Recline into plush crimson seats at one of a dozen or so hardwood tables at this cozy basement pub; order a single malt scotch or an imported brew and relax. Authors read their works periodically during the week and the famed Sunday brunch was voted as the Best Brunch two years running by readers of Xpress, Ottawa's entertainment newspaper. There are various goodies on the menu like Eggs Ireland and stout French Toast stuffed with bananas. Traditional pub grub, including Shepherd's Pie and burgers are also offered, as well as more upscale choices, like Moroccon Stew and grilled salmon.
Climb the long, narrow stairs between the cheese and fish shops of the Byward Market to Ottawa's trendiest jazz bar, the Mercury Lounge. Besides, there are DJ and dance events, poetry reading sessions and more making Mercury Lounge a versatile event venue. A red velvet theme runs throughout the narrow, two-floor club, from the lanterns over the bar to the thick drapes hanging from the factory ceilings. Dress varies among the young, professional, club-going patrons, from fashionable evening wear to the occasional pair of jeans.
Lively and trendy, Tequila Jacks is the place where the university crowd of Ottawa comes to party and shake a leg to beats which vary from 80s rock to mellow country. Renowned for the most happening parties in town, the club also sees quite a lot of out-of-town customers and businessmen unwinding after a successful deal. The Vegas-themed club has quite an exceptional dance floor with poles and raised platforms. Along with birthday parties and bachelor parties, the club is also host to events like fundraisers, sports-themed parties and movie shoots.
If you wish to enjoy a laid back brunch on a weekend then Fraser Café is where your search ends. Yoghurt Pancakes, Poached Eggs and the Panzanella give a refreshing start to your day and Mimosas and smoothies add the extra zest needed. Albeit more popular from brunch, many also explore Fraser Café for lunch and the place does not disappoint. For lunch, try the Chicken Barley Risotto, Braised Pork Pie and do not leave out the Smoked Trout if you like seafood. The Striploin and Pork Belly make great mains if you are having your dinner here. Fraser Café also has a list of impressive wines to complete your fare.
Aperitivo is quite popular among the locals and they do not hesitate in recommending it to tourists as well. Set in a contemporary interior that is accentuated with dim lights and is well-furnished to accommodate patrons comfortably, this spot is where food is celebrated. Start your culinary adventure with the Cheese & Charcuterie Plate or go for the Mixed Greens. Pair these with something from the wine menu. A selection of wines is daily offered by the glass and you can rely on your servers for suggestions. For cocktail fans, Aperitivo has interesting concoctions like the Bourbon Ceasar, Spicy Margarita and Apple Sangria which taste great when accompanied with Confit Duck Wings, Fried Calamari and Fish Tacos.
Eve Nightclub, a 1920s-inspired club, is a great over-21 party destination in Ottawa. The decor in the club follows a distinct New York art deco influence while the comfy booths give an intimate feel to the place despite the heavy beats of the DJ. A great place to celebrate a bachelor party or 21st birthday, the place offers VIP bottle service on premium drinks ranging from Grey Goose Vodka to Dom Perignon. Along with private parties and regular DJ nights, the place is also host to its own lively parties for special events like New Years.
Named for one of Canada's founding fathers—who was assassinated on nearby Sparks Street in 1868—this massive pub manages to maintain a cozy, intimate feel. Set in a historic structure from 1883, it features comfortable booths that are separated from one another by beautiful stained glass windows. Try one of the daily pub fare specials or an Irish breakfast on the weekends. The pub often draws large crowds on Wednesday through Saturday evenings, when local musicians entertain patrons with live Celtic tunes.
A place that can do no wrong, Grounded Kitchen & Coffeehouse presents good food and great service in an even better ambiance. An exciting menu filled with scrumptious delicacies made with the best available ingredients, this charming cafe is one of the best breakfast and brunch places in town. The unconventional decor of the cafe, made with all things recycled, sure does leave a lasting impression on you. As the night falls, this cafe tempts socialites with its full bar menu and a fine bistro fare.
The Lookout Bar is a lively gay bar near downtown Ottawa which offers a plethora of activities and an extensive list of zippy cocktails. The cocktail list is heavy on mojitos and martinis and the food menu consists on typical bar snacks like nachos and chicken fingers. The dance floor is usually packed with people shaking a leg to catchy beats played by the DJ late into the night. Events like drag shows, karaoke nights, men's night and ladies nights ensures that the bar stays bustling and busy.
Aulde Dubliner Poruhouse, is an Irish pub that adds a charm of its own to the Byward market. It has two levels with a spacious mezzanine patio that serves as the pub with its own bar and live music. It also has an outer dining area for those who would like to engage in people-watching while enjoying their meal. For food you're spoilt for choice, but specials would be beef stew, shannon salad and homemade beer battered fish-n-chips. Pair these with a delightful wine or house spirits. Not just this, a fitting finish would be the Belgian Chocolate supreme or a good Irish whiskey. Head here for a good meal or drink while local bands entertain the crowd with live music.