Food and Wine

101 Tastes To Try Before You Die

Out to Lunch

The joy of repackaging the ubiquitous sandwich in deliciously unique ways

16 Whalesbone brown bag lunch
From the restaurant’s warehouse kitchen come the city’s freshest and tastiest fish sandwiches, topped with mayo, lettuce, and sweet caramelized onions. It doesn’t actually come in a brown bag, but no matter, the grab ’n’ go walleye burger is another reason to love Fridays. $5.50. Available Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Whalesbone Sustainable Oyster & Fish Supply, 504A Kent St., 613-231-3474,

17 Tower-O-Rings from The Works
Twelve hot, golden, deep-fried onion rings come stacked around a metal spike and are served with a choice of 12 dips — from chipotle mayo to garlicky beachhouse to smoky barbecue. They are a favoured preamble to the meaty and fried experience that is dining at The Works. Every bite feels wicked. But who cares? Don’t tell your cardiologist; just enjoy the perfect rings that stay put when you bite into them — no hot onion sliding out at first bite — and meet every craving for fried, salty goodness. $9.41. The Works, 326 Richmond Rd., 613-564-0406, and four other locations,

18 Chicken tikka wrap
Arguably the best lunch to be found in the Byward Market: fresh blistered naan stuffed and rolled with moist tandoori chicken breast, chopped lettuce, and a creamy-sweet spiced mayo. $6.60. Shafali’s Bazaar, 55 Byward Market, 613-789-9188,

19 Restaurant Barbe’s roast pork sandwich
Sandwiches that are even better than those you ate growing up. For these, pork loin is roasted simply with salt, pepper, and garlic, then thickly sliced. Lettuce and mustard, as you wish. $3.85. Restaurant Barbe, 122, rue Eddy, Gatineau, 819-777-7384.

20 The meatball sandwich at Parma Ravioli
Comfort food like no other. Huge and messy, dripping with sauce and cheese. Eat, then nap. $8. Parma Ravioli, 1314 Wellington St. W., 613-722-4011.

21 Knish
Eastern Europe’s answer to the empanada, this baseball-sized hand-held golden pastry is stuffed with mashed potatoes, making it the ultimate comfort nosh. Saslove’s Meat Market, 1333 Wellington St. W., 613-722-0086,

22 Sweet potato and cinnamon bread
Alongside the traditional Ethiopian sandwiches and snacks that have become a fixture at several area markets are pint-sized dense and delicious loaves of sweet potato bread swirled with cinnamon and raisins. Those who have tried it sliced, toasted, and buttered tend to buy bunches each week. $4. True Food Ecostere, year-round Ottawa Organics Market, Ottawa Farmers’ Market, and Main Street Market.

23 Glengyle Garlic’s feta garlic spread
Small cubes of feta mix it up with garlic, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, and coriander. Decadence just waiting to be spooned onto slices of fresh baguette. $8/8 oz. Ottawa Farmers’ Market at Lansdowne Park and Carp Farmers’ Market.

24 Rustic, hand-formed miniature pies
The perfect size for two to share or one to splurge! The bakers at Savoury Pursuits create flaky pastry from scratch to enclose all manner of juicy fruit fillings. Try the strawberry-rhubarb, blackberry, or blueberry. Pop them into the freezer to have on hand for impromptu dinner guests. $2 each or six pies for $10. Ottawa Farmers’ Market at Lansdowne Park and the Carp Farmers Market.

25 Heritage tomatoes
A cacophony of tomato colours: Costuloto Genovese are Italian, red, and deeply ribbed; Zebras are green with pale stripes; and the tiny Chocolate Cherries come in ruddy brown. All organic. $4/lb. Ferme Orient stand at the Byward Market on York St., 613-488-2097.

26 Christophe’s organic mushrooms
All the top chefs use the moniker “Christophe” to signal their not-so-secret local celebrity source for fresh exotic fungi from Le Coprin farm in Farrelton, Quebec. Varieties include the meaty and delicious king eryngii, blue oysters, marvellous morels, and flame-coloured chanterelles. Ottawa Farmers’ Market at Lansdowne Park. For other locations, check

27 Asian fruit salad
An exotic fruit mix: lychee, mangos, and finger bananas, all creamy and sweet. Saigon Meats & Vegetables, 777 Somerset St. W., 613-233-3294.

28 Paczki Glazed
Polish doughnuts, old-style, filled with dark plum butter. Fresh from Montreal on Sundays. 60 cents each. Wedel, 221 Bell St. N., 613-237-0151.

29 Lobos
Some love to eat Lobo apples unripe, with salt. Is that weird? The rest of us prefer a Lobo dark-red ripe, biting into its sweet, crisp, white flesh. $6/4 L (less if you pick your own). Cannamore Orchards, 1480 County Rd. 32, Crysler, 613-448-3633,

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  • One of Ottawa’s Real Foodies

    I have to give a shout out to 4 other high, high local quality products.

    1) Siren Bakery’s granola (new in Ottawa as of May 2010) at local stores – check website.

    2) William J Walter Saucissier on Boul Saint-Joseph by Rue Montcalm. To die for sausages. Good luck making up your mind. The selection is endless. I can’t eat anyone else’s sausages now. Prices decent.

    3) La Cigale in Chelsea for their ice cream. On Rue Scott. Great garden outside too if you want to rest and lick.

    4) michaelsdolce jams available at similar local stores to Siren Bakery. Check his website.

  • Don (@foodieprints)

    To the Ottawa Magazine, may I ask if you will be revisiting the list? As Anne pointed out in the comment above, we’ve a plethora of new products from Ottawa’s wonderful local producers.

    Also, many of the local food bloggers are putting together checklists (myself included), now that your updated 101 lists to try are finally online.

    Kudos for helping to make Ottawa’s signature foods accessible!

  • Prettytastyreviews blogspot

    This list is very interesting and I learned of a lot of new places.
    I think I will “borrow” your idea and make my own list of my blog.
    There are many other places that are not listed,and I would also like to see a list where people can get around by bus or bike…since I am vehicle challenged.

  • Goinout

    We tried number 19 Barbe’s Roast Pork Sandwich. The sandwich was one thin slice of pork and not much taste. The total for 2 small sandwiches, 2 coffee and 1 small side of fries came to $19.50. I questioned the bill and was told the sandwich alone was $6. Unbelievable. Will never go back

  • Dave

    Working my way through it :)

  • One of Ottawa’s Real Foodies

    Since this list was put together, I feel like I need to do a shout out to Edgar at 60 rue Bégin Gatineau (Hull sector). I go for the soups. Others can’t get enough of her paninis or bakery treats. Opened Halloween 2010. Maybe we will see it on the 2011 list. Maybe. 58 people rated it on 100% liked it. Sure Marysol has her groupies, but it appears that anyone lured there by all the buzz has left with belly happiness.

    Although the Golden Palace’s egg rolls aren’t quite the posh of bison egg rolls found at La Trappe à Fromage, they just seem to be an Ottawa institution that is worthy of 101 Tastes status. People flock from miles around to get them. Many a GF egg roll has been security checked at the YOW.

  • lola

    I have recently visited a ‘tasteful’ little restaurant on Preston Street called Ristorante La Dolce Vita. They serve up some wonderful Italian recipes and also boast an amazing gluten-free menu. Their Gourmet pizzas are to die for.

    They should surely be mentioned in the 101 Tastes.
    Try them and you will believe.