Originally Posted by Alter
So, I am visiting Ottawa next week. It is my hometown but I moved away around 15 years ago.
Any recs for newer restaurants or shops?
+1 on Domus. Most places in the Market are overpriced but this place is way good. They also have a sister restaurant called Taylor's Genuine which is equally as good That along with Play and Shore Club are good options in the market. Murray St does solid brunch but I would avoid their dinner. Play serves smaller plates. The Smoque Shack is a bbq joint on the cheaper end that's very solid if that's what your looking for. Los Tacos De Mauro is another cheap option offering up Mexican fare. Jean Albert's serves up soul food and a very solid breakfast (try the bfast pizza). This is one of my go to as I live right down the street from it. Not fancy at all and sticks to real down south cooking (fried chicken and waffles) and if you go for dinner be sure to try the chicken and waffle on a stick. Town on Elgin is another recommended place
Other places in the Market/Centretown area would be, Arc hotel, Cafe Paradiso, Spin, Whalesbone if you're looking for seafood on Bank St. (not to be confused with their supply house on Kent St) although their chef recently left.
In the Westboro/Hintonburg area, choices include Allium on Holland by Tunney's Pasture (Mondays they do a tapas menu). Not too far from that Is a place on Wellington St West (not to be confused with Wellington St where Parliament is) is Wellington Gastropub and two other spots called Absinthe and Juniper.
One place to check out depending on your mobility is Art-Is-In bakery. Some of the best bread you'll taste. They also serve up treats like donuts, cookies, croissants and offer up a lunch but if you want any shot at eating the lunch, you'd best be served by getting there by like 11.
Vegetarian option includes Zen kitchen. Recently their chef Caroline Ishi took second place at an event called Gold Medal Plates (pretty impressive considering it's veggie only). This event pits the cities best chefs against one another for the right to compete nationally against other chefs from other cities.
Steakhouses...Hy's and Sterling (in Gatineau across the bridge).
Really fine dining...Le Bacarra which is in the Casino du Lac-Leamy. +1 on the Beckta rec as well.
Molecular gastronomy...Atelier. Have to reserve and a sitting is 3 hours and set menu. 13 small plates. Their chef, Marc Lepine, actually won the Gold Medal Plates.
As for shops, what exactly are you looking for? Reap and Sew, Trustfund or Schad if you're looking for S&D and for MC type clothing, Harry, Holt, a few other spots; Bucklands in the Glebe and E.R Fisher in Westboro but Ottawa really lacks a fashion sense (see government town) to sustain multiple fashion forward shops so you won't find anything you can't find in bigger cities.