The small outdoors: 10 patios on Laurier (and 2 bonus food trucks)

Persian Cuisine Express with great lunch time specials just west of Bank.
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At first glance, Laurier Ave in Ottawa might come across as a concrete jungle-like street with uninspiring buildings. But in the end, it’s the people who ‘make’ a street: there are a number of coffee places and restaurants with outdoor terraces. I went out at lunch time and found 12 places with a terrace to watch the world go by and see cyclists in particular.

Watching the world go by

It is quite fun to see that virtually every few minutes someone cycles by, usually very calmly. Added bonus, you can keep an eye on your bike if you are sitting outside. The last one on the (geographical east to west) list, “Quick Check” at Laurier and Lyon, offers 10% discount on a number of items: I strongly recommend the samosas. Obviously, there are more food and beverage places but they don’t have outdoor places. The Dutch have a neat word for the food and beverage industry: “Horeca” (from hotels, restaurants and cafes). It is such a common word, that many don’t even know it is an abbreviation of three words.

Strategically located, Starbucks has sun (and higher prices).
Orient House seems to be popular as its terrace is full (or do they have a good deal at lunch?).
There are actually two Manhattans on Laurier, this is the first one at 200 Laurier.
La Prep is a newer kid on the block and has put 2 tables out for those who want to keep an eye on the main library.
Not really a terrace, but I figured a chip wagon is part of the street scape. This is Tzan at O’Conner, the first of two wagons.
Across the street in this image is the hotdog wagon on Bank as well as Eggspectation (breakfast and lunch only) . Views from the second story.
Persian Cuisine Express with great lunch time specials just west of Bank.
Another Manhattan’s further west on Laurier on the south side.
Gooney’s for sandwiches with a wee terrace just east of Lyon. Note the very un-spandex lady on the bike!
Across Lyon, you’ll find higher end of the market ‘Prime 360’, part of the Minto hotel. Little terrace. Yours truly started here as an immigrant dish washer in 1998 with a university degree.
Quick Check at Lyon has a little terrace and great Samosas. Highly recommended. The owner is so modest, he nearly gives them away. 10% discount and he will not let you turn the discount down: $1.10 for a Somosa.


  1. I sat outside at Manhattans (200 Laurier) the other day and quite enjoyed it. My bike parked within feet of me. I would not have stopped here without the bike lane. As you pointed out, it’s fun to sit and watch the many cyclists go by.

  2. I really enjoyed looking at how liveable Laurier has become; your pictures really show that. When I was downtown last week I couldn’t get over how many bikes were parked. And today, on the radio, I heard something about the inadequacy of bike-racks. We have come a long way. Can you imagine having that kind of discussion 5 years ago in Ottawa?

    • Actually, Citizens for Safe Cycling saw this trend coming. Taking bike racks away while the number of cyclists is growing was a concern that was shared with city staff. City staff said last year, that they will increase the number of racks if needed. On Laurier there is hardly a bike post or tree that has not two or three bikes attached currently. And all signs are pointing towards a further increase of cyclists. Energy prices up, number of bikes up, it is basically a given.

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