A Complete List of Restaurants in Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW)

A Complete List of Restaurants in Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW)

The Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (also known as YOW) is a place that is bustling with activity. You can find all sorts of shops here that serve different purposes. 

Now while waiting for your flight, it’s kind of a given that you might feel a bit hungry, and when your boarding time is a few hours away, it’s always a great idea to grab a bite. The good thing is that YOW features ten places you can eat at. 

Here’s a full list of the restaurants and where you can find them. 

Big Rig Kitchen and Brewery

Big Rig Kitchen and Brewery

Location: Canada/International, Centre Court
Contact number: 613-355-4052
Website: http://www.bigrigbrew.com/
Operating hours: Monday-Sunday: 5:00 AM–8:00 PM
Must-try food items: 

  • Seared Pork Belly Sliders
  • Roaster Wings
  • Big Rig Signature Club

Price: $$ – Moderately expensive

Big Rig is a great option for some nice comfort food and casual dining. It’s a local favorite among Ottawans and for a pretty good reason. 

Its menu is something you really can’t go wrong with. It offers a multitude of tasty burgers, salads, nachos, sandwiches, poutine, and other mouthwatering dishes. 

These are all awesome finger foods you can snack on while waiting for your flight to arrive. Of course, there are a few standouts that I can recommend for you. 

First are Big Rig’s Seared Pork Belly Sliders. As the name suggests, these are mini sandwiches with pork belly cooked to perfection that melts in your mouth. 

Accompany that with some onion marmalade and a bit of truffle mayo, and you’ve got one heck of a treat in your hands. 

For the chicken lovers out there, Big Rig’s Roaster Wings are there to satisfy your cravings. You can go for either one pound or two pounds of meat, and accompany it with some tasty honey garlic, buffalo, barbeque, cajun, or spicy sauce. 

And of course, we can’t forget about Big Rig’s Signature Club, three sandwiches stacked on top of each other. 

I just love this dish as it’s a timeless comfort food that features some extra crispy bacon, grilled chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, and herbed mayo on fresh triple-decked country bread. 

Booster Juice

Booster Juice

Location: Canada/International, Gate 18
Contact number: 613-248-2069
Website: http://www.boosterjuice.com/
Operating hours: Monday-Sunday: 5:00 AM–7:00 PM
Must-try food items: 

  • Chipotle Steak Panini
  • Funky Monkey
  • Hawaiian Sunset

Price: $$ – Moderately expensive

If what you want is a delicious, chilly drink with a healthy snack, then head on over to Booster Juice. The smoothies here are simply awesome, and you are also doing your health a favor here.

With over 29 different flavors for you to choose from, you will definitely find something that matches your palette and makes your taste buds go wild. 

Personally speaking, I’m a huge fan of Booster Juice’s Bananas-A-Whey, with its simple blend of bananas and pineapples. With vanilla frozen yogurt and skim milk, this is an option that just hits the right spot for me. 

A few other flavors I can recommend are the Funky Monkey and Hawaiian Sunset. 

The Funky Monkey is for those who love some chocolate in their smoothies. Fresh bananas combined with chocolate almond milk and vanilla frozen yogurt make this a rather sweet treat that’s perfect for people who want a bit of a sugar rush. 

The Hawaiian Sunset, on the other hand, is the way to go if you are looking for an overload of fruity flavors. This blend is made with raspberries, bananas, mango, passion fruit, guava, and vanilla frozen yogurt that will make you say Aloha in sheer delight! 

It’s the right mix of sweet and sour flavors and can be a refreshing drink for you while waiting for your flight. 

Now if you want a tasty snack to pair with your smoothie, why not go and grab a panini? I personally love the Chipotle Steak Panini, which is a delicious combination of beef and jalapeno peppers. 

Bridgehead

Bridgehead

Location: Canada/International, Centre Court
Contact number: 613-355-4052
Website: http://www.bridgehead.ca/
Operating hours: Monday-Sunday: 4:30 AM–8:00 PM
Must-try food items: 

  • Chocolatine Croissant
  • Flat White
  • Earl Grey Latte

Price: $$ – Moderately expensive

Bridgehead is one of the YOW’s many great coffee shops. It offers a variety of flavors that cater to everyone’s tastes, be it strong or mild coffee. 

One of my personal favorites here is the Flat White, a coffee that looks simple at first but really draws you in with its taste. It’s not too strong, with skimmed milk that adds some nice creaminess and enough of a kick to remind you that it’s still coffee. 

It’s a no-nonsense option for anyone who simply wishes to relax before their flight, and Bridghead’s take on the classic flavor makes it pretty awesome. 

Another classic worth trying is the Earl Grey Latte. It’s deliciously simple, and this beverage is great for a sip while waiting for your flight.

This is a sweet vanilla latte with some savory hints of tea swirled through it. If you’d like, you are also welcome to add a slice of lemon and a small teaspoon of sugar to further enhance the flavor. 

And then you have the delicious pastries to accompany your drink. You can enjoy some croissants, cookies, and baked squares. 

If you like something on the sweet and salty side, I highly recommend that you go for the Chocolatine Croissant. 

It’s a freshly baked pastry that’s got a crispy shell on the outside and a soft, chewy texture on the inside. 

The chocolate blends in super well with the saltiness of the pastry, creating a savory, sweet, and salty taste that will have you taking bite after bite until the croissant is gone. 

Café & Vin 

Café & Vin

Location: Canada/International, Gate 15
Contact number: 613-355-4052
Operating hours: Monday-Sunday: 4:00 AM–9:00 PM
Must-try food items: 

  • Americano
  • Cappuccino
  • Mocha

Price: $$ – Moderately expensive

Café & Vin is a small and relaxing shop, especially when compared to the YOW’s other restaurants. However, that doesn’t make the beverages it serves taste any less delicious. 

The Americano is diluted perfectly, with the signature complex flavors of espresso still obviously present, but just light enough if your palate can’t handle strong flavors. 

Café & Vin

I personally like to order Americano if I’m in the mood for something while I await my flight. I also get some of the smoked meat to have a more filling meal while I’m at it. 

Another option that I love from Café & Vin’s menu is its Cappuccino. It’s a much lighter choice and I find the distinct layering of the foamed and steamed milk along with the shot of espresso to be absolutely enjoyable. 

The Mocha coffee is also a safe option. It’s two-thirds milk with the remainder being espresso. 

When paired with a pastry such as a croissant or cookie, it’s a comfy snack 

Cork and Well

Cork and Well

Location: Post-security – U.S., Level 2
Contact number: 613-355-4052
Operating hours: Monday-Sunday: 4:30 AM–6:00 PM
Must-try food items: 

  • Butter Chicken
  • Jalapeño Crispy Chicken Wrap
  • Mushroom Samosas

Price: $$ – Moderately expensive

For some savory bites, make sure to head over to Cork and Well. It features a selection of truly delicious dishes that will make your mouth water and stomach grumble. 

A personal favorite of mine is the Butter Chicken. It’s sliced chicken breast coated with butter sauce and placed on top of a bed of rice. 

Butter Chicken

The meat itself is marinated perfectly already, but what I think completes the dish is the relish. It’s a perfect fusion of sweet, salty, and sour flavors that really drives your tastebuds into overdrive.

Couple that with the rice, and you’ve got a meal that’s bound to fill up your stomach for a good portion of your flight. 

Now for some tasty pastries, you’ve got the Mushroom Samosas. As the name implies, these are mushrooms stuffed into a crispy pastry. 

Mushroom Samosas

It’s a pretty unique dish of Asian origin that will give you a mild, earthly taste thanks to the mushrooms. Of course, it isn’t complete without its dip, which gives you an added tanginess to its flavor.  

And for something on the spicier side, you’ve got the Jalapeño Crispy Chicken Wrap. It’s exactly what it says on the tin, chicken breast with spicy jalapeño with some special sauce. 

Occasionally, I like a bit of spice in my life. This dish right here is perfect whenever I crave something hot on the tongue, but is still quite manageable. 

If you’re not a fan of spicy food, I still recommend that you give this a shot as it’s a pretty delicious wrap. Who knows, it might even win you over.

D’Arcy McGee’s

D’Arcy McGee’s

Location: Canada/International, Gate 23
Contact number: 613-355-4052
Website: http://www.darcymcgees.com/
Operating hours: Monday-Sunday: 4:30 AM–8:30 PM
Must-try food items: 

  • The Shepherd’s Fry
  • Chicken Quesadillas
  • Famous Wings

Price: $$ – Moderately expensive

If what you’re craving is some pub food, you will be pleased to know that there’s a D’Arcy McGees near Gate 23 in Canada/International. 

You can kick things off with chicken quesadillas, cajun chicken, shredded pub-blend cheese, pico de gallo, onions, and sweet peppers on seasoned flour tortillas. 

While they’re plenty good on their own, they taste even better when paired with salsa and sour cream. The contrast of spicy, sweet, and sour flavors makes for a great combo to get your taste buds going. 

Of course, we can’t talk about D’Arcy McGee without bringing up its chicken wings. These are pub-marinated in a special blend of beer and spices, and you have the option of eating them with or without breading. 

When dipped in the D’Arcy’s wing sauce, it’s an amazing burst of flavor. When you go with the blue cheese dressing, the creaminess of the cheese along with its saltiness and assertiveness complement the marinade of the wing incredibly well. 

With the ranch sauce though, you get a deep and savory barbeque flavor that makes the spice a bit more prominent. It’s one heck of a meal that has you coming back for more! 

And to top things off, you can also get yourself The Shepherd’s Fry, a shepherd’s pie with a bit of a twist. This delectable, savory dish features cheese curds along with some gravy. 

It’s definitely a bit of an adventurous food item, but the Shepherd’s Fry is such a memorable meal. It’s an entirely new experience that you are bound to remember forever. 

Vino Volo

Vino Volo

Location: Post-security – Canada/International, Gate 16
Contact number: 613-706-6040
Website: https://www.vinovolo.com/locations-menu-ottawa-on/
Operating hours: Monday-Sunday: 6:00 AM–9:00 PM
Must-try food items: 

  • Truffle Penne & Cheese
  • Roasted Lamb Meatballs
  • Smoked Salmon Rolls

Price: $$ – Moderately expensive

Want something a bit more high-class? Then head to Vino Volo on Gate 16 of Post-Security, Canada/International. 

This restaurant is simply fancy, with its plentiful selection of wines and impeccable dishes. It’s pretty much the go-to option if you want to experience fine dining in YOW. 

For its signature dish, you have the Smoked Salmon Rolls. This is a delicious roll that has a pleasing, woodsy taste after spending a few hours on the smoker.

All of this is wrapped up in a crispy crostini, which adds an oh-so-lovely crunch with every bite that you take. 

Another tasty option that you can try is the Truffle Penne & Cheese. This is a rustic pasta with white cheddar, smoked gouda, bay leaf, truffle oil, and toasted bread crumbs. 

This is definitely a dish made for cheese lovers, with the succulent cheeses blending in well with the rest of the components of the pasta to create an earthly taste. To add to that, the toasted bread crumbs also give it a bit of a crunch, which is always nice. 

Now for the meat lovers out there, the Roasted Lamb Meatballs are waiting for you. This uses 100% Texas-raised lamb and shaved manchego, mint & parsley pistou, and crème fraîche.

All I can say is that the meatball is exquisite, cooked and seasoned to perfection. Dip it in the crème fraîche, and get ready to taste an explosion of flavor in your mouth. 

Starbucks

Starbucks

Location: Canada/International, Gate 24
Contact number: 613-355-4052
Website: http://www.starbucks.ca/
Operating hours: Monday-Sunday: 4:30 AM–6:00 PM
Must-try food items:

  • Ham & Swiss on Baguette
  • Oleato Golden Foam Cold Brew
  • Caffè Misto

Price: $$ – Moderately expensive

Starbucks is one of the largest coffee shop chains in YOW, and of course, it’s a good option if you want to grab some pre-flight caffeine and sandwiches. 

While pretty much everyone knows what the menu is already, I have a few favorites that I think are worth mentioning. 

First is the Oleata Golden Foam Cold Brew. It’s a drink with chilled froth that perfectly contrasts with the dark, smooth, and icy brew that just hits the spot. 

If you haven’t given this a try yet, I highly recommend it. It’s very smooth on the palette and also has enough of a caffeine kick for anyone who wants to get rid of drowsiness. 

Next up you have the Caffè Misto, a one-to-one combination of fresh-brewed coffee and steamed milk that creates a remarkably mixed and tasty drink. 

I usually order this if I’m just looking to relax and read on my phone or tablet while waiting for my flight. 

I also like to pair up my drinks with a delectable baguette such as the Ham & Swiss. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, this is the perfect companion to my coffee. 

The cheese and ham are simply an epic combination that will have you craving for more. It’s also the perfect food item if you are looking for something that’s high in protein. 

Subway

Subway

Location: Pre-security, Level 3
Contact number: 613-421-1100
Website: http://www.subway.com/en-CA
Operating hours: Monday-Sunday: 5:30 AM–8:00 PM
Must-try food items:

  • Canuck Classic
  • Chicken Rancher
  • Mozzarella Bella

Price: $$ – Moderately expensive

Another Canadian favorite, you can grab some delicious sandwiches from Subway in the Pre-security area on level 3.

Out of the numerous menu items on this resto, I have to say that my top three favorites are the Canuck Classic, the Chicken Rancher, and the Mozzarella Bella. 

To start things off, let’s talk about the Canuck Classic. It’s a sandwich that features maplewood smoked bacon and deli-style ham, made with Canadian farm-raised pork. 

It’s topped with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pickles, and twice the amount of Canadian cheddar cheese, then drizzled with smoky honey mustard and mayonnaise.

Suffice it to say, this is quite the loaded sandwich. It’s got the perfect amount of meat and veggies and is quite filling to boot. 

Next up is the Chicken Rancher, another fan-favorite with some added zing. It’s got  Canadian farm-raised chicken and pork, made with rotisserie-style chicken and maplewood smoked bacon. 

It’s also served with lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, red onions, twice as much shredded Monterrey Jack and cheddar cheese, and the zesty kick of Subway’s peppercorn ranch dressing. 

Finally, you have the Mozarella Bella. It’s a light and delectable sub that starts with spinach and tomatoes, then adds mozzarella and parmesan before being topped with Subway’s house sandwich sauce and a tasty dose of pesto.

This is what I would recommend to my vegetarian friends out there, as it is completely meat-free and has some delectable cheeses. 

Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons

Location: Pre-security, Level 3, Post-security – U.S., Pre-security, Level 1, Post-security – Canada/International, Gate 20
Contact number: 613-355-4052
Website: http://www.timhortons.ca/
Operating hours: 

  • Pre-security, Level 3: Monday-Sunday: 5:00 AM–7:00 PM
  • Post-security – U.S.: Monday-Sunday: 4:30 AM–5:00 PM
  • Pre-security, Level 1: Monday-Sunday: 4:30 AM–10:00 PM
  • Post-security – Canada/International, Gate 20: 3:30 AM–7:00 PM

Must-try food items: 

  • Chicken Cilantro Lime Loaded Wrap 
  • Everything Croissant Breakfast Sandwich 
  • Chicken Ceasar Wrap 

Price: $$ – Moderately expensive

The second of YOW’s large coffee shop chains, Tim Hortons is also a good choice for some delicious bites. Besides the coffee, it features a menu that will make your mouth water. 

A particular favorite of mine is the Chicken Cilantro Lime Loaded Wrap. The delectable meat combined with the veggies and the zesty taste of the lime blend well to create what I think is one of Tim Horton’s best food items. 

Now if you happen to drop by during morning hours, you may want to get an Everything Croissant Breakfast Sandwich. It’s a combination of several different breakfast items, and it’s oh-so-good! 

It starts with a buttery croissant that’s baked fresh in the restaurant and is topped with Tim Horton’s so-called “Everyday Seasoning.” This gives the sandwich some delectable savory flavors and is part of what makes it amazing. 

And then last but definitely not the least, you’ve got the Chicken Ceaser Wrap. Although it looks simple, don’t let that fool you! 

This wrap is a variety of delicious flavors packed in one compact package. It’s wrapped in a tortilla and grilled to perfection with your choice of seasoned grilled chicken pieces, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and chipotle sauce. 

It’s definitely a great option if you are a bit health-conscious, but want a delicious snack to chow down on before boarding your plane.