For those days when you're sick of caf food, tired of washing dishes, or need a little pick-me-up but you're a #brokeaf student. This list proves it's possible to eat out for cheap in Ottawa. 

1. Sansotei Ramen

ramen, pork, chicken, soup
Lui Xia Lee

Price of most expensive dish: $12.50

Notably one of the best ramen places in Toronto, Sansotei gets me excited. Not only because I love the food there but also because it serves a big, hearty, and amazing bowl of ramen. Just a reminder, it can get busy during lunch hours but don’t let that fool you because with its high turnover rate will get you a seat in no time.

2. Pressed

sandwich, bacon, cheese, lettuce
Lui Xia Lee

Price of most expensive dish: $12.75

From day to night, they serve it all, including vegetarian and vegan food. Stay all day for the wonderful food and study or come by at night to experience some of the local live music. It’s perfect for anyone looking for a change of scenery and to cozy up away from the bustling cafés downtown.

3. Moo Shu Ice Cream

Price of most expensive dish: $10.00

Known for their wild ice cream flavours based off local farmer’s market ingredients, Moo Shu also serves proper meals. It currently serves hearty Chinese style lunches and caters to the vegan and gluten-free community, so you won’t have to worry about being left out.

4. Ginza Ramen Somerset

ramen, pork, egg, noodle
Lui Xia Lee

Price of most expensive dish: $11.95

Looking for more ramen? Your wish is my command. The smaller but quaint Somerset branch of Ginza is heavily focused on its ramen instead of its larger Izakaya-styled branch along Elgin. Still, don’t be fooled as its ramen gives you another taste of the many varieties of this yummy bowl of noodles.

5. Soup Guys

Ben Sharer

Price of most expensive dish: $12.57

Soup Guys literally take its name seriously. It has around 1,000 different types of soup from the staples like Cream of Mushroom, Chicken Noodle, or Tomato, to wild flavours like poutine, Chicken Thai Coconut or Tequila Spiked Chicken & Lime. The flavour seems crazy right? Thankfully, you're allowed to try the soups before committing to one. In case you're not feeling soupy, they also serve amazing panini and wraps. 

6. Wild Oat Bakery & Cafe

bread, toast, chocolate
Amanda Jeysing

Price of most expensive dish: $11.75

Locally-owned Wild Oat produces one of the most amazing selections baked goods and meals while being ethical about sourcing food locally and internationally. It takes pride in being able to serve everyone with dietary restrictions including gluten-free, vegetarian, or pescatarian. So don’t be afraid to support your wonderfully local bakery and environmentally sustainable establishments.

7. Kettleman’s Bagel Co.

Price of most expensive dish: $8.99

Montreal’s not the only one with amazing bagels. Open 24/7 and even during major holidays, have no fear about being hungry anytime in Ottawa with Kettleman’s around. Beside the usual cream cheese and jam add-ons, you also have the selections of adding other fillings to make a BLT or Breakfast bagel happen.

8. Bite This

Price of most expensive dish: $7.75

With the amass of food trucks around Ottawa, Bite This sticks out because it doesn’t have the usual grab-and-go situation. Food here is made fresh-to-order so there’s a longer waiting time. Despite that, they provide a really cool bunch of fusion food. How do you say no?

9. Co Cham

Price of most expensive dish: $7.95

Vietnamese food has never been more affordably priced than with Co Cham. Located in the heart of Chinatown, you’re guaranteed to fulfill your Vietnamese food fix. Co Cham’s all-round authentic Vietnamese food doesn’t only serve Pho and Banhmi, so don't get shy when exploring their menu.

10. Sunnyside's Soup & Sandwiches

sandwich, bacon
Magda Knyszynski

Price of most expensive dish: $6.99

Sunnyside's Soup & Sandwiches is proof that you don’t need to wander off too far from campus to get amazing soups and sandwiches. Thank the food gods for that because Sunnyside's is only a ten-minute walk away from campus. So when it’s that time of year to buy books at Haven or the bus is keeping you just a bit too long, stop by Sunnyside's for a little pick-me-up before heading back to campus.

11. Di Rienzo

Price of most expensive dish: $6.20

If a restaurant has lasted 42 years in Ottawa, you know it’s a good. For the past 42 years, Di Rienzo has been serving its customers generous portions of wonderful meals, including cold-cut sandwiches, daily specials homemade pasta, and cannoli. With so much history and character, you’re going to wonder as to how they’ve survive for so long. The best way to find out is to try it out.

12. El Furniture Warehouse

Price of most expensive dish: $4.95

This place needs no introduction because if you’re in Ottawa, you’ll no doubt get directed to Warehouse for some amazingly cheap food. They’re not limited in choices too, as it has a variety of appetizers, entrees, and desserts. Although located at the heart of bustling Byward Market, Warehouse proves food can never be too cheap in Ottawa.

13. BeaverTail

Alexandra Miminis

Price of most expensive dish: $6.00

Being one of Canada’s national food treasure, it’s no surprise BeaverTail is on this list. Popularized in 1978, Ottawa is proud to be BeaverTail’s first permanent store. This landmark is the pinnacle of Ottawa’s food scene and everyone who comes to Ottawa stops by to enjoy this classic snack and proceeds to enjoy the sights and sounds of Ottawa.

Now that you know you can eat out with less guilt, get to it and remember, 13 is a lucky number in this case.