Vegan Eats in Ottawa

Two weeks ago, Corbin and I took a little road trip to Ottawa! I really wanted to visit because my best friend Mel is moving across the world this week, and I wanted to give her a hug before she left. Some sweet friends of Corbin's also just moved to Ottawa, so the whole thing seemed like a great excuse for an adventure!

We spent a lot of time visiting and catching up with our friends, and planned a couple fun meals out to enjoy some highly recommended vegan restaurants. On the Saturday night we headed to Zen Kitchen with my friend Laura for dinner.

Zen Kitchen is a gourmet vegan restaurant that recently reopened after undergoing a change in owners. I started drooling over their vegan and gluten free friendly menu for about 24 hours before we actually arrived - everything sounded so good!

We decided on the black bean cakes and crispy mushroom appetizer to start.


The black bean cakes had good flavor, but were a bit dry. They came with a really tasty side of corn chips, salsa, guacamole and cashew sour cream which we really enjoyed. The crispy mushrooms were a hit! The dipping sauces made them even better. I wish I could eat these all the time.


For our mains, Laura had the Caesar salad (complete with polenta croutons and tofu), Corbin had the Royal Zen Burger and I got the lemon scented gnocchi. While everyone's meals looked, smelled and tasted delicious, I won the dinner round. The gnocchi was sublime. From the well cooked veggies, to the mushroom-leek cream sauce, I was in heaven. I loved every bite, especially since gnocchi isn't something I get to eat very often!

The dessert menu looked awesome, but the peanut butter and chocolate pie had caught my eye when I was perusing the menu on the drive up to Ottawa. All 3 of us decided to get it and we were not disappointed. It was absolutely delicious!! Unlike many peanut butter and chocolate desserts, this one was more peanut butter than chocolate, which I really liked. It had a great gluten free crust and was topped with coconut cream. I want to go back just so I can eat this pie again!



Overall it was a really lovely meal. The service was great and they were very diligent about my gluten intolerance, which I really appreciated! Definitely a fancier dinner out that we would normally do, but certainly nice as a treat with amazing company.

We had plans for brunch with Mel and her partner on Sunday morning and she suggested we go to Cafe My House.



I understand that they recently moved to a new location on Wellington Street West and I loved everything about the decor. It was so cute inside! Since it was a nice weekend, we scored a sweet table on the back patio for our brunch.


This was another menu I had been checking out in advance, though I still found it difficult to choose because everything sounded amazing! I started with the Cacao Latte, which was really good, though a little sweet for me.


I decided on the Chipotle BLT mostly because it had a waffle bun. Holy wow.


It was AWESOME. Also, gigantic. But so good. I loved every bite.



Everyone else enjoyed their meals and I would certainly love to go back there to try the dinner menu sometime.

Over dinner the night before, Laura had mentioned a vegan bakery where she had enjoyed the most amazing cupcake and we decided to check it out! Auntie Loo's Treats is Ottawa's first 100% vegan bakery. They have an amazing selection of cupcakes, donuts, squares and buns with a small selection of gluten free items. We had a great visit to the shop and scored some treats for the ride home.




We spent the afternoon in the sunshine at a Provincial Park and I got to give Mel all sorts of hugs. It's been awhile since we've lived in the same city, but this move is going to be a HUGE change and because she's my best friend I want the best for her. I'm so glad we were able to sneak in a visit and have some lovely time together before she left. Love that girl!

The vegan scene in Ottawa is up and coming and it's neat to try out some new places each time I visit. It was an incredible weekend with some wonderful people and some really delicious food!

1 comment:

Laura Cox said...

Oh you made it to Auntie Loo's, that's awesome! Super jealous that you had the Chipolte BLT at Cafe my House, I've been wanting to try that since they added it to the menu. Also, your pictures from Zen Kitchen turned out amazing...props to Corbin for lighting assistance!