Ottawa isn’t exactly known for its vegan food scene: it’s sandwiched between Toronto and Montreal, both of which have outstanding vegan restaurants. That being said, Ottawa is slowly but surely gaining ground in the plant-based dining realm, and if you do find yourself here, I recommend trying the following places!
Casual vegan and vegetarian salads, bowls, sandwiches, bowls, juice, smoothies, and desserts
Four locations in Ottawa: Preston Street, Elgin Street, Richmond Road, and Terry Fox Drive
You must try: Peaceful Falafel Wrap with side kale Caesar salad
A modernist, vegetable-focused tasting menu restaurant by award-winning chef Briana Kim
40 Adeline Street, Ottawa, ON
The Table Vegetarian Restaurant
A buffet-style, pay by weight vegetarian restaurant serving the Wellington West community for since 2000, The Table has a rotating menu of seasonal salads, stews, casseroles, and some of the best-tasting desserts around.
1230 Wellington Street West, Ottawa, ON
You must try: The vegan spanokopita is out of this world good, and make sure to save room for the flourless chocolate cake or the carrot cake.
The Green Door Vegetarian Restaurant
Similar to The Table in concept, The Green Door has been serving the Old Ottawa East Community with healthy, organic, and delicious food since 1988.
198 Main Street, Ottawa, ON
You must try: The avocado salad! Packed with creamy, perfectly ripe avocado, tomato, and a zesty lime dressing, this is a swoon-worthy dish. The millet croquettes are also good. Don’t forget to save room for the cashew chocolate cake or a dark and delicious vegan brownie. They also make their own sourdough bread, so make sure to pick up a loaf while you’re at it.
Insider’s tip: In the summer, get your meal to go and walk over to Brantwood Park to enjoy your food along the Rideau River.
Yes, that’s a thing! Ottawa boasts two plant-forward bars that offer up creative cocktails and delicious nibbles: Jabberwocky and Charlotte, both located in the Centretown neighbourhood.
“Vegan and vegetarian chow, with galumphing wines, brillig cocktails and frabjous beers.” Enough said.
315 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, ON
You must try: For a cocktail, get the Ottawa featuring coconut-washed rittenhouse, nutmeg averna, kola, and DSB bitters. The food menu changes often, but be sure to order the fried tofu or the chickpea tartare.
A contemporary, mid-century modern lounge in the heart of Centretown. The space is designed to foster social interaction. Craft beer, quality wine, and cocktails are offered alongside a selction of fresh seasonal snacks and small plates.
340 Elgin Street, Second Floor, Ottawa, ON
You must try: The Blue Moon with Top Shelf Gin, Blueberry Moonshine, Lemon Thyme Tea, Lemon Juice, and Simple Syrup. The small plates change frequently, but the tacos are reliably tasty.
Pubs that happily cater to plant-based eaters:
The Hintonburg Public House
This pub prides itself on making everything in-house and from-scratch whenever possible, and offers an impressive selection of local craft beer. Vegetarian and vegan menu items abound.
1020 Wellington Street West, Ottawa, ON
You must try: The halloumi salad and the vegan curry!
The Manx Pub
This hole-in-the-wall pub is tucked away in the semi-basement of an old apartment building on Elgin Street. With an expansive craft beer menu and plenty of plant-based options, veggie lovers will feel right at home.
370 Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON
You must try: All. Of. The. Things. This joint serves up weekend brunch, lunch, and dinner, and there are plenty of plant-based options for every meal. For brunch, the tofu scramble. For lunch, the Lebanese-spiced chickpea burger. For dinner, the tofu tacos!
Beyond the Pale Brewing
This local brewery began as simply that, but has since expanded to include a small dining room that serves up all the pub fare you would imagine. Plant-based options include jackfruit tacos, a veggie burger, and a tofu club sandwich.
250 City Centre Avenue, Ottawa, ON
You must try: The Pretzel with BTP mustard and cheese dip, and the Nature Burger. My favourite beer is the Yummy NEPA.
Cafes, Juice Bars, and Bakeries:
The Wild Oat Bakery and Cafe
I’ve been a fan of this cute little bakery and cafe in the Glebe neighbourhood for years. The bakery whips up vegan and vegetarian cakes, cookies, scones, cinnamon rolls, individual pizzas, granola, and breads, while the cafe has a menu of soups, stews, salads, veggie burgers, sandwiches, and more. It’s a popular place- you’ll be hard pressed to find a seat on the weekend at brunch time.
817 Bank Street, Ottawa, ON
You must try: The lentil dahl, the “Wild Burger,” and the pumpkin cinnamon roll.
Simply Raw Express
This raw vegan mecca is the place to go for organic smoothies, cold-pressed juices, salads, bowls, sandwiches, and raw vegan desserts.
989 Wellington Street West , Ottawa, ON
You must try: The Veggie Kraut Sandwich with sunflower pate, sauerkraut, and pickles to eat; Grinch’s Nog with cashews, spinach, bananas, maple syrup, nutmeg, vanilla, and spices or Glow Juice with leafy greens, celery, cucumber, pineapple, and lime to drink; and Midnight Toffee Frosted Brownies with almonds, walnuts, coconut, dates, maple syrup, and lucuma for dessert!
Thyme and Again Cafe
A locally owned cafe and catering business that has been open since 1991, Thyme and Again has recently started to add many vegan items to its menu. They also support local farmers by using as much local produce as possible in their dishes. Stop in for a soup and sandwich at lunch, or enjoy an afternoon coffee and vegan treat. There is ample space upstairs to read, work, or study, too.
1255 Wellington Street West, Ottawa, ON
You must try: The tofu burrito with any of the vegan soups (there are usually two soup offerings every day, one of which is always vegan). Save room for a vegan raspberry chocolate square for dessert, along with a coconut milk latte. And if you are ever serving dessert to a crowd and didn’t have a chance to make something from scratch, you can always pick up a vegan chocolate raspberry truffle tart: it’s to die for!
Ottawa doesn’t have a pizza joint that is exclusively vegan, but a handful of places do offer vegan pizzas. And, of course, most pizzas can be made vegan by omitting the cheese. Here are a few of my favourite pizza restaurants.
The Grand Pizzeria
The Grand Pizzeria, located in the Byward Market, prides itself on authentic pizza made the traditional way and cooked in a wood-fired oven. You can sub cashew cheese on any of the pizzas. A fun spot for Friday night pizza and beer with friends.
74 George Street, Ottawa, ON
You must try: The vegan white pizza with cashew artichoke sauce, spinach, red pepper, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, oregano, and vegan cheese.
Another favourite in the Hintonburg neighbourhood, this pizza joint specializes in using local ingredients in its wood-fired pizzas. While no pizza on the menu is exclusively vegan, there are numerous vegetarian options, and I have a feeling the friendly staff would be more than happy to accommodate vegan patrons by modifying a recipe.
1082 Wellington Street West
You must try: The Greek Pizza, featuring basil pesto, roasted peppers, kalamata olives, and feta. Simply delicious! For dessert, the brownie is pure magic.
Stay tuned for more: This page is currently a work in progress! 🙂