If you’re into the paleo diet (which focuses on unprocessed foods, avoiding grains or added sugar), or if you simply lean more towards the meat-and-veggies side of the dining spectrum, there is no shortage of options for you in Ottawa. From fresh casual lunch options to offally-adventurous dinners (see what I did there?), we did all the hunting and gathering for you with this roundup of some of the best Paleo-friendly eats around Ottawa.
North and Navy
Die-hard Paleo converts don’t stop at a steak and salad — they seek out the prize cuts, which means the nutrient-rich liver, heart, and other internal organs. If you like your meals iron-rich as well as delicious, the hearty — yet balanced — Venetian liver and onions at sophisticated Italian restaurant North and Navy may be one of the most satisfying and authentic meals you can get in the city.
Spanish tapas can be a haven for paleo-minded folks, with creative and fresh small plates based around high-quality meat, fish, and vegetables. The biggest challenge when it comes to eating at Bar Laurel is deciding which of the many dishes to dive into first: tuna crudo with watermelon and salsa fresca; blistered peppers with lemon and olive oil; iberico ham, the famous acorn-fed prosciutto that literally melts in your mouth; or, you could go all in with the massive 80-day dry aged ribeye.
This new fast-casual salad spot from the founder of David’s Tea has many filling options for paleo people, and you can make your own salad or warm bowl with no grains or dairy — just plenty of bright, fresh veggies and a protein of your choice. The Brassica, a palate-pleasing mix of broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, orange, and leafy greens with creamy broccoli puree will keep you full until dinner — if you can brave the long lunch lines!
Paleo isn’t all about red meat, of course — you can enjoy all the benefits of caveman living with fresh catch from the sea as well, in which case we suggest stopping by Whalesbone for the best selection of oysters in the city. One of their most interesting mains is also a paleo marvel, combining mackerel and pork belly with baby bokchoy, oyster mushrooms, shitake broth, and ginger.
As if the name weren’t enough to convince you that the carnivorous community is welcome, Fauna’s hangar steak with greens is the perfect simple-yet-delicious lunch if you’re looking for something filling, nutritious, and low-carb. Our cave-dwelling ancestors would certainly approve.