Italian cuisine is complicated and can be difficult to get right. Luckily, Ottawa has some of the best Italian restaurants in the city, perfect for anyone looking to indulge in a delicious meal.
What are these Italian restaurants’ specialty dishes?
Each restaurant has its signature specialties. The table below provides a summary of their top dishes so you can decide which restaurant you’d like to try.
|North & Navy|
Butternut Squash mezzaluna
Lamb Raviolo al’Uovo
|Mr. B’s Osteria|
|Mamma Teresa Ristorante|
Antipasto della Casa
Bruschetta alla Parmigiana
Grilled Chicken Caesar
Tuscan Blackened Salmon
The Best Italian Restaurants in Ottawa
When looking for the best Italian restaurants in Ottawa, we looked at the following factors
1. Giovanni’s Restaurant
|ADDRESS||362 Preston St, Ottawa, ON K1S 4M7, Canada|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: 613-234-3156|
Monday to Thursday : 11AM–10PM
Friday : 11AM–11PM
Saturday : 5–11PM
Sunday : Closed
Giovanni’s is a great option if you’re looking for an Italian restaurant that has online reservations. The eatery has been around since 1983 and is known for its high-quality food.
Among the best that it offers are the Eggplant Rollanttini and the Zucchini Fritti. These vegetable-based dishes are popular among health-centric folks.
If you’re looking for something meatier, you can choose from their chicken or veal dishes. The restaurant also offers gluten-free options for diners with allergies or special dietary restrictions.
We especially loved the Parmesan mushroom sauce that engulfed our shaved truffles. If you’re looking for a great family-style Italian meal, Giovanni’s is a great choice!
Take-home options are available for those who want to enjoy their meal at home with their families. For pizzas, you can choose from either whole pies or individual slices.
The pricing can be a drawback here, especially for tourists who might not want to spend an arm and a leg on pasta or pizza. This is because the ingredients are top-notch and you can’t really find the same quality of food in cheaper places.
With that said, if you love good quality Italian food and don’t mind spending a bit more than usual, you should give Giovanni’s a try!
Taste buds tingling
“The food was amazing here! I especially loved the sausage appetizer. It had my taste buds tingling so much so I couldn’t enjoy my main course as much. However, the reason I can’t give the restaurant 5 stars is be because of the noise levels. The restaurant was crowded so talking to our table was a struggle.” – Kelly Ngwenya
“Been to Giovanni’s twice in the last month with the family, what a fabulous place to eat at! I absolutely love the food. Last night, I had the most incredible special, Burrata stuffed raviolis in a creamy Parmesan mushroom sauce with shaved truffles, just WOW. It was quite the portion but I couldn’t help but eat every single bite. We ordered a bunch of appetizers to share which were great too (calamari, grilled octopus, zucchini fritters, beet salad). The service was incredible as well.” – Lucia Chehade
|ADDRESS||226 Nepean St, Ottawa, ON K2P 0B8, Canada|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: 613-232-6289|
Monday to Saturday : 5PM–10PM
Sunday : Closed
North & Navy is another great Italian restaurant to check out. This one is located on Nepean Street and has been around for a while now despite the busy and sometimes noisy street.
What makes it great is its traditional Italian dishes, many of which are made from scratch daily. This includes the lasagna and pizzas, all of which taste authentic and well-made.
The restaurant has a great wine list as well that goes well with everything on its menu.
There’s an outdoor patio for the summer months, which is great when the weather is nice out.
Although some of the food is a bit pricey, the restaurant has gift certificates that can be purchased from its website. This means you can give someone the gift of good food without having to break the bank!
North & Navy’s parking area is also very accessible, and there are parking spots right behind the restaurant, making it convenient for diners.
The view there at night is also amazing — the lights are really pretty and so is the city’s skyline.
The only drawback is the small portions. But the quality of the food and the service make up for it.
Overall, North & Navy is a great restaurant to go to if you’re looking for delicious Italian fare with a view.
Great dinner options
“Had dinner here with a friend last September and had the best time. The food was delicious (The carpaccio and the halibut in particular were incredible) and the service was wonderful. They brought us a blanket when it got chilly, made us amazing cocktails, and our server (Carlos?) was a delight. Thanks for the great experience!” – Adrian Ara
Will not let you down
“Favourite restaurant in Ottawa. The food and the service are a top tier experience. You get the quality of fine dining in the food, drink and service but can also enjoy the vibe of a quaint and family-owned restaurant. Impress your parents or a date by taking the to North & Navy, they will not let you down!” – Alannah Link
3. Mr. B’s Osteria
|ADDRESS||2446 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1V 8R9, Canada|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: 613-731-6800|
Monday : Closed
Tuesday, Saturday & Sunday : 4–9PM
Wednesday to Friday : 11:30AM–9PM
For a more homey and indulgent Italian dining experience, try out Mr. B’s Osteria. This cozy spot offers delicious Italian classics such as lasagna and chicken parmesan, along with a few surprises like the chicken involtini and the marsala.
What makes it great is the aesthetics of the restaurant, which is perfect for a cozy date night or catching up with friends.
It has a welcoming atmosphere that makes you feel like you visited an old Italian home and tried traditional family recipes that have been passed down through the generations.
Another factor worth mentioning is Mr. B’s impressive wine selection. It has a selection of wines from different regions of Italy that are sure to please even the most discerning palates.
If you’re not a wine connoisseur, don’t worry. Mr. B’s also serves a variety of draft beer as well as refreshing non-alcoholic beverages.
If you loved the food, you can shop at Mr. B’s market and get your hands on some of the ingredients used in the restaurant to make your own Italian dishes at home!
The overall drawback of this establishment is its pricing, but the quality more than makes up for it. The food is great and the service is wonderful, so we still highly recommend Mr. B’s Osteria as one of the best Italian restaurants in the city.
Loved the pasta
“The pasta dishes were excellent. My Tortellini was wonderful. I wish I had a taken a shot of my guest dish it was a beautiful ravioli. Service was very good. They also have a lovely wine selection.” – Cliff
“Delicious. Well worth the visit. I had a Caesar salad, the penne chicken and peppers with red sauce. (Don’t remember the actual name). Also had house red wine. Warm buns served to start. Delicious. I want to go back!” – Adam Van Spronsen
4. Mamma Teresa Ristorante
|ADDRESS||300 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K2P 2C2, Canada|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: 613-236-3023|
Monday to Thursday & Sunday : 4:30PM–9:30PM
Friday & Saturday : 4:30PM–10:30PM
Mamma Teresa Ristorante is a great Italian restaurant that you may be interested in. It’s known for being a family-owned business, so you can be assured that the food is made with love.
Owned by the Boselli family, the restaurant boasts a number of traditional Italian dishes, including Antipasto Casalinga and Antipasto Della Casa.
The recipes are original and they are all prepared with fresh ingredients to ensure that you experience a unique Italian dining experience every time you visit.
Because the establishment is owned by Italians, you can be sure that you are tasting authentic Italian cuisine when you go there. The portions are big and that fact alone makes the price definitely reasonable.
It also has a variety of wines, making it the perfect date night destination as well.
When it comes to the service, it’s also top-notch. The waiters are always friendly and will make you feel right at home in the restaurant.
The only drawback is the parking situation. It can be a bit challenging to find a spot in the parking lot during busy days such as Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Overall, Mamma Teresa Restaurant is definitely a great place to go for Italian food at justified prices.
“An amazing night out for everyone. This was just a very special place in Ottawa and I can’t wait to be back. I celebrated my birthday here on a Saturday evening and I could not have chosen a better place.” – Christopher Stephenson
“I love the decorations in this restaurant, it seems very historical and has many stories to tell. Speak of the food, I think this is the best pasta I have ever eaten and servers are so kind. Just was a bit hard for me to find the parking spot at first cause we went there at night” – Ying-Tzu Chiou
5. Johnny Farina
|ADDRESS||216 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1L7, Canada|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: 613-565-5155|
Monday to Wednesday : 11:30AM–9PM
Thursday : 11:30AM–9:30PM
Friday & Saturday : 11:30AM–10PM
Sunday : 4–9PM
Johnny Farina is a more casual and trendy place and is perfect for a night out with friends.
Located on Elgin Street, it is a great place if you are looking for something fresh and authentic. The restaurant has really nice decor and a great selection of wine and other beverages.
Although it has pricey Italian dishes, customers won’t feel the need to dress up for a nice meal at this restaurant. The casual atmosphere makes this restaurant a hit among foodies in Ottawa.
The restaurant itself is spacious and beautiful with a lot of glass decorations to give it a modern and elegant look. It’s a great option if you have events coming up and need a space to host your party.
The food is also really good, and the pasta dishes are especially popular. For meatier options, the star is the grilled chicken caesar and the Tuscan blackened salmon.
If those don’t entice you, Johnny Farina’s menu is organized well and you can easily find something that fits your preferences.
The only drawback is that some of the dishes can be too pricey. However, if you’re looking to dine in a casual yet upscale environment and enjoy great food and excellent service, this one is definitely worth checking out!
Loved the ambiance
“Loved the food, loved the ambiance, friendly staff. Should definitely check it out for wonderful experience.” – Riya Sehgal
Fantastic Italian food
“This is the first time I’ve ever been at this restaurant and I will most definitely be back again the service was absolutely exceptional and the food was incredible, best birthday dinner. Our waitress Karen was very lovely, will definitely recommend to anyone looking for fantastic Italian food.” – Anna-Lisa Marcano-Laurin
FAQs about Italian Cuisine
And that’s it for the best Italian restaurants in the city! If you’re looking for other types of cuisines to try, check out the best Japanese restaurants in Ottawa!