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Ottawa Pub Guide: Get Cosy in the Capital

By Emma Fischer

From the darkest winter day to the melt of spring, there are plenty of reasons to snuggle up at a fireplace and raise a pint! Feel the warm embrace of Ottawa’s cosiest pubs no matter the season:

Coasters

Coasters Seafood Grill

ELGIN

Woody’s Pub

A self-proclaimed urban pub, they’re known for their wide selection of craft beer, but that’s not all they offer! Enjoy some of their classic pub fare or more multicultural dishes in one of their two main rooms. Cosy up in the lounge with not one, but two fireplaces and several comfy booths. Beat frosty weather with a frosty pint! 

330 Elgin St.

MacLaren’s on Elgin: Much more than just Ottawa’s premier sports bar, MacLaren’s is the place to take shelter from the storm. Sip on a cocktail while you play some pool, or catch the big game on one of their 80 HD televisions. With plenty of variety both on their menus and in the bar, your game plan should involve staying here long after the final whistle blows! 

301 Elgin St.

The Manx: Known for their craft beer and gourmet pub food, The Manx also boasts an incredible Scotch selection and legendary brunch. This basement pub is a little more hidden than most, but it’s the perfect underground refuge for an after-work drink or to wind down from a long day. Pop by on Sunday and Monday nights to live local music and sing your heart out on their special karaoke nights.

370 Elgin St.

BYWARD MARKET

Lafayette

The Lafayette: Having been around for 167 years, the Laff has been serving Ottawa before it was even Ottawa. They offer affordable food, drink specials and live music with free cover, which means more money for bevvies! The Laff has expanded their pub to its original size and now boasts a comfy fireplace area. Assistant manager Deek Labelle gets the last laugh: “We do our best to make our customers feel at home and comfortable at all times. We don’t believe in charging cover – we’d rather have your bum in a warm seat, sipping on a tasty beverage.”

42 York St.

Chez Lucien: Tucked away at the edge of the ByWard Market, this quaint bar looks small from the outside, but has three levels of cosy seating inside. Exposed brick, hardwood floors and a fireplace give this place a relaxed and comfortable ambiance. Come for brunch (it opens every day at 11 a.m.) and stay for dinner. This place is a few short blocks from more conventional touristy pubs, and far more authentic. Warm up even more with their Frida and Diego burger topped with jalapeños.

137 Murray St. 

Vineyards

Vineyards Wine Bar Bistro & Coaster’s Seafood Grill: This cellar bistro and wine bar is found in a historic, 19th-century building in the ByWard Market. Directly above are two sister establishments: Fish Market Restaurant and Coaster’s Seafood Grill. At Vineyards, sample from 200 wines and 250 different beers — there is definitely something for everybody. Pair your drinks with charcuterie or a cheese board, and enjoy regular live jazz musicians (they will warm your soul). If you’re literally looking for fire, head on upstairs to Coaster’s where you can settle in by the fireplace and enjoy delicious seafood while you sip on a cocktail.

54 York St. 

June Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

PATIO PERFECTION

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• Catch some rays on the rooftop patio at Your Father’s Moustache on Spring Garden Road. The fun and lively space has beer aplenty on tap, including three signature brews from the RockBottom Brewpub downstairs.
• Downtown, head to The Maxwell’s Plum on Grafton Street for a cold pint on the sunny patio. The landmark bar has the city’s largest selection of draft beer, including top selections from Maritime craft breweries like Halifax’s Garrison Brewing and Cape Breton’s Big Spruce.
• For fabulous views of Halifax harbour, check out Gahan House in the Historic Properties. This popular Prince Edward Island brewpub recently opened its first Nova Scotia location, serving its own line of handcrafted beers. Try the Beach Chair lager for a refreshing summer sip.

Editor’s Choice

Steak9246Two downtown restaurants have once again earned the prestigious CAA/AAA Four Diamond Award.
Recognized for the eighth year in a row, Onyx on Argyle Street is a sleek resto bar showcasing local ingredients in delicious globally inspired recipes. Cut Steakhouse on Lower Water Street has received the award every
year since opening in 2008. The menu boasts premium beef (dry-aged and butchered on-site) with
an artful wine list and inventive sides.

 

 

VEGGIES FIRST

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• A leader in Halifax’s emerging vegan scene, Envie touts a menu of hearty meals like vegan ribs, grilled cheese and indulgent raw desserts. Catering to dietary restrictions, the menu is 90 per cent gluten free. Find the stylish restaurant on the corner of Agricola and Charles streets in the North End.
• In the West End on Windsor Street, Wild Leek has made-from-scratch vegan comfort food. Chef Kirsten Haggart whips up recipes like mac’n cheese, seitan sandwich, and the popular coconutbacon “CBLT.” Wash it down with a fresh-squeezed juice and save room for gourmet cupcake.

 

CREATIVE CORNERSTONEGio-Tea--024---Version-2

Downtown at Gio on
Market Street, Chef Bee Choo
Char gives traditional recipes
an inventive new twist. Her
delicious version of poutine
includes fried polenta fingers
topped with duck confit, red
wine jus and blue “Cheez
Whiz.” Open for lunch and
dinner, Gio has a sommelierchosen
wine list plus creative cocktails and martinis.

 

SLICE OF SUCCESS

_MG_4104Specializing in wood-fired pizza, Morris East won bronze in the non-traditional category at the recent International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. Its Nova Scotia-inspired winning pie featured pears poached in Blomidon Estate Baco Noir and prosciutto from Halifax’s Ratinaud Charcuterie. Visit in downtown Halifax on Morris Street and in Bedford on Larry Uteck Boulevard.