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Vegan? Halal? Gluten-free? This Ottawa restaurant has you covered

East India company shares their dietary menu including gluten-free

For food lovers who have dietary restrictions, it can often be a challenge to find a restaurant that checks all the boxes: good food, good flavour, and accommodating to allergies or preferences. 

At Ottawa’s East India Company however, the family-owned local has crafted a menu that is truly inclusive. 

Founded in 1967, the family-run business has grown to three locations with two in Ottawa and one in Winnipeg. It is best known for its South Asian buffet which includes over 40 items on any given day, each clearly labeled to meet a variety of dietary restrictions. 

East India Company buffet including gluten-free, vegan and hala options

“We have vegetarian options available and a lot of our food is gluten-free and halal,” said Nitin Mehra, executive chef at East India Company. “Customers can speak to a chef at any location who will be knowledgeable with every single item and staff can walk you through the buffet.”

At the restaurant, guests will find a complete vegetarian entrees section on the menu, which includes several gluten-free options such as various paneers and kormas – often a delicious combination of garam masala, fresh vegetables, herbs, paneer and rice. 

Diners can also explore an extensive selection of appetizers including samosas and pakoras, which are both great vegan options that pack a flavour punch, adds Mehra. 

“On any South Asian plate you’re always looking for four things: sweetness, spicy, saltiness and umami. You want all four of those things to happen at one time,” he said. “There should always be a pickle. The curry should have a savory and sweetness to it. The textures should be working well in your mouth.” 

East India Company

The team also prides itself on being innovative with dishes, changing up the buffet daily to provide guests with a wide variety of options including a chaat bar, chutneys, pickles, yogurts, appetizers, sizzlers, up to 25 hot entrees, and a decadent dessert bar.

Local, fresh ingredients 

In addition to their vast selection of dishes, East India Company prides itself on feeding people the freshest food around, while still avoiding common allergens, like tree fruits, as well as gluten and artificial additives in all its sauces. 

They achieve this by working exclusively with local vendors and small businesses to source ingredients like meats and seasonal vegetables, which can in turn inspire new dishes.

Part of the buffet menu changes seasonally and varies on what can be produced locally, adds Mehra. In the fall, for example, pumpkin curry is a fan favourite amongst regulars, whereas in the summer, mushroom curry is a staple.

Regardless of your dietary needs, drop by any of East India Company’s locations to discover a wide variety of options and new menu items that will no doubt keep you coming back for more. 

East India Company can be found at 210 Somerset St. W in Downtown Ottawa or 1993 Robertson Rd in Bells Corners. For more information about the restaurant’s menu visit: