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Bite into the best: What are the best Chinese restaurants in Ottawa? 

Bite into the best What are the best Chinese restaurants in Ottawa

Is that a rumble in your tummy? A craving for something more than just sustenance? Ottawa’s got your back (and your belly covered!). 

Ditch those humdrum takeout menus and microwave meals, because it’s time to discover restaurants so good they’ll ignite a flavour explosion in your mouth.

And no, we’re not talking bland chains and predictable menus. We’re going on a culinary treasure hunt to find Ottawa’s hidden gems, those hole-in-the-wall spots with flavours that pack a punch, and the trendy eateries worth the hype. 

North & Navy

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Location: 226 Nepean St, Ottawa, ON K2P 0B8, Canada

Contact: +1 613-232-6289

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Thursday – 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM
  • Friday to Saturday – 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Pricing: $$$


Since its inception in 2015 by best friends Adam Vettorel and Chris Schlesak, North & Navy has become an Ottawa institution for those with discerning palates. 

Affectionately known as “Nona” (because who doesn’t love a good Italian nickname?), it’s the kind of place where fresh pasta is treated with reverence and your wine glass is never empty for long.

Once you’re here, don’t forget to order the Butternut Squash Mezzaluna (if you do, that’s just a rookie mistake). And no visit is complete without their Barolo Short Rib or a generous helping of classic Tiramisu.

The Whalesbone 

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Location: 231 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1L6, Canada

Contact: +1 613-505-4300

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Thursday – 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM
  • Friday – 11:30 AM to 11:00 PM
  • Saturday to Sunday – 3:00 PM to 11:00 PM

Pricing: $$$


The Whalesbone ain’t for the faint of heart. It’s small, it’s loud, and it has the kind of unpretentious, maritime-meets-dive-bar charm that makes you want to order a shot of whiskey with those fresh oysters. 

But make no mistake, these folks are serious about their seafood. Their menu is tight, focused, and changes with the seasons. We’re talking oysters fresh from both coasts, perfectly seared fish, and dishes with honest-to-goodness flavour. 

Their no-nonsense approach extends to the wine and beer lists – well-curated, but you won’t find any frou-frou cocktails here.

Supply and Demand 

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Location: 1335 Wellington St. W, Ottawa, ON K1Y 3B7, Canada

Contact: +1 613-680-2949

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Saturday – 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM
  • Sunday – 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Pricing: $$$


Ever had one of those neighbourhood spots that just gets everything right? Supply and Demand is exactly that for discerning Ottawa foodies. Nestled in Westboro, it’s got that polished yet welcoming vibe that makes you feel like you’ve scored a table at the best dinner party in town.

First, the food. Executive Chef Steve Wall commands a kitchen focused on the flavours of land and sea – quality, seasonal ingredients are the stars here. Think perfectly fresh oysters, vibrant vegetable-forward dishes, and handmade pasta that’ll make you weep with joy. 

But hey, a meal ain’t complete without something good in your glass. Their thoughtfully curated wine list has got you covered, whether you’re a casual sipper or a full-blown oenophile.


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

Contact: +1 613-680-9086

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Thursday – 11:30 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Friday – 11:30 AM to 11:00 PM
  • Saturday – 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Sunday – 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Pricing: $$$


True to its Dutch meaning, Gezellig is all about good vibes and an unpretentious approach to dining that makes you feel right at home.

The space itself strikes a balance between modern and inviting. Exposed brick walls, clean lines, and warm lighting create a backdrop for a menu that celebrates seasonal Canadian ingredients with a hint of European flair.  

You’ll see dishes like braised short ribs with silky polenta or seared scallops paired with earthy mushrooms. Plus, their portions are generous without being overwhelming, letting you sample more of their creative plates.

The Wellington Diner

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Location: 1385 Wellington St. W, Ottawa, ON K1Y 2X2, Canada

Contact: +1 613-798-7800

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Pricing: $$


The Wellington Diner is an Ottawa institution – the kind of place where old-school diner charm meets surprisingly elevated fare. Forget greasy spoons and flimsy napkins. This is a spot that has mastered the art of hearty comfort food with a modern twist.

Walking in, you’ll get a hit of nostalgia. There’s the classic diner counter, the checkered floors, and just enough neon to make it feel authentic. But then your eyes wander to the menu, and that’s where things get interesting. 

Expect to see gourmet mac and cheese, stacked burgers with creative toppings, and brunch dishes that go way beyond the basics.

Aroma Meze

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Location: 239 Nepean St, Ottawa, ON K2P 0B7, Canada

Contact: +1 613-421-0504

Opening hours:

  • Sunday to Tuesday – 4:30 PM to 9:00 PM
  • Wednesday to Thursday – 11:30 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Friday to Saturday – 4:30 PM to 10:00 PM

Pricing: $$


Aroma Meze specializes in the art of “meze” – a collection of small, flavourful plates designed for sharing. It’s a feast for both your eyes and your palate. Expect dips like hummus and tzatziki, warm pita bread fresh from the oven, perfectly spiced lamb skewers, and flaky spanakopita.

Must-tries at Aroma Meze include the Saganaki (flaming cheese – yes, really!), the grilled octopus (tender and perfectly seasoned), and the lamb souvlaki. 

Just don’t leave without trying the Baklava for dessert – its sweet, nutty goodness is the perfect end to your Mediterranean adventure.  

Coconut Lagoon

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Location: 853 St. Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, ON K1K 3B1, Canada

Contact: +1 613-742-4444

Opening hours:

  • Sunday to Monday – 9:30 AM to 9:30 PM

Pricing: $$


Led by award-winning Chef Joe Thottungal, Coconut Lagoon masterfully blends tradition with innovation. Their menu highlights local and sustainable ingredients to create dishes bursting with the essence of South Indian cuisine.

Showstoppers here include Mariposa Duck Biryani, Coconut Shrimp Curry, and Wild Mushroom Curry. But if you like spice, Lamb Chettinad and Pepper Lamb deliver a satisfying kick. 

And dessert? The Rice Pudding is deceptively simple, but its delicate sweetness is the perfect ending to this flavour odyssey.

Union 613

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Location: 315 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K2P 0J8, Canada

Contact: +1 613-231-1010

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Tuesday – 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM
  • Wednesday to Thursday – 3:00 PM to 12:00 AM
  • Friday – 3:00 PM to 2:00 AM
  • Saturday – 5:00 PM to 2:00 AM
  • Sunday – 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Pricing: $$


Forget everything you think you know about Southern cuisine. Union 613’s menu is a love letter to the region but with a rebellious twist. You won’t find the usual suspects here. Instead, get ready for Southern Fried Escargot and Duck Wings that’ll make you rethink bar food forever. 

Their Fried Green Tomatoes and Hush Puppies are pure Southern magic, transporting you to a front porch swing on a warm summer night. And for comfort food with an edge, their Frito Pie hits the spot.

Don’t leave without giving in to the dessert menu. Their legendary brownie packs a surprising kick of heat – an unexpected and delightful finish to a meal that dares to be different.

El Camino

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Location: 380 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1M9, Canada

Contact: +1 613-422-2800

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Thursday & Sunday – 5:30 PM to 11:00 PM
  • Friday to Saturday – 5:30 PM to 12:00 AM

Pricing: $$


El Camino’s menu is a celebration of fresh, bold ingredients.  Tacos are the star of the show (naturally), filled with everything from slow-roasted pork carnitas to crispy Baja fish. 

Now, no Mexican feast is complete without a killer margarita, and El Camino delivers. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic Margarita, a unique creation like El Fuego, or a refreshing Paloma, this resto has a beverage to suit every taste.

Cumberland Pizza

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Location: 152 Nelson St, Ottawa, ON K1N 7R5, Canada

Contact: +1 613-789-9999

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Thursday – 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Friday – 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Saturday – 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Pricing: $


Since opening its doors in 1973, this family-owned gem has carved a special place in the hearts (and stomachs) of locals. Think hearty Greek and Italian dishes overflowing with comfort food goodness.

Let’s talk pizza – Cumberland nails that classic New York-style crust, hand-tossed and baked to perfection.  Sauce? Flavourful. Cheese? Copious and gooey. But their menu extends beyond the pie. 

You can even explore their Greek specialties, pasta dishes, and even vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Also, don’t miss their signature garlicky house breadsticks – they’re downright addictive!

Dumpling Bowl

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Location: 730 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K1R 6P8, Canada

Contact: +1 613-680-8867

Opening hours:

  • Monday & Wednesday to Thursday – 11:30 AM to 7:30 PM
  • Friday to Saturday – 11:30 AM to 8:30 PM
  • Sunday – 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Pricing: $


Tucked away on a bustling Chinatown street, Dumpling Bowl is easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. But once inside, the modest décor fades into the background as the aroma of handmade dumplings takes over your senses.

And the dumplings? They are, in a word, heavenly. Delicate wrappers encase fillings ranging from classic pork and chive to unique twists like lamb and coriander. 

Your choices don’t end there – opt for pan-fried for a golden, crispy bottom or steamed for delicate tenderness. Don’t overlook the dipping sauces, they’ll take your dumplings to the next level.

Sansotei Ramen

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Location: 153 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1P 5N7, Canada

Contact: +1 613-695-1718

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Saturday – 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Pricing: $


Since opening in 2016, this eatery has become an Ottawa staple for those seeking the soul-satisfying slurp of authentic ramen.  Sansotei Ramen is a  Japanese-born chain that has a devoted following, all lured by intensely flavourful broths and perfectly springy noodles.

The focus at Sansotei is on quality over quantity.  Their menu, while compact, offers a curated selection of ramen options catering to a variety of taste buds.  You can think of it as a crash course in regional Japanese flavours (delivered in a steaming bowl).

The Tonkotsu Ramen is the undisputed king here. Its rich, pork bone broth is simmered for what feels like an eternity, developing a depth of flavour that’ll haunt your dreams (in a good way).

Cozmos Souvlaki 

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Location: 196 Greenbank Rd, Nepean, ON K2H 5V2, Canada

Contact: +1 613-596-4040

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Saturday – 10:30 AM to 8:00 PM

Pricing: $


If you’ve ever dreamt of teleporting to a bustling Greek street market, Cozmos Souvlaki is about as close as you’ll get in Ottawa. This unassuming spot packs big, bold flavours and a side of warm hospitality into its no-frills, fast-casual setting.  

Think juicy souvlakis, perfectly seasoned grilled meats, and salads bright enough to bring a touch of the Mediterranean to even the grayest Ottawa day.

Meat not your thing? Their veggie souvlaki is surprisingly satisfying. And no trip to Cozmos is complete without a side of crispy, salty fries dusted with Greek spices.

Kettlemans Bagel

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Location: 912 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1S 3W6, Canada

Contact: +1 613-567-7100

Opening hours: Open 24 hours

Pricing: $


This 24-hour carb dispensary has been fueling the city’s cravings for decades, dishing out Montreal-style bagels that make any supermarket version taste like a sad apology.

The bagels themselves are the stuff of legend. Hand-rolled, kettle-boiled, and baked to a blistered, slightly sweet perfection, they possess that perfect balance of chewiness and subtle sweetness. 

Sure, you can stick with classics like sesame or poppyseed, but where’s the fun in that? We recommend embracing the unknown with their daily specials. And the cream cheese? Forget pedestrian flavours – this is where spreads like “dill pickle” and “birthday cake” come into play.

John Juan Burrito Mexican Grill

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Location: 1091 St. Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, ON K1K 3B1, Canada

Contact: +1 613-745-9696

Opening hours: 

  • Monday to Sunday – 10:00 AM to 1:30 AM 

Pricing: $


Walking into John Juan Burrito is all about burritos that are legendary and massive creations with fresh ingredients and bold flavours. 

But beyond burritos, their taco selection is a revelation. Each one is a handheld masterpiece, featuring perfectly seasoned meats, fresh toppings, and house-made tortillas that stand up to all that delicious filling.

John Juan Burrito isn’t shy with the spice, but they cater to all palates. Their salsas range from mild to fiery, and their signature “Juan Juan Hot Sauce” is a test of courage for even the most seasoned heat seekers. (Just a friendly warning – proceed with caution!)

Ahora Mexican Restaurant

Location: 307 Dalhousie St, Ottawa, ON K1N 7E8, Canada

Contact: +1 613-562-2081

Opening hours: 

  • Monday to Tuesday – 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM 
  • Wednesday to Thursday – 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM
  • Friday to Saturday – 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM
  • Sunday – 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Pricing: $


If you’re looking for a Mexican restaurant that breaks free from the usual cliches, Ahora Mexican Restaurant in the ByWard Market is your destination.  

This place serves up a unique blend of Mexican, Tex-Mex, and fast food options, making it a standout spot for a wide range of palatable delights. Expect fresh, authentic flavours in a space that’s both colourful and chic – fewer sombreros, more sophisticated fiesta.

What’s great about them is that they operate with a self-service model. Although, it might require a bit of a dance between the counter and your table, especially if you’re craving another round of drinks, but that’s part of the charm.