On my second last day at my old job, a few close co-workers took me out for a good bye lunch at Cafe Paradiso. Home to frequent live Jazz nights (now with $3 cover), Cafe Paradiso sits on 199 Bank street. A perfect location for lunch if you work in the downtown core, or dinner out before enjoying some Ottawa nightlife.  

Price – Depending on what you order it can be a little pricey. Lunch starts at $12 for their assortment of sandwiches up to $30 for a 6 oz tenderloin in their Steak Frites. But the food quality and portion size are well worth the price.  

Ambiance – Light and jazzy during the day, with plenty of seating and a very open space for those looking for a casual lunch. It is not hard to see, however, how it could become a more intimate music venue at night. Tastefully decorated for a professional lunch or romantic dinner, Cafe Paradiso is a classy place where dressing up is not necessary, but you may not want to come in ripped jeans and a t-shirt. 

  

Menu Options – Standard sized menu with just under 20 options for lunch. There is plenty of amazing sounding options to choose from but your picky eaters may find that there is nothing there for them. Personally that suits me just fine, I prefer the sound of a pecan burger with mango chutney to plain hamburger with ketchup on a white bun. I don’t think there was one item on their menu that I didn’t want to try – it all sounded good.

Food – In the end I had their Roasted Chicken Breast Club with maple smoked bacon and basil mayo. The roll was so soft and fresh I almost wished I had 2 sandwiches. Flavourful and fresh, I was really impressed with my meal. And while no one ordered the exact same thing, everyone agreed that they really enjoyed their food. The only comment was that the open faced shrimp and crab sandwich was a little harder to eat because the baguette was toasted making it crunchy and hard to get a knife through without a mess. 

Overall – I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of food from Cafe Paradiso. Not only were the menu options a little daring and unique, but they really delivered in the quality department. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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