Top 5 Restaurants in Ottawa

Dining in Ottawa has never been better. For a long time, Ottawa took the back burner to cities like Montreal and Toronto for it’s alleged lack of dining atmosphere. This stereotype is quickly being  challenged as Ottawa has  become one of the trendiest cities in Canada to wine & dine. In the past 5 years, Ottawa has slowly crept up to top tier in the foodie lexicon and the good food just keeps on coming. Forget about white tablecloths and wine snobbery, Ottawa dining is real. It’s visceral. It’s exactly what we have all been craving.  Here is a glimpse into the Top 5 Restaurants of Ottawa. This list has been compiled by specific criteria  which I believe contributes to a great dining establishment. Each restaurant has been selected for different reasons, all of which are important and all of which can , in some way, enhance anyone’s dining experience. The list is in no way definitive or final; my favourite restaurants are always changing and evolving. But this is the here and now of Ottawa dining, in a nut shell:

1. Play Food and Wine : For it’s innovative menu,  terroir-wise wine list and unbeatable service

Play Food & Wine

Executive Chef Michael Moffatt with Chef de cuisine, Katie Brown

Bartender Nick with charcuterie plate

Interior lower level

2. Fraser Cafe : For its consistency in service and local, sustainable produce
3. Atelier: For innovation and adventure at the dining table as well as a creative wine pairings

Inside this dismal building, you will find the most adventurous and experimental style of dining. Welcome to Atelier.

Course #2 Yukhoe, a korean style tartare

Course #4"The Red Carpet" at Atelier

 4. Tapas Bar: For the ethnic authenticity and atmosphere of a small spanish restaurant

  5.Murray Street: For it’s charcuterie selection – probably the best in the city.

#5 Best Restaurants in Ottawa:  Murrary Street – Kitchen , Wine  & Charcuterie
Charcuterie board from L to R: Sauvagine cheese, Cappicola, smoked gouda, picked onions olives and pickles. Dijon mustard, pickled carrots, Pingue prosciutto from Niagra and truffled duck liver.
Murray Street Patio


  1. Chris says:

    I agree Atelier, Murray Street and Fraser Cafe are all worthy, haven’t been to Tapas Bar so I can’t comment, but I really disagree with Play. I’ve been a few times and found the food very ordinary. I really wanted to like it but felt it was imitating the likes of Atelier but with no where near the inventiveness of Marc and his team. I would personally put Navarra and Beckta on my list of the best 5 if we are strictly talking about Ottawa (La Baccara would be a front runner including Gatineau).

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