Welcome to Ottawa’s premier nightlife guide.
On this page, you’ll discover the vibrant and varied nightlife scene in Ottawa. You’ll find the perfect venue for you and your preferred night out. Whether you want to go all-out clubbing or if you’d like a more laid back dinner and drinks with a view, we’ve got your covered.
An Intro to Ottawa
Located on the south bank of Ottawa River, Ottawa is the capital city of Canada. It has a population of nearly a million, which makes it the fourth largest city of Canada. It was discovered in 1826 as by-town but officially incorporated in 1855, and it has evolved to become the political center of Canada. Its boundaries started to spread through numerous acquisitions and annexations. The city was given its name due to the Ottawa River which is driven from Odawa which means “to trade”.
The city has the most educated population among all the Canadian Cities and is home to a number of research, post-secondary, and cultural institutions, including the National Arts Centre, the National Gallery, and numerous national museums. The city has the highest standard of living in Canada and a very low unemployment ratio.
Since years, the ByWard Market, Parliament Hill, and the Golden Triangle have been the central points for the tourists for the cultural scenes in this city. Modern thoroughfares such as Wellington Street, Rideau Street, Bank Street, Sussex Drive, Somerset Street, Elgin Street, and Preston Street, are home to many boutiques, museums, theatres, galleries, landmarks and memorials in addition to eating establishments, cafes, bars, and nightclubs.
Just like many tourists attractions, the nightlife of Ottawa is also very vivid and tantalizing. The city some of the greatest bars, restaurants, and nightclubs which add value to your previously exciting tour, of which we’ll take an in-depth look in the later sections.
The Nightlife of Ottawa
People here already know that having fun in Ottawa is not really cheap. But, like anything, there is always a way around it. In fact, Ottawa has a list of activities that you can do which won’t hit hard on your wallet and will guarantee you a summer of fun for you and your friends or significant other. Not being able to hang out with people because of lack of money, or even just saving up for life itself, can get pretty annoying. The city offers a vast array of watering holes–from bars and brewpubs to chic lounges and clubs can be found in ultra-funky. Though Nightclubs and bars are a good option to spend your night in the city, the city is tremendously famous for its unique set of activities that it provides after dark. Therefore, we have compiled a list of activates and places that you can enjoy and at the same time save some bucks:
Plane Flight over Ottawa
You won’t believe that you could fly in a legit World War II Biplane located at the Canada Air and Space Museum. Flights take off daily in the summers. It was one of the highlights of several trips to Ottawa. For example, you can board a Waco UPF-7 open-cockpit biplane and sat side by side during the 25-minute flight showcasing the Gatineau Hills and Downtown Ottawa, including a pass over the Parliament Buildings. The pilot will even do a few maneuvers over Gatineau before turning back towards the airstrip. All in all, it could be a great deal for you, which will offer a great sightseeing experience.
The Ottawa River is considered to have some of the best and powerful whitewater for rafting. It attracts many professional rafters and kayakers to run its class 5 rapids. It is just located outside downtown Ottawa. There are many rafting companies that will offer different kinds of options depending upon your needs. If you are a family, there are even smaller rapid trips to suit everyone.
Aviation and Space Museum
Speaking of the Aviation Museum, It is an excellent museum for aviation and the related history. There is a huge collection of vintage planes and artifacts dating back to even 1909. There are 130 aircrafts propellers and engines are on display including military jets, WWII fighter biplanes, helicopters, including one of the first plane invented. For some extra fun and knowledge, you can even take part in flight simulations or book helicopter tours and your own biplane flight like mentioned above. It is regarded as one of the finest aviation museums on earth and is really worth a visit.
Sunset from Andaz Hotel
By visiting a city like Ottawa people continuously demand a charming and relaxing sunset to forget all their problems and the Andaz Hotel in the ByWard Market offers one of the best sunset views in the city. Out of all the hotels in Ottawa, this one got its sunset terrace just at the right spot. You can also try one of their signature cocktails and enjoy the view over the ByWard Market from their floor to ceiling windows indoors or from the outdoor patio. You can order some starters and start your night off right in the heart of Ottawa’s entrainment district.
Haunted Walk of Ottawa
Locals and newcomers here are equally fascinated and thrilled by these glimpses into the darker history and haunting of the Ottawa. Visitors can choose from the Original Haunted Walk, the Crime and Punishment Jail Tour, Ghosts and the Gallows and the Naughty Ottawa Pub Walk for adult guest. All stories are thoroughly researched and will delight even the skeptics and guides in the group! Tours are available in English and French.
Best Bars in Ottawa
Getting further into the details of the nightlife fun and specifically the premium night-time adult entertainment, Ottawa offers some of the swankiest Bars, which can really impress you with their brewery and mixology skills. To make your life easier we have compiled a list of the best bars in the city, ranging from old speakeasies to some modern bars, so you could enjoy the wholesome experience of drinking without needing to actually go through all options. Enjoy them with caution, because it’s hard to leave after just one drink at any of these spots, because of the great taste offered by them:
Hidden away in the city’s Little Italy neighborhood, The Moonroom should be your first pick for evening cocktails in a fun, lively atmosphere, that offers great and variety of options. The softly lit moody interior has a cozy, intimate vibe to It, thanks to the strings of lights hanging from the ceiling and authentic chalkboard menus. The drinks list is extensive and the food is tapas-style, perfect for sharing. All in all, it could be a great option for drinks and food.
The Black Thorn
It is an upscale bar with a proud historical past associated with it. The Black Thorn has made its home in the National Capital Commission Building, which was once the home of 19th-century carriage master Albert Thibert. The Original photographs are proudly displayed in the main bar area, to help revive the history of this beautiful building alive. It offers a large space, with room for over 200 diners, consisting of four main sections: the front patio, main bar area, dining room, and courtyard patio. Serving an impressive collection of draught beers, wines, and dishes, including the excellent gourmet pizzas, which proves to be a great option for drinking and food as well.
Clocktower Brew Pub
Offering three great and popular locations across the city, The Clocktower Brew Pub is no doubt an excellent place to try for, those with an interest in more unusual and surprising craft beers. With five main varieties on offer, there is something to suit all palates. Along with a combination of knowledgeable staff who is happy to share extra information with those looking to increase their repertoire. The venue often hosts beer-themed events, such as the Beer Barley and Food Festival, which draws local chefs and brewers from the surrounding area.
This bar sells everything from snacks, to coffee, to cocktails. They want to be the go-to place to study during the day, but also the go-to place for you to let loose at night. They have events happening almost regularly, and if you’re looking for a fun place to try out, you won’t be disappointed with Bar Robo.
Located also at ByWard Market, The Rainbow is a blues bar. The place has grown a strong national and international reputation as the home of many traveling music acts have been performed here. The acoustics here are perfect for a live music gig and although its main attraction is blues acts, you can also often enjoy pop, alt, jazz, rock or soul music along with your drink.
Best Bar Restaurants in Ottawa
Ottawa sits on top in terms of foodie culture, so possibilities here are endless when it comes to finding your favorite flavor. This proves to be a great thing for residents and visitors equally, especially those who are particularly fond of some great flavorsome food. While some bars showcase the region’s local specialty others bring exotic ethnic cuisines from around the world. Whether you want to go on a food adventure or just like to stick within your comfort zone, you will find options that will surely suit your taste. Wherever you land or whatever the occasion, just be sure to bring your appetite! Because there are loads of options to fulfill your craving. The best option is to pick up a bar in Ottawa that also offers great food so that you never have to leave you bench while the need for food teases you. We’ve come up with a list of Ottawa’s best bar restaurants which serve great food and booze:
Located on 425 Bank Street, Fauna is a restaurant that has spent two years on designing and renovating their restaurant to provide you an ultimate experience of cocktailing. So there is no way you’ll be disappointed with the interiors. They use local ingredients that depend on season, and they also serve smaller plates so you can enjoy more variety of their exotic food. They also stay open later from Thursday to Saturday, so you can enjoy one of their cocktails and relax.
Located at 62 Sparks Street, Riviera Ottawa is a super cool airport lounge-like restaurant that will make you feel highly sophisticated. They have a super simple menu that gives you only the best options and offers lunch and dinner. Their simple menu doesn’t include their drink menu, as their drink menu is very detailed and comprehensive and you just can’t scroll through it.
Located at 1087 Wellington Street West, Bar Laurel is the bar which we all wish we were cool enough to visit. They provide tons of options in snacks and also have every drink that you could ever want or imagine. The chef and owner have been spending hours in the kitchen since 12 years, and the detailed attention to the food at Bar Laurel will definitely prove his hard work, and will also take you the cloud nine.
Carben Food + Drink
Located at 1100 Wellington Street West. Carben is a perfect spot for food and booze combo. The owners of this vivid restaurant are husband and wife, and make sure they serve their guests the best of the best. Their menu is well-inspired by local foods, and they’re open for brunch and dinner. Their restaurant offers something unique in its menu, which is a great thing here in Ottawa.
Located 297 Dalhousie Street, Atari is a bar and a restaurant which offers unique drinks. There is one thing Atari wants for their customers and it’s to have a great leisure time. They host weekly events that entertain their customers and treat every day like a party day. They have the funniest drinks and their menus are so unique that you’ll want to try everything. Definitely order the drink with cotton candy on top.
Best Nightclubs in Ottawa
If you simply want to enjoy some great beats and have a chill cocktail with your friends or a special one, don’t worry Ottawa’s nightclubs are great a great place for all such entertainment. We have compiled a detail list of all such nightclubs which will get your foot tapping till the dawn:
City at Night
Located at 222 Slater Street, City at the bar offers a modern space for youngsters to enjoy their heart out. It has a sleek aesthetic and modern, hip vibe that is sure to have you and your friends on your feet all night long! The smaller space makes for a unique experience compared to larger, less intimate venues. They’re known for hosting Ottawa’s best events, artists and DJs, with live events almost every weekend, so don’t miss out!
Located at 56 Byward Market Square, it’s a great nightclub with two dance floors! What’s especially great is that each floor plays different kinds of music, so there’s something for everyone. Apart from the great DJs and music, they also host film screenings. Overall it’s a great option to hang out with your friends or other half.
Located at 221 Rideau Street, Mavericks is the place for you to get your head banging on! This great nightclub is Ottawa’s prime spot for live rock, grunge, and punk music. Over the years, Mavericks has welcomed hundreds of top-notch rock acts to its stage from both Canada and abroad. Be sure to hit the place to calibrate your music senses.
The 27 Club
Located 27 York Street, The 27 Club took over the location of Zaphod Beeblebrox when it closed down in 2017, fortunately, it doesn’t disappoint. It has quickly become a city favorite spot to hang out that also offers great drink and weekly live music shows. Also, keep an eye out on their Facebook page for announcements about their special themed nights that they sometimes host such as “Emo Night” and “Post Malone Night.”
The Lookout Bar
Located 41 York Street, The Lookout Bar is an Ottawa gem and has gained the reputation of being one of Ottawa’s best clubs over the 19 years it’s been around. The intimate club on York Street has a full bar of drinks, the hottest music, and incredible weekly drag shows featuring Ottawa’s top drag queens. Irrespective of your sexuality and gender, Lookout promises to offer you a night of freedom, fun and non-stop entertainment.
To sum up things, we went through a brief introduction of Ottawa. We then went through different place and activities where you can enjoy the nightlife of Ottawa like Whitewater Rafting, Aviation and space museum, watching the sunset from Andaz Hotel and Ghost tours in the city. Such activities provide a great source of entertainment for tourists and locals as well. Moreover, these activities also help a newcomer understand the true culture and norms of the city.
We then went through a comprehensive list of bars available in Ottawa. No doubt, Ottawa has some of the swankiest and great bars to cater to your boozing needs. These exotic and swanky bars included The Moonroom, The Black Thorn, Bar Robo, and The Rainbow.
To fulfill your food craving we also looked at a list of bar-restaurants which provide delicious and exotic food along with a touch of booze. This delightful and amazing combination of food and booze really pushes the limits of Nightlife entertainment and adds a great value tour.
And finally, we explored a detailed list of nightclubs that provide premium nigh-time entertainment. Mavericks, The 27 Club and The Lookout bar were some of the clubs that provided the ultra-rich experience of dance and music.
Make sure to give try the above recommendation which will really add value to your tour, so that you won’t regret choosing bad options.