Students talked, these are the top five healthy restaurants in Ottawa

Everybody knows the location of their fast food restaurant of choice, the menu and how unhealthy it is. Students might be tempted to have a quick snack between classes because they have no time or money to make something good themselves. Students from the University of Ottawa, Carleton University and Algonquin College were asked where students should go to get nutritious food without sacrificing time. These are the top five places they suggested.

Pure Kitchen

With four locations in Ottawa, Pure Kitchen has one of the best vegan and vegetarian menus.

They serve snacks, appetizers, cold and hot bowls, as well as sandwiches and burgers. The restaurant was created by Amber Stratton and Jen Dalgleish who are Co-owners of Pure Yoga. They were concerned about the food their participants were getting so they asked them what would they like to eat and based their first menu on that.

“The menu at Pure Kitchen is vegetarian and vegan food,” says Algonquin College first-year journalism student Laura Nelson. “They are really about healthy lifestyle choices.”

They work with no meat and the difference between their vegan and vegetarian options is the cheese as vegan food doesn’t include cheese. It is important for them to include everybody with dietary restrictions so they have gluten-free and nut-free options. They stay local, their food is brought from farms close to the city and they make everything themselves.

“It is a really good place to connect with people over local, fresh food and we always have new stuff every week,” says Victoria Whaley, kitchen manager of the Westboro branch. “You can know that when you are spending your money here it’s going back to the community as well.”

This might be the most expensive option of the five, but the quality and freshness of the food are worth it.

Most popular hot bowl: FANTASTIC, which includes; peanut sauce (replaceable), ginger lime tofu, broccoli, red peppers, kale, scallions, cilantro, roasted peanuts (replaceable) and rice noodles.

Locations:

Elgin

340 Elgin St, Ottawa ON

Westboro

357 Richmond Rd, Ottawa ON

Kanata

499 Terry Fox Dr #55, Ottawa ON

Preston

345A Preston St, Ottawa On

 

 

Freshii

With six locations around the city, Freshii is the most vivid example of healthy fast food.

This is the place for the people who don’t want to wait for good food. People come to Freshii to get quick nutrition in the shape of wraps, bowls, burritos, snacks and soup.

They have many options for drinks such as smoothies, supercharged juices, naturally flavoured sparkling water and even regular pop. They have a wide breakfast menu but as Freshii worker, Chris Aldrich says, “the breakfasts aren’t that popular.”

“It’s not like McDonald’s or all the other places,” says Aldrich. “Students can afford to come here, it’s healthy and they don’t have to wait for five hours cooking a meal.”

The price is, after the freshness of the food, the best thing about this place with wraps averaging at $8. They offer seasonal specials planned to keep the healthy and hungry properly fed.

“They really care about how you eat and have something available for everybody,” says Algonquin College pre-trades student, Mackenzie Lafontaine. “Plus, it’s pretty cheap. You are getting fresh, healthy food at fast food chains.”

Popular bowl: OAXACA BOWL, which consists of; brown rice and kale, avocado, beet slaw, black beans, corn, salsa fresca, crispy wontons, a lime wedge and spicy yogurt sauce.

Locations:

Nepean

290

W Hunt Club Rd, Ottawa ON

Barrhaven

4235 Strandherd Drive, Ottawa ON

Richmond

342 Richmond Rd., Ottawa ON

Laurier

50 Laurier Ave. East Unit 104, Ottawa ON

Klondike

1106 Klondike Rd. Unit 5b, Ottawa ON

 

 

Mad Radish

It started out as a salad restaurant where people could find a healthy alternative to fast food, now, they have expanded to include soups, sandwiches and hand pies.

Employees are trained to make salads in one minute or less. Considering dietary restrictions, Mad Radish has gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options.

“It’s important to consider if [visitors] have any allergies because we’re touching everything and we need to make sure that everything stays clean,” says Rachel Booth, a Mad Radish worker and fourth-year media communications and environmental studies at Carleton University. “They need to know that they can customize the salads if there’s an ingredient they don’t want, we are happy to switch it out.”

They use local ingredients so they have to update their menu according to the season. This is good for the customers who want to try new quick and healthy food.

“The fired up chicken salad Is really good and so is the focaccia,” says Athena Robbins, a second-year bachelor of social science at the University of Ottawa. “They switch up their ingredients to match the season so everything is pretty fresh.”

Popular bowl: FIRED UP CHICKEN, which includes; spicy braised chicken, brown rice, roasted sweet potato, spicy broccoli, pickled radish and crunchy corn nuts.

Locations:

Kent and Slater

275 Slater St, Ottawa ON

Albert and Metcalf

116 Albert St, Ottawa ON

The Glebe

859 Bank St, Ottawa ON

 

36 Pho Viet Cuisine

A Vietnamese restaurant located 10 minutes away from Algonquin College, 36 Pho Viet Cuisine has been in business for about seven years. It is one of the most authentic Vietnamese restaurants in the city. They offer the common Pad Thai and more traditional dishes. The restaurant has also a mixture of Asian dishes for people who seek a good Vietnamese soup and spring rolls, for example.

“We have rice noodle, which is very healthy,” says restaurant owner, Qui Caoli. “It’s light, it doesn’t sit with you after you eat it.”

All of the ingredients they use are made in the restaurant in order to give customers healthy food. There are veggie versions of most dishes; mostly in soups where chicken or beef can be replaced with tofu. Because of the smell of the food, this is an immersive place that takes you outside of Canada. With one of the multiple soups, it is easy to forget the cold winter weather Ottawa has.

Popular dish: Bun Cha Ha Noi, which includes; Hanoi-style grilled pork and house specialty-seasoned minced pork cakes.

Location:

Merivale

1600 Merivale Road, Unit 5, Ottawa ON

 

Green Rebel

A place for people who care about their food and the environment, Green Rebel is a chain that tries to change Ottawa by inviting people to use what they call, a “rebel bowl.” The rebel bowl is made out of bamboo fiber. It is reusable and will decompose when it becomes useless. For every customer who brings their own rebel bowl, they’ll get 50 cents off a salad. It’s not a huge discount but it improves the customer’s carbon footprint. They have salads, sandwiches, wraps and smoothies.

“Green Rebel is alright if you’re on a budget and you want stuff really quickly,” says Carleton psychology student, Jordan McManus. “It’s affordable. Nothing that would break the bad guy’s bag.”

Green Rebel also has a smartphone app where people can register, order online and order for pick-ups.

Interesting sandwich: ROASTED EGGPLANT, which includes; roasted eggplant, pickled eggplant, hummus, provolone, basil, tomato, romaine, aioli.

Locations:

Bank

99 Bank St G009, Ottawa ON

Albert

340 Albert St #140, Ottawa ON

CF Rideau Centre

50 Rideau St, Ottawa ON

Elgin

160 Elgin St, Ottawa ON

 

If you’re still hungry and have no money left, why not grow your own healthy food? Check this link to find more: http://glueottawa.com/2017/01/24/foraging-makes-finding-free-food-easier-youd-think/

Do you avoid eating certain foods because you think you are allergic to them? Are you sure about that? Check this article by the Ottawa Citizen to find more: https://ottawacitizen.com/life/food/food-allergy-or-indigestion-millions-of-adults-unnecessarily-avoiding-certain-foods-study-suggests/wcm/5b6b8492-1ed5-4290-b926-d24144f339fd

 

*Disclaimer. The restaurants are in no particular order. Students were asked on social media about their favourite healthy places to eat, these are the ones they mentioned the most.

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