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About The Bistro

Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro, Ottawa’s first aboriginal cuisine, opened its doors to the public on November 15, 2003. Located in the capital’s unique Byward Market, what better place could this Bistro find to call home? Come in and experience seasonal lunch and dinner menus that follow the ancient paths of North America’s Aboriginal peoples! Sweetgrass has a warm atmosphere created by the care put into each plate that is made, to the meaningful decor, to the personal touches the owners put into each step of renovation.

It is important to the chefs/owners of this comfortable Bistro to keep with tradition. This is evidenced in many ways. Just as natives ate whatever the land proffered each season, the menus reflects this by also changing seasonally. Apart from the menus being distinctive in what is offered, much attention is also paid to doing everything in house - including breads, sauces, dressings and desserts. The combination of the seasonal menus, care put into making tantalizing aboriginal courses and house made food keeps the menu original, fresh and delicious – the way eating out should be.

Sweetgrass’ Aboriginal Bistro, aboriginal owned and operated, is more than just casual fine dining. It is a destination place to discover aboriginal traditions and artistic expressions. If you have a fascination with all things native, this restaurant will satisfy more than just your belly. While you eat to the beat of drums, patrons have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with native art. The walls tell stories through artists such as Doug Kakekagumick, John Tenasco, Marion, Beam and R. Bedwash. There is also opportunity to browse through a collection of native jewelry made of the likes of turquoise, silver, bone, and hide, among other materials. Following dining at Sweetgrass it would seem some wish the experience wouldn’t end. Such people are in luck as much of the art and jewelry is for sale, as well as other items.

Upon stepping across the threshold of Sweetgrass, patrons are greeted with a tranquil ambience. The interior décor of the restaurant was the product of Phoebe’s imagination, with the help of her family. While renovating, days upon days were spent by the chefs/owners painting the walls, sanding the floors, installing the kitchen and the like. When Phoebe was choosing the colours for the interior, she went for natural tones in the hopes of creating a relaxing atmosphere akin to nature. Much of the decorations on display either belong to Phoebe’s family or were personal gifts given by family members and friends. This personal strain continues through the food. Many of the recipes are developed in house, while others are recipes that were passed on from their parents and grandparents. Sweetgrass is a smaller establishment with an open concept kitchen. We hope upon arrival that guests will feel welcome and at ease. We look forward to your visit with us. Please note, as we are smaller, when possible it is recommended that you call ahead or email a request for reservations.