by Amanda Nunes
OTTAWA, ONTARIO — I’ll be the first to tell you that when I travel, my goals are usually food-oriented. Full stop. That’s not to say I don’t take in cool art, or go hiking to visit a beautiful waterfall. I’ll do all that, and in between I’ll be sure to find an amazing lunch, pop into a local bakery or grab a homemade soda. For me, food is painstakingly researched, and you’re unlikely to find me in a fast-food establishment. Here are some of my favourite bites from a recent trip to Ottawa.
1. Scones at Sconewitch
Address: Three Locations
Phone: 613-232-2173 (Elgin), plus two other locations
My first stop in Ottawa has become a staple for me. The Sconewitch occupies an airy space on Elgin Street that can be tricky to find at first, but you’ll be glad when you do. The scone menu includes six sweet scones and four savoury scones. The scones are baked fresh and often sell out fast. Favourite flavours include cheesy cheddar, sweet vanilla cream, orange cranberry and feta cheese. The scones are generously sized and come with wee pats of butter. You can also opt for Devonshire cream or lemon curd.
Sconewitch serves exceptionally delicious sandwiches for brunch or lunch. Arrive early, though, because the wait can get a bit long.
2. Donuts from The Side Door
Address: 18b York Street, ByWard Market, Ottawa
The Side Door is in the popular ByWard Market. This Asian and Mexican fusion spot has carved out a name for itself. Tacos are wildly popular (try the spicy jerk chicken) and so are the hand-rolled steamed pork siu mai dumplings. Dessert is what really shines at The Side Door. Each evening there’s a new donut featured on the menu, alongside classic staples. Dark chocolate donuts, cinnamon sugar donuts and white chocolate cranberry donuts are served up warm. When I went, the donut special was one filled with chocolate mocha cream. Can’t pick just one? The donut platter has one of each. You’re welcome.
3. Brunch at Jak’s Kitchen
Address: 479 Bronson Avenue, Ottawa
I have a soft spot for bread. For me, fresh bread is a must at all meals. That’s just one of the reasons why I love Jak’s Kitchen. A little more on the hipster side, Jak’s Kitchen bakes its own bread fresh and in-house daily. Breads include molasses oat, rye, sourdough, buttermilk biscuit, banana bread and my favourite, the rosemary focaccia. Any choice would be the perfect match for a hearty three-egg omelette (like the Balderson with bacon, mushrooms, shallots and old cheddar). The house-made Mac sandwiches are also a sure bet. The Wendy Mac features smoked salmon, scallion and tomato with cream cheese.
4. Justin Trudeau Cookies at Le Moulin de Provence
Address: 55 Byward Market Square
Admittedly, Le Moulin de Provence is a bit of a tourist trap. Its claim to fame occurred during a visit by President Barack Obama, who tried one of the establishment’s maple leaf cookies. They were quickly renamed to Obama cookies. Shrewd marketing efforts might tempt you to purchase the cookies — and you won’t be disappointed. They’re delicious. Le Moulin de Provence has a large assortment of freshly made, perfectly iced sugar shortbread cookies in a variety of shapes. On a recent visit, I was delighted to find patriotic Justin Trudeau cookies. Not your cup of tea? Flowers, emoticons and red maple leaf Canadian cookies crowd the display case.
Discover More: “Obama Cookies Still Popular in Ottawa“
5. Egg rolls from Golden Palace
Address: 2195 Carling Avenue, Ottawa
The Golden Palace has been dishing out Chinese dishes for more than 55 years. During that time, it has become well known for its egg rolls. These large egg rolls are hand-rolled and filled with pork, celery and bean sprouts. They are plump and crispy after being deep fried. I recommend taking a box of them home with you to enjoy once your visit to Ottawa is complete.
MORE ABOUT VISITING OTTAWA
Tourism Info: Visit the Ottawa Tourism website for details on accommodations, attractions and more or Telephone 1-800-363-4465 (toll free)