Best of Ottawa 2020: Pubs, Bars & Taverns
After over 20-years writing about life in Ottawa, we think we have
a pretty good idea of the best of what this city has to offer.
In this weekly series, we share our picks with you —
our top hotels, live music venues, local brews, bands
and more. Check, share and discuss #OLMBest every week!
Clocktower Brew Pub — various locations
With six locations across the city, including its newest location on Rideau, there is a Clocktower close to everyone. Their variety of beers range from raspberry wheat to stout and everything in between. Go for the welcoming atmosphere and the pub food that's the best kind of greasy.
Photo: Clocktower Brew Pub Twitter
Pour Boy Pub — 495 Somerset Street West
Pour Boy screams cool from the moment you see Francis Pratt’s spray painted mural of Bob Dylan on the outside wall. The menu is a mashup of influences – a fusion of everything like Asian, Tex-Mex and American comfort food. With their $5 pints and weekly trivia nights, you’ll become a regular in no time.
Photo Credit: Mikey G via Google Maps
Heart & Crown — 67 Clarence Street & 353B Preston Street
The Heart & Crown is a local institution, providing top-notch Irish hospitality to Ottawa for 25 years. The center of the so-called “Irish Village”, the ByWard Market location is a sprawling space of five pubs in one. The pub boasts a wide range of spirits and brews that pay tribute to their Irish heritage. Also, don’t miss out on the regular live music performances.
Photo: Heart & Crown
Tavern on the Hill — 1223 Alexandra Bridge
The Major’s Hill Park location of this seasonal outdoor tavern is nothing less than stellar. Chow down on a specialty gourmet hot “dawg,” topped with a mountain of fresh and unique fixings, while enjoying a drink and uninterrupted views of the National Gallery and Parliament buildings. If you’re lucky, you might even catch the live jazz band playing.
Photo: Tavern on the Hill Instagram
The Manx Pub — 370 Elgin Street
Good brews and gourmet-level food is what you get at The Manx Pub. Around for over 25 years, the spot offers an extensive draught beer menu, consisting of mostly domestic beers from breweries like Beau’s and Mill St., as well as various wines and whiskeys. Their food selection is awesome and offers much more than basic pub fare. You can munch on crab cakes, short ribs, duck confit and more.
Photo: The Manx Pub
Dominion Tavern — 33 York Street
Nicknamed Ottawa’s “Home of Rock and Roll,” Dominion Tavern is your spot for live indie punk, grunge and more. With various shows on a weekly basis, it’s the perfect place to catch underground and up and coming talent. They also have great brews, pool tables and weekly free pizza nights! A great spot for a night out with friends.
Photo: Dominion Tavern Facebook
The Clarendon Tavern —11 George Street
The Clarendon Tavern is part pub and part upscale dining room. The aesthetically hip interior design of the ByWard Market gem is a great compliment to its modern, fresh menu which is almost fully vegetarian. Stand out menu items include the Kentucky fried cauliflower, Buddha Bowl and artisanal pizzas. As for beverages, their in-house mixologists are always coming up with new, innovative cocktails.
Photo: The Clarendon Tavern Facebook
The Senate Tavern on Bank —1159 Bank Street
Senate Tavern is a sports pub, but with its elevated food menu, it’s miles ahead of your typical sports-themed spot. The team at the Tavern prides themselves on their hospitality and the family-like atmosphere they provide for their customers. Everything on the menu is top notch, but we especially recommend their burgers and their special Senate Caesar.
Photo: The Senate Tavern on Bank
The Lieutenant’s Pump — 361 Elgin Street
The Lieutenant’s Pump is a failsafe, always busy regardless of whether or not it’s a weekend. Tried and true, this British-style establishment is the go-to local joint of many. The pub is especially convenient given its prime location on vibrant Elgin Street. Some of their standout features include their three bars, patio and gluten-free menu.
Photo: The Lieutenant’s Pump Facebook
Carleton Tavern — 223 Armstrong Street
The Carleton Tavern is a unique combination of great food, good prices and quality service. In operation since 1935, this city favourite has kept up to date and had been decked out with HD TVs to ensure you don’t miss out on the big game. The feel is cool and casual and their breakfast specials cannot be beat. They even serve up authentic Montreal smoked meat!
Photo: Carleton Tavern