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The Green Door

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 29 reviews )
Contact 613-234-9597

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.

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

Reviews (29)

First Review by globalrevolutionnow

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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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 you...you 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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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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Used to be great. Now it isn't. New management? - Edit

The Green Door was our absolute favourite place to eat because it offered a great variety of delicious vegetarian and even vegan dishes.
However,for the past year or so there has been a noticeable decline in the quality of the food. It seems that the focus is more on making profit at the expense of what used to be excellent food lovingly prepared. They started skimping on certain ingredients which probably cost a little more but made a world of difference in the enjoyment of the food.
Now most of the food is composed of cheaper root stock vegetables and diners are faced with a bland array of items which do not excite the palate and appear to be prepared in a rushed, uncaring manner. For example, one of the house specialties -- the tofu vegatable stir fry has huge chunks of broccoli instead of nicely cut pieces like they used have. Plus the veggies are not cooked to the proper tenderness and are tough and almost raw.
I believe there has been a change in management and/or ownership which has turned the focus towards profit at the expense of quality.
This short-term plan may bring in more dollars in the short-term for the restaurant. But, I am sure they will begin to notice a decline in the number of repeat patrons.
We no longer frequent this restaurant on a weekly basis like we used to. It no longer appeals to us as a result of their latest changes.
Unfortunate for the growing number of vegetarians in Ottawa who have very few alternatives when it comes to eating out.

Pros: used to be great, Note - two cows is the lowest rating. , Why can't give 1 cow?

Cons: quality has declined, crowded almost all the time, not inexpensive for what you get

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The green door - Edit

I went once to The green door, a pay by weight buffet. They have a lot of vegan food. You can make a nice salad with sprouts and seeds, and chose a whole bunch of veggies : raw, marinated, steamed...Tofu, tempeh, seitan, rice, soups and a lot of hot food are there too. This is not the most creative food i saw in my life but i have to admit that this kind of place is great to have around when you dont feel fancy and just want to have something vegan to eat. There was nothing new or innovative ; however, almost everthing tasted good, but some items were a bit bland or too cold. I was excited by the wide choice of vegan desserts. They had some choco-banana pie, raspberry cake, pumpkin pie, vegan cheesecake, apple crumble, and a lot more. While they were not terrible, they looked better than they tasted. Prices are fair, according to the variety offered. There was a lot of people and it took a while before i could finish filling my plate. They have a lot of tables but the space to get food is rather small so you have to wait a lot. I would not recommand this place for someone who is looking for creative/unique food experience but if you want someting decent and vegan to eat, and have the choice to eat a lot or just a little, this is the place for you.

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Ate their twice in two days; wish we lived closer! - Edit

It's difficult to follow a whole foods, mostly veg diet while you're travelling, but this restaurant could have been our home away from home. The food was delicious and the selection was great. I really wish I bought the cookbook, but I was happy to find a couple of their recipes online, including the amazing avocado salad.

Visitors should be aware that this is a buffet that weighs your plate. If you're not sure of the procedure, just ask the helpful staff. It seems the average price for a large plate of food, with a piece of bread or bowl of soup or dessert is probably $15-20. We were surprised that it was as expensive as it was.

Nonetheless, we did go back and will go back again and again whenever we're in Ottawa. This fairly large restauarant was packed both days; it's great to see such a booming vegetarian business!

Pros: delicious food, great selection, food clearly labelled

Cons: pricey, packed

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Thankfully close to home - Edit

I live a ten minute walk from this veggie buffet. And i am in LOVE with their Tofu Broccoli Stirfry. If you are not Vegan, their Lasagna is always good as well. Their Yam Salad is great, as is their Avocado Saland..mm...desserts aren't that thrilling. The negatives are that it is a buffet so the food isn't always HOT, and it is a bit pricey, especially for a place that requires you to clean up your own mess and serve your own food. However, I still love it here. I just wish they would be more creative, especially with all of the Raw options becoming available, and how about some VEGAN cheese on that menu. I'm not a vegan, but I have friends that are that would enjoy this restaurant much much more if that were available. BRing some creativity back into the kitchen!

Pros: Fast, Friendly Staff, Tofu Stirfry

Cons: Pricey, Un-creative, Lack of Vegan Options

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Meh - Edit

The food is fine, but frankly, it's not thrilling. Vegan options are definitely there, but they're somewhat lacking in creatively. Personally, I find that the kitchen takes too long between refills, and allows the food to get cold. Vegan dessert options are minimal.

GD has just never really done it for me. I prefer The Table - it's pretty much identical, but there's more for vegans and the food is refilled more quickly. And, when you're paying by weight ($18.25?!?! The day I did got charged that, my jaw hit the floor. One plate, plus soup, for lunch), I want those two things.

But it's not bad. Just not thrilling.

Pros: accomodates lactos and vegans, healthy, lots of space

Cons: cost, time to refill, cost again

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Great place to gather for a healthy meal - Edit

I ate at the Green Door while on a quick day trip from Montreal. The location is great: a university block that is a short bike ride from downtown and Parliament. The was a wide selection of food, mostly delicious from what I sampled, and all was clearly labeled. Even though the place was very busy it didn't take too long to fill my plate and chow down.

I've been to the Commensals in Montreal as well as the one in Toronto and Green Door is easily my preferred 'weigh & pay' vegetarian restaurant that I have visited.

Pros: Selection, Quality, Location

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That was it?? - Edit

Perhaps I have been spoiled by Vancouver vegitarian fair, but this place was a bit of a let down. The food (for example beets) were not cooked or seasoned as well as could have been, nor were the desserts very creative. It was very hard to read the labels and figure out what was vegan and/or raw. The prices were not great, but also not terrible, however the service was sub-par. I believe the food would have been better if fewer items were put on the menu and those items prepared with more care and attention. I will not be comming back as it is more worthwhile of my time to create 2 or 3 delicious items at home (for less money) than to wade through a mediocre buffet.

Pros: vegan food, gluten free desserts, saves time

Cons: mediocre food, bland, poor service

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My favourite place to eat in Ottawa - Edit

The Green Door is in a very convenient location, only minutes from downtown Ottawa and is a green place to go with a bunch of friends or for a quick bite. The first time I went was for Mother's Day and we stayed a long time, with great food for everyone. My family is not even vegetarian, but they liked the food a lot. The Spanakopita was the only thing that wasn't a hit, but I didn't try it since I'm vegan. I did try the most delicious cake I've ever eaten in my entire life. The mocha cake is positively delightful. And the tofu stir-fry with broccoli and other vegetables was so good it made re-evaluate how I tend to cook tofu at home. The only downside I would say is a rather limited menu for vegans. The food is very clearly labeled, so that's not a problem. I'd say maybe a third or half of what they serve is suitable for vegans. Other than that, there's great seating, great atmosphere and a very friendly staff. For a regular lunch, it cost me about $6.

Pros: Great food, Great atmosphere, Easy service

Cons: Limited menu, Not totally vegan

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Great place to eat healthy. - Edit

The Food here is very dilicious and healthy and is not to expensive. They offer a wide variety of vegiterian options.
I am not a verigeterian but I must say I really enjoyed the food at this resturant.

Pros: great selection, great price, healthy

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Good healthy food - Edit

Good food, somewhat expensive, food is buffet style so cold. It is a good alternative to a home cooked meal as it is healthy. I just wish the food was warmer. Seating is cafeteria style so could be more comfortable.

Pros: Good food, healthy

Cons: Pricey, cold food, could be better ambiance

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Hairy experience - Edit

Review: I have found more hair in my food here than I wish to think of. The food here is made by hippies and it tastes like it's made by hippies. Overpriced and the desserts look terrific and taste like sand.

Cons: not clean, not that good, overpriced

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Pretty good. - Edit

The food at the Green Door is really good. It's pretty pricey, doing by weight, considering a plop of rice costs nothing to make... The staff can be a bit abrupt and snappy, but it's still a good place to go for lunch after a bike along the river. Good food is good food. It's a nice place to see people you know too.

Pros: really good food, healthy food, lots of variety

Cons: expensive, not always very welcoming

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