Fish feast: Emily Rack brown bags it with The Whalesbone

Inside The Whalesbone Oyster & Sustainable Fish shop on Kent Street

Emily Rack (blog/Twitter) is a 21-year old journalism student, split cross-continentally between Canada (school) and England (family). She loves adventuring around the world, planning unconventional dates, going to music festivals, baking caramel sea salt brownies, and dancing the night away. 

Until recently, I have never been a big fan of fish. Shrimp were fine, and maybe I’d have some lox with my bagel on Christmas morning. But generally the aquarium was about as far as I’d go when it came to fish.

Enter Whalesbone and the delightful sandwich that solved my fish issues. (Fish-ues?)

The Whalesbone Oyster & Fish Supply

What you may not know about this Ottawa gem is that one block away, on the corner of Kent and Arlington, lies the backbone of the whole restaurant: The Whalesbone’s Sustainable Oyster & Fish Supply. Here they sell fresh fish, oysters, other seafood accoutrements and — in what I consider to be the main event — the Brown Bag Lunch.

If you haven’t tried the lunch, you are certainly missing out on some of Ottawa’s prime sandwich offerings. From Tuesday to Saturday, 11am – 2pm, you can pop into the shop and order a supremely delicious fishy sandwich.

Whalesbone's Walleye Sandwich

While you wait for your sandwich to be prepared in the kitchen, it’s hard not to be tempted by a glass bottle of root beer and the potato salad (made with sweet potatoes and potatoes). I highly suggest you pick up a little pot of it and add a tangy, limey kick to the sandwich you will soon consume. 

Whalesbone's potato salad

By the cash register are some huge peanut butter cookies, made in-house. I can’t speak for those, but next time I think I may have to partake. Judging by the rest of the food, I have no doubts about their tastiness.

The sandwiches are all sublime. A little spicy and warm, the quality of ingredients are top-notch, and the flavours all combine to bring a depth to the meal.

There’s nowhere to sit inside, but what can you expect for a depot? My only qualm is that the whole meal was a little pricey ($6.75 for just the sandwich), but it was worth it — just as long as I don’t make it an every day habit.

The Sustainable Oyster & Fish Supply is a great place to go pre-picnic to grab something yummy or even on your lunch break. It’s relatively close to downtown and there’s usually a big lunchtime crowd, and I would definitely recommend you join it.

The Whalesbone garden provides the freshest ingredients

If The Whalesbone Supply made me a fish-eater, I’m sure it could turn even the most stubborn of tastebuds.

The Sustainable Oyster & Fish Supply is located at 504 A Kent Street. It’s open for lunch Tuesday – Saturday, 11am-2pm. On Tuesdays, Brown Bag Lunchers get a free cup of chowder. For more info:

Happy lunching! 

Yum! Have a favourite sandwich joint in Ottawa — fish or otherwise? Let us know about it by leaving a note below! And don’t forget to check out Whalesbone’s Oysterfest on June 26.