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Quelque Chose Patisserie

4 hours in Ottawa Downtown, spent eating, drinking and little else, makes me a self-declared expert on food worth trying within a 1-km radius. Unpopular opinion: Le Moulin de Provence is rather an overhyped bakery, a quintessential popularized-by-tourists establishment that hasn’t evolved with the times. So after this incredibly underwhelming experience, I made it my day’s mission to eat the best that I could find in its neighbourhood, and here are some TRULY amazing things to eat:

Italian at The Grand:

Boy, does this place serve heavenly Italian! Everything is fresh, the decor is stunning and service is prompt. They also have family sized meals that are huge enough to fill a bunch of hungry people. Recommendations: Burrata, Margherita Pizza, Tuscan Chicken Pizza, Vegetariana Pizza, Verdure Pasta

Macarons and Dark Hot Chocolate at Quelque Chose Patisserie:

THE. BEST. MACARONS! I took so many home and not a single flavour was disappointing. The macarons are so fresh and just the right consistency. They also often experiment with unique flavours (bubblegum, lavender, strawberries and cream) that taste amazing!

This cafe also has thick, delicious hot chocolate topped up with whipped cream and cinnamon powder. There are other variations of hot chocolate, but the one we tried was the dark chocolate and it blew our minds (I don’t usually prefer dark choc but I had to give in!)

Milk Hot Chocolate at Bridgehead:

So creamy and smooth, the milk hot choc at Bridgehead is some of the nicest I’ve had! It reminded me of what I’d been missing this whole time, living on campus and drinking hot choc at Aroma (not a fan of their buttery-oily hot choc). Since Bridgehead can be found on every street corner around here, it’s hot choc galore in this city.

Beavertails Pastries:

If you’ve never tried one, I’ll have you know they’re kind of a huge deal here in Canada. There’s a ton of toppings to pick from, such a cinnamon and sugar (YUM), apple cinnamon (also yum), chocolate hazelnut (always yum) etc. The food truck is a bright red festive colour that you would notice a mile away. The pastry is served hot and fresh and the lines can often be long! Beavertails is also located in tons of other Canadian cities, and you can find one in Toronto near the harbour as well.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory:

*Stepped in; gobbled mini choc truffles’ stepped out* This is a chocolate lover’s dream come true (not exclusive to Ottawa, Rocky Mountain Choc Factory also has a ton of locations!)

Here’s what you will find: Candied apples covered in caramel and chocolate; chocolates of all shapes, sizes and flavours; caramel popcorn, chocolate barks, cookies and ice cream: it’s all found here! Stop by to hoard chocolates, get a sugar rush or take some home for the fam.

Nikita Butalia is a solo 20-something traveler who documents her experiences around India and the rest of the world in witty narratives and travel tales that are best read curling up on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate on a winter evening.

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