WORDS AND PHOTOS BY EVA BEE
Eat to the Beat is a new series promoting two things that always go well together: music & food! We asked Ottawa chef and music lover, Eva Bee, to pair some her favorite under $10 meals with music from local bands, past and present.
There are more and more hidden treasures in the city when it comes to good quality food. Ultimately cooking at home can be cheaper but sometimes we don’t got time for that. I’ve curated my faves that add up to under $10 tax and tip included.
GF – Gluten Free Options available at establishment
V – Vegan Options available at establishment
- Dumpling Park – behind Morning Owl 538 Rochester St
- Pictured: 6 Dumplings & Zucchini Noodles
- Total Cost $10.00
- Music Pairing: Roberta Bondar – Crave You
This is probably the most adorable food truck, if you can call it that, on the planet. The dumplings here are hand made and seared pot sticker style. You can either have rice or zucchini noodles on the side depending on how hungry you are. I got the noodles and they are perfectly tender and well seasoned. Come here for a light meal or upgrade your bowl to include 10 dumplings instead.
Note: Only opened M-F during the summer months during lunch hours. GF, V
- La Bottega – 64 George St
- Pictured: Panini on House Focaccia & mineral water
- Total Cost: $7.62
- Music Pairing – Babblegoons – Fidel Gastro
An Ottawa institution. Many fight over whether La Bottega or DiRienzo’s has the best Panini in town. Either way, they both use fresh bread, fresh sliced cold cuts and are pretty darn massive for the price. I like Bottega since they make their own focaccia in house and it’s central.
Note: Sandwiches are served cold but during lunch hours, head to their back café and kitchen for a hot Panini and wine. GF, V
- Bobby’s Table – 255 Montreal Rd
- Pictured: Breakfast Special with smoked meat & potato upgrade
- Total Cost: $8.35
- Music Pairing – FET.NAT – Destrire Destroyer
Between 6am – 11am this place offers their $3.99 breakfast special. And it really is special. Because I get the add-ons, it totals to a bit more but you are STUFFED by the end of it. Plus the ambiance and service is worth the trip to Vanier, trust me. It’s the perfect and most endearing diner experience for the price!
Note: Line-ups on the weekends but it moves fast, about 15min. GF
- Bap by Raon Kitchen – April to November, M-F at 115 Bank St. Westboro Framer’s Market Saturdays, Landsdowne Farmer’s Market Sundays.
- Pictured: Tofu Bibimbap
- Total Cost: $9.00
- Music Pairing: Telecomo – Bike
This food truck started off as a farmer’s market stall, was one of the first in Ottawa to be selected for the Food Truck Pilot Project and has been on Bank St. ever since. Prepare yourself for the best kimchi made in Ottawa with delicious fluffy rice, veggies and egg. You’ll feel great after eating this healthy meal!
Note: Their production kitchen at 65 Bently Ave. and has take out available year-round. Ask for their sweet potato noodles (japache) off menu! GF, V
- The Pho Shack – 1202 Wellington St. W
- Pictured: Small Beef Pho #9 – rare beef, tendon, tripe. Tea.
- Total Cost: $11.70
- Music Pairing: The Love Machine – Sweater Weather
Yes, I know. I’m sorry but with tip it comes out to over $10! But I have to shout out one of Ottawa’s newest Pho joints because it’s so darn good. Sometimes the MSG content at other places leaves me with a strange salty taste in my mouth and bloating. This place doesn’t do that to me so there. Honorable mentions: Pho Thu Do (Somerset St. W), Saigon Pho (Somerset St. W) & Authentic Vietnamese House (Greenbank Rd.)
Note: Ask for a bag to take home those extra herbs, lime and bean sprouts. Add them to scrambled eggs the next morning or to a stir fry! GF, V
- Burrito Gringo – Multiple Locations
- Pictured: Veggie Salad Bowl, subbed tortilla bowl out for corn chips
- Total Cost: $9.55
- Music Pairing: Rat Tales – Adult Party
This place is a favourite amongst my health-conscious, budget minded friends since the Ottawa-based company boasts that this is ‘slow food, fast’. You select from a variety of toppings ‘Subway style.’ I must say, it was really delicious and SO filling (I could have easily split it with someone) but I went to the bathroom and wish I didn’t. I guess the bathroom was fast-food style, too.
Note: GF, V