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Seven Places to Grab Some Souvlaki or Kababs in Ottawa’s Original Downtown

February 22, 2024

Souvlaki and kebabs are known by many different names throughout the world, with different approaches taken in preparing them. The Greeks first began making them roughly four thousand years ago by sticking meat on andirons and roasting them over an open fire. Later, citizens of early Mesopotamia and Persia would begin skewering ground-up meat and grilling it in a similar manner as far back as the 10th century. But regardless of which one you prefer, no one can deny that there’s something blissfully simple yet mouth-wateringly delicious about grilled, seasoned meat on a stick.

For those of you who are meat-lovers, you have to ensure that your next trip to Ottawa’s Original Downtown includes a stop at any of our restaurants serving souvlaki or kababs. There’s nothing quite a hot plate of grilled meat, garlic potatoes and salad to warm you up on a cold winter’s day, and such dishes are always being served hot and fresh along Rideau Street!

Ariana Kabab House

Downtown Ottawa has the privilege of hosting a little piece of Afghanistan on Rideau Street! Like their name suggests, Ariana Kabab is renowned for their chicken, beef, lamb and fish kebabs, available in varying spice levels. Their kababs are marinated in their signature seasoning and are served as part of a platter that includes rice, salad, korma and naan bread. All the essentials you need for a Middle Eastern meal!

📍 424 Rideau Street

⏰ Sunday – Saturday: 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.

📞 (613) 241-7666


The kababs at Ariana (right) feature a delicious marinade that you can’t get anywhere else. (Image: Ariana Kabab House)

Cumberland Pizza

Think you can only order pizza at this famous family-owned establishment? Think again! Cumberland Pizza’s menu includes a delicious souvlaki platter featuring your choice of chicken, beef or pork as well as freshly made salad and tzatziki. If you stop by in person, you’ll also have the privilege of witnessing the exceptional customer experience that is just as synonymous with Cumberland Pizza as their incredible menu. (Click here to read our blog about them!)

📍 152 Nelson Street

⏰ Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

⏰ Friday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

⏰ Saturday: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.

⏰ Sunday: Closed

📞 (613) 789-9999


Every component of Cumberland Pizza’s incredible menu, including their souvlaki platters, are lovingly made in-house by owners Fadi and Farida Kapro. (Image: Cumberland Pizza)

Shawarma Palace

While its name may indicate its specialty, it only takes one visit to Shawarma Palace to be convinced that everything on their menu is of exceptional quality, including their kababs! Visit them at the corner of Rideau and Augusta and give their chicken kabab, shish kabab or kafta kabab platters a try. Don’t forget to pick up some tabouli and extra fried veggies for yourself if you’re looking for a particularly healthy meal!

📍 464 Rideau Street

⏰ Sunday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.

⏰ Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.

📞 (613) 789-9533


Shawarma Palace’s shish kabab platters features hearty chunks of skewered filet mignon alongside all of your favourite shawarma essentials. (Image: Shawarma Palace)

Jimmy The Greek

Nothing helps you work up an appetite quite like a full day of shopping at the CF Rideau Centre! Luckily, the mall has a wide variety of restaurants to choose from at the Food Court, including Jimmy the Greek and their incredible souvlaki platters! These include chicken, pork and even a grilled vegetable souvlaki option for anyone interested in meat alternatives. And you can always expect a heaty serving of rice, potatoes, salad and tzatziki to go with it!

📍 50 Rideau Street, 2nd floor

🌿 Dietary Accommodations: Vegetarian options available

⏰ Monday – Friday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

⏰ Saturday – Sunday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

📞 (613) 321-5473


The chicken souvlaki at Jimmy The Greek is exactly what shoppers need to curb their appetites after a day at the Rideau Centre. (Image: Jimmy The Greek)

3 Brothers Shawarma & Poutine

This family-run restaurant is famous throughout the nation’s capital, particularly with University of Ottawa students looking for a quick, hearty meal to bring back to their residence. When visiting either of 3 Brothers’ locations on Rideau Street, consider trying their shish kabab platter. Not only does it come with all of the essential fixings, – rice, salad, potatoes etc. – you can also grab some dessert for yourself. Everyone should try 3 Brothers’ baklava, shortbread or maamoul at least once!

📍 160 Rideau Street (Dalhousie), 530 Rideau Street (Cobourg)

⏰ Wednesday: 11 a.m. – 3:30 a.m. (Dalhousie)

⏰ Thursday – Friday: 11 a.m. – 4 a.m. (Dalhousie)

⏰ Saturday – Tuesday: 11 a.m. – 3 a.m. (Dalhousie)

⏰ Sunday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 6 a.m. (Cobourg)

📞 (613) 321-6990 (Dalhousie)

📞 (613) 241-2220 (Cobourg)


3 Brothers, two locations! Regardless of which of their restaurants you visit on Rideau Street, 3 Brothers guarantees high-quality, delicious menu items every time. (Image: 3 Brothers Shawarma & Poutine)

Oh My Grill

Have you ever tried pairing your souvlaki with poutine? You can’t afford to miss this unique combination of dishes at Oh My Grill! Try a plate of their chicken, lamb or mouth-watering filet mignon souvlaki with a side of everyone’s favourite Canadian dish. They offer different signature approaches to poutine as well, including chicken shawarma, steak and donair poutines. This is the perfect combination of Canadian and Middle Eastern cuisine, and it’s sure to appeal to fans of both!

📍 169 York Street

⏰ Sunday: 1 pm. – 11 p.m.

⏰ Monday – Tuesday: 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.

⏰ Wednesday – Friday: 12 p.m. – 1 a.m.

⏰ Saturday: 1 p.m. – 1 a.m.

📞 (613) 562-4545


At Oh My Grill, you get to experience the ideal fusion of Canadian and Middle Eastern cuisine! (Image: Oh My Grill)

Café Tehran

Lastly, be sure to stop in at one of the latest additions to Ottawa’s Original Downtown and sample their koobideh, chenjeh or shishlik kebab platters! Everything on the menu at Café Tehran is freshly prepared by Chef Ali Sadeghi, who is bringing his passion for Persian cuisine to the heart of Downtown Ottawa. Take advantage of their Thursday lunch special, when you can get a koobideh (ground beef) kebab, rice and a barbecued tomato for only $14.99!

📍 470 Rideau Street

⏰ Sunday: 12 pm. – 8 p.m.

⏰ Monday – Thursday: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.

⏰ Friday – Saturday: 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.

📞 (613) 860-8000


With their affordably-priced Thursday Lunch Special, you have every reason to stop in at Café Tehran and try their kababs for yourself! (Image: Café Tehran)

Are you worried about where you are going to park? Check out our Parking Blog to help you find all the parking options and rates downtown! 

Click here to check out other blogs we’ve written about Ottawa’s Original Downtown!