Brunch. It’s leisurely, celebratory, and decadent — it may even be the best meal of the day. Whether you prefer it classic-style, avant-garde or fusion, Ottawa’s got it. Canada’s capital in Ontario has everything from beloved mom ‘n pop eateries tucked into unassuming ‘hoods to classy dining institutions overlooking the famed Rideau Canal, plus top-notch coffee houses and microbreweries to keep things interesting. Here are the very best spots for brunching across the city.
Wilf & Ada’s in Centretown
"Made in-house" is the mantra at bright, upscale Wilf & Ada’s, a modern diner with exposed brick walls where you can get all-day breakfast and hearty from-scratch favorites listed on the chalkboard. Some top choices include The Hungryman (eggs, sausages, bacon, beans and French Toast or bread pudding), spicy Eggs in Purgatory covered in fiery tomato sauce, melted cheese, and arugula. They serve Mimosas and Bloody Marys, too. Known for high-quality eats and super friendly ambiance, the place is small with just 13 tables, so arrive early to nab your seat.
The SOCA Kitchen in Wellington West
For something a little different, share tapas at The SOCA Kitchen, a softly lit tavern dishing up Spanish fusion small platos from Latin America and España. Fans love the neighborly feel, doting service, and satisfying dishes at decent prices. Dabble in a weekend brunch of huevos with chorizo, octopus a la plancha (grilled), Coconut French Toast, and orange-braised pork tacos with pineapple, coriander, and habañero. Finish with a gooey chocolate-brandy cake flambé and don’t miss the inventive natural cocktails. Vegetarians will love it here, too.
Evoo Greek Kitchen in Little Italy
Go Greek at Evoo, a casual, stylish restaurant that rolls out authentic Greek brunch on Saturdays with a modern Mediterranean twist: zucchini and feta eggs, breakfast mini gyros, signature omelettes, and poached egg with lamb. Just as exciting is the brunch cocktail menu, including standouts such as champagne pops and pitchers of fruity sangria made with white or red wine. Spend an hour or three.
Café My House in Hintonburg
Hip and plant-focused, Café My House serves magazine-worthy entrees for the vegetarian and vegan crowd. Everything looks so luscious, the pristine dishes are almost too pretty to eat. Almost. Split a few of the plates designed for sharing and tasting, and sit on the cute, sunny, tree-lined back patio in spring and summer. Order the Biscuit & Sausage, starring savory apple-sage sausage, Avocado Toast, or the Breakfast Charcuterie Plate for weekend brunch, washed down with a cilantro-mango smoothie. You may find yourself turning vegetarian if you’re aren’t already.
The Savoy Brasserie in Westboro
If you’re looking for a local bistro, The Savoy is it. It’s smart, bustling, and French-inspired. Even better, the food is stellar every time. Try the Cornflake-crusted French Toast and Asparagus Milanese with truffle oil. For Eggs Benedict, you’ve got four renditions. Another bistro option is Metropolitan Brasserie near Parliament Hill, where you’ll want to splurge on the homefries, not to mention the duck sausage and poached egg Breakfast Bruschetta. There’s light — homemade muesli with Greek yogurt or fruit salad — and heavy — poutine, fried oatmeal, and steak with frites and eggs, but brunch is only offered on the weekends. C’est decadent!
Jak’s Kitchen in Centretown/Chinatown
Tiny, low-key Jak’s Kitchen, aka JAX, has a lot going for it. First, the place serves breakfast til 3 pm. Second, you can choose from five styles of Eggs Benny, and third, these folks know comfort food — though it’s all organic, locally sourced, and tasty. Finally, it’s your go-to to nurse yesterday’s hangover. Order the classics or faves like the Ben Kitchen Mac: a Berkshire pork sausage patty and fried egg gourmet sandwich smeared with brie and tangy cranberry mustard, plus field greens. Be sure to splash your homefries with the in-house Caesar hot sauce and don’t miss the banana bread French Toast. The result is a true standout among brunch eateries.
Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa in Sandy Hill near the Rideau River
French haute cuisine and global delicacies paired with fine wines sound tempting? Take a seat at a linen-silver-and-china decked table in the refined dining room of Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute, where a team of chefs used to serving presidents prepares your meal. It’s not brunch per-se, but who cares? Just arrive when it opens at 11:30. Expect lavish Old World glamor, precision service, and food-as-art at this world-renowned cooking school’s Signatures Restaurant set in a Tudor Revival mansion. Tuck into cabbage-wrapped trout over mushroom risotto and corn soup spiked with tequila, paired with vintages from the extensive wine list. Open for brunch/lunch Tuesday to Friday only with seasonal menus changing weekly; reserve in advance or splurge on a private salon.
Make reservations at the city’s dining hot spots now at the Ottawa Tourism website.