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Bistro Bites: The Best Lunch Spots in Ottawa

Bistro Bites The Best Lunch Spots in Ottawa

Ottawa, Canada’s capital, is more than just the seat of the country’s federal government. The city also boasts a vibrant culinary scene where every lunchtime promises a delightful journey for your taste buds.

From laidback cafés to bustling restaurants, this city is full of great places that will certainly give you a one-of-a-kind lunch experience. 

Let’s explore a couple of these amazing lunch spots in Ottawa and see why they’re worth visiting during your lunch break. Bon appétit!

Elgin Street Diner


Address: 374 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1N1, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-237-9700

Operating hours: Available 24/7

Price (for reference, $ is $30 and below, $$ is $31 to 80, and $$$ is $81 and up): $

Elgin Street Diner is a beloved restaurant that has been serving comfort food and nostalgia in Ottawa for over 22 years. Located on Elgin Street, this retro gem invites diners into a cozy space adorned with vintage decor. 

Whether you’re stopping by for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a late-night craving, this diner delivers. For your first visit, try their shepherd’s pie, as its creamy mashed potatoes and seasoned ground beef will give you a delightfully comforting taste.

Aside from their incredible filling meals, Elgin Street Diner also has plenty of drinks offered, like sodas, coffees, and milkshakes. All items on their menu are affordable, so don’t be afraid to come back here for more!

Pro tip:

You can order your meal online so that it will be ready for you once you arrive. To do that, you can visit this link, which also accepts takeout and delivery orders.

Metropolitain Brasserie Restaurant


Address: 700 Sussex Dr, Ottawa, ON K1N 1K4, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-562-1160

Operating hours: 

11:30 AM – 10:00 PM (MON-WED)

11:30 AM – 11:00 PM (THURS and FRI)

10:00 AM – 11:00 PM (SAT)

10:00 AM – 10:00 PM (SUN)

Price: $

In the mood for French cuisine? Then try Metropolitain Brasserie, a restaurant in the ByWard Market that brings the allure of Parisian brasseries to the residents of Ottawa. 

With its charming ambience, it’s a delightful spot for locals and visitors alike. 

Their dishes are certainly filling, thanks to their good food portions and delectable tastes. Their signature dish, bouillabaisse, transports diners to the Mediterranean coast with its rich saffron-infused broth and generous portions of fresh seafood. 

And, to make your lunch better, they also offer a wide range of cocktails that perfectly complement their dishes. Some noteworthy examples you should try during your visit are their fortified wines and metro martinis.

Pro tip:

If you’re a big fan of seafood, check out Metropolitain Brasserie’s Buck-a-Shuck Oysters Special on Thursdays! For only a dollar, you can enjoy fresh oysters for the whole day.

However, seats are very limited for this promotion, so it’s best that you reserve a seat here as soon as you can.



Address: 337 Richmond Rd, Ottawa, ON K2A 0E7, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-680-9086

Operating hours: 

11:30 AM – 2:00 PM, 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM (TUES-THURS)

11:30 AM – 2:00 PM, 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM (FRI)

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM (SAT)

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM (SUN)

Price: $$

Gezellig is a culinary haven on Richmond Road that’s housed in a beautifully converted 1950s bank building. Founded by restaurateur Stephen Beckta, this eatery celebrates local, seasonal ingredients with French techniques.

Inside, you’ll be treated to a soaring yet intimate space where you can taste some of Ottawa’s finest meals. For their lunch menu, they offer a varied number of dishes, including braised beef, seared scallops, and pan-seared Fogo island cod.

My personal favourite is the duck leg confit. Its Szechuan peppercorns bring a mild yet noticeably hot sensation that’s perfectly complemented by the duck’s tender meat and the apple-celeriac purée’s nutty and sweet taste.

Pro tip:

Sharing is caring! If you want to let your friends try out Gezellig’s amazing lunch menu, you can give them a gift certificate that also works at Gezellig’s sister restaurants, like Beckta Dining & Wine and Play Food & Wine.

You can purchase these certificates on this website.

Corazon De Maiz


Address: 55 Byward Market Square, Ottawa, ON K1N 9C3, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-244-1661

Operating hours: 

11:00 AM – 8:30 PM (MON-SAT)

11:00 AM – 6:00 PM (SUN)

Price: $

If you’re looking to enjoy a quick lunch, visit Corazon De Maiz in ByWard Market. Founded by Erick and Mariana in 2011, this restaurant aims to introduce Canadians to the amazing world of Oaxacan cuisine and culture.

Here, you can try a wide variety of popular Mexican dishes, like nachos, quesadillas, tacos, and burritos. All of their dishes are made using locally sourced ingredients and are prepared onsite to ensure you’ll only get the freshest and tastiest experience.

For starters, I strongly recommend you try their legendary burritos. Their tender meat mixed in with a healthy amount of rice, spices, and black beans is guaranteed to give you the energy boost you’ll need to power through the other half of your day.

Pro tip:

You can go for a more filling lunch by ordering extras with your meal! Corazon De Maiz has a couple of side dishes that cost less than $8 and are absolutely delicious, like guacamole and refried beans.

Wolf Down


Address: 380 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1Y4, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-421-4054

Operating hours: 

11:00 AM – 12:00 AM (MON-THURS)

11:00 AM – 1:00 AM (FRI-SUN)

Price: $

For an authentic Berlin street food experience, visit Wolf Down, located on Bank Street. Founded by Joelle Parenteau, this startup-style eatery pays homage to the iconic dishes brought by Turkish migrants to Germany. 

As a restaurant that specializes in Turkish-German cuisine, they offer plenty of tasty dishes that’ll keep you wanting more, like rice bowls, salads, and sandwiches. These dishes are easy to eat on the go, perfect if your lunch break is running short.

Of course, a key dish you should look out for during your visit here is their iconic Berlin döner. Made with caramelized meat, fresh veggies, and special sauces, this dish offers a perfect swirl of spicy and sweet flavours you don’t want to miss.

Pro tip:

Are you hosting a private event like a birthday party or an office party? Thankfully, Wolf Down can help you make sure it goes swimmingly, as they offer catering services to any address in Ottawa!

To book them as your caterer, fill out this form.

EVOO Greek Kitchen


Address: 438 1/2 Preston St, Ottawa, ON K1S 4N4, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-695-3860

Operating hours: 

11:30 AM – 2:30 PM, 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM (TUES-THURS)

11:30 AM – 2:30 PM, 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM (FRI)

5:00 PM – 11:00 PM (SAT) 

12:00 PM – 10:00 PM (SUN)

Price: $$

EVOO Greek Kitchen, located on Preston Street, is a stylish restaurant that has made a name for producing authentic Greek dishes in Ottawa. Their relaxing atmosphere and friendly staff set the stage for an unforgettable dining experience.

Taking inspiration from Greek culture, their menu encourages sharing and is perfect for dates or family gatherings. From mouthwatering grilled meats to fresh seafood boards, customers can enjoy a wide selection of dishes that they can bond over. 

For a truly delightful lunch experience, be sure to order their Mosharisa Brizola, which is made with premium Canadian rib steak and hand-cut fries. Its dip, tzatziki, perfectly complements the beef’s smoky flavour with its deliciously tangy taste. 

Pro tip:

EVOO Greek Kitchen accepts special reservations for private events and birthday parties. They have set menus that are designed to give each of your guests a full meal without being too pricey on your part.

To learn more about these set menus and book your reservation, check out this page.

JOEY Rideau


Address: 50 Rideau St #106, Ottawa, ON K1N 9J7, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-680-5639

Operating hours: 

11:00 AM – 12:00 AM (SUN-THURS)

11:00 AM – 1:00 AM (FRI and SAT)

Price: $$

JOEY Rideau is a prominent international restaurant located on Rideau Street. Established by JOEY Restaurants in 2017, this culinary haven in the heart of Ottawa combines global flavours with local Ottawan charm.

One of the best things about this restaurant is its turn-of-the-century design features, which includes a theatre kitchen, sushi bar, and wrap-around lounge. The warm atmosphere here is always a delight, whether you’re here for lunch or dinner.

Furthermore, their varied menu means there’s always something new to try every time you visit here. In particular, their steak and ravioli are a good choice, as they feature a grilled sirloin that’s topped amazingly with prawns and blanc sauce.

Pro tip:

You can help your friends and family have an amazing dining experience here by giving them one of JOEY Restaurant’s gift cards that are usable in any of their branches. 

What’s cool is that if you order worth $500 and more, you can get up to 20% back in bonus cards! To buy these gift cards, visit this page.

Mazarine Restaurant


Address: 282 Kent St, Ottawa, ON K2P 2A4, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-514-0153

Operating hours: 

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM (WED-FRI)

9:00 AM – 2:00 AM (SAT and SUN)

Price: $

For a healthy and fulfilling lunch experience, visit Mazarine Restaurant on Kent Street. A Mediterranean-style restaurant, this place mainly serves brunch and lunch meals that are based on popular dishes in Greece and North Africa.

Using a blend of locally sourced Canadian ingredients, they aim to produce the most tasty Mediterranean dishes you’ll find on this side of the Atlantic. Here, you can order meals like beef kofta sandwiches, halloumi omelettes, and yogurt fatteh.

In particular, the star of their menu is the shakshuka, a delicious dish that originated in Tunisia. It’s a moderately spicy dish made with poached eggs nestled in a rich tomato and bell pepper sauce, infused with cumin, paprika, and chilli.

Pro tip:

You can hire Mazarine Restaurant to be the caterer for your private events and birthday parties. Alternatively, you may also reserve their restaurant to host any private events or gatherings with your friends and family.

You can get a quick quote on these services by filling out this form