Little Italy debuts new tasting-style event in support of the arts 

A colourful mural with the word Corsica Italia on it. A yellow car is parked in the front.
A mural on display in Little Italy. Provided photo.

Submitted by the Preston Street BIA

When it comes to culinary hotspots, Ottawa’s Little Italy stands out as a favorite for many.

With a wealth of top-notch restaurants lining the street, the idea of trying all of the flavours of Little Italy may seem out of reach. The Preston Street Business Improvement Area (BIA) has announced the launch of a new tasting-style event, set to highlight the diverse flavors of Little Italy while giving attendees the chance to indulge in dishes from multiple restaurants in one great evening.

“This is a great opportunity for food enthusiasts to experience the diverse flavours of Ottawa’s Little Italy, without breaking the bank,” said Lindsay Childerhose, Executive Director of the Preston Street BIA.

Unlike similar events with steep ticket prices, the BIA aims to keep Taste of Little Italy affordable for attendees.

“Our goal with this event is to foster community connections with our amazing restaurateurs while also supporting a local arts initiative,” she added.

The event for food lovers will take place at Sala San Marco on April 23. Priced at just $50 per ticket, guests can enjoy a wide variety of flavours from multiple participating restaurants, all while contributing to a worthy cause.

The term “diverse flavours” is no understatement. Preston Street has become home to an increasingly eclectic mix of restaurants boasting an array of cuisines including Indian, Greek, Persian, Italian, Vietnamese, Thai, and more – all of which will be well-represented at Taste of Little Italy.  

“Taste of Little Italy is a great opportunity for businesses to get to know their neighbours while showcasing what they bring to the area,” said Shauna Bradley, CEO of the Heart and Crown, a restaurant participating in the event. “Preston Street has one of the best vibes in town, and this gives us a chance to show it off.” 

The event will be put on in support of local arts group Fonte d’Amore Tarantella. Tarantella is a traditional Southern Italian folk dance deeply rooted in Ottawa’s Italian-Canadian community.

Founded by Carina Della Valle and nestled in the heart of Little Italy, the Fonte d’AmoreTarantella Group is dedicated to preserving and performing traditional dances passed down through generations, which includes annual performances at the Ottawa Italian Festival each June.  

“Fonte d’Amore is an expression of Little Italy’s community and its proud traditions that have been passed down through generations,” said Della Valle. “We are so happy to be working with PSBIA on this event and the dancers are very excited to be performing at Taste of Little Italy.” 

Attendees can expect an evening filled with delicious cuisine, captivating performances by the Fonte d’Amore Tarantella Group, lively music, and great opportunities to meet and mingle with the chefs and restaurants that make up Ottawa’s Little Italy. Tickets are on sale now through Eventbrite or at Sala San Marco. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable experience.  

You can purchase tickets here.

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