5 Types of Cuisines You’ll Find in Ottawa

Ottawa is more than Canada’s capital and politician centre. It’s a melting pot of cultures and traditions that span generations. Whether you’re a permanent resident or a welcomed visitor, there is always something to see or do in the city — especially if you consider yourself a foodie.

Ottawa’s culinary scene continues to garner attention from food lovers nationwide. Whether you’re a fan of food trucks and festivals or you prefer a relaxing sit-down experience, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Let’s explore five of the food dishes from around the world that you can enjoy living in and visiting Ottawa.

Mediterranean Cuisine

Ottawa is a melting pot of different cultures, which results in a unique blend of foods and flavours to enjoy throughout the city. With a significant European population, it’s no surprise that there are a significant number of restaurants offering culinary specialties with classic Mediterranean spices and herbs. Here you’ll often find dishes such as gyros, moussaka, and horiatiki.

This type of cuisine is known for incorporating flavours like basil, bay leaves, coriander, paprika and saffron in its dishes — giving it a unique flavour profile that restaurants across Ottawa use to showcase their ​​Mediterranean meals.

Italian Cuisine

Italian is one of the most widely curated cuisines worldwide — and Ottawa is no exception. Here, you’ll find a broad selection of Italian dishes from restaurants, cafes, and food trucks throughout the city. Italian food is rooted in simple, comforting ingredients — from a delicious pomodoro sauce to the sweetness of homemade gelato. In Italian restaurants across Ottawa, you can experience these flavours from chefs that have mastered the cuisine — for an authentic culinary experience.

Thai Cuisine

Ottawa’s Thai community is rooted in deep culinary traditions. Whether in the downtown core or in the city’s suburbs, you’ll likely come across numerous Thai restaurants — each offering its own take on classic Thai dishes, including chicken satay, pad thai, spicy prawn soup and more.

This type of cuisine often includes a blend of spices like lemongrass, chilli, garlic, and cumin to bring out the flavours in its classic dishes — and Ottawa’s Thai chefs are experts in creating meals that blend these flavours together seamlessly.

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Indian Cuisine

The regional flavours of India can be found throughout Ottawa — as the city is home to a large and proud Indian community. Ottawa’s Indian restaurants offer dishes from all over the country, ranging from traditional Bengali dishes to Northern Indian specialties. Throughout these dishes, you’ll find a range of eclectic spices throughout these dishes, from cinnamon to cardamom.

Mexican Cuisine

From Mexican street food to fine dining, Ottawa is home to a wide range of authentic Mexican dishes. The city’s top chefs are known for bringing the flavours of Mexico to Canada with dishes that range from fresh ceviche to tamales, carnitas, and moles. With foods ranging from sweet to savoury and spicy, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you live and work in Ottawa or are just visiting for a short time, experiencing the culinary arts and eclectic cuisines the city has to offer should be at the top of your to-do list.