Wednesday, July 17, 2024

10 Best Bars for a Night Out in Ottawa

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Lucian Shon
Lucian is a civil engineer by profession but loves to write blogs about his hometown of Ottawa. He has worked in construction and building administration, growing his network of professionals over time.

Are you planning a fun night out in Ottawa? Whether you want to celebrate an occasion or relax after a long day, going to an iconic Ottawa bar is a great way to spend the evening.

Ottawa is Canada’s capital. So it wouldn’t be a surprise if the city would be home to some of the best places for delicious food and drinks. Downtown Ottawa, Elgin Street, Somerset Street, and so on— you’ll always find a great restaurant, pub, or bar with great cocktails, wine options, draft beers, and so on. You’ll find some of the best spots for a great night out in the city.

We have compiled a wide range of options for bars in Ottawa you definitely want to try out based on location, price, feedback from customers, server reputation, and atmosphere. Continue reading for a list of the best bars in Ottawa below!

1. Chateau Lafayette

Chateau Lafayette

Head to Chateau Lafayette for live music, hearty meals, and locally brewed beer. The Laff, as the locals call it, has been an Ottawa staple for over 150 years. It is the oldest bar in Ottawa, and it is older than the city itself, dating back to 1849. 

The Laff is in the ByWard Market neighborhood and is famous for its historic, local vibe, and they serve great food, such as farm-to-table burgers and vegetarian options at a low price. Try the classic cheeseburger with a toasted brioche bun, or order a crispy buffalo chicken wrap with house-made chicken strips tossed in hot butter.

2. The Manx Pub

The Manx Pub

The Manx Pub is an artsy bar in the Golden Triangle area, and it is the best bar to go to for global cuisine. It is moderately priced, features a selection of draught beers, and has frequent live music. 

The Manx Pub is a great place to experience upscale bar food while still retaining the charm of a classic pub. Enjoy the authentic pub environment while in vintage leather seats and sample creative plates like lamb curry wraps, quesadillas with mustard, and curried tofu scramble. If brunch is more your thing, visit earlier in the day and order chai scones and avocado toast.

3. Pour Boy

Pour Boy

Across from Dundonald Park in Centretown, Pour Boy is a great place to go for a casual beer at the end of the day. It has a friendly atmosphere and is inside a charming neighborhood. Go to Pour Boy to indulge in the truffle royale cake or down a light lager beer. 

Draft beer is $5 every day, and you will find that everything else at the bar is low-priced. Pour Boy is famous for its trivia, bingo, and points nights, but you can stop by for a comedy show or music performance. There is always something going on at Pour Boy, and the environment is lively and fun.

4. Dominion Tavern

Dominion Tavern

Head to Dominion Tavern, in the heart of ByWard Market, for a laidback bar with a rock-inspired twist. Kick back and relax with friends while you sip craft beers and play on the pool table. Stop by for a live music night if you want to kick things up a notch. 

They regularly host punk, indie, and garage bands at the indoor venue and consider themselves the center for rock n’ roll in the area. Dominion Park is a place for music lovers, and it is famous for low prices and flowing drinks. When you visit, come ready for a fun, music-filled experience.

5. Rabbit Hole

Rabbit Hole

Order trendy dishes and drinks at the Rabbit Hole, a Downtown bar on Sparks St. It is a little pricey, but we think the prices are worth it for the upscale bistro eats. The Rabbit Hole has a creative, two-story layout, but you can order curbside pickup if you do not want to go in. 

However, we recommend you dine in and experience the rooftop bar or downstairs lounge. Order experimental cocktails like the Pink Panther with grapefruit and lemon, and try a handcrafted pizza. The truffle chips with dill pickle dip are fantastic, and you have to try the cheese tortellini alongside a cold beer.

6. Charlotte


Visit Charlotte to experience a cocktail bar with a midcentury feel. The bar is next to Minto Park, and it is one of the classiest choices for a bar in Ottawa. The bar owners claim that Charlotte is the ultimate lounge experience, and they boast a drinks and food menu of classic and seasonal cocktails and great pub food. 

If you want something heartier, try a barrel-aged raspberry ale or a glass of beer on tap. We recommend settling into a cozy lounge chair with a white bush blend wine and a charcuterie board with cured meats. Top it off with a creme brulee with matcha custard.

7. Prohibition Public House

Prohibition Public House

For a rustic 1920s-era bar, visit Prohibition Public House in Centretown. It serves Canadian gastropub cuisine and a selection of wine, draft beer, and cocktails. The furniture and decor are vintage, and you can order drinks like the J. Edgar Hoover bourbon and the Capone spiced rum. 

Order a charcuterie board to accompany your drinks at the bar, or pick up some brunch on your next trip to Ottawa. The bar is pretty moderately priced, and you can enjoy your stylish Prohibition-era night on a budget.

8. The Lieutenant’s Pump

The Lieutenant’s Pump

Visit The Lieutenant’s Pump and enjoy a relaxed, quiet environment. It is a British bar in Golden Triangle, and the bar is the perfect place for a low-key evening on an open-air patio. It has three different bar areas, and you can reserve a spot ahead of time at the classic pub location. 

While drinks are the focus, you can stop by any time of day for a bite to eat. Order a chipotle chicken burger for dinner, or get a sharing plate with a round of drinks. Do not forget to try a traditional English toffee pudding for dessert.

9. MacLaren’s on Elgin

MacLaren's on Elgin

MacLaren’s on Elgin has a great beer selection, and you can play billiards while you enjoy a drink. This sports bar is in the Centretown district and is moderately priced. It is a hub for sports lovers, so come by the bar to watch a local or international game or play at the pool table. 

We think the toasted Ruben sandwich pairs well with the house beer, especially if you top it off with a vanilla bean cheesecake with raspberry. MacLaren’s has been attracting sports fans since 1997, and it is still serving pizza, wings, and sandwiches to hungry sports lovers.

10. Pub 101

Pub 101

Go to Pub 101 in ByWard Market for a casual bar with local flavor. Pub 101 has cheap, fan-favorite meals like baked mac and cheese and burgers, perfect when paired with a craft beer. We like the British-inspired fish and chips, but the crispy chicken burger with ranch is a fan favorite. 

If you are up for a challenge, come on Mondays at 6 pm and try their all-you-can-eat wings. Check the schedule to see if a comedy show is coming up, and watch local artists perform while you enjoy a local brew. Or, embrace your inner singer and take part in a karaoke night.


There are plenty of contenders for the best bars for a night out in Ottawa. In fact, it will be hard to pick a favorite. So get out there are enjoy your night out!

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