Rideau Carleton Raceway Buffet is usually a good bet!

Rideau Carleton Raceway

The dining lounge at the Rideau Carleton Raceway is one of Ottawa's best kept secrets!

You can always be a winner if you just go here for dinner!

When you visit Rideau Carleton, the bank won’t be beat!

So save a few pennies then at least you can eat

The buffet is quite good and won’t break the bank!
Way above average, if not quite Top Rank…

And as a sweet ending, the dessert table’s a treat..

Unfortunately, when we are our usual Supper Seven, the buffet at the Rideau Carleton Raceway dining lounge is off-limits due to the fact that you must be 18 years or older to enter the casino. Although the Racetrack off Albion road in Gloucester is a popular destination, many people appear to be ignorant of its restaurant facilities. We were surprised to discover, for instance that until we corrected the omission, one of  the most popular restaurant review sites, Urbanspoon, did not even list the facility. Personally, I am not much of a gambler and thus my main interest in visiting this particular venue is to partake of the buffet. If you do like to gamble, especially on the horses, I would recommend visiting on a race night where you can dine and gamble right from your table since the restaurant overlooks the racetrack and you can place bets with cashiers who come right to the table. 

Where we went: Our 3 young friends, Amber, Lara and Fayth were not going to be joining us this particular Friday since Amber and Lara had been away at summer camp. We decided to take advantage of the situation to make a rare visit to Rideau Carleton. One of the disadvantages, for us at least, is that it takes the better part of half an hour to make the journey so far South off Bank Street.

Rideau Carleton Raceway buffetWhat we ordered: Although I believe it is possible to order à la carte, we have never done so. We come here specifically for the buffet. Most of the usual dishes are on offer plus a few that are usually reserved for more exotic and pricier venues. Roast beef, sauteed shrimp and barbecued ribs seem to be mainstays. 

Sample plate from the buffetWhat we got: One of the reasons that I am not a huge fan of buffets is that I am not a voracious eater. I can usually only manage a single plate of food at one sitting. What you see pictured here was the sum total of my intake other than a few sauteed shrimp that were not available on my first round. On the whole, the food is well prepared, not overcooked and not laced with sugar as with most Chinese buffets. It is hard to obtain a piece of rare beef though and some of the other hot dishes were somewhat over-sauced.

Dessert table at the Rideau Carleton BuffetMy personal favourite part of this particular buffet though, is the dessert table. It seems that most, if not all the offerings are baked on the premises and the trifle in particular is delicious. A large part of the reason that I only take one plate of main course is to leave a substantial amount of space for dessert. I recommend checking it out in advance so you will know just how much space to leave 😉

Worthy of note: If you have a casino players card and you obtain a coupon from a cashier, you can eat breakfast here for just $1.99. Early in the week on non-race nights, you can eat the same buffet that costs $19.99 on week-ends and race nights for just $9.99.


  • Positives: Good food for a fair price. You can make an entire evening by combining racing or slots with supper. Our server had a good sense of humour.
  • Negatives: No children allowed. I must admit that for some this would go in the positive column… 
  • Recommendation: For all but the most fastidious of diners, this is worth the longish trek from downtown Ottawa .
Category Rating Explanation
Food Quality *** Good
Price $$ Good value
Decor *** Racetrack
Service *** Above average
Overall Rating **** Recommended


Rideau Carleton Raceway Dining Room on Urbanspoon

Rideau Carleton Raceway on Restaurantica


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    • steve on November 15, 2010 at 9:22 pm
    • Reply

    The place is a dump and the food is terrible. Get real.

    1. Sorry that you had a bad experience there Steve! We have been several times over the last few years and although I would not categorize it as ‘haute cuisine’ nor was it ‘terrible’. Its continued popularity is a testament to the fact that many people enjoy it!

    • David Benson on February 16, 2011 at 2:33 pm
    • Reply

    I and my wife went to the Valentines day dinner . We thought Monday’s were $10 but when we got there it was $19.95 that was because it was Valentines day , But the food was exactly the same as any other day , so we will not be going there ever again

    • Liban on February 10, 2012 at 12:04 am
    • Reply

    Worst food ever. Cold, bashful display, vary tight when it came to seating, food selection was less then 10 real plates. Fries and icecream were probaly the best tasting thing there. Okay staff! But horrible food! Not recommended

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