Byward Market, Ottawa
The Heart and Crown was once one of our favourite pubs when in Ottawa but a recent experience has convinced me never to return. After attending my daughter's graduation from University in the afternoon, we all decided to meet at the pub for dinner and a few drinks. Our meals were taking a cry long time and we complained to a young man who turned out to be a bouncer - big mistake! This brute was so rude and belligerent when we complained telling us "he didn't like our attitude". Totally stunned, I asked to speak to the manager. The manager was equally rude and offensive, pointing out that the bouncer "can do whatever he wants". Our waiter (a delightful young woman named Joanna), was extremely embarrassed and apologetic but it was clear that she was not of sufficient status to complain on our behalf. The food, when it arrived, was mediocre at best, and while the bouncer didn't like our attitude, he had no trouble with three miniskirted young women who were obviously so drunk and disorderly that they actually fell onto the floor, creating a very tense situation for us and others trying to enjoy a night out. The entire experience, intended to be a happy celebration for my daughter, turned into a complete fiasco. I truly hope that the owner of the pub reads this review. I think that he/she will want to read the 'riot act' to some of the male waiters and also point out to the manager that rudeness does not win the hearts and minds of clientele. I have travelled the world and have never had such an offensive and rude experience in such a mediocre and bottom-rung restaurant bar. My advice... give it a miss!
It was with great pleasure and great expectations that we accepted an invitation from a friend to spend an evening at The Highlander Pub in the ByWard Market in Ottawa. Sadly, that was the first and last time I went there!! The customer service was terrible. We were served by the rudest waitress I have ever met in my entire life!!! If I could, I would have fired this girl, Lori, on the spot!!!
Dress Code: casual
I love going here It's a great pub with great food when ever I go to Ottawa I have to go to The Heart and Crown, every meal I have ever eaten here I have enjoyed. I cannot pick one meal over the other. I had purchashed this glass a few years ago there.
Dress Code: As u r comfortable dress up to please yourself.
The Irish Village is the conglomeration of 4 different pubs centred around the Heart and Crown on the corner of Clarence and Parent. The pubs being The Heart and Crown, The Snug, Mother McGinty's and The Black Rose and it is possible to do a mid-winter pub crawl of all four without having to step out into the cold!
Whilst I'm not the world's greatest fan of "Irish Pubs" (outside of Ireland of course) this little cluster all have very slightly different characters and are all trendily busy. Both the Heart and Mother McGinty's offer live "Celtic" music from midweek through until Saturday and should you just fancy a quiet drink then both The Snug and the Rose offer an atmospheric retreat.
Beers obviously centre around, what some claim as, "the finest pint of Guiness in Ottawa" and the food menu has some Irish twists alongside the usual North American pub fare. Useful to know is that the pubs serve food until late with a simplified menu on offer.
Dress Code: Informal but something green for St Patrick's Day is recommended (ie green face/legs/hair - whatever!!).
This area is packed with a huge selection of restaurants and clubs.....if you're looking for entertainment at night this neighborhood offers up what likely will suite you're needs..
This was the area of the city that was first settled in the early to mid eighteen hundreds and was the focal point for hardworking lumbermen and laborers.In its earliest days the Byward area had brothels,bars,and hotels.It also evolved into the city's first farmer's market.
Nowadays its still a focal point for fresh and seasonal produce,delis and butchers...the area has also become a haven for bars,restaurants and clubs.
This has become a key area of the city both at night and during the day...its quite busy during the Summer and should be a must see when you're spending time in Ottawa.
Mercury Lounge is my favourite place to visit in Ottawa. It blends trendy with classy and always has good house music. Mercury also has some great designer martinis, although the chocolate martini is a bit excessive for me. Nevertheless, this is a pretty cool place. It has extremely tall ceilings that never seem to alleviate the heat during the summer, and it is one of the few place in Ottawa with decent house music and a crowd that never gets rowdy or crassy. The lounge is located above collection, which has more of a restaurant feel, and is open only Wednesday to Saturday (I think) although there are occasionally special functions on other nights (I went to a fair trade benefit there on a Monday a few years ago). Look at the sign out front for information on any special guests or performances that week.
There is occasionally a cover for the lounge, and the cost depends on the performer and the event.
Dress Code: Mercury Lounge is by no means black tie, nor is it a bar at which you have to be über chic (this is Ottawa we're talking about). Still, you should be presentable, with no ripped clothing, a clean shirt and decent shoes.
Nightlife is not very big in Ottawa, but some places that should be checked out
-> Mercury Lounge...a really awsome lounge overlooking the byward market, very good atmosphere and nice people, also the hang local artists work and sell artwork. The play jazz, funk lounge music and some nights salsa and also breakbeat.
-> Zaphods if you like indie music zaphods is the place to go they have themed nights and tend to have lot's of people going
-> Babylon is awsome it has lot's of shows and hosts some pretty fun nights
This is probably my favourite club in Ottawa. Its a fun atmosphere, the drinks are cheap, its huge and there's a live band every night. There's a lot of place to sit and chill, and a good sized dance floor.
Dress Code: Very casual, 19+, cover is usually $5
The Tropics near you. Ottawa is not quite the tropical city but you can feel the tropics when visiting the Caliente. Caliente is a salsa, cha cha, mambo dance bar. If you get there early enough you can have salsa dance classes. It's lots of fun and for all ages.
110 York, 2nd floor
Dress Code: Casual clean: light clothes because you will be sweating a lot!
The Poor House and the Aulde Dubliner are two newer Irish pubs on the market. They are not only good places to eat, but also great places to party. They both work off of the same kitchen, downstairs is more of the restaurant type and upstairs has the live music at night.
Dress Code: Casual
The Byward Market is the best place to go for nightlife in Ottawa. There is a wide variety of bars, pubs and clubs; whether you are on a budget or have some cash to spend, want to sit and have a drink or get up and dance, prefer beer or martinis, listen to live music or a DJ.
Dress Code: Depends on the bar
Chateau Lafayette was built in 1849 as a luxurious hotel. Now known as the Laff, the tavern (with apartments above) is a staple in Ottawa?s Byward Market and is one of my favourite hang out spots. Have a quart with some friends and listen to the music on the jukebox. They sometimes have live entertainment. There is not much to this place, I love the banged up copper tables, but you can enjoy good beer and good times with friends.
Dress Code: Jeans - do not dress up
Zaphod's is the best Ottawa nightspot. Centrally located in the market area, they play alternative music and sometimes have live perfomances. Named for a character in the Douglas Adam's "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".
There is also a strip club right beside it.
Dress Code: casual
If you like good people and good drink there is nothing like a good Irish pub full of Irish men and women drunken with an even more foolish group from Eastern Atlantic Canada!! This is a very lively spot in the Byward Market and highly recommended for a great time and great live music!
Dress Code: Anything goes I think!
Once you're done shopping during the day, stick around and check out the night life! There's the Hard Rock Cafe located on York near Dalhousie, Minglewoods on Dalhousie and York, and The Keg on York are all popular spots.