This week I discuss my favourite vegan & vegetarian restaurants in the Ottawa area!
By Allegra Pearl
For as long as I can remember, one of my favourite hobbies has been going out to eat. Whether it’s going to a restaurant for breakfast, brunch, dinner or dessert, you can always count me in! When I started on my vegan journey I began an extensive search for delicious vegan-friendly restaurants in Ottawa that I could proudly bring my friends and family to. Today I'm going to recommend my favourite local vegan and vegetarian restaurants in the Ottawa area, in the hopes that you guys go out and try them and love them as much as I do.
#7 Little Joe Berry's
1305 Wellington St. W
Little Joe Berry's is a staple in the Ottawa vegan community that serves some of the best vegan pastries and comfort food around. Their decadent pastries range from pop tarts, scones and butter tarts (yes that's right - vegan butter tarts). In the summer they even serve milkshakes made with local ice cream from Oat and Mill, topped with donuts! Their menu changes daily so be sure to check their website and instagram for updates, but their incredible pizzas are made on Friday and if you're lucky you can get your hands on some tasty vegan friend chicken.
#6 The Green Door
198 Main St
When I was a kid I didn't used to like the Green Door at all, but now not a week goes by where I'm not tempted to swing by and pick up some delicious food. The Green Door on main street provides organic vegan/vegetarian food with gluten-free dessert options in a cafeteria/buffet style set up. You stack your plate with loads of salads, soups, curries, etc and pay by weight. My favourite item at the Green Door is their guacamole filled with chunks of avocado.
931 Bank St (multiple locations)
If you love falafel and hummus, then this place is perfect for you! Chickpeas offers a vegan menu that prides itself on putting a modern twist on traditional recipes. In Ottawa they have two locations, one at Train Yards and one on Bank Street. They offer different flavours of hummus such as: avocado, roasted red pepper, red beet, black bean etc. Salads, Soups and Sides of zatar wedges, pita and pickles are also offered. My favourite item on the menu is the falafel wrap with avocado hummus and a fattoush salad on the side.
#4 The Wild Oat
819 Bank St
The fact that I live walking distance from the Wild Oat is both a blessing and a curse. Their smoothies, coffees, pastries and sandwiches are just too good to resist. My favourite item on the menu is the el oaxaca sandwich that includes blackbean spread, sundried tomato spread, chipotle sauce, tomato and greens on a delicious multigrain bread. Wild Oat provides fresh, pesticide-free, organic and local ingredients that they grow themselves on their farm 50km outside of Ottawa.
#3 Wei's Noodle House
610 Bronson Ave (Basement)
This little restaurant l is one of Ottawa's best kept secrets when it comes to vegan options. Located in the basement of a real estate building off Bronson, it boasts an entirely separate vegan menu of tasty Asian dishes. Make sure to order some of the mock meat dishes - we'd recommend the General Tao, the Spicy Udon Noodles with and/or the Pad Thai.
#2 Hometown Sports Bar & Grill
1525 Bank St
A sports bar might seem like a strange place to find vegan food, but trust us when we say that this place has some bomb vegan food. One of the things I still struggle with as I transition from vegetarian to vegan is going out to restaurants with non-vegan friends. This is why I recommend places like this where there are food options for everyone in the group. Hometown does a great vegan lunch and dinner (pizza, burgers or fish & chips anyone?), but what I'd recommend above all else is the vegan brunch. With not one, but SIX amazing vegan brunch options, this is one of the only places in Ottawa I can for an animal-free big breaky piled with home fries, pancakes, tofu scramble and beyond sausages.
#1. Pure Kitchen
340 Elgin St (multiple locations)
It's got tough competition, but Pure Kitchen comes in at #1 as my favourite vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Ottawa. All items on the menu are made fresh from whole natural ingredients. The three locations in Ottawa include: Preston, Elgin and Westboro. I usually visit the Preston location as it has a beautiful patio and a great atmosphere both inside and outside. My favourite items on the menu are the bbq cauliflower wings and the fantastic bowl with rice noodles, ginger-lime tofu, peanut sauce and numerous delicious veggies.
This year has been especially difficult for small local restaurants. Even though we can't go inside for our normal sit-down experience, be sure to order takeout when you can, order online to your house, or buy a gift card as we go into the holiday season. Be sure to try out one of these local spots so we can continue to have them in our community once we've returned to our new normal.
Sula Wok - Blend of traditional asian flavours into popular street foods - lots of vegan options.
Wolf Down - Serving Berlin street food inspired tofu-on-a-spit wrapped in fresh bread, bright toppings and topped in tasty vegan sauces.
Strawberry Blonde - Tasty vegan bakery with a huge variety of treats from cookies to cakes.
Milano's Pizza - A whole separate menu of plant-based options pizza & poutine options with vegan cheese (that melts!) for your next pizza night.