Ottawa is a very sweet city. Don’t believe us? Try these decadent desserts that Canada’s Capital City has to offer, and see for yourself.
In the ByWard Market Neighbourhood
BeaverTails: The BeaverTails stand sits right next to Lois N’ Frima’s in the ByWard Market. A trip to Ottawa is not complete without sampling this classic Canadian pastry, so named because the pastry looks like a beaver tail. These Canadian treats can be topped with cinnamon sugar, bananas and chocolate, maple bacon, or even with Reese’s Pieces. BeaverTails uses 33.5 tonnes of their chocolate hazelnut spread per year (which is equivalent to 67 moose and 11 beavers by Canadian measurements)
The Cupcake Lounge: Located at 6 Byward Market Square and at 324 Richmond Road, this dessert shop specializes in gourmet cupcakes. They have staple flavours like chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet available every day, and specialty flavours that rotate throughout the week, so check their website to see what will be available on the day of your visit. Some unique cupcakes are butterscotch bourbon, strawberry champagne, cookie dough, and chocolate marshmallow ganache. If you’re not feeling like eating cupcakes, they have a variety of other treats, like toffee, brownies, and alfajores. Their locations are licensed and they have a wine pairing suggestion for every treat.
Lois N’ Frima’s: This little ice cream stand at 71 George Street has been serving their homemade ice cream to Ottawa since 1986 and has over 50 flavours available, including dairy-free and sugar-free options. Their ice cream is made fresh with ingredients from Ontario, making it rich and mouth watering, especially on a hot summer day.
Oh So Good: Located in the ByWard Market neighbourhood on 25 York Street (and in Westboro on 261 Richmond Road), Oh So Good specializes in decadent cakes and coffees. They believe that “Coffee + Cake = Love”. Different menu items are available by day, but you will always find an extra sweet cake, pie, or tart to pair with a delicious hot drink.
Sweet Jesus: This ice cream shop located on 97 Clarence Street in the market neighbourhood is known for their amazing soft serve creations. The ice cream is served from 12:00 p.m. until close, and there are such creative menu items as the Cotton Candy ice cream, Birthday Cake and Red Velvet cake ice creams, and a vegan coconut ice cream. All their cones are piled high with flavourful soft serve and smothered in delicious toppings and sauces.
Zak’s Diner: Located at 14 Byward Market Square, Zak’s has been a staple of Ottawa for over 30 years, this 50’s style 24-hour diner offers a variety of interesting foods, but the deep-fried mars bar is a special treat. It’s a regular mars bar that is wrapped in pastry, deep fried, and then loaded up with ice cream, whipped cream, and caramel sauce, something perfect for those late nights in the Byward Market neighbourhood. If you’re looking for something a little more classic, try Zak’s apple pie, which can be served with ice cream or melted cheddar.
Outside the ByWard Market Neighbourhood
Feleena’s: Feleena’s is a Mexican cantina run with love by a couple who are passionate about bringing the best food and atmosphere they can to your table. Everything they serve is made in house, included the chips, and the décor is completely unique, down to the hand painted chairs. They are located at 742 Bank Street. By far the sweetest treat on their menu is the deep-fried ice cream. Vanilla ice cream is wrapped in churro dough, deep fried and seasoned with cinnamon sugar and served drizzled with caramel or chocolate sauce. In the summer, you can enjoy this delectable dessert on their colourful outdoor patio.
Honey Town: A dessert restaurant in China Town, at 710 Somerset Street West that specialises in Hong Kong desserts and Taiwan-style desserts.
Maverick’s Donuts: The five businessmen who started Mavericks Donuts, at 1500 Bank Street, love making donuts. They make several amazing donuts fresh every day, like the cherry cheesecake donut, a lemon ricotta, PB&J, and bacon on maple icing. If you’re feeling creative or craving something not on their menu, you can customize your own donut. Start with vanilla, chocolate, maple or caramel glaze and then top it up with more than 15 different topping options, ranging from fruit loops, to crushed chocolate bars.
Life Of Pie: Found at 1134 Bank Street, Life of Pie was opened up by a hobby baker who was told by all her friends she needed to sell her pies. All pies are baked fresh every day, without preservatives, and with locally sourced ingredients. Different pies are baked every day, but you can check the website ahead of time to see what will be waiting for you in store. You can place an order for a full, freshly baked pie to take home or you can order an un-baked pie to store in your freezer until you are ready to bake it yourself. Classes are offered throughout the week, where you can learn how to expertly bake pies, tarts, quiche, scones and more.
Little Jo Berry’s: Ottawa’s only vegan bakery located at 1305 Wellington Street West serves up some of the most delicious sweets and coffee around. All of their baked goods are 100% dairy and egg free, and certain items are also gluten free. The vegan Poptarts are the most popular menu item, other interesting menu items are the Twinkies, “Cookie Crunches”, chai spice cake, and matcha scones.
Stella Luna: This Gelato shop was awarded 3rd Best Gelato in North America in 2016, and you can find them at 1103 Bank Street in Old Ottawa South. On Sunday nights between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. the gelato is 40% off, but arrive a couple minutes early to avoid a long line, this shop is very popular. Stella Luna also has a vintage gelato push cart that moves around the city, there is a feature on the website that allows you to see where in the city the cart will be, it might be right around the corner!
SuzyQ Donuts: SuzyQ Donuts, located on 968 Wellington, always tries to come up with new and interesting flavours, their classics are cookies n’ cream, salty caramel, and dirty chocolate. They also offer seasonal donuts like the blue vanilla fruit loop, mango lassi, and London fog. The recipe used is a traditional Finnish recipe for Sugar Munkki, which was saved during a thrilling escape from Finland in 1940 and brought to Ottawa.