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Downtown Ottawa Guide: Where to Eat, Drink and Shop on Elgin Street



Aerial view of Elgin Street in downtown Ottawa.

Elgin Street, in downtown Ottawa, is one of the busiest streets in the city throughout the year. There are plenty of hotspots along this bustling strip, but we uncover some of the hidden gems that locals have come to love.

Boko Bakery and Brown Loaf Bakery are the sweet-lover’s two can’t-miss shops for sugary delights along Elgin Street. Boko is famous for their custom designed cookies (from Angry Birds to Sesame Street characters) and their entry into the world of cronuts, while Brown Loaf boasts delicious cupcakes and $2 macaroons.
• Boko Bakery, 264 Elgin St., 613-230-2656, map and reviews
• Brown Loaf Bakery, 268 Elgin St., 613- 236-3255, map and reviews

Elgin Street even has its own gelato hangout! Pure Gelato offers multiple flavours made in-house every day, from fruit variations to chocolate delights (Ferrero Rocher gelato, anyone?). If you’re not hankering for a frozen treat, they also offer a selection of crepes and panini.
• Pure Gelato, 350 Elgin St., 613-237-3799
Map and Reviews

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Cross the street with your baked goods in tow to get your caffeine fix at The Ministry of Coffee. This café offers charming décor with beautiful artwork on display; a welcome respite from bland coffee chains. Indulge your inner child and still feel like a grown-up by trying their delicious Nutella Latte.
• The Ministry of Coffee, 279 Elgin St., 613-255-3410
Map and reviews


The Ministry of Coffee combines beautiful décor with some of the best coffee you’ll find in the area

Local grocer and deli, Boushey’s Fruit Mart is a staple of Elgin Street, having been around since 1890. Along with providing everyday grocery needs, Boushey’s also carries salads that are made in-house, sandwiches, and Lebanese fare to go along with their lunch buffet and daily $2 coffee and muffin deal.
• Boushey’s Fruit Mart, 348 Elgin St., 613-236-4482, bousheys.com
Map and reviews

Blink and you could miss Bel Fiore if not for its charming storefront displays. Independently owned by floral designer Minoo Banaei, Bel Fiore has become a favourite among Ottawans for weddings and events throughout the city. Stop by for something to brighten up your hotel room, or pick up some unique accessories for your garden back home.
• Bel Fiore, 276 Elgin St., 613-232-7673, belfiore.ca
Map and reviews


Johnny Farina serves up Italian staples in its suave setting

Advertised as “proudly Canadian, fiercely independent,” Perfect Books is a small but mighty store with a personal feel you won’t find at any of the box-store chains. Employees are happy to assist and recommend items from their stock of local authors and other popular reads. Put your feet up and wind down after a day of wandering, or grab something for the plane ride home.
• Perfect Books, 258 Elgin St., 613-231-6468, perfectbooks.ca
Map and reviews

On the topic of good reads, Mags & Fags is an independent newsstand where you can peruse shelves and shelves of magazines. An Elgin Street mainstay since 1981, the store also serves as a pseudo gift shop, providing an ample selection of cards, stationary, and other souvenirs.
• Mags & Fags, 254 Elgin St., 613-233-9651, magsandfags.ca
Map and reviews

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There is no shortage of restaurants along Elgin Street, but here are a couple that may go unnoticed: Mayflower Restaurant and Pub provides a quaint dining experience that reminds one of an old-fashioned, no frills mom ‘n’ pop establishment. A little further down the street, and just a stone’s throw from the War Memorial, is Johnny Farina, a casual Italian eatery with a rather suave interior. Usually bustling at lunchtime, it’s worth the visit for the chipotle chicken wrap.
• Mayflower Restaurant and Pub, 247 Elgin St., 613-238-3731, map and reviews
• Johnny Farina, 216 Elgin St., 613-565-5155, johnnyfarina.commap and reviews

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