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4 must-try spots on Ottawa Street

At one point, Ottawa Street North was known only for its textiles but as the street evolves, new food options have emerged and have made the Crown Point neighbourhood a haven for fantastic meals. Here are four of my favourites along the strip.

CALIPAN

Good for: Grabbing a quick bite to eat while walking around Ottawa Street N!

Located near the corner of Cannon Street East and Ottawa Street North, Calipan is an authentic Colombian restaurant specializing in delicious traditional snacks like empanadas and pupusas. The food is very affordable (many options under $5.00), the space is inviting and warm, and the staff are friendly. If you’re craving something sweet, look no further than the churros at Calipan. The churros are uniquely filled with warm dulce de leche, making them totally irresistible.

Suggestion: If you’re like me, one churro is never enough, so thankfully they have a special deal — 3 Churros for $6.00.

CAFÉ LIMONCELLO

Good for: A work lunch or date night!

If you find yourself on the corner of Edinburgh Avenue and Ottawa Street North, in front of a charming pastel yellow restaurant, you have found the right place! Café Limoncello serves some of the best traditional Italian food in the city. Their extensive menu ranges from brunch to traditional Italian favourites like paninis, pastas and pizzas. Café Limoncello is a bright and airy space, full of natural light. The charming patio in the warmer months makes for a versatile destination to enjoy a delicious meal at any time of day. The staff are professional and knowledgeable of the menu, and I have never left disappointed!

Suggestion: Host your next date night or business lunch at Café Limoncello — the food, service and atmosphere will definitely impress your audience.

HAMMERHEAD’S

Good for: A delicious take-out dinner!

Just a stone’s throw away from the original Tim Horton’s on Dunsmure Road, this cozy and intimate shop on Ottawa Street North is one of Hamilton’s best kept seafood secrets. If you’re a fan of seafood shops on the piers of the East Coast of Canada, you’re already a fan of Hammerhead’s. All food is prepared fresh to order — if there’s space in the shop, you can watch as they prepare your meal. The menu ranges from freshly prepared fish and chips to spicy Szechuan calamari with many seafood options in between (like the shrimp poutine). Be prepared to wait about 20 minutes from the time you place your order — I promise you it’s worth the wait!

Suggestion: After a long day at work, stop by Hammerhead’s, place your order, and take a stroll down the beautiful Ottawa Street as you wait for your seafood to be freshly prepared.

MERK SNACK BAR

Good for: Afterwork drinks!

Looking for a relaxed atmosphere to kick back and have a drink after work? You have to check out MERK Snack Bar, located near the corner of Cannon Street East and Ottawa Street North! At MERK you’ll find an amazing list of cocktails (including my personal favourite, the Old Fashioned) reasonably priced. If you’re not into cocktails, don’t fret — they have a great list of beers. While you’re enjoying your drink, make sure you order a few dishes off of their menu full of shareable, tapas-like plates — you’ll be glad that you chose MERK Snack Bar as your after work libation station.

Suggestion: Call your friends, grab some drinks, and share some food while looking out on Ottawa Street North and people watching in the window seats.

What are your favourites restaurants on Ottawa Street? Let us know in the comments!

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