The 9 Most Delicious Restaurants in Ottawa’s Elgin Street

The 9 Most Delicious Restaurants in Ottawa’s Elgin Street

Ah Elgin Street, another one of Ottawa’s many lively districts bustling with activity. Ottawans and locals love it for a plethora of reasons, such as its museums, landmarks, and parks.

But of course, we can’t forget about one of the best parts of this street: the food. I absolutely adore the incredible cuisine that’s available here, and I can’t get enough of it. 

If you’re a foodie like me, you definitely want to visit this place. Now, I know that choosing from the best restaurants can be a bit of a daunting task, so let me help you with that. 

Here are some of the best restaurants that I and other locals enjoy on a regular basis. Trust me, you’ll love their unique flavors! 

El Camino

El Camino

Location: 380 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1M9, Canada

Price: $$

Website: https://eatelcamino.com/

Social media: 

Operating Hours: 

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 5:30 PM–12:00 AM
  • Wednesday: 5:30 PM–12:00 AM
  • Thursday: 5:30 PM–12:00 AM
  • Friday 5:30 PM–2:00 AM
  • Saturday: 5:30 PM–2:00 AM
  • Sunday: 5:30 PM–12:00 AM

Must-try dishes: 

  • Pork Belly Pastor
  • Pollo Asado Taco 
  • Camino Club

Are you craving some tasty Mexican food? Then you should head to El Camino! 

It features a fascinating mix of Asian-inspired flavors and modern cuisine. 

Some of the tasty meals you can find on the menu include stuff like tacos and small plates that take your taste buds on a wild ride. The food is cooked to perfection, and every bite is full of a different mix of tastes.

Should you choose to dine in El Camino, you’ll be surrounded by its lively and hip vibe. The inside is often decorated with bright art, which sets the mood for a night of exciting food. 

El Camino has what you need, be it a quiet place to eat or a busy place to hang out with your friends till the early hours of the morning.

Of course, we can’t forget about the restaurant’s awesome cocktails. El Camino’s baristas definitely take the art of mixing drinks to a new level. 

The cocktail menu is a work of art, offering a carefully crafted selection of beverages that perfectly complement the food. Whether you’re a fan of classic cocktails or seeking something more adventurous, you’re sure to find a libation that suits your palate.

A personal favorite of mine is the ‘Camino Club,’ a refreshing mix of tequila, disaronno, fernet, lemon, pineapple, and some bitters. It’s the right blend of sweet, sour, and bitter flavors that hits the right spot in my taste buds.

On warmer Ottawa evenings, you’ll have the opportunity to dine al fresco. El Camino typically offers outdoor seating, allowing you to soak up the vibrant atmosphere of Elgin Street while savoring your meal.

During these times, my friends and I just love to relax and observe the bustling streets while chatting and chowing down on some tacos. This really makes it one of my top restaurants in Elgin, a sentiment plenty of Ottawans share. 

Johnny Farina

Johnny Farina

Location:  216 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1L7, Canada

Price: $$

Website: https://www.johnnyfarina.com/

Social media: 

Operating hours: 

  • Monday-Wednesday, Sunday: 11:30 AM–9:30 PM
  • Thursday-Saturday: 11:30 AM–10:30 PM

Must-try dishes: 

  • Zucchini Fritti
  • Steak + Gorgonzola
  • Diavolo pizza

Johnny Farina has been serving traditional Italian cuisine for years, which has made it an important part of the city’s dining scene. 

It serves some well-known Italian dishes, such as pasta, perfectly cooked seafood, and juicy steaks. It makes you feel like you’re in the heart of Italy, and the menu celebrates this amazing culture.

The sirloin steak and gorgonzola combo platter is my favorite dish of the bunch, with its succulent meat that melts in your mouth. The cheese serves to complement the flavor, adding in some creamy and mild flavors. 

Then you have the pizza, which is oven-baked to perfection. My preferred pizza here is the diavolo, which features some peppadews and soppressata accompanied by mozzarella cheese and decadent spicy honey. 

To accompany the delicious food, the restaurant features an inviting and warm atmosphere. 

You can take in the decor that seamlessly blends modern elegance with rustic charm, creating the perfect backdrop for a romantic dinner, a family gathering, or a night out with friends.

When the weather cooperates, you have the delightful option to dine on its charming patio. This offers you a wonderful al fresco experience while immersing yourself in the vibrant energy of Elgin Street.

Of course, what’s Italian cuisine without a fantastic wine selection? Johnny Farina doesn’t disappoint in this regard either. 

It boasts an extensive wine list, carefully curated to pair beautifully with its dishes. 

Wine connoisseurs and more casual diners looking for a drink to accompany their meals are in for a treat. The selection of mild and stronger spirits ensures that everyone’s tastes are accommodated. 

The only downside here is its rather limited seating. It can be hard to get a spot here, especially during peak dining hours. 

This makes reservation a requirement if you want to enjoy this restaurant’s delicious food. 

The Standard

The Standard

Location: 346 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1M5, Canada

Price: $$

Website: https://www.thestandardtavern.com/

Social media: 

Operating hours: 

  • Sunday-Wednesday : 11:00 AM–8:00 PM
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM–10:00 PM
  • Friday 11:00 AM–10:00 PM
  • Saturday: 11:00 AM–9:00 PM

Must-try dishes: 

  • Tavern Burger
  • Notorious P.I.G.
  • Pork Carnitas Tacos

The Standard’s menu features some wonderful comfort food that anyone can look forward to. It’s a great option you can’t go wrong with! 

In this restaurant, you can enjoy dishes made with local products that have been carefully put together to please your taste buds. 

This luxury restaurant pub offers some creative starters, mouthwatering main courses, and delicious desserts. Its menu promises you a memorable trip through the world of food.

As soon as you walk into “The Standard,” you’ll notice how warm and classy the place is. The restaurant has a sense of elegance and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. 

Now, let’s get to the main star of the show: the food. 

So, do you love burgers? I sure do, and The Standard’s burgers are simply amazing! 

The pub’s burger features buns toasted to perfection, with a patty that’s cooked to your liking. It has the usual ingredients that make up a great burger, such as bacon, caramelized onions, cheese, and more. 

The Standard lets you choose from two tasty burgers: the Tavern Burger and the House Falafel Burger. 

I prefer the former, as I’m a fan of more traditional burgers. But the House Falafel Burger is definitely worth a shot, as it features a more exotic taste thanks to its blue oyster mushroom and house avocado tzatziki sauce.

The pub also offers some pretty incredible pizzas, such as the ‘Notorious P.I.G.’ for meat lovers and the ‘Bee Sting’ for those who like a little spice in their life.

Along with the excellent food, Datsun offers a wide range of drinks and craft cocktails. There’s something for both hardcore beer lovers and more casual drinkers looking for the perfect pairing for their meal. 

Datsun

Datsun

Location: 380 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1N1, Canada

Price: $$

Website: https://eatdatsun.com/

Social media: 

Hours: 

  • Monday-Thursday: 5:00–10:00 PM
  • Friday-Saturday: 5:00–11:00 PM

Must-try dishes: 

  • Datsun Ramen – $17
  • Lacquered Nagano Pork Belly Steamed Bun – $7.95
  • Tokyo Drift – $19

Datsun is all about trying new and different tastes. You can expect a menu full of meals that are based on the busy street food scenes of Asia. 

You will love the hot bowls of fragrant ramen and bao buns with fillings that make your mouth water. With every bite that you take at Datsun, it feels like a new adventure for your taste buds. 

Its menu not only features culinary delights but also shows off the creativity of the chefs with its presentation. Every meal that you order here is absolutely Instagram-worthy. 

For the food, you can start things off by ordering a bao bun. It’s got a light and airy texture, nicely contrasted by some crispy chicken and pork belly. 

Then there’s the ‘Datsu Ramen,’ a dish with some incredible broth. With some pork belly and egg, the savory flavor will have you coming back for more. 

Finally, you have the drinks. No meal is complete without a cool beverage to cleanse your palette. 

On its cocktail menu, Datsun has a wide range of creative drinks that go well with the bold tastes of its food. No matter if you like sweet, spicy, or cool drinks, you’re sure to find a cocktail that fits your tastes perfectly.

A particular drink that I would recommend is the ‘Tokyo Drift.’ It’s a blend of Toki, Averna, Vermouth, Bowmore, and orange bitters that come together to form a rather strong, but pleasant drink. 

One of my favorite things about eating at Datsun is that you can share plates with your friends. This makes it a great place for social events and outings. 

The menu is meant to be shared, so you can try a little bit of everything and enjoy the culinary trip together. It’s a surefire way to ensure that you and your friends have an awesome time together while eating tasty food. 

Elgin Street Diner

Elgin Street Diner

Location: 374 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1N1, Canada

Price: $$

Website: http://www.elginstreetdiner.com/

Social media: 

Operating hours: 

  • 24/7

Must-try dishes: 

  • Breakfast Burger – $16.99
  • The Southwest Crunch – $13.99
  • The Twisted Burger – $15.99

Elgin Street Diner is a beloved fixture in our city’s dining landscape.

When it comes to cuisine, the Elgin Street Diner is all about hearty and satisfying comfort food. It’s your reliable spot for everything from delicious breakfasts to towering burgers, stacks of pancakes, and late-night poutine cravings. 

No matter the hour, you can count on Elgin Street Diner to serve up a delicious and filling meal.

Craving something to help you energize as you start your day? Try out the breakfast burger and chocolate chip pancakes.

These dishes are perfect for early risers or office workers who want a satisfying first meal of the day to help them start their routines. You really can’t go wrong with them!  

For lunch and dinner options, there are some tasty burgers available. My favorite one is the ‘The Twisted Burger,’ a pretty cool sandwich with some cream cheese, bacon, and TLC.

It’s an interesting twist on the classic burger, as you don’t always see cream cheese in them. Overall, I liked it and you should also give it a try. 

Now, let’s talk about the atmosphere. The diner’s vintage charm, complete with retro decor and classic diner booths, provides a cozy backdrop for enjoying your meal. 

Whether you’re dining alone, with friends, or with family, it’s a place where you can unwind and savor a meal in a laid-back setting.

What sets the Elgin Street Diner apart is its 24/7 service. It’s open around the clock, ensuring you can satisfy your cravings for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or late-night snacks whenever the mood strikes. 

This makes it a go-to spot for both night owls and early risers.

And let’s not forget the iconic milkshakes – thick, creamy, and available in a range of classic flavors. They’re the perfect sweet complement to your meal, and many regulars simply can’t resist.

For Ottawans, the Elgin Street Diner holds a special place in our hearts. It’s open for everyone regardless of budget and simply serves cuisine that hits the right spot and never fails to deliver.

Needless to say, for anyone seeking comfort food after a late night out, or just craving a taste of nostalgia, this diner will always be a reliable choice for everyone in the city.

Beyond dining in, the Elgin Street Diner also offers takeout and delivery options, so you can enjoy its delicious offerings from the comfort of your own home.

The Whalesbone

The Whalesbone

Location: 231 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1L6, Canada

Price: $$$

Website: https://thewhalesbone.com/pages/elgin-street-menu

Social media: 

Operating hours: 

  • Monday-Thursday: 4:00–11:00 PM
  • Friday 11:30 AM–11:00 PM
  • Saturday-Sunday: 3:00–11:00 PM

Must-try dishes: 

  • Steak Frites – $50
  • Sockeye and Chips – $32
  • Tuna Poke Bowl – $32

If you are craving some quality seafood, this is definitely the place to go. The Whalebone offers a delightful mix of classic pub fare and comforting dishes. 

You can expect to find some hearty burgers, fish and chips that are fried to a perfect crisp, mouthwatering sandwiches, and great seafood. It’s the kind of place where you can always count on getting a satisfying meal.

When I first ate here with some friends, one dish that we fell in love with was the sockeye and chips. It was seared salmon dressed in tartar sauce and was accompanied by some fries and pea salad. 

With how well-cooked the fish was, every bite was bursting with flavor, and the crispy fries just made the dish all the more tastier.

Then there’s the tuna poke bowl, a platter consisting of sushi rice, togarashi, and some tomatoes and cucumbers. If I were to describe it, it’s the taste of the sea on a plate. 

Of course, we also need to talk about the restaurant’s atmosphere. The Whalesbone is warm and welcoming, and it makes the dining experience all the more enjoyable. 

Personally speaking, being able to engage in small talk with some of the staff and customers is always a big plus for me. 

Once you step inside, you’ll find an interior with a charming, well-worn feel that instantly puts you at ease. It’s a great place to have a casual meal with friends, catch a game, or simply savor a drink at the bar, and just relax and unwind.

If the weather is good enough, the patio at The Whalebone is a prime spot for enjoying your meal and soaking up the atmosphere of Elgin Street. It’s a wonderful place to people-watch and savor your favorite dishes al fresco.

Al’s Steakhouse

Al's Steakhouse

Location: 327 Elgin St, OttaSaturdaywa, ON K2P 1M5, Canada

Price: $$$

Website: https://www.alssteakhouse.ca/

Social media: 

Operating hours: 

  • Monday-Tuesday, Sunday: 11:00 AM–10:00 PM
  • Wednesday-Thursday, Friday-Saturday: 11:00 AM–11:00 PM

Must-try dishes: 

  • New York Strip – $52
  • Lamb Chops – $45
  • Roasted Chicken Breast – $32

Steak lovers everywhere will adore Al’s Steakhouse. It’s all about elevating the art of grilling this mouthwatering dish. 

The restaurant takes pride in sourcing the finest cuts of meat, ensuring each bite is an exquisite experience of tenderness and flavor. It’s not just a meal; it’s a culinary event that leaves a lasting impression.

Personally speaking, I’m a New York strip kind of guy. The intense flavor accentuated by the bold and beefy flavor is simply amazing. 

What I love about the steak that Al’s Steakhouse serves is how well it is cooked. The chefs perfectly nail your rarity, and the seasoning that they give just makes you crave more and more beef with every bite. 

But that’s not to say that steak is the only thing you’ll find here. They also have other tasty meat that is available for you. 

If you want something other than beef, you have the option to try the lamb. Just like the steak, it’s cooked to perfection, and the meat is so tender that it melts in your mouth.

The roast chicken breast is also amazing, and every bite causes a rush of flavor to explode in your taste buds. It’s simply awesome! 

Adding to the experience is the impeccable service at Al’s Steakhouse. 

The waitstaff is attentive and well-versed in the menu, offering recommendations and ensuring every aspect of your meal is flawless. It’s the kind of place where you feel genuinely cared for.

Finally, no exquisite steak is complete without a chilled glass of wine. 

Al’s Steakhouse boasts an impressive collection of alcohol. The diverse selection makes sure that your tastes are well accommodated, and you can even be a bit adventurous and try new spirits. 

Nando’s PERi-PERi

Nando's PERi-PERi

Location: 90 Elgin St Unit 3, Ottawa, ON K1P 5E9, Canada

Price: $$

Website: https://www.nandos.ca/

Social media: 

Operating hours: 

  • Monday-Sunday: 11:00 AM–10:00 PM

Must-try dishes: 

  • PERi PERi Whole Wings
  • PERi Ranch Crunch Salad
  • Hummus with PERi-PERi Drizzle

I want you to picture this: a vibrant eatery where the enticing aroma of grilled chicken seasoned with a unique blend of herbs and spices fills the air.

That’s the inviting atmosphere you’ll find at Nando’s PERi-PERi. Thanks to the great food and ambiance, it is a spot that has quickly earned its place as a popular choice among Ottawans seeking a delicious and distinct dining experience.

Nando’s signature dish is its flame-grilled PERi-PERi chicken. What sets it apart is the secret sauce, a captivating combination of chili, herbs, and zesty flavors that infuse the chicken with its signature kick and a hint of smokiness. 

The beauty of Nando’s lies in your ability to choose your preferred spice level, ranging from mild to extra hot. 

And while the chicken takes the spotlight, don’t overlook the restaurant’s other tempting sides and appetizers. It offers a lot of great stuff including spicy rice, peri chips, and garlic bread – each a delightful complement to your meal.

The restaurant itself exudes a lively and casual atmosphere. It’s bright and inviting, featuring subtle South African-inspired decor elements. 

What truly sets Nando’s PERi-PERi apart is its unwavering commitment to grilling perfection. Each chicken piece is grilled to succulent, flavorful, and tender perfection, promising a delightful culinary experience with every bite. 

Be it white or dark meat, you’re in for a treat! 

Of course, the menu also extends to a variety of other delectable options. 

You have the option to choose between wraps and burgers to salads and vegetarian dishes. There’s a diverse range of choices to cater to different tastes and dietary preferences.

For many Ottawans, Nando’s PERi-PERi on Elgin Street is without a doubt a local favorite. It’s a go-to destination for those seeking a quick, flavorful meal that consistently hits the mark.

And here’s a fun tidbit: Nando’s PERi-PERi offers a delightful array of PERi-PERi sauces. 

Each sauce boasts its own unique flavor profile, spanning from the tangy lemon and herb to the fiery extra hot. You can even take home bottles of these sauces to infuse your own culinary creations with Nando’s magic.

German Doner Kebab

German Doner Kebab

Location: 272 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1M2, Canada

Price: $$

Website: https://www.germandonerkebab.com/menu

Social media: 

Operating hours: 

  • Monday-Thursday, Sunday (Except Saturdays): 11:00 AM–11:00 PM
  • Friday-Saturday: 11:00 AM–1:00 AM

Must-try dishes: 

  • Original German Doner Kebab
  • Kcal Kebab
  • Doner Krunch Burger

Despite being relatively new to Ottawa, German Doner Kebab has already created quite a buzz among locals. Being citizens of the so-called “Shawarma Capital,” we always love to grab a freshly prepared pita with its signature beef and veggies. 

So, what do we think of German Doner Kebab? 

All I can say is, I and plenty of other Ottawans appreciate its fusion of flavors and the convenience it offers. It’s rapidly becoming a go-to spot for those seeking a tasty and satisfying meal on the move.

This restaurant offers a fresh take on a beloved classic. It’s a modern, fast-casual eatery that’s reimagined the traditional doner kebab in an exciting and delicious way.

At the heart of its menu is the star of the show, the doner kebab, but it’s not your run-of-the-mill wrap. 

It’s a reinvented version that brings together thinly sliced, succulent meats – think chicken, beef, or a delightful mix – with crisp, fresh vegetables. It’s also accompanied by a medley of special sauces, all lovingly enveloped in warm, fluffy bread. 

The result is a flavor explosion that’s not only deeply satisfying but also incredibly addictive.

One of the standout features at German Doner Kebab is the opportunity for customization. 

You have the freedom to build your very own kebab, selecting your preferred protein, toppings, and sauces to craft a masterpiece that perfectly suits your palate. It’s a bit like creating a culinary work of art that you get to devour.

But it’s not just about kebabs. The menu also boasts a tempting variety of options beyond the traditional doner. 

From wraps to burgers and sides, there’s something for every craving, making it an ideal choice for a quick lunch, dinner on the go, or a casual gathering with friends.