This landmark watering hole, better known as The Laff, is one of the last traditional taverns in Ottawa. Opened in 1849, the bar has undergone a number of renovations but is still in the same Byward Market location it has occupied for over 150 years. Although the kitchen serves up a limited menu of hamburgers and sandwiches, its main reason for being is cold draft beer served directly from the tap. The main bar also features live entertainment on most nights.
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.
Another gem from celebrity restaurateur Stephen Beckta, Play is a decidedly different dining concept adding to the rich culinary diversity of Ottawa. The restaurant was established in 2009, and quickly became one of the hottest dining destinations in the city. The menu at Play offers a constantly evolving selection of small plates, crafted using locally-grown, seasonally available ingredients. With the aim of letting diners sample multiple preparations, the menu offers delights like marinated fig, octopus and boar sausage. The selection at the wine bar is one of the city's best, spanning the top wine regions of the world. There's a fine array of cheeses as well as charcuterie for company. Restaurant interiors are tastefully done, with mellow tones, and minimalist décor choices. There's a separate space for private events as well.
If you are looking forward to a fun-filled evening, the Mill Street Brew Pub located in a heritage building on the banks of the Ottawa River is the place you should head to. This brew pub is known for offering a wide range of fresh brews in a casual ambiance. In case you feel hungry, your palate should be well pleased with the prime rib at Mill Street Brew Pub. Grade A Canadian beef is the house specialty, but the chef also serves delicious chicken and seafood dishes. If you have trouble deciding, ask your friendly server about the daily specials.
Discover authentic Italian flavors at the sophisticated Giovanni’s, boasting 20 years of experience serving the best native dishes in Little Italy. Genuine recipes and delightful specialties served here satisfy even the most discerning of palates. Boasting an exhaustive wine collection in perfect tandem with the food, Giovanni’s hopes to offer an elevated experience sure to please. While the prices are steep, the top-notch service and one-of-a-kind delicacies are worth it and warrant the indulgence.
Calling Westin Ottawa its home is a posh steakhouse and seafood restaurant called the The Shore Club. Ideally located in Downtown, this sophisticated eatery is perfect for business as well as casual rendezvous. Renowned for its contemporary decor, impeccable service and unparalleled dining fare, this restaurant has a lot to offer. There is an elegant menu featuring fresh seafood dishes and superior quality steaks along with a dynamic cocktail bar. An ideal venue for celebrations, as it boasts of semi-private and well-appointed dining rooms, The Shore Club offers an exclusive and intimate experience.
Located in the centre of Ottawa, Kinki Lounge Kitchen is surrounded by shopping outlets and other dining options. Try the Miso Shiro Soup, Shogun Duck or crunchy Tempura for main course; but for the adventurous ones can try the Sushi. Certainly an acquired taste, you might have to try the raw fish dish a few times before you like the flavor. The restaurant also serves delicious cocktails that go very well with the spicy, healthy food.
The Senate Tavern on Clarence is a casual pub and restaurant where the local crowd can be found cheering for their favorite team on a game night or simply enjoying some beer and conversation with other regulars. A great place to grab an after-work drink, the bar offers a number of local beers, exceptional wines, and classic cocktails. You can also linger over hearty Canadian and American dishes like Haddock Teasers, Burgers, Pulled Pork Sandwiches, and Poutines. Open-brick walls, sports-themed décor and paraphernalia, hardwood floors and flat-screen TVs lend this place a lively ambiance. Great discounts and happy hours also make this a great spot for budget travelers.
Luxe, a famed steakhouse in Ottawa, is another offering from the Firestone family. The food is made with a creative flair and flourish, the best ingredients used to whip up scrumptious delights packed with explosive flavors. The menu changes frequently in keeping with the trends. Select from appetizers, salads, steak options, and seafood. Couple the impressive dishes with draft beers, cocktails, or wines. Round off your wholesome meal with decadent treats from the dessert menu.