LIVING with kids

Where to eat well in Gatineau and Ottawa with kids

Last fall, we had a great time with our 4 years old boy visiting the Gatineau/Ottawa region for a weekend. Our only plans for the weekend were meeting some friends on Sunday and visiting the Children’s museum. Whenever I’m in vacation, I rely on Yelp to find restaurants. Once again, I was reminded of how practical Yelp is.

The filtering options make it easy to cut down on the number of reviewed restaurants. As a rule of thumb, I focus on restaurants with 40 reviews or more. I also take the time to read the most recent reviews to get a feel of the place, to see if it fits our criteria, what we’re craving for at that moment. Then, I check the food pictures and visit their web site. Frankly, I rarely made bad choices with this technique.

First stop: Burgers at Le Foubrac, 47 Montclair Blvd., Gatineau

We arrived at 7:30 Friday night in Ottawa. After checking in at our hotel, we started to look for a place to eat. My toddler ate an apple and raisins on our way to Ottawa. He was getting hungry. We searched for a casual local restaurant with uncomplicated food. We opted for Le Foubrac. The place has a laid-back atmosphere. The friendly waiter brought my son’s meal before ours. Since we didn’t ask for it, we were impressed!

My son ate their Oktoberfest sausage and mustard small plate. My husband and I went for their tasty burgers (Le Hullois, Le Montclair). We share a side of French Fries and green salad. It was plenty! With two beers, our bill was only $35 before tips.

Second stop: Brunch at Chez Edgar, 60 Begin St., Gatineau

The place was filled with a trendy crowd, including parents with babies and several competitive cyclists who were taken a break from their long ride.

chez edgar brunch menuFood and service were a treat. The brunch menu is small but original. I ate the Dutch Baby which is a oven-baked crepe topped with apple, big chunks of old cheddar, pork belly and maple syrup. My husband opted for a regular menu item, the huevos rancheros. They don’t carry small dishes. Either you share your plate with kids or browse their selection of pastries. My son took a strawberry and vanilla scone. He drank one of the best hot chocolate I ever tasted. I’ll definitely go back.

One detail that you need to know is that Chez Edgar is a tiny restaurant. Therefore, it’s hot inside with the big stove and ovens. It’s probably delightful in winter but so much on a summer day. We were glad to sit on the terrace with its nice breeze.

Third Stop: Dinner at La Roma Restaurant, 430 Preston Street, Ottawa

This is a classic, family-owned italian restaurant, which is what we wanted for dinner Saturday night. Like we often do when we eat out, we shared our plates with our son. I don’t recall seeing a kids menu. We ordered two appetizers, two main dishes and one dessert. It was plenty for the three of us.

My only regret is that I ordered the cannelloni because I thought that my son would like it. The cannelloni tasted good but it was not my first choice. I should have ordered their vitello La Roma since my son ate instead the vitello alla Parmigiana that my husband ordered.

We arrived early for the first service. Nobody minded that we were with a young child even though it was Saturday night. We felt welcome as a family.

Canadian Museum of History, 100 Rue Laurier, Gatineau

Parents won’t regret a visit the Children’s Museum. It’s a section at the Canadian Museum of History. Plan 2 to 3 hours to visit. Otherwise, you’ll get tears and arguments from your little ones. All the children that were there had a lot of fun in the pretend play attractions.

This post originally appeared on KimVallee.com