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4 Instagram-Worthy Spots to Eat in Ottawa and What You Should Wear When You Visit

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Ottawa chapter.

As I head into my third year at school in Ottawa, I find myself reflecting on the past two years and how I’ve gotten to know this city. Adventuring to new coffee shops, restaurants, and neighborhoods has definitely been a great way to learn my way around. Whenever I’m in a nostalgic mood, I love to open up Instagram and scroll down my feed while remembering all the places I’ve been, who I was with, and what I ate while I was there. So what better way to kick off the start of the school year than by sharing with all of you some of the locations I’ve been to and loved. And of course, I conveniently have tons of photographic evidence to back up my claims.

       1. Blumenstudio

Fun fact, my co-worker told me this is where he used to get his ex-girlfriend flowers! While their relationship might not have lasted, my love for this place is definitely eternal. It is 60% flower shop, 40% café which makes it a particularly wonderful place for a photoshoot. Whether you sit on the comfy couch or in the bar stool area, you will be surrounded by tons of lush greenery that is all for sale! But do not fret if you’re not in the market for a houseplant, you can just stick to ordering from their menu which offers a standard selection of coffees and some pastry type snacks. I will say they do an excellent iced vanilla latte! Anyways, on to the outfit!

While fall is rapidly approaching, you still have a couple of weekends of 20-ish degree weather to visit Blumenstudio in your cutest summer outfit. I would recommend channeling a summer garden party vibe with your clothing because it would stand out well against the dark greens of the plants and complement the overall floral/spring aesthetic of the store. Think white lace, ruffles, flowy pants, and pastel colours. As you can see, I went for a white maxi dress with pink floral print and brown platform heels. The heels were me being a tad extra for the occasion; next time I’d probably go with some nice sandals or flats. And while the summer vibe is really fitting for the store, it could be equally fun to wear something fall-themed like a yellow or red knit sweater, leggings, and ankle boots. I’m not sure how the store changes with the seasons but I can’t wait to go back and find out!

       2. Stella Luna Gelato (Hintonburg location)

This place is honestly so dreamy and while it may be a mission and a half for uOttawa students living on the East side, I would definitely recommend you make the trip out at least once. This location in particular is super gorgeous with large windows that let in so much natural light, especially during golden hour. You know what that means! Prime lighting for some bomb Instagram photos! While they have tons of different flavours of gelato (that you can sample if you ask nicely!), you can also order specialty coffees and other hot drinks. Surprisingly, neither me nor my friend ordered coffee on this day. All I remember is that we got a hot cider drink and a hot chocolate. They also serve a lunch menu during specific hours. All in all, this would be an excellent place to get together with some friends and hang out over some sweet treats!

As for what you should wear, my suggestion would be dark, cool colours that would stand out against the pastel blue décor and white furniture. I went with a black collared shirt here and found that it really popped against the background in my photos. When I think of this place, I think classic but casual. A dress and heels would be a little too much but something like a nice top and jeans would be perfect!

       3. Cacao 70 and Crust and Crate (Lansdowne)

Ok, so I might be cheating here a bit because everyone knows that Lansdowne, in general, is home to some super cute restaurants but my favourites to go to are Cacao 70 and Crust and Crate. Cacao 70 is a dessert shop that serves THE BEST chocolate fondue and they have multiple locations in the Ott/Gat area. They also have sharing platters served on marble slabs that can include fresh fruit, waffles, graham crackers, brownies, and even marshmallows you can roast yourself! The interior is cozy with warm colours like orange and brown and now that I think of it, it would make the perfect backdrop for a fall outfit. On the other hand, Crust and Crate is a nice pub-style restaurant that isn’t too fancy or expensive and is great for a student budget. Based on the multiple occasions I’ve been here, their food is tasty and they serve cocktails which are great for a ladies’ night. While their lighting is romantic, it’s not the most conducive for taking photos. So take a page out of my book and use the surrounding area of Lansdowne Place for your OOTD.

On this day, I chose to wear a striped tank, white shorts, and a denim jacket. I decided to dress up the outfit by pairing it with thigh high boots that, for some reason, keep scrunching down to my knees. Don’t you just hate it when that happens? Anyways, while you might think I’m going to recommend wearing something to contrast your surroundings, this time I actually enjoyed how cohesive my outfit looked with the greys of the buildings. Big tip: When in doubt, wear neutral tones! If you’re not sure how casual or fancy to dress, I find that neutral tones like black, white, blue, and tan are pretty safe so that you can stay looking great, no matter where the night takes you!

       4. The Vanitea Room

I had to mention this place, if only because they have bottomless mimosas! The food was a bit pricey but that’s not unexpected in the realm of fanciful tea salons. I happened to go with my family during the Easter weekend and found it to be the perfect place to celebrate. We specifically went for brunch and found the food to be quite fancy and definitely not your average breakfast. We were seated directly across from the most amazing painted mural and my sister and I knew the instant we sat down that we weren’t going to leave without getting some photos in front of it. Clearly, we went for it!

This is definitely a place that you should dress up for, whether it be a nice dress or a blouse and dress pant combo. I went with the latter so that it was family gathering appropriate but, if I was with friends celebrating a birthday, I might wear something a little less conservative. Because of the whole tea party theme, I would recommend wearing something colourful and fun. By coincidence, I happened to wear a colourful shirt and it ended up matching the floral aesthetic of the painting. Now I’m not saying you need to wear floral print to every restaurant/café in Ottawa but the feminine vibes are particularly strong with this one.

So, those are the four places I would recommend you try out for yourself if you’re looking to explore some different areas in Ottawa and hopefully, I gave you a better idea of what you should wear to each location. Obviously, not everything is about Instagram and taking pictures but I personally find it really satisfying to look back on these photos and remember picking out the perfect outfit. If you do visit any of these places, you should definitely tell them Her Campus uOttawa sent you there! *wink wink*




All photos were taken by Cheryl Ng. 

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Cheryl Ng

U Ottawa '20

Cheryl is a third year student at the University of Ottawa studying Political Science and Communication. She is passionate about all kinds of art, but mostly writing and photography. She is an avid traveler and hopes to one day have a career that enables her adventurous spirit! Cheryl est une étudiante en troisième année à l’Université d’Ottawa. Elle étudie la science politique et la communication. Elle aime beaucoup les arts, les écrits et la photographie en particulier. Elle est une voyageuse et voudrait avoir un emploi qui comprend des occasions à voyager tout autour du monde!
Fourth year Criminology student at the University of Ottawa, Leafs fan, makeup lover and Harry Potter enthusiast.