BEST OF OTTAWA: Tasty Treats

With 20-years writing about Ottawa life we think we have
a pretty good idea of the best of what this city has to offer.
In this new weekly summer series we’ll share it with you.
From our top picks of hotels, live music venues, local brews,
bands and more, check, share and discuss
#OLMBest every Monday!

Holland’s Cake and Shake

A modern combination of a traditional malt shop and a bakery, Holland’s Cake and Shake is dessert at its finest. Skilled pastry chef Michael Holland has worked with the best of the best and uses both sweet and savoury seasonal ingredients in his creations. Homemade soft serve ice cream makes top notch sundaes and milkshakes and their famous milk bread makes a mean sandwich.

Sweet Jesus

This Toronto import is known for their Instagram worthy scoops of soft serve rolled in various elaborate and unique toppings. Cones are piled so high that they can topple over if you’re not careful. One thing’s for sure – they definitely think outside the box. The only downside to all that buzz is that you should expect a line out the door.


Doughnuts are the trendy dessert of the moment and Suzy-Qs does them best. Their recipe is a fresh take on that of the traditional Finnish “Sugar Munkki.” Toppings range from the simple (chocolate, salted caramel) to the delectably ridiculous (blue vanilla fruit loop, spicy pineapple). You can even place an order online and have a fresh dozen delivered straight to your door.

Simply Biscotti

Simply Biscotti founder Rosa Pino makes her dessert with a whole lot of love. While she is well known for (what else) her incredible authentic biscotti, she also bakes numerous other desserts and lunch dishes. Pair your sweet treat with a Lavazza coffee for a winning combination. They open early and close late – perfect for those after dinner cravings.

Life of Pie

A family-owned bakery, Life of Pie makes their handmade sweet pies fresh every morning often using locally sourced ingredients. They pride themselves on supporting local businesses, serving goods by companies like Happy Goat Coffee, Michael’s Dolce and Pascale’s Ice Cream. If you’re in a rush, you can also pick up a frozen ready-made savoury pie.

A Thing for Chocolate

Winner of numerous Certificates of excellence from Trip Advisor, this place is a chocoholics paradise. From crepes to brownies, torte to fondue, they’ve got your cocoa cravings covered. They even have gluten-free options and a separate vegan menu. It’s the perfect place to bring kids, but children and parents alike may have trouble restraining themselves. You’ve been warned.


A Canadian classic. Whether you’re a cinnamon sugar purest or like to go all out with Nutella or Reese’s pieces, these puffy pastries are worth the line up. They’re the ideal accessory to an afternoon skating on the canal, but they’re also available at various festival popups and a shack in the Byward Market that’s open all year round for when you’re craving one ASAP.

Pasticceria Gelateria Italiana Ltd

This local café and pastry shop, operating in Little Italy since 1979, serves up a wide array of desserts that will satisfy any sweet tooth. Treats include from classics like canoli siciliani and biscotti, as well as tarts, mousses, truffles and doughnuts. Wash it down with some high quality Italian coffee. Everything is made on-site and they create custom cakes upon request.

Oh So Good Desserts

Located in the Byward market, Oh So Good is the perfect place to lounge and indulge. They serve pastries, pies, cookies and other baked goods which all taste heavenly. However, their specialty is definitely their delicious and decadent cakes, of which they have every flavour you can imagine. Supplement a slice with a steaming mug of coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

Stella Luna Gelato Cafe

Having been named one of the Top 3 Gelato Shops in The Americas at the 2016 Gelato World Tour, you could say that Master Gelato Chef and Stella Luna founder Tammy Giuliani knows her stuff. Trained at the finest school in Bologna, her gelato is made from scratch each day using only the freshest ingredients. You can also find their gelato cart traveling around the city.