Anne DesBrisay is the restaurant critic for Ottawa Magazine. She has been writing about food and restaurants in Ottawa-Gatineau for 25 years and is the author of three bestselling books on dining out. She is head judge for Gold Medal Plates and a member of the judging panel at the Canadian Culinary Championships.
Café My House
The menu at this adorable South Ottawa café is predominantly vegan, Pan-Asian in focus, and best known for its brunches. Try the ample vegan bibimbap, the polenta-crusted tempeh, or the gnocchi fashioned with squash and sage. Café My House, 1015 Wellington St. W., 613-733-0707
Try exceptional international vegan cuisine at Zen, where you’ll find dishes that are adventurous and playful and attract both meat lovers (on a break) and meat shunners (who have found a high-end restaurant to call home). 634 Somerset St. W., 613-233-6404.
La Belle Verte
Cheery green and proudly bohemian, La Belle Verte’s soundtrack to lunch is the high-speed blender whirring and grinding the day’s menu. What isn’t raw is mostly vegan. Desserts are shockingly good. 166, rue Eddy, Gatineau, 819-778-6363.
The daily buffet at this Wellington West institution casts its vegetarian net widely for inspiration. Dishes are fully indexed and coded, with all ingredients clearly spelled out. The Table, 1230 Wellington St. W., 613-729-5973.
The Green Door
The first and the longest-running, the Green Door daily buffet caters to vegans, vegetarians, dairy-free, nut-free, wheat-free, gluten-free, and parliamentarians weary of rubber chicken. The food is fresh, well made, clearly labelled, and awfully wholesome. Communal seating. 198 Main St., 613-234-9597.