Whenever I’m in Ottawa, Art-Is-In Bakery is always on my to-eat list. Always.
As an undergraduate student, I lived in Ottawa for 4 years. When I discovered Art-Is-In Bakery back in 2011, it was a little-known, off-the-beaten path bakery offering cookies, pastries, breads, and a few savouries. Even then, I loved it. Now it’s grown into a bustling foodie haven with huge weekend line ups for brunch and take-away treats. Art-Is-In prides itself on serving quality food alongside rich desserts, and it has understandably established a devout following in the Ottawa area.
The first thing we have to talk about is the cronuts. THE CRONUTS! Art-Is-In converted me into a cronut fanatic. My very first cronut (April 2015) was from Art-Is-In and it was glorious. I was instantly enchanted by the layers of flaky, buttery pastry and the ring of ganache stuffed within. I knew I had to get my hands on more of these. Fast forward to a year and a half later (July 2016) when my family and I stopped in Ottawa for one night during a road trip. I had successfully convinced them that we should get breakfast at Art-Is-In before continuing on the road to Québec City. I had my eyes on the prize and the prize was a cronut. During the short drive from the hotel to Art-Is-In, I pulled my younger sister into a frenetic chant, and with ever-increasing volume we sang our mantra: “Cronut! CroNUT! CRONUT!”. Not sure my parents appreciated that…
Anyways, we got to the bakery just before the Sunday morning brunch rush and we were so glad we did as the tables quickly became occupied and the line up to order promptly stretched to the door. The brunch menu didn’t make my life easy at all. Eggs Benedict, brioche French toast, vanilla bean raspberry pancakes, brunch burger, croque monsieur…how am I supposed to choose one of those?! I opted for the eggs Benedict with housemade English muffins, a crispy fried potato cake, hollandaise sauce, and maple candied bacon. Hearty, creamy, crunchy, delicious. What’s not to like about that sexy combination?
Obviously, I was waiting for the main event: the cronut. My family and I shared a chocolate cronut, though I could have easily taken one just for myself. Better to share the cronut love since we also got some additional desserts. They appreciated the art of cronutry and I’m so glad they did. I might have had to renounce any relation to them otherwise!
Given that I don’t live in Ottawa anymore, I sadly miss out on their specials. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know about them! Although cronuts are available daily, Thursday is THE day to be at Art-Is-In because it’s Crazy Cronut Thursday. The cronuts take on more eclectic flavours and designs and they look incredible. Just check out their social media pages for photographic evidence. They look insane! In October they did a pumpkin crazy cronut and I nearly bought a one-way ticket to Ottawa. The pull of the pumpkin is strong.
If you have more of a savoury tooth, Art-Is-In does a special fry up on Friday and incidentally, they call it Fry-Day. It centers on poutine, the classic Canadian dish, but they give it a twist. Think fried mac and cheese balls with candied bacon on gravy-coated fries. Or a poutine with house cured ham, smoked bacon, homemade ketchup and a fried egg. Or better yet, pork cured meatballs, deep fried cheese curds, spicy mayo, avocado mousse, and a sunny side up egg on triple cooked fries. COMPLETE MADNESS! Be warned, the poutine dishes look really intense. Hello pinchable city! Next time I’m in Ottawa, I’ll be on a mission to get an Art-Is-In poutine, and hopefully I’ll live to tell the tale.
Surely, I’ve convinced you by now to go to Art-Is-In bakery if you’re ever in Ottawa. Or maybe you’re now considering rerouting your travels to pass through Ottawa (which is a gorgeous city, might I add). Before visiting Art-Is-In, remember my 3 pieces of advice: go early; don’t hold back; get a cronut.