Today’s Ottawa City Guide come to us from Krista Leben, the founder of , Ottawa’s Craft Bash, and . Krista is an American expat who has been bouncing around the globe since 2007 until she finally landed in Ottawa in the fall of 2009. She loves calling Canada’s capital her home, and can’t wait to introduce you to the cool side of Ottawa, so she has compiled a list of the top restaurants, shops, and additional “treats” to highlight this truly fun city! Thanks Krista for this incredible guide to Ottawa! — Stephanie
Read the full guide after the jump…
Be sure to check out this with all of the below listings!
– A perfectly curated shop featuring Canadian fashion designers, lovely home goods, and lovely accessories. A must-visit in Ottawa!
– This lovely shop is filled to the brim with handmade goods from designers across Canada.
– A perfect little paper shop with beautiful wrapping paper, cards and decorations for your home.
– A Canadian furniture and home goods chain, EQ3 has a wonderful selection of modern touches for your home.
– A wonderful vintage-centric shop with beautiful dresses and accessories! A must-visit for vintage lovers!
– A great selection of clothes and accessories for both guys and gals.
– A wonderful kitchen store with an attached restaurant, the perfect place to pick something up if you’re looking for professional kitchen instruments!
– A well-appointed kitchen shop that I like to visit to pick up beautiful serving dishes and bowls.
– This local pub features a great selection of burgers made in house as well as a wide range of craft beers to go with them. Live jazz on Sundays, and a wonderful staff.
– A wonderful Italian food shop that’s a great place to pick up a snack or one of their customizable gourmet sandwiches (which will feed you for days)!
– A great place to pick up a perfectly-poured latte or sweet treat. Cash only.
– If you’re a meat lover, Murray Street is a must-vist. As true believers of the nose-to-tail philosophy, you can experience some great and interesting meat-centric dishes here. Great for Sunday brunch, too!
– A little out of the way in the Lowertown area, Auntie Loo’s is Ottawa’s first vegan bakery and well worth the trip. Try their whoopie pies!
– Two talented ladies recently teamed up to create this fantastic little shop which is filled to the brim with organic floral arrangements and gorgeous vintage garb.
– A shop filled with goods for dapper dudes. With everything from designer socks to shaving accessories, this is a great spot for guys.
-Sister store to a local grocery store across the street, this new shop features everything you need to keep yourself well naturally! From body care products to essential oils and beauty products, it’s an eco-beauty fiend’s dream!
– With fresh oysters always on the menu -and other fantastic seafood dishes, this rustic and cozy space is great to pop into for a comortable and intimate dinner.
– A favorite of office workers in the area, grounded has a wonderful range of sandwiches, pizza and gorgeous dishes for dinner.
– This local bakery has a huge dedicated following in Ottawa, and rightly so: with awesome pizza, breakfast items and baked goods made from local ingredients on their menu, you Bread & Sons won’t steer you wrong!
– This gourmet sandwich bar is a beautiful and comfortable place to tuck into while you dig into a tasty sandwich featuring things like house-smoked chicken. Visit on the weekend for a stunning waffle brunch, topped with things like the perfect amount of pulled pork.
Southern-inspired cocktails, grub and atmosphere makes Union an awesome place to tuck into any night.
– This take-home food shop has the loveliest selection of gourmet goodies made locally. It’s also a great spot to pick up a sandwich or coffee.
THE GLEBE/OLD OTTAWA SOUTH
– A lovely paper shop with gorgeous cards, darling gifts and a wonderful staff.
– A wonderful selection of modern furniture, lighting and accessories.
– An independent book shop run by an owner with a great taste and staff that’s incredibly helpful.
– For the kid in you. This fun shop features toys, games and fun knick-knacks.
– An expansive kitchen store with every item you’ll need to outfit a gourmet kitchen!
– The biggest antique store in Eastern Ontario!
– This darling cafe features sandwiches and Latin American specialties, like the most delicious empanadas in town.
– With some of the best gelato in town, this place is always packed and is a great place to hang out with your family on a warm afternoon.
– One of the most underrated bakeries in town, in our humble opinion. Try their cakewiches on the weekends, which somehow perfect both a whoopie pie and a cupcake all in one.
– A gourmet olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting bar, with oils and vinegars of impeccable quality.
– An awesome magazine shop, with cards and gifts tucked within the store, too.
– Sister shop to Mags & Fags, this newly-opend gift store has lovely local products and other little gems.
– A great independent book shop with thoughtfully selected books in every genre.
– A modern yet cozy atmosphere with modern Italian fare on the menu + a great cocktail list, you’ll love this eatery.
– Tuck into this underground pub for the tastiest food you’ll ever eat in a bar. With pressed pulled pork wraps, delectable vegan dishes and daily specials, you’ll love the cozy atmosphere of this pub and its awesome staff.
– This modern spot has a wide selection of tasty gelato and crepes of the savory and sweet variety. Also perfect for people watching through their big windows looking out onto Elgin Street.
– Tucked underground, Oz features incredible and inventive dishes. Great for dinner, drinks or a late-night snack.
– A newcomer to Ottawa’s culinary scene, El Camino features tacos, tequila and a raw bar. With both a walk-up window and sit-down options, it’s easy to snag some of El Camino’s delicious food.
– A cozy cafe with vintage tables to sit at and vintage clothes to shop from, it’s a great place to sit, relax and unplug.
– Tuck into this dark and modern bar for fantastic cocktails, small plates and wonderful tunes coming over the speakers.
– Fantastic cocktails, wonderful bar snacks and beautiful entrees
– A wonderful Korean restaurant with incredibly helpful staff. A great place to try Korean if you’ve never tasted the cuisine!
– A very popular bakery here in Ottawa which started out by wholesaling their delicious bread, then expanded into a full-on bakery which now serves lunch, brunch and their delicious pastries. A must-visit.
Vietnamese Pho – Many of the restaurants in Ottawa’s Chinatown are actually Vietnamese Pho places. There are countless options, and everyone seems to have their favorite spot, but here are a few popular options: New Pho Bo Ga La, Pho Tu Do, Pho Bo Ga 1 & Vietnam Palace.
– This charming gift shop has everything to lovely perfume to darling greeting cards to vintage goodies. A great place to pick up a gift!
– This shop features an impeccably-curated selection of fabrics and also has sewing machines which you can rent out to work on projects.
– Sister shop to Workshop Studio & Boutique on Dalhousie. Full of Canadian handmade goodness.
– Sister shop to Victoire Boutique on Dalhousie.
– New to the Wellington West neighborhood, JV Studios features jewelry designers from across Canada and is run by metalsmith Jasmine Virani. A great place to pick up a momento from your trip to Ottawa.
– A fabulous knitting and yarn store, Wabi Sabi sells beautiful hand-spun yarn and also has workshop and classes in which you can learn to knit!
– One of the most popular second-hand stores in Ottawa, St. Vincents is a great place to score some great finds at great prices.
– A house of fashion and clothing shop for women, this shop also carries such goodies as Kinfolk magazine and other lovely gifts.
– This gem of a shop is run by floral designer Kat Kosk, who creates wonderfully modern arrangements with a European flair. The shop is also a cafe with wonderful baked goods and some of the best lattes in town. If you’re in Ottawa around the holiday season, their Eggnog Latte is a must!
– Quickly after opening, HPH became a local favorite, and rightly so–with cozy and comfortable furnishings, local beer on tap, and a great menu.
– Hands-down the best doughnuts in Ottawa. Flavors like Maple Bacon, London Fog and Raspberry Cassis top sky-high doughnuts that are too delicious to resist.
– This seafood and raw bar has quickly become a local favorite not only for its wonderful food, but also for its lovely decor which features gorgeous white tile floors and charming seahorse wallpaper.
– A charming kitchen store with very knowedgable and helpful staff. My go-to place for all things kitchen in Ottawa!
– This store, tucked away upstairs above several others, is impeccably curated and full of lovely Swedish finds.
– This locally-owned jewelry boutique features is very well-curated and features many modern Canadian jewelry designers. A great departure from the traditional jewelry store. Additional location in the Glebe.
– A darling candy shop filled to the brim with your favorite childhood favorites as well as tons of tasty treats waiting to be discovered.
– Tuck into this local market and delicatessan which features new goodies each day, including delectable Jamaican patties. If you’re in the neighborhood on Tuesdays, check out their taco special!
– Literally a hostel that is housed in a former jail. Stay if you dare; it’s been named one of the most haunted places in Canada!
Christiane Lemieux (of Dwell Studio)
Princess Margriet of the Netherlands (Her birth in Canada is an interesting & fun anecdote often told here in Ottawa, which you can read
. Ottawa’s famed Tulip Festival is thanks to her legacy!