Nightclubs and bars in Ottawa

  • The Heart and Crown
    The Heart and Crown
    by Paul2001
  • Guinness night at Darcy McGees!
    Guinness night at Darcy McGees!
    by Jefie
  • Mid-afternoon (!) Line-up on Patrick's Day
    Mid-afternoon (!) Line-up on Patrick's...
    by johngayton

Most Viewed Nightlife in Ottawa

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    The Heart and Crown: An Acceptable Irish Pub

    by Paul2001 Written Aug 30, 2012

    The Byward Market area is basically one big Irish pub. Or that is what it seemed like to me. I just wanted a burger and beer and this is what I got here. It was satisfactory but not spectacular. The service was friendly. This pub was particularly crowded and I was lucky to score a patio seat. There is nightly live music here. This is just one of a chain of pubs located all over the Ottawa region.

    Dress Code: Casual

    The Heart and Crown

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    D'Arcy McGee's Irish Pub: An Irish pub in Canada's capital

    by Jefie Updated Apr 28, 2012

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    The very first time I went to Ottawa I spent a night at D'Arcy McGee's and since then, even though I've had a chance to hang out in other pubs and nightclubs, I still find it very hard to resist the temptation of stopping by this place. First of all, there's a great selection of traditional pub grub and Irish meals, along with an extended list of Irish Whiskeys, Single Malt Scotches, Bourbons, Cognacs, Ports and Beers. Second, it's the perfect place to go to enjoy a live Celtic music show (wed.-sat.)! Another interesting detail: the interior of this pub was designed and handcrafted in Ireland and brought to Canada by ship. You'll love it!

    And in case you're wondering who this D'Arcy McGee chap was, well Thomas D'Arcy McGee was born in Ireland in 1825 and he emigrated to America (first to the US, then to Canada) when he was 17 years old. He first worked as a journalist and later on as a politician, and he eventually became one of the Fathers of the Confederation when Canada became a country in 1867. He always had at heart the well-being of Irish immigrants. In 1868, however, he was murdered just a few steps away from the pub that now bears his name. Although a man was tried and convicted for the crime, many believe the real culprit was never caught...

    Dress Code: Very casual

    Guinness night at Darcy McGees!
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  • Heart & Crown Irish Pub: Great Pub

    by Sasie Updated Apr 4, 2011

    This is a great pub! It's also the pub that never ends - just when you think you've reached the back of the building....it goes on, into an outdoor courtyard. I know this because I managed to lose my friend and eventually just STOPPED so that one of us would be a stationary object!!
    We had a lot of fun with some local people, drank some great been, did some people watching and stumbled home.
    Fun evening!

    Dress Code: Casual.

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    West end, Ottawa / Nepean: Ben Franklin Place & the Centerpointe Theatre

    by janika Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This place is located at the west end of Ottawa. Call it Nepean if you will. The building is photographed from the front but there are several entrances to it. What is not visible on the shot is the Theatre. This is where the Centerpoint Theatre is located. The complex is also host to the Nepean Public Library and City Hall for Ottawa.

    I’ve placed this tip under Nightlife since the most important part of this place is the Centerpointe Theatre. You can check their Web site for schedules and programs. Very easy to approach and the parking is free. When you come out, there is a restaurant right infront of it. In case you happen to be hungry or thirsty. When you come here in the winter time, you don’t see the water fountain, but the place is converted into a skating ring. Have fun there!

    Dress Code: Formal or semi-formal for the library or City hall.

    Ben Franklin Place & the Centerpointe Theatre
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    Don Cherry's: Pitchers and Wings!

    by johngayton Updated Feb 15, 2011

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    Don Cherry is the flamboyant ice hockey commentator for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, well-known for his high collars and equally high opinions. A former player and coach it is no surprise that his foray into retail takes the form of a chain of sports bars.

    Here in Ottawa the Don Cherry's Sports Grill offers 26 TV's (including 4 extra large screens) showing a variety of sporting events, although mostly hockey, and every seat has a view of at least one of them.

    The menu, as to be expected, revolves around nachos, burgers, ribs and the award-winning wings with a few other grill items, all reasonably-priced. There's a good range of draft beers, once again reasonably-priced, and service is smart but casual. Monday nights are half-price wing nights and whilst perhaps not the best wings in town are pretty good value (although personally I found the "Hot" not as hot as I would have liked, but tasty and juicy nevertheless).

    On Hockey Nights the place gets busy, busy but even on quieter nights has a good buzz and generally friendly locals.

    Well worth a visit!

    Dress Code: Smart casual or sportswear seems to be the order of the day.

    Frontage (in the morning before opening)
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    Grace O'Malley's - West End: We Love our Gracies!

    by kehale Updated Sep 24, 2009

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    A large pub located in the West End of Ottawa, it was a common place for all of us to go on the weekend as it was located not too far from where we all worked (many nights were spent on the town with work friends). Gracies has a great sitting area, and a nice sized dance floor at the back. Weekends they often have live bands which are always fun and I can't think of a time we were disappointed!
    It was the type of place that everyone enjoyed going to and it's one of the few places from when I was in University that I KNOW is still around!
    The only thing to keep in mind is that since it's not located right in downtown Ottawa, it's a big out of the way if you're not staying in the West End. If you're in town for quite a while it's worth giving it a try.

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    Chateau Lafayette House: Game for a Laff?

    by johngayton Updated May 11, 2009

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    The Laff, as it affectionately known locally, is definitely an Ottawa institution and celebrates its 160th birthday this year (2009). This is a proper beer drinkers pub with no pretensions whatsoever, although I do believe you can get a glass of wine in both white and red varieties. The exposed ducting gracing the fading paintwork of the walls and ceiling is certainly not the trendy industrial chic affected by some more modern establishments, but rather is a legacy of the good old days when ventilation was needed to keep the smokiness bearable. Wooden bar stools and high copper-topped tables add to the pub-feel and this being Canada the decorations are mostly provided by hockey memorabalia, and, of course it has the obligatory large screen TV's for the games.

    There's live entertainment a couple of nights a week, as well as Saturday afternoons and an old-fashioned juke-box makes for the entertainment the rest of the time. Unlike just about every other bar in town the Laff doesn't do food but next door is a Quizno's Sub who will deliver to your table.

    Despite the bar being pretty basic the clientele tends to be a mixed crowd, but usually the serious drinkers (like myself) and is the sort of place where locals will pass the time of day even with us tourists - yep my kinda bar!

    Dress Code: Certainly no dress code but having only been here in the winter it seems removable layers are the norm.

    The Laff at Night The Laff During the Day
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    The Cock and Lion: Looking For Your 15 mins Of Fame?

    by johngayton Updated Jan 18, 2009

    This is an interesting little basement bar on Sparks, next door to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation showrooms - using the word "showrooms", rather than "studios", for reasons which become obvious when you walk past them - but that's a digression: back to the pub.

    The Cock and Lion styles itself as an upmarket "Britpub" and almost succeeds. It certainly looks the part with its abundance of dark wood fittings and louche leather furniture. The clientele tends towards the stereotypical yuppie media types (ares and wannabees) whilst the staff are all very polite and smiley, but usually a bit dopey. Yep, you could almost transplant this pub into a similar location in London and it would suffer almost no tissue rejection problems.

    The key word here is "almost". This is something that Canadians just can't seem to get right. Wenever they try to emulatate our British pubs (and our Irish ones too for that) they usually suceed with the decor, source the correct products, attract their target market and generally get all the basics right. What they can't replicate however is the mindless drunken abandon which us Brits specialise in. Whether the braying yuppies or the rampaging football hooligans, nope Canadians are just too polite.

    Not a bad pub though, with a decent range of beers, an eclectic food menu and especially useful for pre and post cinema visits to the Empire 7 round the corner in the World Exchange Plaza.

    By all accounts there is a regular Karaoke night on Thursdays and occasional live music.

    Dress Code: Smart suits must be accompanied by scruffy sneakers, tatty T-shirts and raggy hairstyles. Conversely smart shirts, shoes and ties require multi-frayed and stained denim etc.

    Front Door and Signage
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    Pub Italia: Where The Emerald Isle Meets The Boot

    by johngayton Updated Dec 16, 2008

    Ottawa is pretty well supplied with bog standard Irish-themed pubs but Pub Italia here in Little Italy takes its themeing an extra step further. Here you have an Irish Pub with an Italian menu, a Belgian Bar and a definitely monastic slant.

    This sounds like a bit of a mish-mash but it does seems to work thus creating a truly unique atmosphere and decor. In addition to the eclecticism of the themeing the pub also offers 200+ beers (36 on tap) from all over the world including of course its Italian and Irish contingent.

    I haven't been in here in the evening as yet but it certainly looks like an interesting place for a night-out with regular events and food is served until after midnight in the latter half of the week.

    Dress Code: No particular dress code but a touch of flamboyancy is de-rigour on theme nights.

    Facade The People's Chapel Monastic Interior Slightly Chilly Beer Garden!
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    The Clocktower Brew Pub (New Edinburgh): Local Brews and Excellent Wings

    by johngayton Updated May 17, 2008

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    It seems there are more than one "Clocktower Brew Pubs" here in Ottawa and so I can only comment on this one underneath the New Edinburgh Tower. It was only a quick beer and wings visit and both were suitably satisfying after a wander out of downtown before looping back.

    This is a place that didn't particularly stand out from the crowd, even on the beer front, but had a pleasant laid-back atmosphere and the service was OK-ish.

    It does have a cetain character tho' and I'm not going to dis it.

    Sunny Facade In March
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    The New Edinburgh Pub: If You Are Looking For Local Atmosphere

    by johngayton Updated May 12, 2008

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    As with any city once you get off the main downtown areas the individual neighbourhoods have their own characteristics and the pubs and bars become much less anonymous and this pub in, obviously, the New Edinburgh district of Ottawa is what I call : "Definitely a 2 pint pub!".

    There are some pubs that I walk in to and order a beer and then wish I hadn't bothered. There are other pubs that I come across only intending to have a quick beer en route to elsewhere but find the overall atmosphere such that I just have to make time for a second.

    The New Edinburgh Pub certainly did fit in the latter category with a good local feel to it, friendly barman and an interestingly diverse bunch of customers. We did, quite literally, only have time for a quick drink (2 in my case) and unfortunately missed the live band who were setting up on the Saturday night but I bet that would have been a good night out.

    The pub also prides itself in having Ottawa's biggest roof garden which overlooks the Rideau River but it was mid-winter and pitch black and so I can't attest to that!

    Dress Code: With it being minus whatever outside then the order of the day was to arrive in peelable layers!

    The Pub In The Dark!
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    Zaphod Beeblebrox: Updating "Looks Louche To Me"

    by johngayton Written Apr 7, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Perhaps the lesser known bands don't pack the place out but weekend evenings showcase local talent at reasonable prices and of course catching the band includes your cover charge if staying late for the nightclub proper and also avoids the line-ups.

    Mondays also have live music from even less than lesser known bands and are free - you never know which pre-famous act you might catch!

    Dress Code: Not that kinda club!

    Zaki Ibrahim Warming Up And Playing
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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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    Zaphod Beeblebrox: Looks Louche To Me!

    by johngayton Updated Feb 17, 2008

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    Zaphod Beeblebrox is of course the famed "Worst Dressed Sentient Being in the Known Universe" from Douglas Adams' very slightly surreal "The Hitchiker's Guide to the Universe". Apart from a certain lack of sartorial elegance he also has two heads and three arms which kinda makes him stand out a little in crowds - just like this place.

    Unfortunately I've only been here in Ottawa's Zaphod the one time, and early-ish evening at that (HA before the cover charge!! AND whilst the beer was cheap!!) but the place does have that "happenin" feel, even for this antiquated rocker.

    I am reliably assured tho' that when it does kick-off the music's always good and the live bands especially worth planning ahead for - watch this space for updates ;-)

    PS Check out website - well worth a visit!

    Dress Code: This ain't that sort of club! Tho' as always scantily dressed females always welcome (especially in winter when they run out of coat hangers!!).

    Not The Best Dressed...
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    "Absolute Comedy": Awsome little Comedy Club...ABSOLUTE COMEDY!

    by Greggor58 Updated Nov 10, 2007

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    I've just experienced for the first time this little comedy club thats been happening here in town for a few years...

    This is a standup comedy club that holds approximately 200 people per show...its a really informal place and NON smoking....as are ALL public places in Ottawa.
    Food is available..and drinks....we chose to eat close by at Stone Face Dolly's on Preston Street before the show...

    We watched Al Lubel do his thing ....to say he's a little "out there" was an understatement but we had a BLAST...
    Lubel is from the USA and has done the Jay Leno show about six times...and appeared with Johnny Carson once...this is the level of talent that can be seen here...

    They run two shows on Friday and Saturday nights...8:00 and 10:30.....Wednesday,Thursday and Sundays they run only one show at 8:00 o'clock...

    Cost varies depending what night you decide to go....we paid only $ 10.00 for a show that started at 8:00 and ran until 9:40ish.....we saw three comedians...and all had were entertaining..

    Wednesday night is $ 5.00 and Thursday and Sunday the cost is $ 8.00....

    YOU SHOULD check this out if you like to have some laughs!

    Reservations are required..

    Dress Code: Most clothing is mandatory in Ontario .....its the Law in Public places....OK ok ...theres not dress code here...pretty informal!

    Absolute Comedy Club,Ottawa,Ontario,Canada. Absolute Comedy Club,Ottawa,Ontario,Canada.

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    Patty Bolland's: Good Location; Nice After-Dinner Spot

    by Babzz Written Apr 10, 2007

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    Nice pub with good atmosphere, good selection of UK beers, and friendly service. Conveniently located in ByWard Market, making for a nice stop after enjoying dinner at one of the many nearby restaurants. I have the impression it's a popular hang-out with the local university crowd as well.

    Dress Code: Casual

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