Ottawa’s Best Eateries You May (or May Not) Know Exist

Do you ever catch yourself saying, “Ottawa has no good food spots?” We think Montreal and Toronto are the only options we have in finding those tasty, artful and award winning treats we see on Instagram.

Little do we know, Ottawa’s food scene is constantly growing and evolving. There are dozens of places producing some of the best eats and treats right in our very own city, all locally owned and exclusive to our Nation’s Capital. From breakfast to dinner, to coffee shops and tapas, these places are worth a try.

1. Arlington Five – 5 Arlington Avenue

photo: @crownflora

photo: @arlingtonfive


You may have already heard of (or should I say seen) this coffee shop – Arlingtonfive is famously known for its frequently Instagramm-ed outdoor wall art that writes “MAKE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL.”  And that’s exactly what you’ll find them doing inside of this one-of-a-kind coffee and sandwich house!

The coffee brewed here is some of the best in the city, and the baked goods and pastries are to die for. From blueberry caramel muffins to perfectly moist chocolate chip banana bread, this place is the ultimate grab and go spot. Now let’s talk about the sandwiches… I am not exaggerating when I say I have had one of the best sandwiches my mouth has ever bitten into. This sandwich was their take on an egg salad sandwich, consisting of fresh sourdough bread, layered with dill pickles, sprouts, egg salad and kettle chips to top it off. I’m telling you, this place will blow your mind.

2. Anthony’s Pizza – 1218 Wellington Street West/753 Bank Street

photo: @anthonyswoodfiredpizza

Right out of the gate I’m going to say if you haven’t visited one of their two locations, do yourself a favour and go NOW. The FoodNetwork has named Anthony’s as one of the “Top 12 Pizzerias Across Canada Worth Travelling For” – and they didn’t receive such praise for nothing. These guys are the real deal. Their pizzas are simple but delicious, Neapolitan-style wood-fired oven pizza. My favourite and go-to pizza is the Romana; it’s a white pizza with Fior di latte, ricotta, and rapini. People are traveling across Canada for a bite of this pizza – what a coincidence that it’s right in your backyard! Ottawans if you have yet to experience it yourself, ask yourself this, “What am I waiting for?”

3. Jak’s Kitchen – 479 Bronson Avenue

photo: @mich1894

photo: @serendipityy313

If you are thinking brunch, think no more. Jak’s Kitchen serves up my favourite brunch in the area.  You will be blown away by their selection of bread that they make in house, fresh juices and much more. A specialty at Jak’s is their “Kitchen Macs” which is essentially a better version of an Egg McMuffin. I also can’t forget to mention their in-house made banana bread French toast. Everything on the menu here is scrumptious and guaranteed to hit you right in the (brunch) feels.

4. Holland’s Cake & Shake – 229 Armstrong Street

photo: @consumedbycarlo

photo: @consumedbycarlo


Craving a cake? Or a shake? Or both? One visit to Holland’s and I guarantee you will be coming back soon. They specialize in creating the most delicious and beautiful, individually layered cakes. Each one is its own masterpiece featuring different colours and flavours. These cakes are made daily and are about the size of a muffin. If you thought it couldn’t get any better than this, you’re wrong. They also make soft serve ice cream that makes for the perfect milkshake. Choose a cake, and a soft serve flavour and make them one. That’s right; you can get a milkshake with an individual cake blended into it!

Every weekend throughout the summer, Holland’s features a unique soft serve flavour (from Friday to Sunday). The best part about it is that they use REAL and FRESH ingredients when making the soft serve. So if blueberry is the flavour of the weekend, you’ll see them crushing up fresh blueberries for the recipe! Some of their must-try flavours are Cotton Candy, Peach, Concord Grape, these are some of the many flavours you can anticipate will come!

5. Atari – 297 Dalhousie Street

photo: @consumedbycarlo

photo: @consumedbycarlo

With over 24 different specialty cocktails, Atari is without a doubt one of Ottawa’s unique and trendy drink spots. They even have a drink topped off with cotton candy, or a roasted marshmallow, or one titled “30 likes, 9 comments”.  Atari is also widely known for its tartar. You pick the protein you desire (tuna, salmon, beef, or duck) and then select your flavour (Asian, Mexican, French, or Italian). Also, ladies, you’re in luck! Every Tuesday at Atari girls eat for free, making this the ultimate girls night out. To finish things off, I have to mention the double stacked deep fried Oreos… *drops mic*

6. Das Lokal – 190 Dalhousie Street

photo: @nadine.jc

photo: @consumedbycarlo

Calling all charcuterie board lovers, this is your next stop! Das Lokal is a German-inspired bistro that has, in my opinion, the best charcuterie board in Ottawa. I am a charcuterie fiend, and Das Lokal takes the cake for me. Monday’s are special at Das Lokal because they offer Raclette, which is mouthwatering cheese fondue. Brunch is available as well on weekends and serves up some pretty exceptional dishes like waffle BLTs, sweet or savory boards and much more.

7. Two Six {Ate} – 268 Preston Street

photo: @consumedbycarlo

photo: @consumedbycarlo


Two Six Ate is my first pick when it comes to late night menus. Just about everything they serve is made in house using fresh and local products. The presentation of their dishes is stellar, each one being full of colour and flavour. The desserts here are also on a whole ‘nother level. They make some of the meanest desserts in the city, with the deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich being my all-time favourite. On Sundays, they open the third floor of the restaurant for “Beats ‘n Eats” where there’s a live DJ and drink specials.


   There you have it, some of my ‘hole in the wall’ and favourite food spots you HAVE to hit up if you haven’t already. There’s a whole world of food right under your noses, right here at home in Ottawa. I run a food blog through my Instagram in which I am regularly posting new food experiences. I encourage you to follow the account or at least check it out; you may discover some great spots you didn’t know you were missing out on!

Written by: @consumedbycarlo

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