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While there are plenty of diverse cuisines to explore in Ottawa, the real attraction here is the contemporary cuisine. From fine dining to down home cooking, there are some top-notch restaurants in Canada’s capital. Here are the Forbes Travel Guide editors’ picks for the five best places to eat in Ottawa.
1. Atelier. Each night, Atelier serves a 12-course tasting menu — and it’s one of the best in the city. With the menu featuring dishes stated simply as “Gatineau pork” and “wagyu,” you’ll have to trust that the kitchen knows what it’s doing — and it does. Expect a meal to last around three hours, but it’s worth it.
2. John Taylor at Domus Café. Under chef John Taylor’s watchful eye, this café whips up innovative dishes using local meats and produce. As a member of the Slow Food movement, John Taylor at Domus Café uses the freshest ingredients to prepare your meal, gathering many of them from ByWard Market. Be sure to indulge in dishes such as crispy Quebec roasted duck magret.
3. Flying Piggy’s Bistro Italiano. This down home Italian cuisine is the epitome of comfort, with all the pasta made in-house by the restaurant’s very own pasta chef. Delicious items like “The Flighty Boar,” fettuccine with prosciutto, mushrooms, white wine and cream, fill the menu.
4. Navarra by René Rodriguez. It’s the epitome of contemporary cuisine and quite an experience. Using many local ingredients, Navarra’s menu is accented by Spanish ingredients like Serrano ham, Iberico ham and delightful olive oils. While the cuisine is contemporary, the preparation is pure.
5. Black Cat Bistro. Consistently churning out some of the best food in Ottawa, Black Cat Bistro is unique and intriguing. The restaurant had some big shoes to fill when Steve Vardy left the kitchen, but Patricia Larkin has stepped up to the plate. You’ll find items like seared Atlantic scallops with popcorn purée, green onion, beets, spaghetti squash and vanilla salt.