Wild Oat, Ottawa - Food Gypsy

Wild Oat – Getting Groovy in the Glebe

Published On November 2, 2010 | By Gypsy | Dining Out, Gastronomy

South of Ottawa’s central core is a groovy little neighbourhood they call “The Glebe”, home to speciality retail, vintage vinyl, great little pubs and groovy little eateries.  One such groovy eatery is – The Wild Oat.  Artisan Bakery.  Vegetarian Cafe & Breakfast.  Organic & Fair-Trade Espresso Bar. 

Clearly, we were meant to be together.

Stumbled into Wild Oat one fine summer day, lost (as was my mantra at the time).  I love to get to know a new city and my favourite way to get to know any city is… on foot.  Urban trekking.   In and out of shops gathering as you go.  Trinkets here.  Food stuffs there.

Stops for occasional sustenance.

Getting to know Ottawa I fell in love with The Glebe and its “small town within a city” feel.  Since then, Wild Oat has become an essential part of every deviant dive into dusty stacks of records looking for classic blues and jazz (and vintage Tom Jones…).

Latte dangling from my lips, completely fuelled on fair-trade caffeine, no visit to the Glebe is complete without some Wild Oat.

The interior is what one might call “granola kitsch”.  A sense of things found and collected, well loved, repurposed.  The obligatory signs asking you to choose ceramic over paper cups, bus your own table, grab your own cutlery.

Natural sugar.  Sprouts.  Wild Oat is completely comfortable and unforced, it knows who it is.

The patrons likewise, have a sense of belonging.  From the art students dressed in black, swigging back huge mugs of Chi discussing philosophy and fashion to the casually dressed business men, taking a meeting, in deep conversation about export taxes… one of them wears Birkenstocks.  This Vancouver girl feels suddenly at home.

A sign of respect, local and organic…

What I like about Wild Oat:

The Coffee.  The coffee is very, very good.  I mean to try all the roasts.   Give me time.  I’m new.

The Food Bar.  Love their vegetarian and vegan options.  (Vegan apple pie and muffins!)  While not a veg-head myself, I love healthy options and Wild Oat boasts a decent selection,  their soups and the occasional veggie-friendly curry, their “To Go” options are in a word… TASTY.

Stunned to say I have not tried their little pizzas, but that’s only because I have yet to make it much past the baked goods.  The croissant are… to die for! 

On this particular occasion; breakfast.  The Croissan’wich.  Egg.  Cheese.  Tomato.  Sprouts.  Croissant.  Iced coffee.   Colour me content. 

If I had a complaint it would be that in its hipness… “The Oat” (as it is dubbed by locals, of which I am now one) is a bit tiny.  You may be forced to dine out as there are very a few tables and they are often packed on a bright sunny weekend.

What I LOVE about Wild Oat:

The aroma!  I always follow my nose when eating out.  If when I walk into a place it does not smell like the food I’m expecting – I leave.  The scent of deliciousness wafts from Wild Oat like a magic spell that floats down the street.   It knocks me off my feet.

Curried lentils mixed with strong coffee, cinnamon, butter, BREAD.

It’s a heady mixture.  If you weren’t hungry before… you’re considering how many scones you need before you leave.

Open Monday through Saturday 7:30AM-8:00PM/ Sunday 9:00AM-6:00PM.  (Bank Street at 5th)   

You may find me there… sucking back steaming coffee pouring over some coveted musical find muttering “mine all mine…” looking longingly at the Rosemary Croissant.

I’m groovy like that.


Wild Oat, 817 Bank St, Ottawa Ontario (613) 232-6232

The Wild Oat Croissant. Buttery, flaky, crisp… somebody stop me…

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About The Author

"Gypsy" is not my real name." A freelance food & travel writer & photographer based in Aylmer, Quebec. Corinna Horton trained at Le Cordon Bleu, spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn, and is currently between big, shiny kitchens as she focuses on family and what's next in this delicious life.

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