Ottawa, Canada’s beautiful capital city, is home to a thriving culinary scene in which gourmet dining options abound. But did you know that Ottawa’s upscale dining scene even extends down to its food trucks and carts? Yes, in Ottawa, it’s easy to find a gourmet meal on the go as the city is home to more than 60 different street vendors. From gourmet pancakes, to delicious barbecue, to crave worthy seafood, you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes and your budget.
Food trucks and carts serving street food favourites such as poutine, hot dogs, pogos and fries have been a part of Ottawa’s streetscape for years. But in 2012, Ottawa’s City Council approved a new Street Food Vending Program that sought to encourage convenient and culturally diverse fare on the city’s streets. Ottawa’s newest vendors were approved in 2013 and have since established quite a local following.
For a unique Canadian experience, you’ll want to try Flapjack’s Canadian Diner. Flapjack’s started out as a food truck, but has more recently moved to the permanent 354 A Preston St. location in Ottawa’s Little Italy neighbourhood. Specializing in pancakes all day long, Flapjack’s is a local favourite. Here, you’ll find buttermilk pancakes, gluten-free pancakes and breakfast sandwiches based on an authentically Canadian lumberjack theme. Flapjack’s even offers a pancake poutine that consists of delicious buttermilk pancakes cut into sticks with cheese curds and chicken gravy piled on top. WestJet and Discover Ontario ranked Flapjack’s as the Top Canadian All-Day Breakfast spot!
Also, this summer, Flapjack’s transformed its old pancake truck into Playa Del Popsical; a gourmet popsicle truck! Located at 809 Bank St. in Ottawa’s Glebe neighbourhood, this beach-themed truck offers artisan popsicles made with fresh fruit and more. Enjoy a popsicle as you squish your toes in the sand!
Another local favourite is Ad Mare Seafood. Located in Ottawa’s downtown core at Slater Street and O’Connor, this food truck specializes in sustainable seafood and it’s common to see a line form at lunch time. Here, you’ll find seafood favourites such as the classic fish and chips, fish tacos, a delectable lobster roll and more. If seafood is what you’re after, this is where you’ll want to go! We recommend going to Ad Mare a bit before noon to avoid the downtown lunch time rush.
The Flatbread Pizza Company is also worth visiting if you’re craving a delicious wood-oven pizza on the go! Choose from a wide variety of pizzas, including the Italy-inspired Margherita pizza with San Marzano tomatoes, mozarella and fresh basil. This truck is located at 135 Barrette St.
Ottawa Streat Gourmet is also worth a stop. Located at the corner of Albert Street and O’Connor Street, this delicious truck changes up its menu regularly, offering everything from gourmet burgers to granola. Ottawa Streat Gourmet is open Monday to Friday, but it’s been known to stop by various community events on weekends. So keep an eye out!
These are only a few suggestions to get you started. Throughout Ottawa’s downtown core, you’ll find several food trucks and carts offering South Indian, Asian, Korean and Mexican fare, among others. Food cart Gongfu Bao, which can be found along Elgin Street near Confederation Park, has been gaining popularity with each summer season. This cart specializes in “bao,” which are steamed buns or large dumplings stuffed with savoury fillings.
For a complete list of food trucks and carts as well their locations, check out the Ottawa Street Food app. It’s updated daily. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’ll be able to find great gourmet fare just down the street!