Why is it that sweet treats are so tempting? We know they’re not good for us, but those chocolatey, sugary, oh-so-sweet treasures can be awfully hard to resist. And, hey, what’s wrong with giving in once in awhile?
Old Ottawa South residents need not go far to indulge their sweet tooth; two of the cities best known dessert shops are steps from each other on Bank Street. But if you like to travel a little further afield, there are plenty of other options to try. Here’s a sampling:
Life of Pie
Old Ottawa South: Baked from scratch on site, this family-owned bakery specializes in pies – naturally – and was named CTV Ottawa’s pick for best bakery in 2011. Along with sweet fruit pies, there are savoury ones and other baked goods.
Old Ottawa South: With a mission “to make you fall helplessly, head-over-heels in love with gelato”, Stella Luna has earned accolades near and far for its gelato and sorbet. But this Italian café also serves gourmet panini, hearty soups & salads, waffles, crépes, other desserts and specialty coffees.
Orléans: This Quebec-based chocolatier is known for its dipped ice cream, with more than a dozen dipping sauces, but it also offers chocolate treats, truffles, fondue sauces and more for a chocolate lover’s delight.
The Cupcake Lounge
ByWard Market & Westboro: Specializing in – surprise – cupcakes, this bakery offers all-natural, gourmet cupcakes, as well as cakes and other sweet treats, Swiss pressure-brewed coffee, and what it says is Ottawa's one and only cupcake & wine pairing lounge. Fun themed box suggestions of a dozen doughnuts include celebrating Father’s Day, graduation and Canada Day.
Little Italy: It may be known for its biscotti, but Simply Biscotti also offers a selection of savoury and sweet options, as well as coffees and teas. Other locations can be found on Colonnade and Richmond roads.
Vanier: You’ll have to go early to sample Da Bombe’s sweet treats; this store & café is closed in the evenings. But if you do make it by, there are individual-style gourmet desserts and more with a menu that changes daily.
Art Is In Bakery
Little Italy: If you’re a pastry lover (or a bread lover), you can’t miss with this full-service bakery and café. From breads, baguettes and pastries to salads, sandwiches and other sweet treats, Art Is In is a great spot for breakfast or lunch.
Bank & Hunt Club: There is an unusual mix of sweet treats here, with both Lebanese and French offerings. Handmade from scratch, there are cakes, more than 100 pastries, croissants and fair trade organic coffees among the highlights.
Wellington West: Tim Hortons may be a Canadian icon, but for pure doughnut decadence, Suzy Q is tops. Their gourmet offerings include maple bacon (yes, there are bacon bits on top), spicy pineapple, blue vanilla fruit loop (yup, with real Fruit Loops) and salty caramel.
Chinatown: This Asian-style dessert spot is known for its brick toasts, shaved ice and teas. Although the service is said to sometimes be a little slow, there are plenty of board games to keep you busy.
Three Tarts Bakeshop
Centretown: Traditional dessert offerings such as cakes, pies, cookies, squares and, of course, tarts, are the staple of this 20-year-old bakery, which is known for its handmade pastries and support of local fruit farms.
ByWard Market: And, of course, there’s the quintessential Ottawa fried dough staple – the beavertail. If you need a sweet and patriotic fix, the ByWard Market location is open year-round. Fun fact: There have been enough Beavertails sold since 1978 to make a line of the pastries from one end of the country to the other, with pastries to spare.
Thyme & Again
Wellington West: A neighbourhood destination, this café, takeout and artisan food shop offers a varied menu that includes sweet and savory, gluten-free and vegan options, plus a great atmosphere for enjoying a treat.
Lowertown & Alta Vista: An Ottawa institution, this family-run bakery has been around for more than 80 years. Specializing in European-style breads and rolls, and a wide selection of cakes and pastries, many of their products contain no dairy.
Of course, there are many more options around the city to satisfy your sweet tooth – too many to list here. So, if you’ve got a craving, don’t feel guilty about indulging!