Foodie Review: Vittoria Trattoria


Apple Crum­ble and Cin­na­mon Ice Cream

I usu­ally avoid eat­ing in the Byward Mar­ket because some of Ottawa’s worse restau­rants oper­ate there, and because food can be pricey and mediocre. I always feel for tourists who end up there and pay big bucks for bad food.

But some­times, there are nice surprises.

One of my foodie friends and I hes­i­tated for­ever before head­ing to the Byward Mar­ket. She had been to Vit­to­ria Trat­to­ria before and had liked it. I was in the mood for pizza, but not the Pizza Pizza kind with five-inch thick dough, and I hoped this Ital­ian restau­rant wouldn’t disappoint.

It didn’t.

We headed there around 7:30 p.m. on a rainy Tues­day night, and we joked that we would prob­a­bly be the only cus­tomers in the restau­rant. Ottawa can be very quiet dur­ing the week, and peo­ple here typ­i­cally eat much ear­lier. Oh, we were wrong!

We showed up and imme­di­ately noticed the restau­rant was busier than we had though. The first con­tact with the host­ess was bru­tal. No “hello”, just “got a reser­va­tion?” I admit­ted we didn’t and she shrugged. “It’s gonna be like… I don’t know, fif­teen min­utes?” “Fif­teen min­utes, roughly?” I repeated for the ben­e­fit of my friend who was stand­ing behind, and for my own. “Well, I don’t know. I can’t guess. Wait or not, it’s up to you,” she replied, walk­ing away.

I was really put off by her atti­tude and actu­ally stepped out of the restau­rant, but the menu looked good and we fig­ured we would give it a chance.

Twenty min­utes later, we were lead to one of the din­ing rooms upstairs and greeted by a much friend­lier waiter, who apol­o­gized for the wait and imme­di­ately brought us some fresh bread (delicious!).

We ordered an appetizer—the spinach and arti­choke dip—because the place was packed, and we fig­ured it would be a while before we’d get the main, two pizzas.

The appe­tizer turned out to be one of the best I had in a restau­rant. Usu­ally, when you order a “dip”, you get the same kind of dips you buy at the super­mar­ket, along with some bread. This one was a work of art. It was fresh out of the oven and creamy, and was served with enough pita bread and toasts for two. We actu­ally didn’t even fin­ish for fear of not being able to eat the pizzas!

I had the salmon, leeks and toma­toes pizza, and my friend got the spe­cial of the night, pancetta and toma­toes. The dough was per­fect: thin enough, with plenty of ingre­di­ents on top. They weren’t cheap on the salmon! I couldn’t fin­ish and brought the last slice home.

Finally, we shared the apple crum­ble with cin­na­mon ice cream. I usu­ally skip dessert in restau­rants unless they are home­made (what’s the point of pay­ing $7 for some frozen pie or cake?) but this one turned out to be pretty good, although a tad too sweet for my taste.

Except for the grumpy host­ess down­stairs, the ser­vice was excel­lent and fairly fast con­sid­er­ing how busy it was. We said from the begin­ning we weren’t in a rush (we stayed over two hours!) and the wait­ers mostly left us eat at our own pace, but our glasses of water were always refilled promptly.

The bill came to $30 each (split­ting the appe­tizer and the dessert)—pretty good for a three-course meal in the Byward Market.

Highly rec­om­mended!

The Good

  • Great pizza
  • Good bread (although I would have loved some but­ter rather than oil)
  • Friendly ser­vice

The Bad

  • Grumpy host­ess wel­com­ing customers
  • Long wait on busy nights
  • The din­ing rooms can be very noisy

At a glance

35 William Street
Ottawa ON K1N 6Z9
(613) 789‑8959

Sun­day      10:00 AM — 2:00 PM, 2:00 PM — 10:00 PM
Mon — Fri    11:00 AM — 3:00 PM, 3:00 PM — 10:00 PM
Sat­ur­day    10:00 AM — 2:00 PM, 2:00 PM — 10:00 PM

Spinach and Arti­choke Dip With Bread

Salmon and Leeks Pizza

Vittoria Trattoria on Urbanspoon


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


    • Well, we had finally picked a place, so we decided to stick to it. But I hear you, some­time I have no prob­lem walk­ing away.

  1. Met a friend for lunch today and we both felt so vir­tu­ous say­ing “no” to a dessert. See­ing this one, I wish we hadn’t.

    And what is it with these places that just offer oil with bread? But­ter, please!

  2. oh wow the dip looks good! so does the pizza.

    i find it funny that the busi­ness hours are divided into two when there is no gap in between. is that an indi­ca­tion of a morn­ing and a evening menu? cos if in this part of the world, we nor­mally just state 10am-10pm! 😀

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