Dining Out Zero Waste in Ottawa | A Restaurant Guide

20150626_140032 dine zero waste in ottawa copyI almost always make my own food for breakfast, lunch and dinner but about twice a week, we’ll treat ourselves, whether it’s just for beers, a dessert or a meal. I’ve always been a big foodie and while I have yet to try all restaurants in Ottawa (aiming to only try those local – I hate big chains now), I have been to a few restaurants that I applaud for their attempts at Zero Waste, even if they have no idea that they are doing it. There are way more I’ve visited, but I’ve only been keeping track of the places that I’ve been to since starting this journey. This blog was actually inspired by Marie, who got in touch with me about places to eat in Ottawa as she was visiting from out of town. I’ll try to list them with my notes, by area and link them. I’ll also continue to update this list or make changes or suggestions as I continue.

TIPS:

  • For places that you need to bring your napkin, if you truly forget and must use one, I take my napkins home and compost them. Often I bring anything that I haven’t thrown out home to compost, such as tea bags, paper towels I use in washrooms (but I almost always bring my own napkin) and the paper used around ice cream cones. Ottawa is also wonderful for providing homes with green bins. My building doesn’t have any yet, but if I don’t make it to my parents, I drop it off at a neighbours.
  • I almost always assume that every single restaurant will have milk and creamers in plastic and sugar in packages unless otherwise noted. I either don’t drink coffee, drink it black or pack my own supply.
  • For most breakfast joints, I have come to learn that you will need to your own jam and peanut butter, as well as milk and sugar, because almost all of the places will have the typical packaging. My son loves the jam and opens them when I am not looking. I have sometimes mashed up fruit and spread it on his toast instead.
  • For places where I forget to say “No Straw Please”, and that give me straws anyway, I also try to remember to take them home to use in an art project or stick it in my jar. This makes me accountable for my actions and reminds me to take more care. There are options of metal straws you can buy.
  • I also try to order small portions, eat every single piece of food on my plate or take it home. Normally I share food with baby boy and never order him his own plate. The amount of food that is wasted is appalling and takes up a lot of landfill, often ending up in conditions where food can not break down properly.
    **Roughly one third of the food produced in the world every year (1.3 billion tonnes) gets wasted or lost. Read HERE.
    I don’t take wasting food lightly anymore so I make a HUGE effort to eat and use every food item I buy whether I am dining out or shopping for home. This will be in another post.

So let’s get started. Also – clearly I don’t make it East enough so maybe for those of you out there that do, please share!

DOWNTOWN:

Brothers Beer Bistro
Great for Lunch, Dinner or light eating
– Uses cloth napkins, doesn’t put straws in your drinks.
– Beer on tap served in glass, food is served on real plates with cutlery
– Uses a real dish for condiments (dressing) not plastic ones
– Great portions of food limiting food waste
– Allows you to take away leftovers with your own container

Petit Perú (also located in Chinatown)
Great for Lunch, Dinner or light eating
– Bring your own napkin
– Beer served in glass, food is served on real plates with cutlery
– Portions can be quite large so be prepared to share or bring a take away container

GLEBE:

Erlings Variety
Great for Lunch, Dinner or light eating
– Bring your own napkin
– Dressing comes on the salad and not in a plastic cup
– Beer on tap served in glass, food is served on real plates with cutlery
– Great portions of food limiting food waste
– Allow you to take away leftovers with your own container

Morala Café
Great for coffee and light eating
– Bring your own napkin
– Fair Trade and Local (You can buy Happy Goat Coffee in a paper bag)
– You can bring your own coffee mug or ask them for a mug to stay in, a jug of milk and sugar in a jar is used.
– Allow you to take away leftovers with your own container
– Food is served on real plates with cutlery

CHINATOWN

Honey Town
(they don’t have a real website so I linked to Ottawa Foodies)
Great for light eating and dessert
– Bring your own napkin
– They don’t offer straws
– Food and drinks are served in plastic but they are washed and reusable, with cutlery
– Great portions of food limiting food waste. I shared everything with a friend.

PHO RESTAURANTS
I’m just going to talk generically about all of them as I have frequented all of the ones in China Town, in the west and in the south. I will always love Pho and have my own specific places I go to that I love best. All you need to remember is this:
– Bring your own napkin
– Say no to straws
– Say no to any candies or fortune cookies as they are always wrapped in plastic
– Always bring a take away container. I often bring a mason jar.

CENTRETOWN WEST

Art-is-in Bakery (Near Lebreton Flats)
Great for lunch, coffee and bread
– Bring your own napkin
– Bring your own pillow cases for bread (at the end of every day they do 2 for 1 bread @ $5)
– If you sit in, ask for a mug for your coffee, otherwise bring your own coffee mug
– Food is served on real plates with cutlery, but I’d still bring my own cutlery – it can get really busy and if you’re in need of a fork, it can be hard to get someone to help you.

WEST

Suzy Q’s Doughnuts (Hintonburg)
Great for dessert and coffee

– Bring your own napkin
– You can bring your own container for donuts. Served in singles, 6 packs or 10 packs
– Donuts also come packaged in cardboard so you can compost the cardboard
– They also allow you to bring in your own mug for the coffee, and have a jug of milk/cream and a jar of sugar out.

West End Well Co-op Cafe and Grocery Store (Hintonburg)
Great for light eating (food is served only until 2pm) and buying bulk and groceries produced locally
I recently became a member of this place, meaning I have an opportunity to come to the meetings and share any insights I may have or suggest changes. But there here are so many good things to talk about that I will leave this for a separate post. The picture you see above is one of the spreads that I had when I first visited. Most items made or sold in house, including their own beer that they brew in house, which was fantastic.

Hintonburg Public House
Great for light eating, lunch and dinner

– Bring your own napkin
– Condiments come in a small ceramic cup not the plastic one
– Beer on tap served in glass, food is served on real plates with cutlery
– Great portions of food limiting food waste
– Allow you to take away leftovers with your own container

Truffle Treasures (Westboro)
Great for gelato
– You can bring in your own container for single servings of gelato
– You can get a cone, which they use a tiny paper to protect it, which you compost the paper.
– Most chocolates are packaged in plastic, but a few are wrapped in single paper cups which you can compost
– Bathroom is stocked with recycled toilet paper, exactly what I use, that comes wrapped in paper

Pure Kitchen (Westboro)
Great for vegetarians, light eating, lunch or dinner
– Bring your own napkin and cutlery. Cutlery is wrapped in napkins.
– They offer straws, so say no
– Dressing comes on the salad and not in a plastic cup
– Beer in bottles, food is served on real plates with cutlery
– Food portions are sized well, but can also be shared.

Ceylonta (also located on Somerset)
Great for lunch or dinner
– Bring your own napkin
– They don’t offer straws
– Beer in bottles, food is served on real plates with cutlery
– Food portions can be large so prepared to share and bring your own take away container

Wellington Diner (Westboro)
Great for breakfast
– Bring your own napkin, milk and sugar for coffee, bring your own jam and peanut butter
– Say no to the straws and no to the little plastic cup that they put dressing or condiments in
– Food is served on real plates with cutlery
– Food portions are large so bring a take away container

Benji’s Vietnamese Cuisine
Great for lunch or dinner
– Uses cloth napkins, doesn’t put straws in your drinks.
– Beer on tap served in glass, food is served on real plates with cutlery
– Food portions can be shared
– Allows you to take away leftovers with your own container
– Say no to the candies they give you at the end of your meal

Singha Thai (Merivale)
Great for lunch or dinner
– Bring your own napkin
– Beer on tap served in glass, food is served on real plates with cutlery
– Food portions can be shared
– Allows you to take away leftovers with your own container

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Dining Out Zero Waste in Ottawa | A Restaurant Guide

  1. Thanks a lot Mailyne, your list is awesome! I’ll share it with people I know visiting Ottawa. That’s helping a lot!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s