Elgin Street, Ottawa
D'Arcy McGee's is a franchise Irish Pub, where you can eat too.
Domestic: Budweiser, Bud Light, Labatt Blue
Domestic specials: Rickard's Red, Alexander Keith's, Creemore
Import: Guinness, Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, Smithwick's, Kilkenny, Harp, Strongbow
A second pub is located at 360 Moodie Dr, Nepean
Dress Code: As you are
Elgin Street was my favourite neighbourhood in Ottawa because it had a huge selection of delis, bakeries, coffee shops, grocery stores, restaurants, clubs and pubs. There was a lot going on this street and it had a really relaxed atmopshere.
However, during the evening the intersection of Elgin and Gladstone came alive with nightclubs; the clientele pouring out in the balconies and the patios on the street. This was all dandy, except these clubs were sports bars and meat markets. Don't get me wrong! This is fine if you don't mind Top 40 music blasting, TV's blaring sports games, and girls dressed in skimpy trendy club outfits as they try to score with the guys. There is a time and a place to this, and that's fine... if that's what you're looking for...
...but it was completely not my scene. I was not looking for a pick-up joint.
When friends of mine wanted to go out for late night drinks, there wasn't a whole lot to choose from that wasn't a flashy meat market club.
But the Manx was our haven.
Located in the basement of an older apartment building, the Manx was a tiny British-style pub, with constantly-changing local artwork on the walls, and shelves stocked with books, manuscripts, and board games.
As soon as I walked in, I noticed two things:
1. There were no TV's blaring out the hockey games.
2.. There was no music blasting top 40. In fact, there was no music at all.
The only sounds from this pub were the clatter of dishes and glasses, and the dozens of friends chatting happily over British ales, stouts and lagers.
This was more my style!
Dress Code: It was totally a relaxed pub... not a meat market at all. What a welcome relief from the hectic scene on Elgin above. The staff was friendly, and remembered my name, even after meeting me once. The atmosphere was really comfy and unpretensious. The clientele seemed to be in the mid-20's and up... from the casually dressed in jeans and sweaters, to the artsy fashion-conscious... including trend-setters in their 1970's retro hairstyles.
Favorite Dish: Apparently they have delicious brunches here for about $8 a plate, served from from 10am until 3pm, but unfortunately I never made it. The Friday night before I left for Montreal, I drank a Boddington's here. It put my mind at ease before the big trip the next day.
The Standard on Elgin Street, calls itself a "Luxury Tavern". I've only ever been on weekends to meet up with friends for drinks but I've enjoyed it. With lots of seating, and a great selection of music, most people I have been with have really enjoyed going. I wouldn't recommend it if you really want a place to dance, and though there is a lot of seating, it can sometimes be hard to carry on any sort of meaningful conversation, as it can be quite loud. It is a good place for a night out though on Elgin!
Hooley's opened in March of 2006 as I was completing my third year of University in Ottawa. That summer my girls and I tried it out, and it quickly became one of our favorite pubs to visit on weekends. With a mix of a DJ and live music, along with a large seating area and a decent sized dance floor, we found that Hooley's always seemed to please everyone in a large group. Even now when I return to visit the girls, Hooley's is a destination we all agree is a good choice!
In a city that is saturated with Irish pubs, D'Arcy McGee's is the most famous. It is certainly the most authentic as it was shipped piece by piece from Ireland to Ottawa. The pub is deceptively large with a many rooms and a basement level. There is also a pretty patio where you can watch passerby's. On most evenings there is live entertainment that is suppose to be Celtic but it was not during my visit. In fact it was not good at all.
The pub is named after a Canadian politician who was assissinated in the 19th century. MaGee lived on Sparks Street and was murdered nearby.
Dress Code: Casual.
This nightclub is located on Elgin St. in the complex which houses two other bars: Bulldog, and Privliage. Formerly known as club Inferno, this club caters to more of the "in crowd", so they say. Actually this club is no different than any other club in Ottawa. It plays the same predictable music and has the same crowd, but at least the crowd is dressed nicer :)
One main room, decent sized dancefloor and 2 bars. They mostly play Top 40, but sometimes decide to playhip hop, rap and a touch of dance music (very rare). Best nights to go are Tuesday (industry nights) , Friday and Saturday.
Cover is usually $5. Drinks $5 as well. Coat check available.
Note: if you feel like buying a whole bottle of vodka, DON'T it is not worth it. They charge too much, more than any other bar in the city.
Dress Code: No real dress code, but dress nice if you want to impress the ladies.
It's often packed on the weekends! Nice place but the front of the club can get a lil packed and can be hard to maneuver yourself around. Plays everything from Top 40 to Rock.
By day, this place is a restaurant and usually around 10+ pm, it gets rocking asa niteclub.
Dress Code: Ranges from Casual to PHAT!
A lil club at Elgin where the drinks are affordable and the atmosphere is hot! The music played are mostly Top 40 and R&B/Hip Hop. No cover (well, when we went though I heard they do sometimes charge about $5+).
Dress Code: Casual...nice place to just hangout (if you're lucky and you got seats in the balcony...even better).
Here you find more pubs and bars, which many are restaurants early, and turn into drinking holes later on. Some even serve 'pub grub'. Elgin Street usually caters to a little older crowd, mid 20s and 30s. It is a nice change of pace from the market, but still can get crazy at times.
Warning, if you're driving, get there early, not much parking available, and you may be driving around for 30 minutes before you find anything.
Dress Code: Variety of dress codes, most places are smart casual, but you could get away with jeans in some places.
Lots of people go to the Market, but the best clubbing is on Elgin Street now. Lots of bars in a small stretch, with friendly people, and enough variety to please most people.
Dress Code: Fairly casual, like most of the people.
Great Brit pub meets gastonomical fare meets intelligent conversation. If I lived in Ottawa, you would find me here at least two nights every week.
Each year in December the trees in town will be lit with colourful lamps for the "Lights across Canada" event.
Dress Code: Warm clothes