Eating & Drinking

Five old faithfuls — Ottawa restaurants that have stood the test of time

Our zeal for what’s trending can mean we forget about those restaurants that have been standing sentry for decades. Here are some favourite old geezers, still delivering the good stuff. 

susihi

C’est Japon à Suisha 208 Slater St.

Once called Suisha Gardens, this one clocks in as the eldest of this list. Open since 1974, it may look its age – the 43-year-old hasn’t succumbed to the pressures of a facelift – but its cuisine is fresh, its sushi sparkling, and traditional Japanese dishes (gyoza, tempura, udon, donburi) remain strengths.

greendoor

The Green Door198 Main St.
Ottawa’s oldest vegetarian restaurant, found on Main Street since 1988, is still delivering a smorgasbord of eclectic veggie, vegan, organic, gluten-free, nut-free dishes. Now it’s in an expanded space with a window onto the work of the whirling dervish of a veggie kitchen.

mekong

Mekong687 Somerset St. W.
A dish of fresh grouper bathed in a gentle  ginger sauce, the fish falling into petals at the nudge of a chopstick, proves this guy’s still got it. Clocking in at 33 years old, Mekong now has a pared-down menu and a bulked-up wine list.

fougeres

Les Fougères783, Rte. 105, Chelsea
Twenty-three years young, which makes it one of the oldest fine-dining restaurants in the region, Les Fougeres just reopened with a new look and menu, one that offers the option of grazing alongside the tasting menu.

italian

Il Vagabondo186 Barrette St.
For 30-some years (a lady never reveals her age) and still run by the eccentrically lovable chef Adrianna Roy, this New Edinburgh/Vanier restaurant complete with time warp decor and dated menu still dishes up some of the best lasagna in town.