Ottawa’s Best New Restaurants


Restaurant critic Anne DesBrisay reveals her list of the top 10 best new restaurants in Ottawa.

Have you noticed? Ottawa is on a culinary tear. A cluster of restaurants birthed in 2015 and 2016 have raised the dining out bar, big-time. Liberated from the confines of yesterday’s fine dining rules, this new crop of chef-driven eateries has shifted away from the more instant-pleasure domes (just add pork belly!) that defined the scene a few short years ago. They may have stripped linen off tables and handed servers branded tees — but their food and its delivery have also changed. Small plates, tapas, pintxos, cicheti, and sharing plates splayed on hand-fired crockery, dispense a cooking more vibrant and interesting than we’ve seen in some time.

These are kitchens that find inspiration from the Middle East, southern Europe, and pockets of Asia, though turn to proteins and produce sourced uncompromisingly from nearby, in lockstep with the seasons. These men and women are interpreting modern Canadian cuisine exactly as they please, using elements of their family roots, their world travels, and their grandmothers’ kitchens. And though Ottawa is late to the craft cocktail scene, this list shows it’s making up for lost time now. Finally, these are all restaurants that understand the sweet spot in service — a balance of approachable and polished — and that caring for people is never dated.

This list represents the finest of that new harvest. Here are the top 10 new restaurants in Ottawa:

Bar Laurel

Chef Jon Svazas Chef de cuisine Zachary Resnick

1087 Wellington St. W.


Carben Food + Drink

Chef Kevin Benes Pastry chef Caroline Ngo

1100 Wellington St. W.



Chef Matthew Carmichael

380 Elgin St.



Chef Walid El-Tawel

343 Somerset St. W. ~

North & Navy

Chef Adam Vettorel

226 Nepean St.


The Pomeroy House

Chef Rich Wilson

749 Bank St.



Co-chef Matt Carmichael; Co-chef Jordan Holley

62 Sparks St.


The Rowan

Chef de cuisine Kyle Decan

915 Bank St.


Sansotei Ramen

Chef Jungsik Yim

153 Bank St.


Whalesbone Elgin

Chef Michael Radford

231 Elgin St.

Full story from Ottawa Magazine.