The Green Door

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 30 reviews )

198 Main St, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, ON K1S1C6

Ottawa's oldest vegetarian restaurant, since 1988. Buffet-style with dishes labeled if contains dairy, egg, or egg, etc. Pay for food by weight. Sources mostly seasonal and organic produce. Busy at meal time, takes reservations for group of 6+. No Wi-Fi. Open Tue-Sun 11:00am-9:00pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Organic, Western, Buffet, Juice bar, Take-out, Canadian

Reviews (30)

First Review by globalrevolutionnow

Nice Spot - Edit

Pleasant environment and ample seating, although I was there at around 3 pm so it wasn't particularly busy. I have walked by when it is very busy and people are forced to get take out. Having said that, it is nice to see a vegan/vegetarian busy a lot of the time.
The food was awesome, lots of choices for me as a vegan, with clear labels. It was very pricey and was a pay by weight system so unfortunately I didn't get much for my $15 lunch.
I went there alone so the food choices were easy and clear. The problem I have with some veggie places is they don't offer much to people that don't like the idea of vegan or vegetarian food mostly because of misunderstandings about what we eat. This place offers meals that a meat eater could enjoy without having the veggie thing right in there face.
Overall it is a great cafeteria style place that really makes a vegan feels accepted in the main stream. The menu are foods that make a complete meal and don't leave you feeling like you just ate a bunch of side dishes.

Pros: Diverse food choices, pleasant environment, Easy to read labels on everything

Cons: Expensive, A bit dirty or run down, very young staff, no balance with older staff

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Lots of choices! - Edit

Very easy to know what you are eating, all the ingredients are listed! Great options and the best desserts and coffee ever!

Pros: Greats salads , The desserts especially the brownies, The coffee is amazing

Cons: Not 100% vegan

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Many choices and good food - Edit

I had dinner once and arrived a bit late so there wasn't all the stuff they usually have but still was a good place to eat. There is a large buffet with vegan options clearly labelled. The food is very well prepared and healthy. They lack some decent vegan options for desserts otherwise it could be a perfect spot. The place is nice and the staff is friendly. Recommended if you're in the area!

Pros: many choices, good food, pleasant place

Cons: not 100% vegan (especially for desserts)

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Many choices - Edit

This restaurant was wonderfully delicious. So many choices and all clearly labelled for dairy, vegan, gluten, egg, etc.
Most dishes were Vegan and many of those gluten free.

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Decent food, great atmosphere - Edit

The food was alright, but didn't have any wow factor. However, there was a good variety of food as well as desserts, which is awesome. The interior is really cute and cozy. Overall, not my favorite restaurant but I would go again because it is easy to find vegan food here.

Pros: Vegan dessert, Reasonably priced

Cons: Cafeteria-like, Bland food

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Wonderful Atmosphere and Food - Edit

Great, cozy, informal restaurant with a nice vibe and tons of delicious, healthy options! Even the omnivores in our party found something they liked!.Loved the many different foods (paid by weight), desserts, and interior! Wish we had a place like this in Las Vegas!!

Pros: MANY choices!, Food contents well-labeled!, Informal, but cozy atmosphere

Cons: Not everything is vegan (but many are!)

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Meh...overpriced and dated vegetarian cafe - Edit

I really don't understand why everyone raves about this cafe. I have eaten here several times and have always been underwhelmed (considerably). First of all, it is self-service and you pay by weight (my last plate of food cost over $14!!). Secondly, the vegan hot options are lacking...the last few times I was there the principal option, aside from sides and dhal, was a bland broccoli & tofu stir-fry (really? this is what I make when I am in a hurry or have run out of food in my fridge). There are a number of salads, some of which are tasty, but cold salad alone is not going to keep me coming back. Third, the desserts are often dense and uninspired. Finally, I feel that the customer service is hit-or-miss, and I really don't like having to scrape my plate into a bucket of slop, after paying $20+ for a meal.

End verdict: I think that this restaurant is past it's 'best by' date. It is using a model from the eighties, and hasn't really kept-up with the vegetarian / vegan dining revolution. I think it holds a special place in the hearts of long-time Ottawan veggies, but if this is not might do better elsewhere (especially if you are vegan).

Pros: Cold salad bar, Cold filtered water (free)

Cons: Price, Vegan hot options, Desserts

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So/so at best. - Edit

I have never preferred the Green Door. Items have frequently been without labels and although that was better the last few times I visited, I was not terribly impressed by the food. Some of the dishes are far too salty, and the enormous slice of vegan chocolate cake was terrible. I think it is a shame the desserts are pre-sliced as I would prefer to try many things instead of gamble and lose as I did with the cake. The vegan brownies are to die for.

Pros: artwork, large buffet, lots of seating

Cons: price, food quality, pre-sliced desserts

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Excellent food, with lots of choice - Edit

I love the Green Door. In case you do not know, it is a buffet style where your food is paid for by weight, which I like very much because you can get just a little snack or a large meal. It is not particularly cheap but the food is high quality and if you are fortunate enough to be able to afford it the money is wroth it.

Many options are both vegan and also gluten free, but they also have lots of bread choices and some meals include milk and cheese, which is nice because non-vegans can also enjoy their experience.

I usually avoid busy times, but even at peak periods during the day you are able to move through the buffet line relatively quickly. They recently expanded into the space next door so there is A LOT of seating now and the new lighting makes the ambience very pleasant.

Pros: Delicious, Lots of choice

Cons: A little busy during peak periods

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Love it! - Edit

Went there with 2 young children and 2 adults. It is like Le Commensal in Montreal, even the price range. You get your food and then go to pay at the counter. A lot of choices for cold meals. Less than 10 choices for hot meals.

Pros: Yummy

Cons: Price

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Lots of choice and super yummy - Edit

the green door is a very quaint, relaxed local buffet style vegetarian/vegan restaurant. Every thing is well marked so you can make choices, and then is weighed. Great salad bar with abundant choices and a hot buffet that offered delicious options. I highly recommend the green door for a casual lunch or dinner.

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Favourite Restaurant in the World - Edit

Have been going here forever.....well since it opened and it seems like forever. Have brought, friends, family visitors from California, Europe and the Far East. It's a 100km drive, but am here on average every 6 weeks. All guests have praised the food, and agreed that it is the best veggie food they have eaten. Can go on, but won't. Eat here!.....and don't have a bad day and blame it on the restaurant, this is a buffet and they all work hard here to earn a few dollars working in a buffet. This place has been consistently the world's best vegetarian/vegan buffet! It didn't work for the last reviewer, get over it, maybe you were in klutz mode that day and it showed up that way for the staff on duty that day!

Pros: Consistently excellent food!, Menu changes regularily with new dishes., Favourite dishes are always there.

Cons: Long lines at busy times of the day., Not too many cons over the past 30 years, Smelly recycled paper napkins okay now.

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Yummy, but has gone downhill. - Edit

The selection is not too big, so you don't overfill your plate. Ingredients are not listed, however, unlike The Table. They no longer recognize the NCVA card (veggie discount card).
Bad experience today...I hadn't been in over a year, and someone took me out to the restaurant. I was delighted. Filled my plate, my friend was paying for both meals, and as I was reaching to open my wallet, to replace my card, I set the tray on counter behind the cash. It fell to the floor, to my shock and horror. Broken plate, glass, and all the food spoiled. The restaurant staff came to clean up the mess, but did not offer an apology (it was a mutual error, in my mind) or any sort of concession. There was a large lineup. My friend took his food to a table, and I asked if I could bypass the line, as my friend would be eating alone. They said no, but I could ask the people in the lineup if it was okay to go in. I said I wouldn't do that. So, back in the lineup, this time, I paid for my own meal. When I finally found my friend, he had not touched his meal, unexpectedly waiting for me. I am certain his food was cold. I feel the restaurant lacks compassion. Our dining experience was not a good one, and I wouldn't wish this replay on anybody.
I also noticed that there are proportionately too many deserts (two counters full, compared to one counter of salad and one counter of hot food), but the counter space seemed full of things for sale, whether it was olive oil or whatever. It's looking more cluttered with marketing for this and that (olive oils, juices, drinks, bread, pesto) rather than a more simple approach that I remembered. They were also making veggie juice when I was there, but I didn't see a fresh juice option on the menu, so that was weird.
Overall, the food is great, and if I hadn't had this experience, I probably would have been happy with the place. Oh, they didn't have napkins today, for whatever reason, so staff had torn strips off a paper towel role to use.
Updated from previous review on Friday January 27, 2012

Pros: Fast, Tasty, Healthy

Cons: communal seating, uncaring staff, poorly managed

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Mouth-Watering...Even for non-vegetarians! - Edit

I first ate at The Green Door when I wasn't vegetarian. A friend introduced it to me and after my first meal I fell in *love*. The options are endless and I love the fact that you can choose how much you want (or don't want) of each thing. The pricing is also very reasonable. I'm very sad that I don't live in Ottawa anymore but whenever I go back I always make sure to make a stop at this amazing restaurant!

Pros: Excellent food, Reasonable prices, Great vibe

Cons: Not enough room (it's too popular!)

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awesome! - Edit

Really great selection of food, very satisfied!

Pros: Large selection of food, Everything is labeled vegan/GF etc., priced by weight

Cons: Very crowded, not much room, self-serve

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Green Door Restaurant - Edit

I have to say that the food is pretty good.I just went there recently for my birthday and I really enjoyed it.The desserts are exeptionally delicious.the onyl thing i would change is the fact that it is kind of small for the amount of people that go there and there could be more selections regarding the food.

Pros: good food, healthy(for the most part), you can choose your portion size

Cons: a little small, not many choices, a bit noisy,due to small space

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The Green Door - Edit

The Green Door offers a variety of healthy choices, both cooked and raw. I especially enjoy their lasagna, as well as their mashed potato/kale mixture. Ingredients are listed, so you know whether selections are vegan or vegetarian. There is also a wide range of sweets, such as cookies, cakes, and pie. I highly recommend that you there with a hearty appetite!

Pros: excellent food, healthy cuisine, informal atmosphere

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Best Place in Ottawa - Edit

Vegan and Vegetarian (and with some raw options) the Green Door is by far one of the best places to eat in Ottawa. The food is simple but so delicious. It's so good my partner and I use to drive 2 hours to Ottawa whenever we found an excuse just to eat there! The desserts are especially yummy, it's the best of vegan desserts, they're all amazing but not too sweet or heavy.

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