Ralph & Sons Diner is a hidden gem in Ottawa that has been happily filling the bellies of clients for decades.
It is always a pleasure to visit an iconic dining establishment. Ralph & Sons Diner is a family-owned operation located a bit off the main beat and path on Carling Avenue in the suburb of Nepean. From breakfast classics to new and delicious lunch items and signature hot meals, you are sure to find something you will like and enjoy! This humble and cozy gem of a restaurant has been in operation for over 50 years.
I arrived for breakfast and perused the menu. Their omelets, among them mushroom veggie, Western and ham ‘N’ cheese, with your choice of toast on the side, are among the favorites. You can order breakfast here from opening to closing time. If lunch is more your style, then you’re in luck! The place has a variety of delicious dishes for you to choose from such as the four-piece chicken fingers, smoked meat on rye, or the fish and chips! They also have tasty clubs and to top it all off, homemade rice pudding. You can dine in, pick up, or order via one of the apps.
I ordered the smoked meat special- two farm fresh eggs over easy, Montreal smoked meat, home fries, toast and jam, and my traditional decaf coffee. I added some crispy pieces of bacon. My friend had a cheese omelet. The portion of smoked meat was so generous that I asked our server Sherri, who has been lovingly doing her job for 22 years, for two pieces of rye bread and some mustard. I made a smoked meat sandwich on the spot and packed it up for lunch later.
The restaurant was started in 1963 by Ralph Nesrallah, who passed away on January 1, 2023. His widow Najla and sons Rick and Nick still run the operation and know many regular clients by name. They also operate the MacEwen gasoline and convenience store on-site.
This place exudes warmth. There are 75 seats, including a dozen stools at the front counter. Nick, Rick and staffer Cathy work the grill and spin out orders while Najla circulates through the room and visits each table to make sure the orders are just right. There are so many regulars that she ends up engaging in lengthy chats. Meanwhile, Nick and Rick are constantly interrupted by old friends. The two brothers have smiles a mile long, clearly very much pleased with their lot in life.
Ralph & Sons Diner is located at 3420 Carling Avenue and is open from 7 am to 2 pm Wednesday to Sunday. The restaurant is wheelchair accessible. For more information log on to www.ralphandsons.com or call 613-828-0697.