Ottawa’s Best Quick Eats

By Kait Labbate

Finding time to savour a proper meal can be a challenge at the best of times. Whether for business travellers carving away a brief stop for lunch, or for explorers seeking to pack the most into a day, this list of take-out-friendly restaurants packs all the flavour of fine-dining into casual spaces that offer a break from your day.  

Oat Couture

1154 Bank St.; https://oatcouturecafe.com/

Open 365 days a year, this Old Ottawa South oatmeal bar serves a fresh take on a breakfast classic, treating oats as the congenial health food that they are. Features include a variety of both sweet and savoury options. Try the Wimbledon Crave Bowl with local strawberries, shortbread and oats, or the Kyoto Savoury Bowl featuring sticky beef brisket, shiitake mushrooms and pickled ginger. The earthy interior and concrete accenting offer a fresh aesthetic to unwind in, as do the street-facing bamboo swing chairs in the shop’s front window. 

Photo of a bowl of oatmeal and berries paired with a photo of the cafe counter and server.

Farinella

492 Rochester St.; https://www.farinellaeats.com/

This Roman-style pizzeria serves up slices cut to order by size and priced by weight and baked with Italian take-out tradition in mind. Grab a slice of thin-crust pizza Rossa – house-made tomato sauce with Sicilian oregano- and chat at a hightop table while sipping espresso, eating as the Romans do. End your indulgent lunch hour with gelato for the road. 

Interior photo of Farinella sign paired with a photo of pizzas and a drink in the middle.

Paradise Poké

134 Bank St.; https://www.paradisepoke.ca/

A staple for downtown office workers, Paradise Poké adds a tropical bliss to the lunch hour with fresh raw bowls like the Royal Hawaiian Poke Bowl with ahi tuna, green onion and sesame seeds or the Lu’ua Bowl with sweet Asian chicken, purple cabbage and mango. Let the island decor and fresh coconut water soothe your lunch hour into a savoury trip to southern shores and palm fronds.   

Photo of a girl serving the Poke bowls paired with a photo closeup of a poke bowl.