To celebrate Ottawa’s amazing chefs, we’re publishing a series of articles to offer you a look at the best restaurants in 7 neighborhoods of the Nation’s Capital.

 Regions

Old Hull

Little Italy

Hintonburg

Somerset Village

Elgin Street

The Glebe

ByWard Market

You can discover them all firsthand on these tours


Hintonburg

How many great restaurants can one neighborhood sustain? Well, by looking at Hintonburg, we can conclude that that number is more than… a lot! In fact, there are so many restaurants worth mentioning that I’m assuming many people will ask: where is (insert name of the restaurant) on this list? The answer is, it probably deserves a mention, but I want to keep things comprehensive, so we’ll have to accept the fact that some won’t be mentioned.

Still considered by some to be up and coming, Hintonburg is Ottawa’s Art District. In my opinion, it’s here and it’s been here for a while now, and it offers great everything. Between Hintonburg and Mechanicsville, white collar workers and blue collar workers will find their spot. From the fine and elegant to the more rustic and flavor packed, this neighborhood has it all.

Here’s a list of 7 restaurants in the fine dining and elegant category.

All of them are on the Experience Food Tours.

Restaurants are in no particular order.

Hintonburg Food Tour
Ottawa Food Tour

Café My House

1015 Wellington Street, Ottawa

Ottawa’s best fully vegan restaurant is also one of its classiest. Situated on the East edge of Hintonburd, Chef Kim and her staff have been serving inspired, creative, and creative (did I mention creative?) dishes that are absolute works of art. From their vegan charcuteries and cheeses to their plates, this is a must-try restaurant in Ottawa. Chef Kim also says that she thinks she has the only vegan fine-dining restaurant in the country. Do you know of any other? Comment below.

The concept here is two-fold. You can go have their sharing boards or take a blind tasting menu of 5 or 10 courses. If you take the tasting menu, that’s where the 2017 Ottawa Gold Medal Plates winner shines the most. The food is tasty and, (dare-I-say-it) “meaty.” It’s a great spot for a date or with friends and the service is always helpful and pleasant.

Best Restaurants in Ottawa – Hintonburg

Reserve your Hintonburg Food Tour here

Bar Laurel

1087 Wellington Street, Ottawa

In 2017, for the 150th anniversary of the Canadian confederation, the New York Times wrote an article about what to do with 36 hours in Ottawa. In that article, there was a couple of restaurant recommendations. One of them was “go have a drink and eat at Bar Laurel!” It’s really worth the trip.

At Bar Laurel, the concept is a simple one. Great traditional Spanish tapas with a modern twist, amazing creative cocktails, and a fabulous wine list. There’s so much to explore there that it’s easy to spend more than a few hours. Plus the staff is knowledgeable and always willing to make recommendations.

That being said, the New York Times is not the only one that noticed how great this restaurant is. Jon Svazas’ second restaurant, after Fauna, named in the top 100 in Canada in 2017, has been declared the 44th best bar in the country. Not too shabby!

Best Restaurants in Ottawa – Hintonburg

Reserve your Hintonburg Food Tour here

Ottawa Food Tours
Ottawa Food Tour
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Food Tour

Carben

1100 Wellington Street, Ottawa

To say that Carben is under-recognized is most likely the most massive understatement about the Ottawa restaurant scene ever. It’s also the most criminal one. Opened in 2015 by Caroline Ngo and Kevin Benes, real-life lovers and both chef/owner of the restaurant, the restaurant serves some of the most researched and cerebral food in the city.

The food here is the opposite of traditional. It’s creative and it often seeks to push the boundaries of conventional techniques a little further. With an obvious concern for local ingredients, the restaurant serves seasonal fare. Their plates are always gorgeous and flavorful. Some say that they serve the best desserts in town. Up to you to find out.

Best Restaurants in Ottawa – Hintonburg

Reserve your Hintonburg Food Tour here

Allium

87 Holland Avenue, Ottawa

An allium is a type of plant we use to give our food flavor, like garlic and onions. This is the perfect name for Arup Jana’s restaurant. Packed with flavors, but still accessible, and always very elegant, the food at Allium is amazing. Every year, when the list of the top 100 restaurants in the country is released, I expect Allium to make it. It is that good!

Serving what they call “New Canadian” cuisine, the food here seems strongly influenced by European (French, Italian, Spanish) traditions. While it doesn’t reinvent cooking, you know that this restaurant will give you satisfying food that is well worth the price every time. Plus, the front of the house will make your experience informative since they are always willing to share their impressive culinary culture with the guests.

Best Restaurants in Ottawa – Hintonburg

Reserve your Hintonburg Food Tour here

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Food Tour Ottawa
Food Tour
Food Tour

Absinthe

1208 Wellington Street, Ottawa

Have you ever had a really good fondue? When it hits the mark, it really hits the mark. This is what you get and much much more at Absinthe. Patrick Garland, chef and owner of the restaurant and winner of the 2014 Ottawa Gold Medal Plates cooks a real delight in the open and classy space.

Here Garland cooks a classic French fare and offers amazing Swiss fondue. The name Absinthe is so perfect for this it is the proof that everything Garland does is well researched. Of course Absinthe, the herbal liqueur was created in Switzerland and perfected and popularized in France.

Go to Absinthe for the three-course fondue or the amazing steak, and have some excellent and reasonably priced private import wine and a cocktail made with (you guessed it!) absinthe while you’re at it. You deserve it. 

Best Restaurants in Ottawa – Hintonburg

Reserve your Hintonburg Food Tour here

Wellington Gastropub

1325 Wellington Street, Ottawa

The Welly is the O.G. of good restaurants in Hintonburg (it’s right on the Western edge of the neighborhood). Serving well crafted and, above all, tasty food, this restaurant is a favorite of many many many people in Ottawa. When it first burst on to the scene, they introduced the concept of a gastropub to Ottawa. The idea is simple, a pub that serves gourmet food. And, they do this with locally sourced and ethical food in order to support countless producers in and around Ottawa.

At the Welly, you will probably never have the same thing twice. Chef/owner Christopher Deraiche is his dynamic kitchen is always creating new things. You can count on two things, however, the food will be comforting and it will be well researched and complex. Pair that with one of their many micro-brewery beers and you’ve got a good night ahead of you.

Best Restaurants in Ottawa – Hintonburg

Reserve your Hintonburg Food Tour here

Food Tour Ottawa
Food Tour
Food Tour Ottawa
Ottawa Food Tour

Stofa

1356 Wellington Street, Ottawa

The new kid on the block, Stofa is not even 1 year old (in the summer of 2018) and it has already been named one of the top 100 restaurants in the country? Ya! It’s that good! Opened by Chef Jason Sawision, a young man that has worked at some very impressive restaurants such as Atelier in Ottawa and Canoe in Toronto, this restaurant has it all.

The food here is innovative and carefully crafted. Like his former boss (Marc Lepine at Atelier), he seemingly wants to create an experience with his food. Here it’s not rare to see dishes crafted with ingredients that were prepared using 4 or 5 different cooking techniques. They are inspired by cooking from all around the world. It’s the very definition of New Canadian Cuisine. Inspired and unique.

We end this list on a high note! Go to Stofa! Right now!

Best Restaurants in Ottawa – Hintonburg

Reserve your Hintonburg Food Tour here

Honourable Mentions

Ottawa Tour

Supply and Demand

1335 Wellington Street, Ottawa

The only reason it’s not on the list is because it’s not on the tour.

Food Tour Ottawa

Bar Lupulus

1242 Wellington Street, Ottawa

A real adventure every time with creative and thought-provoking food.

Ottawa Food Tour

Tennessy Willems

1082 Wellington Street, Ottawa

Can you say, the best pizza in town?

Ottawa Food Tour

Suzy Q Doughnuts

969 Wellington Street, Ottawa

I’ve never had a better doughnut in my life!

Discover 4 of these great places on the same night with Experience Food

All Experience Food Hintonburg tours are organized to allow you to discover 4 of the great restaurants listed above in one evening. Join us for a Gourmet Experience where you will eat a four-course meal complete with paired drinks, or participate in the Premium Experience where restaurants are given higher budgets to serve top-shelf ingredients. Then, you will discover the quality of Hintonburg dinning. On top of that, you will get to meet some of the chefs, owners, or sommeliers that make these places great. Book your tour now.

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