The Ottawa Citizen published an article yesterday about Little Italy’s “Foodie Renaissance” and the headline could not be more correct. We are so excited for the exciting new stores and restaurants taking up residence in one of Ottawa’s most vibrant neighbourhoods.

With the building of nine plus condominiums in the works or in the future for the neighbourhood of Little Italy, that consists of the area around Preston and Carling, there will be at least 5,000 more residents to cater to, reports the Citizen. Retailers and restaurateurs alike are seizing the opportunity and getting their new spots open before the tide of newcomers settles in.

Some of the exciting new places include a new Nicastro’s entitled La Bottega Nuovo, a spice shop called Cardamom and Cloves and new restaurants: EVOO, Salt and MeNa plus one that is already open and thriving…The Rex.


What Are They?

1. La Bottega Nuovo – Set to be a 5,000 square foot grocer, café, bistro, cooking school, patio and more on the ground floor of the new Domicile Building opening in 2016. Pat Nicastro, owner, says that it will be a place where “you can drop in at 4 pm for a glass of wine and salumi, and walk out of there for $5″….sounds good to us!

2. Cardamom and Cloves – Recently opened spice retail store on Preston, this fragrant, delicious spice shop has over 100 types of rare spices available to be bought in bulk. Owner, Jodi Samis, is also there to offer advice on recipes and cooking.

3. Salt – Expect a trendy, lively restaurant with creative food from Chef Aaron Wong (Play, ARC Hotel, 10Fourteen) and Chef Jessica Hendren (Town) mixed with live music, long opening hours and a huge patio. Opening is scheduled for May.

4. MeNa – This small restaurant, just opened on February 12th, offers a warm and inviting atmosphere with impressive food from impressive Chefs. The Citizen reports that no fancy restaurant pretension is present even though the classically prepared French food is handled with extreme love and care.

5. The Rex – This restaurant opened with a bang for lunch hour in November and only recently started serving dinners on the weekends. Great reviews, experienced Chef Cody Starr (The Urban Pear), local & seasonal ingredients plus a good atmostphere will make this restaurant an Ottawa foodie favourite quickly!

6. EVOO – Unwilling to open anywhere but Preston Street, owner Elias Theodossiou, was granted his dream when this Greek restaurant opened on December 4th. Lots of warmth in the atmosphere, fresh dishes, Greek wines that you won’t find anywhere else in the city….homemade desserts….sounds good!

Stay tuned to our event pages for an upcoming Little Italy “crawl” event that we have in the works….