• By: Kat Walcott

Queen St. Fare is Ottawa’s Hot, New Hub for Food and Music

Ottawa’s food scene has entered a new era! Queen St. Fare, Ottawa’s very first food hall, opened its doors to the public last Friday and is already receiving much buzz and rave reviews from Ottawans who’ve been yearning for more accessible and diverse food options in the downtown core.

Located on, as its name suggest, Queen Street, on the ground level of the Sun Life Financial Centre, the hall is an entirely new concept for the city, and Canada as a whole. Though food halls, which separate themselves from cafeterias or food courts with higher quality food and a focus on social and community gathering, have popped up in other Canadian cities like Vancouver and Toronto, Queen St. Fare stands out. It is the very first food hall in Canada to double as a live music venue.

Sean O’Sullivan, Vice President and General Manager for Bentall Kennedy, who manage the Sun Life Financial Centre, is confident that Ottawa is more than ready for this addition to downtown.

“This is an entirely new vibe for Ottawa. As a city, if we are going to change the way people view Ottawa’s downtown – we need to be bold. With Queen St. Fare, we’re making a significant investment not only in our building; but in the downtown core and Ottawa’s food and entertainment scene.”

Ottawa Life got a sneak peek of the gorgeous, 390-capacity spot at their exclusive VIP Opening Party last Thursday and trust us when we tell you that this is going to quickly become your new favourite hang out spot!

The hall features a total of six food counters and a full bar. The food selection is a mix of existing Ottawa hot spots and a couple spots exclusive to Queen St. Fare. Arguably one of the most exciting featured vendors is Bar Robo–their location in Chinatown is super popular and we couldn’t be more excited that they’ll now be serving up their to-die-for donuts, coffee and breakfast sandwiches downtown as well!

Health-focused, Ottawa staple Green Rebel, Asian-fusion spot SEN Kitchen, pizza joint Fiazza Fresh Fired, and Queen St. Fare exclusives Mercadito and Capitol Burger Counter round out the food counters. Mercadito is another must-try. Headed by Top Chef Canada winner René Rodriguez, this Mexican joint features top notch tacos, burritos, churros and more.

Q Bar, located right beside the gorgeous stage, is sure to be the heart of the venue, serving up an assortment of local craft beers and unique, specialty cocktails.

Scott May, Bar Robo owner, and Queen St. Fare’s vendor spokesperson, shares his excitement of the space saying, “We have created a space that brings together great Ottawa food, creative Ottawa cocktails, craft beer, and a showcase for Ottawa's burgeoning music scene,” he explains, “Queen St. Fare will be an exciting gathering spot for lunch and late-night snacks and fantastic music-themed brunches on the weekend.”

Talking about music, make sure to keep checking the Queen St. Fare website for live music listings! Over the last weekend alone, the beautiful Q Bar stage has already hosted performances by The Peptides, The Tackies, and The Nebula Organ Trio and promises much more to come.

Grab some friends and check out the Queen St. Fare for a taste of the very best of Ottawa’s drink, food and music! Check out Queen St. Fare’s official website for opening hours, vendor menus, event listings and more.