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Where To Eat In Ottawa – Gezellig, El Camino, And The French Baker

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The final recommendation on where to eat in Ottawa.

Great food can turn and okay vacation into the trip of a lifetime. If the food isn’t great it can also turn a great trip into one you wouldn’t want to repeat. Luckily for me my great time in Ottawa was made even better by all the great food I’ve been enjoying. I’ve already shared three of the restaurants I enjoyed eating at with you and now I’ll reveal three more to you. Are you ready? I hope you are reading this on a full stomach because I can’t be responsible for the hunger pangs if you aren’t.

First up is Gezellig. located in the Westboro neighbourhood I first came across Gezellig during my day exploring West Fest with local Ottawa foodies Don and Jen Chow. Gezellig means warm and cozy in Dutch and nothing makes me feel warmer and cozier than enjoying a meal with friends so Don and Jen joined me along with another Vancouverite who happened to be in town Cathy Browne.

Don and Cathy Browne

First up for our meal was the Duck & Sunchoke Ravioli followed up by the Spicy Glazed Pork Belly. I warned you to read this on a full stomach.

Duck and Sunchoke Ravioli

Spicy Galzed Pork Belly

Our appetites wetted we were ready for our mains which did not disappoint. I enjoyed the pan roasted Quebec Chicken Breast with lovely blue cheese fritters while the others had Gulf Coast Shrimp and Grits and Pacific Halibut.

Pan roasted Quebec Chicken with Blue Cheese Fritters

Gulf Coast Shrimp and Grits


Full beyond belief but…. yes I had room for dessert, the Pastry Chef’s interpretation of a “Butter Finger”. OMG it was heaven on a plate.

Butter Finger

Gezellig on Urbanspoon

If your tastes buds are craving more of an ethnic meal perhaps you’d consider going Mexican and a visit to Elgin St where you will find a restaurant called El Camino. It has only been open since early May but it’s already a massive hit.

El Camino

Located down some stairs if you didn’t know to look for it you could quiet possibly walk right on by it. It is very much worth looking for though. The atmosphere and vibe inside is electric. One long bar counter runs almost the entire length of the restaurant except it juts out into a U at one point creating a family style bar counter where the servers and guests can interact with each other from side to side but also front to back. I loved it.

inventive bar counter design

inside El Camino

The reason to come to el Camino though is the outstanding food. Starting the meal off with we sampled some Tempura Battered Kale. Yup kale and it was delicious. We followed the Kale up with an order of Salt & Pepper Calamari, DIVINE.

Tempura battered Kale

Salt and Pepper Calamari

The star of the evening though was the main course, Tacos. Ordered a la carte we chose to enjoy a Fish, Beef and Pork Taco. I can tell you these little pockets of goodness did not last long.

Fish, Beef & Pork Tacos

Everything was special about this meal, from the atmosphere and room design to the handmade tortillas I will definitely be returning to El Camino the first chance I get.

El Camino on Urbanspoon

Last up I want to share with you a little brunch spot that only the locals know about. In fact if a few of them handed told me about it I would never have even known it existed. Welcome to The French Baker.

The French Baker

The French Baker is exactly that a french bakery, however when you step inside there is a hallway on the right side that takes you to the back room and that is where you will find Benny’s Bistro. Located in the ByWard Market on Murray St you enjoy for a loaf of bread and you leave after a delicious brunch.

the hallway to Benny's Bistro

I sat down to enjoy a Yukon Gold potato & pumpkin gratin with maple cured pork loin and soft poached eggs. all topped off with fresh made hollandaise sauce. If I had discovered this gem on my first day I would have had breakfast here every day.

Potato and Pumpkin Gratin

The French Baker on Urbanspoon

Well there you have it. My final recommendations on where to eat in Ottawa. There are hundreds of other great restaurants in town but these 6 were ones I definitely had a great time at and would happily visit again on another trip to Ottawa.

Bon Appetite and please let me know what you think of these recommendations on where to eat. Have you a gem I’ve not been to that I must visit the next time around? Let me know and I’ll put it on the list.

Good eating everyone.

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About Author

Marc Smith is a former event planner turned vagabond adventurer. He loves strong Americano's, great wine, cold beer and zip lining over tree tops. Formerly of Vancouver, most of Marc's time when not travelling is in Canada's largest city, Toronto. Follow along on his nomad adventures and discover places to stay, things to do and where to eat & drink as he explores the world one city and region at a time.

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