Food & DrinkLivingNews


We’ve made it through another winter! Here’s to the patios, outdoor markets, and locally-grown greens we have to look forward to. Enjoy the spring, everyone, and please share stories of your favourite Sandy Hill food experiences with


Adelitas Cafe & Galeria,
495 Rideau St.

Si Se—or, the popular Mexican restaurant at 506 Rideau St., is a really heartwarming neighbourhood success story. It’s survived these last three crazy years and has even opened a second branch, on Preston Street. Now Si Se—or’s owner, Hugo Crespo, is about to open a new place right across the street from his original location. Adelitas Cafe will serve coffee, cakes, and breakfast sandwiches. It has plenty of seating, and should be a welcome change of scene for students and home-based workers.


Mergi Shop,
382 Rideau St.

When the Mergi Shop first opened in a tiny space a little further west on Rideau street, it was mainly a showcase for snacks, drinks and non-perishable items like cosmetics and quick-cooking ramen soups. Now there are freezers full of all kinds of noodles, dumplings and other savoury Asian foods, as well as sweet treats. Frozen coconut and mango bars have become staples at our house, and summer is bound to find us trying out other flavours, such as melon and burnt sugar.


Universal Grocery,
140 George St.

With the Salvation Army across the street and a construction site next door, the grocery store that’s moved into the former premises of Home Hardware has opened up in a difficult spot. Nevertheless, it’s a good source of ingredients from many cultures. We’ve been pleased to discover there large vacuum-sealed bags of Moroccan olives as well as fresh corn tortillas and ready-to-eat eggplant bharta. There doesn’t seem to be enough traffic in this shop yet to support a really dependable produce selection, but once in a while we have found lovely avocados, Asian eggplants and fresh mint.


Reggae Rooster,
321 Somerset St. East

The former Sandy Hill Lounge and Grill didn’t stay vacant for long. It will be fun to check out the Jamaican-Canadian menu; here’s hoping the new restaurant’s food will live up to the handsome bird on its sign!