By: Victoria Garland
These sweet little cakes have finally made it to our side of the city. Having heard of many cupcakeries located in Ottawa, especially in the Glebe along Bank Street, I was delighted to notice two that have recently opened around the corner from where we live in the Byward Market!
We first noticed The Cupcake Lounge while it was under construction. It’s located next to the Blue Cactus at 6 Byward Market Square, between York Street and Clarence. We ended up walking by during their early grand opening and Alex and I were lucky to be able to purchase and preview their delicacies. They only had a limited menu, and the majority were all sold out! Alex left with a Chocolate Chocolate and I with a Vanilla Vanilla.
Alex’s cupcake was “Belgian dark chocolate cake with bittersweet chocolate frosting” and covered in little chocolate piece sprinkles; mine was “Classic Madagascar bourbon vanilla cake with vanilla bean frosting” and covered in vanilla pearls. They’re quite big in size and not overly sweet, as some cupcakes (especially vanilla) can be! They go for $3.25 a cupcake, or 12 for $36.
We enjoyed the cakes so much we brought two of our visiting friends to The Cupcake Lounge to try out a few other flavours. This time around I ordered the Key Lime which is described as “Pure lime infused cake with lime zest and cream cheese frosting”. This cake was equally as delicious as my previous Vanilla Vanilla cupcake. Our other friend tried the Chocolate Coconut which is described as “Belgian dark chocolate cake with toasted coconut cream cheese frosting” to which he had nothing but good things to say.
The other cupcake shop we discovered in the market is Glitz Cupcakes and Company. Located at 11 Murray Street, we discovered this little place while sitting out on the patio for lunch at The Earl of Sussex Pub. We stopped in to try their cupcakes and the décor is really quite cool. Black furniture and dark wood, with light purple accents and mirrors, very similar to the décor of the Anna Sui make-up counters! We popped in right at the end of the day so again, our menu choices were limited.
This time Alex and I both opted for their Vanilla Vanilla cupcakes, although they had a few mini vanilla and Chocolate Chocolate left. They were adorned with purple sugar sprinkles and a purple star sprinkle atop a swirl of pretty ivory vanilla frosting. Although they were a bit smaller than the cupcakes offered at The Cupcake Lounge they were a little cheaper. I found these cupcakes to have the same savoury flavour (read: not too sweet!) as the Vanilla Vanilla at the Cupcake Lounge.
When I first discovered these two cupcake shops I thought for sure I was going to review how one was better than the other, but to my delight and surprise, they were both excellent! Both places offer quality cupcakes at reasonable prices in very chic little shops. The only difference between the two is that Glitz offers you larger lounge-style seating, while the Cupcake Lounge (ironically) only offers a few seats. However there is a bench located in the front of the store to enjoy a little people-watching in the market.
The only downside I have to state is that Glitz Cupcakes and Company have not developed a proper website other than a main page with the address and their hours. I would have loved to look at their daily offerings and descriptions of the cupcakes.
The Cupcake Lounge – 4.75/5
Glitz Cupcakes and Company – 4.25/5
(As I’ve only been to Glitz once, I will update this score upon my second trip and/or upon their implementation of a proper website)