Le Moulin de Provence
Le Moulin de Provence
Pastries at Le Moulin de Provence
Foods from Le Moulin de Provence

2018 Jul 14
I'm a huge fan of a good Paris-Brest pastry but this was not such a thing. The filling was the best part and had a nice praliney flavour, but the mouth feel was strangely oily. The choux pastry was hard and dry and stale tasting.

My big beef with this place is that it has a massive selection of visually appealing but disappointing products. The huge selection means that things sit around. The doors are often wide open and flies visit the products frequently. Ordering a pastry here is a gamble that usually results in something that doesn't taste fresh. This is grocery store quality at premium bakery prices.

I typically shy away from negative reviews because I believe businesses selling poor products will die out naturally and taking the time to write comments is a waste of effort. However, Le Moulin de Provence exists in the alternate reality of the ByWard Market, where repeat customers are not always the objective and a fresh population of tourists is all but guaranteed. See my original comment from 12 years ago below. Not much has changed! :(

It breaks my heart that people are visiting Ottawa and judging our food by what is available in the ByWard Market building. I've been working right across from it for a year and a half now and the only place we visit on a regular basis is the lovely Corazón de Maíz. Come on Ottawa, we can do much better!

2018 Feb 16
The talented pastry chef formerly at Mantovani 1946 recently moved here and the difference is hard to miss. Her masterpieces are grouped together in an area of the display case that has a virtual halo of awesomeness around it. This is a much-needed boost for this centrally located but historically underwhelming bakery!

The Peanut Mousse with Salty Caramel and Chocolate bar (aka Snickers, $4.95) was a beautiful quality product. It was garnished with a little cluster of salty candies peanut and some gold leaf. The peanut mousse was awesome. I didn’t love the caramel-fudge filling but I think those with a sweeter tooth than mine would love it.

The White Chocolate Mousse with Strawberry Filling hearts ($4.95) were quite delightful. The mousse was light and not too sweet. An impossibly thin white chocolate shell preserved the mousse’s moisture and a wonderfully natural tasting strawberry filling provided a perfect counterpoint to the mousse.

2011 Aug 12
I paid a visit to Le Moulin de Provence for lunch today. I have been a little put off lately by the quality of their baguettes and by the fact they no longer have deli-type meats available but their hot meals have always looked intriguing. Since their lunches have been on my bucket list for some time and since it was a nice day out I decided to take a lunchtime stroll to the Byward Market and to try out their hot meals. Today's choice was fish kebabs, a chicken dish and a merguez casserole. I had my choice of two sides. I love merguez sausages so that's what I picked. The sausages were sautéed and served over stewed vegetables. The sausages were truly awesome - nice and spicy and cooked to perfection. The stewed vegetables on the other hand were really oily - I suspect they put way too much oil in the pan when they sautéed them. That really ruined it for me. I had a rice pilaf on the side which was really nice. I had some roasted vegetables as my other side which were dusted with a little thyme and perfectly cooked. The cost of lunch was $10.99 plus tax. The lunch was suitable but with so many nice restos in the neighbourhood I won't place Le Moulin de Provence at the top of my list.

EDIT: The merguez sausage sandwich I had at Murray's Market a couple of months ago was so perfect I now use it as a benchmark for future merguez dishes. I hope Murray's Market puts it back on the menu again soon.

2010 Oct 20
Momomoto "Maybe I have poor taste in sandwich loaf?" Not at all! If you are looking for a good sandwich bread in the Byward Market area I would recommend the Portuguese Bakery or Rideau Bakery. (Edit: the Portuguese Bakery recently changed their hours and I "think" they are only open until 2:00 pm now. So if you go it would be best to go in the morning.) Otherwise the Trillium Bakery also makes excellent bread if you are ever in Old Ottawa South.

2010 Oct 19
Pasta Lover - I appreciate your comments. It strengthens my resolve to not buy anything more than what I'm used to ;)

Maybe I have poor taste in sandwich loaf?

2010 Oct 19
Momomoto The only bread I would buy regularly at the Moulin de Provence is the Parisien bread since it is just as good as the Parisien bread as Hartmans. But I noticed on my visits there last summer the Parisien breads looked burned so I passed.

As for the croissants I find they don't taste much better than the grocery store variety and with the French Baker just a few blocks away I just head over to the FB when I want a croissant.

I am also not terribly fond of their breads - I would have to agree with the comments of others that they are airy and dry. I buy alot of my breads from the Trillium Bakery, Art-is-in Bakery or the Ethiopian man at the farmers markets and I find the Moulin de Provence breads pale in comparison.

The major drawback that lost me as a customer is when they effectively closed the "deli counter" near the mall entrance earlier this year. They had some lovely pâtés and other charcuterie items that I haven't seen elsewhere in Ottawa (particularly the cretons). (They now have pre-made meals to take home in that section.)

Just my two cents.

2010 Oct 19
Oven at Le Moulin de Provence explodes!


It sounds like nobody was seriously injured, so here's to hoping that they have a speedy recovery.

Oh, and to make the review relevant:

We buy sandwich bread from here quite often when we're looking for a change from the stuff at Hartman's. It's pretty decent.

The baguette is OK, but nothing to swoon over.

I'd like to hear if other people have visited recently and found the bread airy and icky, similar to some of the reviews that had been posted here in the past.

2008 Aug 11
I compared my croissant from Le Moulin to my favorite bakery in Paris and let me say, I have no need to return to Paris.

And where they flies or raisins? Since when do we have to worry about flies on our food and not pesticides in our food? I too, would shrug!

2006 Oct 5
Well, they must be doing something right because it is alway full!
When I mentioned that there were about 20 flies floating around inside their pastery display fridge, the server just shrugged...

2006 Oct 2
Overall I find this to be a disappointing place given its fantastic central location in the Byward Market. The food looks wonderful but ranges from tolerable to terrible. It probably attracts a lot of tourists -- too bad they leave Ottawa thinking our food is crap! :-)




2012 Jul 30
I've been reading the comments here and I have to disagree with anyone who says the croissants are as good/or better than anything you find in Paris. BIG DISAGREE. I have tried several of the foods from Le Moulin de Provence and yes I have enjoyed some, and have been disappointed with others! But their croissants lack quality!

Just this past weekend I decided to give them another try (I was disappointed with them before hand) I was craving a chocolate/almond croissant and it was horrible. It was dry and hard on the outside and raw on the inside. There was far too much powdered sugar on the top and was made with far too much almond flavouring. Not one flake of almond on the whole thing. And the chocolate inside was ....well, lets just say, there was one little square of it near the outer corner of the croissant. Sorry, but this was NOTHING like the ones I have had in France..

The person I was with also had a cheese croissant. He ended up throwing his in the garbage after a few bites because it was so dry.

Lets just say, I wont be giving them another chance, nor will I spend another penny there. The disappointments outweigh the pleasures from Le Moulin de Province.

2010 Apr 25
After reading that Ron Eade and company (communities.canada.com) found these to be the best croissants in Ottawa, I had to give them another try.

It seemed a little better than I remembered from before, being a little more moist and a little crispier. However, I found it waay too sweet. The sugar may be added to appeal to the North American palate, but to me it just makes it taste like grocery store product.

In my books, The French Baker is still king of the croissant, although I'm keen to try the new ones at Bridgehead .

2006 Oct 2
We tried some croissants here (plain, cheese, and chocolate) just after trying one from the French Baker (The French Baker). It was a bit like eating a slice of processed cheese after tasting a morsel of Oka.

2006 Oct 2
Not absolutely terrible, but not much better than one can get at the grocery store. (Pillsbury croissants are absolutely terrible, so these aren't quite that bad! :-) ). A little on the dry and chewy side.



2009 Nov 13
Coffee is served in styrofoam cups when you get it 'to go'.
I like my coffee bold, so this was a little bit dissapointing.

2008 Dec 27
Their cappuccino is the best I've had in this town. It's strong, full of flavour and served very hot. It's got nothing less on a French and even an Italian cappuccino.

2006 Oct 2
I couldn't finish the coffee I had there this past weekend. What flavour there was was dull and flat.


2006 Oct 2
I recall this being a reasonably satisfying version -- though my tourtière experiences include only 5-10 sources. They sell it by the slice, but I bought the whole pie for some fairly extortionate price.



2010 May 3
I must concur with "smart cookie", I ordered a Cheese stick on my way home and it was awful. It was completely dry and sucked all the moisture out of my mouth. It was also tasteless. A good friend of mine used to work here and used to bring home all sorts of goodies, and amazing bread. So this is not a negative comment about Moulin de Provence in general, but their cheese sticks are pretty disgusting, seemed old and I would recommend saving the $.85 you might have spent on them. And the place is pretty much a tourist trap, but so is everything else in the market.

Nice place, nice coffee, nice cakes, *TERRIBLE CHEESE STICKS*

2009 Nov 13
I bought some cheese sticks when I had a break during my class, found them to be very dry and lacked flavour.

2007 Feb 1
A baguette I picked up here isn't at all bad. Not something I'd make a special trip for, but nothing objectionable.

2006 Oct 2
The breads look great but are dry and airy. :-(


2012 Nov 19
The Brioche Cannelle was pretty dry, as is the norm for pretty much anything here, but the flavour was decent and it would be pretty nice with a coffee. This baby was $2.65, and I have to admit I only bought it because I thought it was half the size it turned out to be. I thought this might be a case of quality over quantity. Alas. :-)