BEST OF OTTAWA: Pubs and Taverns

With 20-years writing about Ottawa life we think we have
a pretty good idea of the best of what this city has to offer.
In this new weekly summer series we’ll share it with you.
From our top picks of hotels, live music venues, local brews,
bands and more, check, share and discuss
#OLMBest every Monday!

Quinn’s Ale House

A classic pub, Quinn’s is a local favourite. This Bank Street Irish-style bar serves up local and imported draught, including beers from the local Ashton brewing company (discounted on Wednesday nights). Plus, you can’t beat their weekly deals, including Taco Tuesday and half-priced wings on Mondays.

Pour Boy Pub

This joint screams cool from the moment you see Francis Pratt’s spray painted mural of Bob Dylan on the outside wall. The menu is a mash up of influences, a fusion of everything from Asian to Tex-Mex to bacon and eggs. They offer $5 pints “all day every day”, as well as trivia every Tuesday and Thursday night.

Heart & Crown

The Heart & Crown is a local institution, bringing 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. They boast a wide range of spirits and brews that pay tribute to their Irish heritage, as well as frequent live music performances.

Carleton Tavern

Operating since 1935, the Carleton Tavern is that unique combination of amazing food, good prices and quality service. The 8 HDTVs make it the ideal place to catch the game. The feel is cool and casual and their breakfast specials cannot be beat.


Remarkable for a pub, Woody’s is committed to using natural and fresh seasonal ingredients to make their food “from scratch”. Everything is locally sourced, including their custom Kitchesippi beer. They also have gluten-free options, daily specials and nine TVs. Weekends feature brunch in the morning and DJ’s as night.

The Lieutenant's Pump

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 haunt of many, especially convenient given its prime location on Elgin Street. They offer three bars, a patio and a gluten-free menu.

Clocktower Brew Pub

With six locations around Ottawa, including a new one in Orleans, there is a Clocktower close to everyone. Their variety of beers range from raspberry wheat to red to stout with everything in between. Go here for a welcoming atmosphere and pub food that's the best kind of greasy.

The Manx

Hidden below street level, The Manx might not catch your eye at first. That’s what makes it so appealing – it’s popular, but still quiet enough to have a conversation that's not a yelling match. Plus, it only amps up the cool vibe.

Mill Street Brew Pub

The Mill Street Brew Pub occupies the old Thompson-Perkins Mill, standing since 1850, next to Lebreton Flats. Their housemade beer is the star of the show, stocking a huge selection including a few brews specific to the capital. The spot has tons of space for large parties and is especially great for overhearing live shows during Bluesfest.

Atomic Rooster

This Bank Street haven for artists is a showcase for local talent, be that an open mic night, an art show or a gig by an up-and-coming band. Serving classic pub fare with some unique additions, they offer a pitcher-of-the-day deal on rotating brands. Their rooster tails are a must try.