In Ottawa with the family? With all of the sightseeing, exploring and fun you’ll be having, you and the little ones are bound to get hungry. But in a city that offers everything from gourmet food trucks to Four-Diamond Award restaurants, how do you know where to go?
Don’t worry! We’ve put together a list of Ottawa’s five best kid-friendly establishments. There will be something to make each member of the family happy! And the best part? As Ottawa has a compact and walkable downtown core, these restaurants are just a short walk from most downtown area hotels.
Located at 16 ByWard Market, just off of York Street, Zak’s is a great restaurant for families at any time of the day. Let the kids colour as you enjoy a meal right in the middle of Ottawa’s bustling and historic ByWard Market neighbourhood.
Enjoy all-day breakfast and classics such as meatloaf and poutine – a Canadian delicacy – in a casual, relaxed diner atmosphere. And don’t forget to order a milkshake! Zak’s is well-known for this tasty treat.
The Grand Pizzeria & Bar:
Offering classics such as Italian wedding soup, spaghetti & meatballs and chicken parmigiana, The Grand is also best known for its traditional Napoletana Pizza. Just like in Naples, Italy, this pizza is cooked in a specially constructed, wood-burning oven!
Also, it’s worth noting that The Grand is located just across the street from Ottawa’s famous BeaverTails stand. Ottawa is where this delicious, deep-fried pastry was born in 1978! Shaped like a beaver’s tail, this treat is a hit among Ottawa visitors and locals young and old. Start with a hot, doughy pastry and finish it any way you like. Favourite toppings include cinnamon and sugar, maple butter and Oreo crumbs, among many others.
Lone Star Texas Grill:
Located at 128 George St. in the ByWard Market neighbourhood, this restaurant is where you’ll find a casual atmosphere and delicious Mexican-inspired cuisine.
Credited with bringing fajitas to Canada, Lone Star is well-known for its complimentary chips & salsa, along with barbecue ribs, mesquite grilled steaks and of course, icy margaritas. Here, you’ll find a kids’ menu as well as a large summer patio. Enjoy a meal as a family and take in the hustle and bustle of the busy ByWard Market area.
Afternoon Tea at Zoé’s Lounge:
Located inside the iconic Fairmont Château Laurier hotel, Zoé’s Lounge offers a lovely afternoon tea experience for the whole family.
Indulge in a delicious grown-up tea experience – which can include a glass of Moët Chandon if you like – and include the little ones as they can order the Little Prince or Little Princess tea. This kid-friendly tea service offers a choice of hot chocolate or tea – Fairmont even offers a bubblegum-flavoured tea – as well as a fruit cup, a scone, mini sandwiches and a mini cupcake. This is an Ottawa culinary experience you’re sure to remember!
Located at 1082 Wellington St. West – a short drive from the downtown core – this trendy restaurant also specializes in wood oven pizza. Though there is no kids’ menu, this spot’s pizzas are great for sharing with the little ones!
Sit at the front and watch the comings and goings along Wellington Street as you savour a traditional Margherita or Napoletana pizza. There are many to choose from! A reservation is recommended for this popular spot that even offers gluten-free pizza dough.
Also worth mentioning is the CF Rideau Centre’s new Dining Hall. Part of CF Rideau Centre’s expansive $360-million renovation, the Dining Hall is a great spot for a quick meal. In this bright and airy space, you’ll find various types of cuisine ranging from Thai to Greek and more. This is also a great place to find kid-friendly classics such as grill cheese, hot dogs and French fries. With more than 15 food vendors, each member of the family is sure to find something to enjoy!
Of course, these are only a few of the many dining options Ottawa has to offer. To learn more about Ottawa’s culinary scene and fun things to do as a family, browse Ottawa Tourism’s website.