Image via Wallpapers.com
Today’s Ottawa City Guide come to us from Krista Leben, the designer behind urbanite jewelry and the founder of Ottawa’s Craft Co-Op. Krista understands that Ottawa may have a boring rep compared to other Canadian cities, 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
CLICK HERE for the full guide after the jump!
Allium – This small, modern eatery focuses on local and seasonal foods with an inventive flair.
Absinthe – With the best steak frites in town, a dedicated absinthe drink menu and a funky-yet-sophisticated environment, this upscale café/resto/bistro is a must-visit.
The Table Restaurant – This buffet-style vegetarian restaurant will satisfy even the biggest carnivore with its wide range of delicious vegetarian dishes.
Thyme & Again – This lovely food shop features beautiful baked goods and wonderful take-home dishes. Check out the lovely art gallery upstairs, too!
The Works – Get your meat fix at this essential Ottawa restaurant which boasts over 50 different burgers. Save room for their incredible shakes!
Viva Loca – Located in the Great Canadian Theatre Company’s lobby, Viva Loca offers delicious locally-sourced food in a casual but modern environment.
Hintonburger – This new burger shack offers delectable burgers at delectable prices. Bonus: all ingredients are locally sourced and all food is made on site.
HUSH — A well-appointed shop chock-full of high-quality second hand goods, beautiful jewelry and adorable clothes for your tot.
Lost Marbles/Miss Tiggy Winkles — Enter this store and you’ll have died and gone to kid heaven. Toys galore for kids and adults alike.
Wabi Sabi — Knitters, take note: Wabi Sabi is filled to the brim with the most vibrantly colored yarns you’ve ever seen in your life.
Heavens To Betsy — This self-described “nic-nac bonanza” features kitschy finds, adorable gifts and beautiful jewelry. Perfect for picking up a unique gift for those you left at home.
Collected Works — This combination book store/coffee bar is independently owned and operated and is always buzzing with customers.
World of Maps — Get your cartographic fix at this store that specializes in — you guessed it — maps!
Wall Space — Wall Space showcases art for your wall and beyond with a beautiful variety of ceramics, glass, sculpture and jewelry.
Bija Bijou — Featuring almost 100% Canadian designers, this independent jewelry store offers a wide range of incredible pieces for you to pick up.
Nectar Fine Teas — This quaint but modern tea shop offers bulk loose leaf teas, afternoon tea and delicious bites. A must-visit for tea lovers.
The Candy Store — Satisfy your sweet tooth at this “premier treat boutique,” replete with chocolate and candy galore.
Great Canadian Theatre Company — Take in a play by the Great Canadian Theatre Company, Ottawa’s oldest professional theatre company that produces interesting, thought-provoking and relevant plays each season.
Cube Gallery, Orange Art Gallery & Patrick John Mills Gallery – A trio of contemporary art galleries all located within walking distance of each other!
Burrito Borracho — Craving some flavors from (way) south of the border? Head to this spot, Ottawa’s local version of Chipotle.
Chez Lucien — Tuck into this urban pub for great beer, great food and a cozy atmosphere.
Play Food & Wine — Small plates and delicious wine pairings in a swank environment make for a fun dining experience.
Oh So Good — Looking for the perfect way to wrap up your night? Head over to Oh So Good, a dessert and coffee house which has an amazing range of desserts and great drinks. Try the white hot chocolate!
La Bottega — Satisfy your inner foodie by visiting this Italian fine food shop. Great place to pick up delicious sandwiches and interesting snacks to tote along when you’re visiting the Canadian capital.
Nest — This modern, yet comfy store features wooden toys and natural textiles for your tot!
Mon Cadeau — The perfect shop to pick up a few gifts to take home with you.
Victoire — If you’re in search of independently designed goods with a vintage flair, Victoire is your spot.
Eclection — Jewelry abounds in this eclectic boutique tucked into Byward Market Square. Features a variety of Canadian designers.
Workshop — The place in Ottawa to shop for locally-designed and crafted goods. Boasts over 100 independent Canadian designers.
Canteen — Part art gallery, part shop, Canteen is a visually stimulating and interesting spot to visit.
Paper Papier — This incredible paper shop includes stationery, gorgeous papers and other lovely gifts.
Adorit — A fair trade, eco-friendly fabric boutique which includes locally made clothing accessories.
urbanfete — This brand new paper shop offers unique paper and invitations.
Young Janes — An adorable vintage clothing and accessories shop!
Planet Coffee — This hip and independent coffee house offers fair trade drinks in a relaxed and modern atmosphere.
The Tea Party — High quality teas and lovely baked goods take main-stage in this converted turn-of-the-century house.
*teastore* — This cozy tea shop has a wide array of loose leaf teas available, as well as a few adorable tables that you can tuck into.
Mercury Lounge — This self-described “twenty-first century soul club” is a great place to hear great music and chill out for an evening.
National Gallery of Canada — The National Gallery boasts the world’s largest collection of Canadian art.
Glebe/Old Ottawa South
Urban Pear — This modern bistro features a menu that evolves every day using seasonal and fine quality local ingredients.
Carmen’s Veranda — This modern-meets-retro restaurant focuses on local ingredients and fresh food.
Homenatural — This compact store offers unique home goods with a focus on simplicity, style and eco-friendliness.
Second Avenue Sweets — An adorable cake, bake and pastry shop with a sweet-as-sugar interior!
Magpie — A local favorite, Magpie offers a wide range of high-end jewelry by independent designers. A must-visit for jewelry lovers.
The Papery — Get your paper fix at this well-curated boutique that carries everything from cupcake liners to high-end pens.
Sassy Bead — If you’re looking to partake in a crafty afternoon, head on over to this Canadian bead shop where you can assemble your own jewelry on the spot or just pick up a few beads to take home.
Grace in the Kitchen — This gourmet shop has you covered in the kitchen with everything from interesting spices to the perfect place setting.
Three Little Monkeys — Adorable children’s clothes and toys that are well-made and evoke quality of days past.
Octopus Books — This independent book store features alternative and left-wing contemporary books and encourages analytical thinking about social, political and economic issues. Stimulating!
Serious Cheese — This gourmet shop is definitely serious about its cheese and the selection reflects it!
Truffle Treasures — This delicious destination features truffles with flavors like ice wine, green tea coconut and cinnamon pear. If you’re visiting in the winter months, be sure to try their divine hot chocolate!
The Flour Shoppe — Ottawa’s newest cupcakery boasts a beautiful interior and cupcakes with an inventive flair.
The French Baker (La Boulanger Français) — This local bakery makes its bread in small batches daily and features some of the best croissants you’ll taste this side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Café Morala — Tuck into this deliciously decorated café for a cozy afternoon.
Bridgehead — Your go-to spot for fair trade coffee and tea. Locally owned and operated (with several locations across the city).
The Manx — With local and import beers on tap, interesting flavor combos and a local-centric menu, you’ll feel right at home when you tuck yourself into this modern pub.
town. — A family-owned restaurant with a passion for artisanal food. Their simple menu features familiar foods with interesting twists.
Elgin Street Diner — Know especially for its poutine (that delicious Canadian concoction of fries, gravy and cheese curds), this place is especially popular with the late-night crowd.
Maxwell’s Bistro & Club — This hybrid resto-bar offers great Italian-inspired bistro fare and then transforms into a comfortable and fun club at night.
Mags & Fags — A local gift shop and news stand!
Perfect Books — This quaint shop features a wide variety of well-selected books as well as helpful and friendly staff!
Aunt Olive’s — A well-appointed and quaint vintage shop.
Pure Gelato — If you’re in need of a sugar fix, head to this sweet spot that features a huge range of delicious flavors.
Umi Café — Umi describes itself as being Ottawa’s “friendliest café” — it’s community-based and features fair trade and organic coffee! (Chinatown)
Raw Sugar — This cozy and eclectic café features fair trade tea and coffee, locally baked treats and a comfortable atmosphere.(Chinatown)
Sushi 88 — Located in Chinatown, this sushi spot offers great sushi in a sleek and relaxed environment. Perfect for couples.(Chinatown)
Zen Kitchen — The owners of Zen Kitchen, recently featured in their own TV show, concoct spot-on and delicious vegetarian food. (Chinatown)
Isobel’s Cupcakes & Cookies — Delicious cupcakes and cookies created in a completely nut-free environment. Moist, delicious and amazing! (New Edinburgh)
Scone Witch — You’ll be hard-pressed not to fall in love with the scones and scone sandwiches at this local bakery. (New Edinburgh & Downtown)
Jacobson’s — One of our favorite spots in the city which features gourmet food, artisan breads, delicious chocolates and amazing jewelry. The perfect spot for gifts and treats. (New Edinburgh)
Auntie Loo’s — This vegan bakery features to-die-for treats that locals constantly rave about. (Bronson St.)
Where to Sleep
Arc Boutique Hotel — A premier boutique hotel in the heart of downtown Ottawa.
Indigo — A modern and luxurious hotel in the heart of Ottawa.