Colonnade Pizza
Colonnade Pizza
Pizza at Colonnade Pizza
Pizza at Colonnade Pizza
Colonnade Pizza
Pizza at Colonnade Pizza
Foods from Colonnade Pizza

2011 Jul 14
In reading Food Gypsyís review of the Colonnade, something about the ending didnít seem quite right. My impression isnít quite the same. I will never forget a comment made by a former colleague, she was describing her meal at the Bank Street (in Blue Heron Mall, Alta Vista) location, it was new at the time; she said ďyup, they serve the same great pizza as the downtown location - the customer service hasnít changed one bit --- they are still as rude as ever ! Food Gyspy implies in her review that the staff is friendly.

On another note, does anyone have any insight into the number of new locations that have popped up in the last few years?

Also, someone mentioned that rather than Chicago style pizza it is more like Lebanese style. Just wanted to ask if anyone knew anything about the restaurantís ownership? I have a Greek friend who said the place was opened by someone of Greek origin. They may have sold the business.

Any comments?

2011 Jul 14
@Ken V Indeed, there's nothing at all 'Chicago Style' about Colonnade. It fits squarely in the Ottawa 'Lebanese-style' bracket. Although they oil the pans, so you get a bit of a fried-tasting bottom-of-crust.

I agree with Food Gypsy about them being a well-oiled (with cheese grease, probably) machine, though. Seeing them serve multiple 8-10-person tables of public servants in a timely fashion at lunch is pretty impressive.

(said public servants need to learn to share the sidewalk on their way to the restaurant, however)

2011 Jul 14
@Food Gypsy. Chicago style pizza is actually deep dish a very different pizza than that of Colonnade.

2011 Jul 13
Colonnade became my place to write after a long day of French cooking, while studying at Le Cordon Bleu last fall/winter. I was my respite from perfection.

Living next door it was also impossible to avoid. I swear they pump that smell through the neighborhood to drive you crazy.

So every Thursday night, for many months, I would gather my books and head to Colonnade for pizza.

The decor is straight out of 1978, and somehow that just --- works.

Theirs is a Chicago style, thick crust pizza. There is nothing 'light' about it. It's dripping with cheese and sauce and toppings and baked to perfection at 650* in a kitchen that turns out 12,000 pizza a month (Metcalfe location).

Colonnade does three things well:

1) Cannelloni. It's good. Try it.
2) Coconut Cream Pie. Made in house. Some days, better than others, a tasty treat.
3) Pizza.

For me the mark of a good, Chicago style pizza is where the dough meets the cheese; that crisp, tight seam - it should spring back, have tension, there should be a light response to the teeth, a crisp tap when touched with the tip of a finger.

My pet peeve with Colonnade is that they INSIST on serving that first slice of pizza. This is a pizza that needs 'rest' time. It's so thick it needs a couple minutes to stand and soak up the goo.

("goo" technical term)

It's even better cold!

Moved last month. I miss not living beside them. If I was lonely, (having just moved to a new city) I would go and stand outside the window of the pizza kitchen and watch the dough fly, ovens opening and closing. They are a well oiled machine.

Still have pizza night... I call in and Peter says the same thing, every time "Hi Corinna, usual? OK. 20 minutes..."

Hemingway had La Bodeguita, I had Colonnade Pizza. *sigh*

More words & pics on my blog:

2011 Jun 14
@hipfunkyfun Yes I did request a thin crust and it held the toppings well - maybe they went a little easy on the toppings?

2011 Jun 12
This was our pepperoni, green pep and olives pie and 3 garlic dips from the Merivale location. It was juicy and delicious. Knife and fork a must. I did find the woman working the cash to be a bit surly. The garlic sauce was decent. Gourmet restaurant in Carleton Place has the best dipping sauce, House of pizza is good too. Colonnade's wasn't up to those standards, but is definitely better than the salad dressing type dips and other prepackaged stuff you get at places like pizza pizza. I mainly use the dip just for the crust, but like the crust dry too. The grease ensures nothing is overly dry.

2011 May 9
$26 for a large pizza. That should be enough.

But there's more.

Mediocre pizza at best, with little to no sauce. I don't know what it is with these Ottawa pizza joints and their cheapness when it comes to sauce. The dough, as others have commented: pretty thin and bland. The toppings, average to above average, tasty cheese, and decent coverage, but hey for $26 the toppings better not be sparse. In short: very underwhelming, high price tag or no.

From what I understand, pizza is what they do best. My girlfriend opted for the chicken pita, which instead of the usual marinated chicken cubes, this was more of a wrap with slices of chicken. And pickles! Another pet peeve: what's with the obsession of all these places (Napoli at Island Park and Richmond is another) that by default put pickles in a sandwich or sub?! Pickles should be an option. Sure, you can remove them, but the strong taste from the juices remains. Head-scratcher.

The most interesting part of this experience has to do with the owner. Not the older gentleman, but rather, the guy I presume is his son, mid-40ish, who inherited the place.

As we're heading to our table to join a friend that got there before us, he tells us to walk in the middle. My instinct was to not walk by the patrons as I myself hate traffic when I'm at a table, so I chose the nice, separate walkway so as not to bother anybody. It bothered him, though. A lot. Presumably this sacred walkway is reserved for the wait staff. I ignore him, and continue walking as the walkway was clear no waiters in sight. Then he starts to yell.

Basically, instead of just letting us be, seeing we already were halfway there, he chose to persist and yell at us to walk in the tables section. But I noticed there wasn't even a scene!

I noticed that not one patron, seated or otherwise, batted an eyelash. I concluded that this guy must have these moments all the time, and the regulars have gotten to ignore his tantrums. I found that kinda funny.

Besides that, the service from our waiter was very good.

In short, I will not return. Besides the sub-par fare, the decor of the place looks like it's stuck in the 70s. Frames of images of greco-roman colums, among other questionable interior design choices. The only thing that was not reminiscent of the disco decade were the hefty prices.

2011 Apr 1
Dita - did you special order your pizza as thin crust? I have never seen colonnade do a thin crust, i can't imagine how it would hold all the toppings?

2011 Mar 31
Stopped in today at the bank and walkley location at dinner time around 530. The place was packed! My guest and I had a small chef salad to start which was really fresh and delicious. More then enough for two people.
Dressing served on the side. Before I could finish the salad the medium combination pizza we ordered was on our table.
Wow - im a huge pizza fan and this really is the BEST in Ottawa. Delicious!! a nice thin crust pizza.
The mushrooms are out of this world.

2010 Apr 30
Ok... I have been to the Center-town colonnade a number of times with my colleagues from work. It seems to be a public service hotspot as it is packed to the brim every single lunch. One would think this is because they serve good pizza; i guess that is what it's patrons "think". Every time i have been here i have been disappointed.

I had a collonaide special once and a mushroom pizza another time. Let me break it down for you, thick tasteless, bleeched white crust. (not unlike pizza pizza crust)Way to much cheese - and they always include cheddar along with mozzarella which is a NO! on pizza since the whey and fat separate very easily leaving big piles grease all over the place. The toppings are fine, nothing to complain about. And the sauce is fine. What I'm saying is that I would never personally choose to go here, and I just end up here because of business lunches and such.

The pizza is horribly mediocre. It's not bad, it won't make you sick, and some people like thick greasy pizza. All of my colleagues rave about it, and I just keep my mouth shut to avoid being a negative Nancy. Since I had two mediocre pizzas there, my subsequent visits to collonaide prompted me to choose other things off the menu. IMPORTANT TIP* don't CHOOSE ANYTHING ELSE OFF THE MENU*

One time I had a Chicken Sandwich platter. It was a huge breast of chicken the thickness of a pop can, with no seasoning and cooked as is. It was the type of chicken you buy frozen from giant tiger: fatty, tasteless and the chicken probably never saw the light of day. It was served on a decent Italian type bun with lettuce, tomato and pickle (if i remember correctly) with a side of incredibly mediocre french fries (most definitely from a frozen package.)Since the chicken was so thick, I couldn't eat it like a sandwich, I had to eat it with a fork and knife. Oh I almost forgot, there was no Mayo on it either (yes I said no mayo on a chicken sandwich) and I had to ask for it. Since the restaurant was so busy, the server made it seem like a favor to fetch me some mayo. To make matters worse, this sandwich clocks in at about 10+ dollars and with a drink and tip (which I had a very hard time leaving due to the mediocre quality and service) pushes your bill to over 15 bucks.

I had the "pleasure" of attending collonaide once again this past week, also as a work outing. Again, avoiding the pizza and trying to keep my bill low, I ordered a Greek Side Salad and a fries with gravy. I will say, the Greek Salad was completely acceptable, and enjoyable. (thus I must revise my aforementioned warning not to order other things off the menu) It was a hearty portion with lots of feta a nice tart dressing, olives and two generous slices of sour pickle. It was swimming in dressing which is ok by me. The fries and gravy (which i regret ordering due to my previous mediocre fry experience) was just that, Mediocre. Crappy fries served on a side salad plate and awful packaged gravy - but what was I expecting - duh.

Again, a "side salad" with side fries and gravy pushed 12 dollars and with a pepsi, i ended up paying 13 bucks. Completely not worth it. That particular occasion, my colleagues all ordered pizza, half of theirs came, while the other half waited. 3 or four people in my party had finished eating by the time the other pizza's came. Again, this is unacceptable for a sit down restaurant and a joint which has such a "great reputation". All in all I don't know or understand what the fuss is about, I have been here at least 5 times, and it has yet to impress any of my senses. + the centre town location has terribly dated decor resembling a motel circa 1992.

Some people seem to like this place, and like I said if you like thick - copiously cheese topped pizza than, this place might be for you. But for real pizza lovers, Italians who know good Pizza and people who want other options - skip this restaurant.

Sorry about the negativity, I'm just being objective.

Cheers, Rob

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2012 Aug 9
Only one Colonnade Pizza exists for me in this town, the original on Gilmour.

The ones on Merivale Road and Hazeldean do a great disservice to the Colonnade Pizza brand. Somehow their attempts fail miserably on taste, as I have had better from chains and take-out. The service experiences have also been terribly bad at the Merivale location, rude and condescending.

We actually spend the extra driving time it takes to visit the Gilmour location as it has always been consistently great in flavour and the staff are always friendly and attentive.

Great pizza and service at Colonnade Pizza, but only available at the Gilmour location.

2011 Mar 16
First time at any Colonnade Pizza on a cold rainy Sunday. We visited the Kanata location. We ordered a medium Combination with bacon. When trying new pizza places, we tend to order the same pizza - base comparison.

The pizza arrived, I took a bite and had a flashback to pizzas I've had when I was a kid. We were truly impressed with the delicious crust, the generous cheese, we really liked having the bacon 'under' the cheese. I think they've won best pizza in Ottawa (or Kanata at least) a couple of times. Our server was very seasoned and knew how to treat the customer right. We did have to wait a while to get a menu, but the cheerful smile made it all better.

To some it may not have been a spectacular pizza, but it had all the things that we love about pizza, so for us, it was spectacular - worthy of a mention here.

I think we've found a new take-out place for pizza. When you live in the outskirts, good pizza can be hard to find!

2010 Apr 23
Top 3 Pizza Joints in Ottawa, if you like your pizza "upside down" as they say (cheese on top) which I do, and in no particular order:
- Colonnade
- Lorenzo's (in the Byward Market, NOT Vanier - it just changed names recently but when you call, they still say "Lorenzo's"
- Carlos

Colonnade's crust is smaller. Lorenzo's is big. Carlos only does west end delivery and refers east-enders to Lorenzo's. Flavour for all three is very similar: yummy, yummy, yummy.

And people...just WAIT a bit and let the cheese cool down before digging in; your pizza will "maintain its integrity".

2007 Sep 29
Split a takeout vegetarian with the misses this evening from the newest location on Merivale. It was consistent with the quality of the other locations in the city. If you've never tried this pizza they're very generous with the cheese (brick/mozz) and the crust is not too thick (but not quite thin). My only gripe is it could be just a little crispier, but that's just my personal preference.

Definitely one of the best places for 'za in the city.

2006 Dec 16
1/2 of a small vegetarian pizza from Colonnade.

It does, I think, a better job of maintaining its structural integrity than most fat pies like this do. I'm not sure why they're so big on burying most of the toppings, but I don't have many complaints about it.

2006 Dec 9
SandyG: I really like the pizza at Maxwell's. It's similar to Johnny Farina's but maybe different enough for your wife to enjoy as well.

Also, if you odn't see toppings you like on their menu, they will add whatever you want (as long as it's in their kitchen).

2006 Dec 8
I cannot for the life of me understand why people love this Pizza so much. For my part, toppings,(especially meat), belong on top of the cheese. I also prefer pizza that maintains its structural integrity. If anyone can recomend another place, I'd be grateful. So far, Johny Farinas, is my go to. Of course, my wife is not a big fan. I guess that's pizza.

2006 Nov 26
I really do enjoy this stuff. There's very little to complain about -- 'more generous toppings' comes to mind, but then, it's one of the only places around that doesn't mess up stuff like 'double mushrooms.' We're usually double-cheese people here, but that turned out to be a mistake at the Colonnade; they put quite enough on in the first place.

It's one of my favourite places to take people -- it's universally appreciated pizza.

Most of the other dishes can be given a pass, though.

2006 Oct 17
Colonnade is indeed great pizza -- lots of cheese, but not greasy, a good thickness, and very tasty.

Ultimately, so far I've preferred pizza from Carlo's Pizzeria, but it's close.

2006 Sep 28
It is definitely one of the better all around pizze in Ottawa. It was very good and I'd get it from there again. If I remember correctly, Colonnade is generous on cheese, not too thick or thin, crispy and chewy crust and tasty on toppings. There are better crusts and better cheese out there, but they aren't found on the same pie!




2008 Jan 5
The noodles were overcooked, the sauce was thin and the chicken parmigiana tasted oddly like funnel cake (maybe it was the oil?). This place needs to stick with the pizza.


2008 Jan 6
Wifey had heard that Colonnade is known for its coconut cream pie. Since that is one of my favourites we went to the new Merivale location to try it out (next to One Fish Two Fish). Their dessert menu has quite a selection of pies but we confirmed with the server that the only ones they make in-house are the coconut cream and the banana cream. I ordered the former and wifey ordered the latter.

It turned out they are exactly the same pie with different toppings. This means that it's a vanilla cream pie with toasted coconut or banana slices on top. That's just fine but I prefer to have a bit of coconut inside the pie for extra flavour. All in all a surprisingly good cream pie for a pizza joint!

I had a tea and wifey had a hot chocolate. Mine was just tea bag tea and hers was a tall glass topped with whipped cream. The funny thing is that mine cost more! ($1.75 vs. $1.50) That's a highish price for tea and a bargain for garnished hot chocolate!