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Editor Pick

5 Great Places to Eat in Ottawa When the Weather's Chilly

Updated: April 19, 2023

Written by

AAA Travel Editor, Patricia Miller

Al's Steakhouse

327 Elgin St.
Al’s is the kind of place where you might expect to see Frank Sinatra cracking wise with Dean Martin at the bar, ice clinking in their whiskey sours. Open since 1967, this family-owned restaurant reflects a time when you dressed up to dine out. Marble-and-mirror walls, blue velvet chairs and plush banquettes add doses of glam to this high-class joint, which chars its certified Angus rib eyes, porterhouses and New York strips over coals for knockout flavor. Round out your meal with classic steakhouse fare like French onion soup and crab-stuffed mushrooms. If prices seem a little high, come for lunch and save some moola.


355 Dalhousie St.
Located in the ByWard Market, this 24-hour delicatessen cooks up all types of comfort food, from omelets and pancakes (available round-the-clock) to matzo ball soup, grilled cheese sandwiches and its burgers jazzed up with the same spices used on its smoked meat. Speaking of smoked meat, Dunn’s Famous sandwiches made of melt-in-your-mouth, Montreal-style smoked meat piled high between two slices of seedless rye bread are what put the famous in the restaurant’s name. You simply can’t leave Ottawa without trying one.

Johnny Farina Restaurant

216 Elgin St.
If you’re looking for Ottawa’s best pizza during your vacation, include Johnny Farina in your search. Locals rave about the wood-fired pizza at this restaurant—the margherita, frutti di mare and carbonara are all quite delicioso. Traditional Italian dishes like fresh pasta and veal piccata will also make you feel right at home. Wine aficionados will find nirvana here, as Johnny’s wine cellar holds about a thousand bottles. Patrons can taste everything from less-expensive wines that go well with pizza to higher-end varieties in sizes of their choosing.

La Roma Restaurant

430 Preston St.
The carefully curated menu at this sophisticated bistro in Little Italy ensures that there’s something to please even the pickiest diners in your party. Choose from such traditional dishes such as lasagna with béchamel sauce and chicken Marsala or more inventive fare as fettucine in wild boar ragù or braised ravioli in a burnt butter and sage sauce. Modern décor complements the menu with wood floors, gray walls and white tablecloths, and servers are professional yet friendly.

Wilf & Ada's

510 Bank St.
Anyone who loves breakfast will go crazy for the food here. This scratch diner incorporates locally sourced ingredients to create delish breakfast eats with a twist. The menu features ordinary dishes made less ordinary, such as buttermilk French toast with stewed berries and apples topped with homemade whipped cream. If you prefer savory foods, eggs in purgatory (poached eggs, spicy tomato sauce, grana Padano cheese) will be right up your alley. Equally delectable lunch items include poutine galvaude, featuring the traditional Canadian must-have (fries, cheese curds and gravy) with peas and chicken added for extra oomph.
Written by

AAA Travel Editor, Patricia Miller

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