BEST OF OTTAWA 2019: Vegan & Vegetarian Eats
After over 20-years writing about life in Ottawa, we think we have
a pretty good idea of the best of what this city has to offer.
In this weekly series, we’ll share our picks with you –
our top hotels, live music venues, local brews,
bands and more. Check, share and discuss
#OLMBest every week!
By: Kat Walcott and Anna Jonas
Mad Radish (859 Bank St. & 116 Albert St. Suite 100)
Mad Radish has been a fave lunch spot for Ottawans for a few years now. Their two locations downtown serve fresh, predominantly plant-based eats that’ll keep you coming back for more. We recommend their to-die-for Warm Bowls – hearty bowls of rice topped with options like butter cauliflower curry, beans, fresh veggies and more.
Grow Your Roots Cafe (220 Terence Matthews Crescent)
This lovely spot located in Kanata South Business Park, specializes in vegan and vegetarian breakfast and lunch items and it is to die for! Everything is made with fresh, whole ingredients and the menu is both healthy and hearty. We recommend the Mel’s Fav. panini – filled with spinach, apples, rosemary garlic mayo and perfectly gooey cashew mozzarella.
Pure Kitchen (357 Richmond Rd. & 340 Elgin St.)
While restaurant and juice bar Pure Kitchen strives to provide extensive options for herbivores (all dishes can be made vegan), omnivores will be just as enthusiastic about their creative takes on veggie- focused meals. Items like grain bowls, mushroom burgers and cauliflower wings, along with an extensive smoothie and juice menu adds some refreshing variance to vegan cuisine, proving it much more than just rabbit food.
The Green Door (198 Main St.)
This vegetarian buffet is a community favourite, . The staff is friendly, the dishes are light and the cafeteria-style setting is calm, home-y and casual. Along with their selection of main courses–which rotates daily but features options like hearty stews, soups, Indian-style lentil dal, and pasta–they also have a great selection of gluten-free desserts.
The Table (1230 Wellington St. W.)
Serving the Ottawa community from their Hintonburg location for two decades now, this award-winning all vegan restaurant is a destination spot for local vegans and vegetarians and perfect for those who have dietary restrictions. Pay by weight as you pick and choose from the globally inspired menu with lots of organic, raw and gluten-free choices. We love their vegan spanakopitas.
Peace Garden Vegetarian Paradise (47 Clarence St.)
This place is the definition of a hidden gem. Tucked away on the ground floor of 47 Clarence Street, a commercial and office building, is a true vegetarian oasis. This modest, independently-ran eatery serves Indian-style vegetarian dishes like veggie curries and dal, as well as sandwiches, breakfast items and baked goods. Its cute decor, which consists of a lot of plants and artwork, gives off a casual vibe; like you’re at an eccentric friend’s house as opposed to a restaurant.
Chickpeas (500 Terminal Ave.)
The first and only restaurant of its kind in the capital, this chickpea-only eatery in the Trainyards is well worth the trip. They serve various creative flavours of hummus, from the traditional to the fruity, as well as falafel plates and salads. However, they are most famous for their Fawaffle (a waffle made from falafel). All of their dishes use 100% organic, fresh chickpeas without any preservatives or additives.
RAW Pulp + Grind (307 A Richmond Rd. & 440 Preston St.)
The colourful smoothies, lattes and breakfast bowls served at this coffee shop/juice bar/café hybrid are almost too pretty to eat. Almost. Head into the original location in Little Italy or the newer one in Westboro to feel instantly refreshed and pick up a cold-pressed juice so delicious that it will convert even the biggest green-juice skeptic.
Green Rebel (Various locations)
Green Rebel has been around for 10 years and within that time has expanded to 6 locations across the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Though not a strictly vegetarian or vegan restaurant, they offer many meat-free and vegan options made from high-quality, whole ingredients. They are best known for their hearty and delicious Salad Boxes – as a vegetarian option, we recommend the Strawberry Goat Cheese. If you’re vegan, you gotta try the Tofu Kimchi.
Govinda’s Vegetarian Buffet (212 Somerset St. E.)
Govinda’s is perhaps one of the most unique restaurants in Ottawa. This non-profit spot is operated by the International Society of Krishna Consciousness and offers an affordable all-you-can-eat dinner buffet every weekday, open to all. All food is prepared consciously and all dishes are either vegetarian or vegan. The food selection changes daily, but you’ll find salads, stews, curried veggies, rice and more. At under $10 a person, this is a great place for a healthy, tasty meal.