Chinatown Ottawa

The Royal Arch, also known as the Friendship Gateway

In the mood for Dim Sum? Head for Chinatown. There are almost 40 cities in the US with a one, Canada has ten, one in Ottawa. In 1931 Chinese immigrants along Albert Street started Chinatown with 4 restaurants, 3 laundries, and 2 grocery stores. Years later all of those shops closed, forced out by commercial development. In the 1970s with an influx of thousands of Chinese immigrants a new Chinatown emerged along Somerset, where it remains well established. This version is a vibrant, multicultural area offering up Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Mexican, Indian, Korean, Japanese, Middle-Eastern, African and Brazilian cuisine. I was fortunate to be in Ottawa during the Annual 3-day Chinatown Night Market, an event celebrating Chinese culture with street food, peddlers, music, and performances. 

Somerset Street

Traditional Chinese Musicians

Recording the Performance

Food was everywhere, so was smoke. Grilled beef, pork, octopus, scallops and probably a few other things I missed were the chosen foods on a stick for the day.  

Octopus  have feet? Who knew?

Beef and octopus

Grilling scallops

Scallop garnished with roe

After walking around for awhile, and looking at all that food, I was feeling a bit peckish. although the offerings in front of me were tantalizing,  I wanted to sit down in a restaurant. After passing through the Royal Arch I came across  “Saigon Boy,” a small Vietnamese restaurant. The food was terrific, so was the beer. It was just what an old photographer needed. 

Shrimp Spring Roll


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