Vegan Restaurant Takeover! Rawlicious opening in downtown Ottawa in April

 Ottawa’s healthy and vegan eaters have another reason to celebrate:  On April 23, vegan “healthy fast food” restaurant Rawlicious will open its doors in downtown Ottawa at 381 Cooper Street, just off of Bank Street.

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Rawlicious is the third new entirely-vegan food establishment to open in Ottawa in recent months (Little Jo Berry’s opened in March, and Grow Your Roots opens in May/June), and reflects the growing demand for vegan and plant-based alternatives in the capital, driven by the increasing number of healthy and mindful eaters.

 Rawlicious currently has several locations within the Greater Toronto Area, and this is its first foray into Eastern Ontario.  Its menu is filled with healthy takes on classic favourites such as pizza, wraps, nachos and pasta.

Ottawa resident Natalie Papineau is the franchisee of the 25 seat establishment.  I asked her for a sneak peek!

2016-01-28 17.33.19PT:  Rawlicious is already pretty well-known in the GTA. How did it come about that you decided to open one in Ottawa?

NP:  I had been looking for a small business to open for a while but wanted something that spoke to me! Something that would actually be good for the community, something I would enjoy running on my own,  and preferable something  food related as I pretty much live day to day thinking about what I’m going to eat next! Rawlicious hit every mark for me, and I thought many would love to have it here in Ottawa!

PT: What was it about Rawlicious specifically that appealed to you?

NP: Rawlicious is such an amazing small restaurant that I think everyone should get a chance to try! Many might hear Vegan or Raw and think it’s not for them, but everyone should really give it a chance. Rawlicious has truly mastered great tasting food that does not way heavy after you eat it. You know when you decide to head out for nice meal that may consist of pasta with a heavy sauce and then a big dessert after wards…you know how you feel afterwards…well at Rawlicious you can come and eat a four course meal and leave feeling amazing! Not to mention fruits and vegetables are so vibrant and colorful that all of our dishes look like a work of art.

PT: What will be some of the things that people can look forward to when you open? Specialties?

NP: Rawlicious isn’t just another healthy restaurant! We will help you live the raw vegan life style at home if that is what you’re looking for. We offer juice cleanses, and raw food cleanses to help detox your body, or perhaps your looking to shed a few pounds. We will also offer cooking classes, seminars, and entertainment.

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The bay window.

PT: Tell us about the vibe at Rawlicious.

NP: The Rawlicious vibe is definitely a relaxed, comfortable clean feeling. The original Rawlicious that opened in Toronto’s Junction back in 2008 had a fun table where you can kick off your shoes and feel like you’re sitting in your living room. We are trying to recreate the same Zen vibe.  You can do the same in our front bay window: kick off your shoes and get cozy with pillows and relax….no chairs required!. Also to bring warmth into the space we have added an electric fireplace. You will find fresh flowers and candles to provide a truly warm welcoming atmosphere!

PT: Tell us a bit more about you!

NP:   I have done a lot of things in my 33 years of life! I love trying new things and consider myself to be very easy going.  My background consists of make-up artistry, esthetics and hair styling. After living in the tropics for a few years I kicked the make-up to the curb and start living a very different lifestyle. When living in the heat all year round all 12309969_10153365659268165_8421550816632740544_oyou really want to eat is fruits and vegetables so I started experimenting with raw vegan lifestyle, achieving a weekly cleanse of only fruits and veggies which I accomplished without cheating 😉 I also become much more active with swimming, hiking, walking, and spending lots of time outdoors!

I love food, experimenting with healthy ingredients to create great tasting dishes! And now I am just thrilled to bring Rawlicious to Ottawa so everyone can have a little appreciate and enjoy a little Raw Vegan into their lifestyle.

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Natalie Papineau

Additional Rawlicious Facts:

  • Rawlicious is Organic
  • Rawlicious is environmentally friendly
  • Rawlicious serves only filtered water
  • Menu consists of smoothies, juices, appetizers, mains, desserts, and offers catering.




Pamela Tourigny is an Ottawa-based expert on the topics of veganism and vegan advocacy, sustainability, and ethical consumerism.  She also consults with  business clients with their marketing, communications and public relations needs, and with restaurants on adapting their menus to introduce plant-based options.  Sign up to receive her monthly e-newsletter here.


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