The creativity never seems to run dry in the kitchens of Wellington West where the menus are constantly reinvented, the entrees are playful and you should always save room for dessert. Consider these seven stops, both new and old favourites, in this trendy Ottawa neighbourhood.
The bacon-free need not suffer or sacrifice at this vegan fine dining restaurant where chef Briana Kim offers adventurous and modern fare. Her culinary efforts are both artful and delicious ranging from the Beet Burger with capers, smoked cashew cream cheese, fried whiskey sour pickles and kale Caesar salad for brunch to the 5, 9 and 12 course Chef’s tasting menu for dinner. There’s even a vegan charcuterie board that’s sure to impress even the carnivorous.
This buzzing space was one of the first restaurants on Wellington West to bring national attention to Ottawa’s culinary scene and has the kind of night-out atmosphere that makes you happy to find a spot at the bar on a weeknight. Chef and co-owner Steve Wall’s menu feels fresh and rich with its soft salt-spiked bread that’s served with whipped duck butter and housemade ravioli with ramps, sweet peas and tendrils. On Sundays the corkage fee is reduced to $10 so bring your own sparkling wine for the “buck-a-shuck oysters” event.
At this dessert shop, veteran pastry chef and owner Michael Holland plays on classic sweets to create gems such as Swedish berry and dark chocolate cookies and the Cinnamon Bun cake with cinnamon toast crunch brittle. The lunch menu features sandwiches made with housemade milk bread topped with potato chips, and, of course, the popular brown bag combo includes dessert.
Expect more at this gastropub where the burger comes with locally sourced beef and homemade ketchup, snacks include house-pickled Bekings Poultry Farm eggs and marinated St. Albert cheese curds and there’s Ontario craft brewers on tap. HPH also hosts regular open mics and colouring nights featuring the work of local artist Daniel Martelock. Or pop in for “cheap date nights”, on the last Tuesday of each month, and enjoy $6 featured glasses of wine.
A new addition to the street, this cozy space is the second offering from chef Jon Svazas of Ottawa’s Fauna restaurant. Svazas makes the previous tenant’s wood-burning ovens his own, turning out a menu inspired by Spain. Try the roasted piquillo pepper stuffed with manchego and chorizo and sharing plates of chicken with creamy polenta and salsa rosa. Along with organic wines, there’s an expansive sherry list that ranges in styles from the briny to the sweet.
Wellington West’s latest craft brewer scooped up multiple wins at the Canadian Brewing Awards including gold for its Valor saison ale and silver for its hoppy German pilsner Vim & Vigor. In its laid-back space, the brewery’s focus is on its beer with a simple menu of charcuterie, cheese plates and pretzels to pair with your choices on tap. Take home a 32-oz. “crowler”—a happy compromise between a can and a growler.
This bright and busy Mexican restaurant found an instant welcome when it opened its second location here in the spring. Its taco platter lets you choose any three tacos but tough decisions still need to be made: Will it be the pineapple and adobo pork, grilled skirt steak with pickled onions or a less traditional filling like tandoori chicken? Just make sure to leave room for a churro ice cream sandwich.
Vegan Meat and Cheese for Your Charcuterie Board
As the vegan lifestyle continues to gain popularity, creative businesses across Canada are offering up a variety of delicious, plant-based cheeses and meat alternatives. Here's where to get cashew cheese, smoked meats and more while visiting Ottawa, Victoria, Charlottetown, Montreal or Toronto.
What to Do in Ottawa’s Wellington West Neighbourhood
When in Ottawa, don't miss spending a day in Wellington West, which includes Hintonburg and Wellington Village and boasts creative local restaurant and shops. Browse unique designs at Flock Boutique, flip through the vinyl at The Record Centre or sip cold brew at The Ministry of Coffee.