating, but if you make it in, their food is to die for. They also don't have that big of a menu, but their menu consists of things like apple crisp pancakes and other creations you wouldn't think for breakfast but are SO delicious!
Fleur Tea House
Where: 287 Somerset St E // Sandy Hill
Type: Tea House
Why you should go: This cozy spot will make you want to come back every weekend for brunch. It's a tea shop as well as a cafe, but that doesn't mean they don't make a mean breakfast. If you're looking for a quaint spot that has everything you want, this is it!
Where: 225 Strathcona Ave // The Glebe
Type: Contemporary Diner
Why you should go: Erling's Variety isn't only adorable but they have a small menu with small plates which gives you room to order more! They have options like French toast to the Chef's Choice omelet which is to die for. The vibe of this restaurant is super laid back, and since it's not well known, you can expect to feel relaxed here.