I’ve been making a real effort to get out and about this city and get to places around Ottawa that I’ve never been to. Coffee shops, parks, boutiques… there are so many fantastic places to go and I’ve hardly scratched the surface!
One of the big things I noticed when I first moved here was that there were so many local businesses – and that the people here actually supported them. Wait, what?! Everyone didn’t eat at restaurant chains all the time and only shop at malls? Amazing. And so refreshing.
At first I was taking my big camera with me when I’d go somewhere new, but then I realized that a lot of the time I would rather sit and enjoy the place and the people I was with rather than have a camera in front of my face the whole time. Huh, who knew.
So my plan of posting “real” photos about every place flew out the window and I’m so okay with that. Sometimes you just have to enjoy things in the moment and not Snapchat it, Instagram it, or blog about it ;)
Okay, so I am blogging about it, but I’ve condensed the last few adventures into one post with mixed photos and will maybe do another post later this summer too. Here we go!
Little Jo Berry’s is an cute little cafe that opened up recently among the shops and boutiques that make up Wellington West. Their menu has the standard coffee shop drinks, but they also change up their food menu daily. From ice cream sandwiches and pastries to breakfast foods and pizza, they seem to make whatever they feel like every day and it all looks amazing.
Most of it is dairy free, gluten free, or vegan (all vegan maybe?) so if that’s your thing they’ve totally got you covered. And if it’s not your thing it doesn’t matter because you won’t be able to tell the difference. That ice cream sandwich up there? Gluten free, dairy free, egg free… and it tasted amazing to this I’ll-eat-anything girl over here ;)
Little Italy has always been a favorite place of mine in the city. I don’t get there often (other than driving through it on the way to somewhere else), but Matt and I try to get there every summer during Italian Week. There’s always tons of events going on and the restaurants that line the street usually all have something special going on.
This year we went out on the hottest day in history (okay, not an actual fact but it was around +38°C with zero breeze. Yikes.) so we didn’t last very long.
blumenstudio is one of those places that I had always heard of and wanted to check out, but I never buy myself flowers so I didn’t go. Then after following them on Instagram I learned that it’s not just a florist, but a cafe too! So I knew I definitely needed to go one day.
This is one of the places that I brought my big camera and probably should’ve taken real photos because everything in there is just so pretty!
There’s trees, succulents, cacti, cute planters and pots, air plants, displays, a cozy sitting area, and a way-too-cute shop dog. But it also has kind of a sanctuary feeling to it that I just didn’t feel right taking out the big guns so I iPhone camera’d it and just enjoyed being there.
Dumpling Park is another Instagram discovery – gotta love social media sometimes :) Fittingly it’s a totally Instagrammable little secret garden tucked in behind Morning Owl‘s Rochester location. They have 3 menu items a day which include dumplings (obviously), rice bowl, noodle bowl, or vegan bowl.
They also have this awesome mural wall that just gave me all the heart eyes
I went for the Crack Bowl which was filled with pork belly, crack sauce (I don’t know what it was, but it was delicious), crispy rice cake, and apple and cabbage slaw. So good!
I also didn’t take any pictures of the food… and I didn’t realize until I was home later that day that I didn’t even try the dumplings. Oh darn, now I have to go back ;)
Hogs Back Park is made up of walking trails, waterfalls, park space, the Rideau River, and giant flat topped stones that are perfect for hanging out on on a summer day!
There’s also a concession nearby, and if you take a short walk across the road you’ll end up at Mooney’s Bay park which is home to my favorite beach in Ottawa. Hopefully I’ll have that in another post later this summer!
Where are some of your favorite places to go in your city? Any fav spots in Ottawa that I need to hit up? Let me know in the comments!