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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
Written Aug 30, 2012
Address: 67 Clarence Street Ottawa, ON K1N 5P5
Phone: 613) 562-0674
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
Updated Apr 28, 2012
Address: 44 Sparks Street
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.
Dress Code: Casual.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: 67 Clarence
Phone: 613 562-0674
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.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: 101 Centrepointe Drive
Phone: 613 580-2700
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.
Updated Feb 15, 2011
Address: 290 Rideau Street
Phone: 613 241 9150
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.
Updated Sep 24, 2009
Address: 1541 Merivale Road, Nepean
Phone: (613) 226-9695
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.
Updated May 11, 2009
Address: 42 York Street
Phone: 613 241 4747
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.
Updated Jan 18, 2009
Address: 202 Sparks Street
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.
Updated Dec 16, 2008
Address: 434 1/2 Preston Street
Phone: 613 232 2326
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.
Updated May 17, 2008
Address: 422 Mackay Street
Phone: 613 742 3169
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