Experience Ottawa like a local

There are fewer things that excite us more than food, sun, and fun. We’re talking about some good eats, sweet summer temps and good company à la the tried and true crew. That’s pretty much what the season is all about, right?

Combine all of this with one of Canada’s top travel destinations, and you’ve pretty much summed up our summer agenda.

What amazing city are we talking about? Ottawa, of course! Yes, friends, we’re talkin’ about the capital of Canada.

You already know it for its historic sites and landmarks, but did you know Ottawa also has an epic food scene? Whether you do or don’t, get ready to discover some of the city’s most wow-worthy dishes foodie style.

Enjoy reinvented classics at Flora Hall

Where: 37 Flora Street

If you're in the mood for not only some trendy decor and delicious eats, but a stellar selection of craft beers as well, you've got to visit the gorgeous Flora Hall. Located in a stunningly restored heritage building, this brewpub is the ultimate place to get together with friends and share a few scrumptious platters.

Their chefs pride themselves on putting together creative, contemporary twists on classic comfort foods, using local and seasonal ingredients. The setting is iconic, the grub is outta this world, and the atmosphere will make you want to stay all evening long!

Snag something sugary at Art-Is-In Bakery

Where: 250 City Centre Avenue #112

Don't let the name fool you! This boulangerie doesn't just specialize in baked goods and decadent pastries, it also serves up some droolworthy meals. This edgy cafe-bakery has a huge selection of fresh breads, savoury sourdough pies, yummy sandwiches, and delicious breakfast plates. 

Did we mention their cheesy Mac Monday and jam-packed burger special? You'll be rolling out of here - happily, of course!

Chow down on a sammie at Di Rienzo Deli

Where: 111 Beech Street

Hear us out, guys: you haven’t tasted a sandwich until you’ve tasted one from Di Rienzo’s. (Plus, they've got epic pasta dishes too.)

This homegrown grocery and deli boasts some of the classics, including a sweet turkey, prosciutto and havarti combo [insert drool face emoji here].  

Indulge in Southern hospitality at Fatboys Southern Smokehouse

Where: 34 Murray Street

When it comes to summertime dining, we know of just about no better way to welcome and celebrate the season than with delicious BBQ eats.

Servin’ up some good ol’ Southern hospitality, Fatboys is a BBQ lover's *literal* dream. Think a rustic atmosphere combined with Memphis-style ribs and all the draft beer you can handle.

Satiate your sweet tooth à la Mantovani 1946

Where: 87 Murray Street

Nestled in the heart of Ottawa’s ByWard Market, Mantovani is all about Italian artisan-made gelato and pastries. Plus, they've got coffee, too.

Like, the super delicious Italian kind that pretty much melts in your mouth (yes, coffee can do that). Gelato and post-dessert cafè? Don’t mind if we do!

Keep it classy at Play Food & Wine

Where: 1 York Street

Fuel your inner fancypants with this upscale-casual nook. This small-plates restaurant serves appetizer-sized portions prepared from scratch.

In other words: each dish is perfect for sharing with a friend, a few friends, or an S/O... and let’s not forget a glass of wine (or three). Play’s wine list is, of course, nothing short of epic.

Become a hopeless ramen-tic at Datsun

Where: 380 Elgin Street

We don’t care if 35 degrees out, anytime is the right time for ramen. And basically all the creative Asian delicacies this trendy resto-bar offers. 

Take your date to Industry Mondays after 9:00 PM and enjoy $5 steam buns, $3.5 Jameson, and $6 Tiger. You can thank us later. 

Throw your pinkies up at SconeWitch

Where: 150 Elgin Street

Guys, you may have thought you knew everything there is to know about scones, but think again. From sweet to savoury, SconeWitch has 11 different flavours and sources their ingredients locally.

They also serve breakfast, lunch, coffee and tea. So see you there every morning this summer? K cool.

Sip, savour, and repeat at SOIF Bar À Vin

Where: 88 Montcalm Street

Located in Gatineau, Soif Bar À Vin is an authentic wine bar with a rotating wine list. Combine an epic vino selection with delicious eats, and we promise you you’re never gonna want to leave.

In fact, their food is intentionally simple to let the flavours of each of their wines really shine! Fun fact: Véronique Rivest, the sommelier-owner, placed second at the World’s Best Sommelier Competition in 2013.

Have a whale of a good time at Whalesbone

Where: 231 Elgin Street, 430 Bank Street, and 504a Kent Street

With three locations in Ottawa, the Whalesbone is the place to go for all things oysters and seafood. After all, it wouldn’t quite be summer without seafood, right?

In fact, every year over the Canada Day long weekend Whalesbone hosts the Bytowne Oyster Festival at their Kent location — that includes oysters (duh), beer, food trucks and music, too!

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo every. single. day. at Zak’s Cantina

Where: 10 ByWard Market

This classic eatery is located in Ottawa’s infamous ByWard Market. Serving Mexican-style street eats, Zak’s is about more than just tacos. They also serve Insta-worthy margaritas, sangrias and all kinds of other Tex-Mex dishes (burritos, anyone?).

Plus, you can even eat inside their chicken bus — it’s a colourful bus that’s traditionally used throughout Latin America for transportation (but it’s been refurbished as an eat-in dining space for Zak’s, of course).

This summer, make Ottawa your go-to destination for all things food! For more things you can do in Canada’s capital city, check out Ottawa Tourism online and on Instagram and Facebook.

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