Ottawa is great for students travelling with allergies and food restrictions. Like most major Canadian cities, Ottawa is home to diverse foods, from burgers to pad thai, and is sure have something you'll love to eat. If you're planning a student trip to Ottawa, here are our top recommendations on how to effortlessly travel with allergies! And if you're travelling with us, here are a few options for meals on your free time.
- Research Good Places to Eat
A great way to prep for your student trip is to research a few great food options. If you're looking for a few recommendations for places to eat in the heart of Ottawa, be sure to check these out:
- Shawarma Palace – This Lebanese restaurant offers vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and halal options at a great price! They even have a special vegetarian menu with deliciously prepared eggplant, cauliflower, potatoes and more.
- SushiGo Express – Another budget-friendly spot and a great go-to for vegetarian and gluten-free options! Their menu online also has a guide for vegetarian, non-vegetarian, gluten-free, and spicy options.
- Big Smoke Burger – A classic American burger joint with vegetarian patties and gluten-free buns! Call ahead of time to make sure your location has your patties and buns in stock.
Be sure to remind your server of your allergies when you order and check again when you receive your food.
- Buy Snacks & Food at the Grocers
Before packing a heavy bag full of snacks and meals, you might be able to buy them at a local grocers in Ottawa. You can also keep an eye out for organic and health food stores like Herb & Spice Food Shop or Whole Foods. Both of these would have lots of snack options. You may even be delightfully surprised by their selection and find your new favourite go-to! While you're there, you could even pick up a few great treats and head to a nearby park for a beautiful picnic!
- Pack the Must-Haves!
If you have certain essential items, you should definitely pack them. If your allergies are severe and your options limited, you will need to spend a bit more time prepping for your trip. Packing ready-to-eat meals like vegetable fried rice could be a light and convenient meal option for travel. And be sure to pack prescribed medication!
- Ask how your travel company supports students with allergies.
Every travel agency offers different things to their passengers. If you're on a student trip, you should check to see what your tour company is offering. At Brightspark, we collect allergy lists so restaurants know to offer the food our students need. We also have Tour Leaders that make sure restaurants accurately provide meals to students, and that students with allergies know their options at buffets. And of course, we have destination experts you can speak with that offer even more detailed information for anyone who needs a little extra support.