An Ottawa Summer Weekend Guide
If you’re looking for a Canadian capital adventure full of historic landmarks, diverse neighbourhoods and delicious food, then look no further than Ottawa. You’re only a quick flight away from enjoying a weekend full of fun activities, great places to eat and interesting places to stay to make the most out of your time in the city.
We’ve rounded up a few of our favourites that are an absolute must for you to explore.
Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market: Ottawa Boutique Hotel
325 Dalhousie St.; ottawa.andaz.hyatt.com
Located in the heart of the ByWard Market, Andaz is a modern and stylish boutique hotel that’s perfect for the traveller who prefers the convenience of staying close to major attractions such as museums, historic avenues and open air markets. Visitors will enjoy spacious rooms, all uniquely designed with Canadian characteristics.
Feast + Revel
325 Dalhousie St.; ottawa.andaz.hyatt.com/en/hotel/dining
Located in the Andaz Hotel, Feast + Revel offers a locally-sourced menu for breakfast and dinner. Whether you’re looking for a delicious start to the day (try the avocado toast topped with lime and chili on a fried egg) or evening drinks and dinner, Feast + Revel stands out like no other restaurant, offering unobstructed ByWard Market views.
81 Clarence St.; eatelcamino.com
An Ottawa favourite, El Camino’s second location in the city – with plenty of outdoor seating – is the perfect spot to enjoy patio season over their incredibly delicious and full of flavour tacos. A menu must-try is the Japanese Eggplant Taco, coated to perfection in crispy tempura and finished with a drizzle of tangy spicy mayo.
Tavern on The Hill
1223 Alexandra Bridge; tavernonthehillottawa.com
Gourmet hot dogs, refreshing drinks, tasty treats and the most spectacular views of Parliament Hill and the Fairmont Chateau Laurier make Tavern on The Hill one of Ottawa’s “it” spots. Nestled at the bottom of Major’s Hill Park, this is the perfect place to take a break from exploring to enjoy beautiful scenery with a cocktail or two.
62 Sparks St.; dineriviera.com
Housed in a former financial institution and popular among politicos, Riviera dominates Ottawa’s food scene and is considered one of Canada’s best restaurants. The retro, yet elegant, décor and sophisticated menu make this restaurant a must for lunch or dinner. With Canadian fare served with flare, you’ll have a hard time trying to decide between the Lobster Spaghetti, Duck Ham with Scalloped Squash or Chicken Kiev with Whipped Potatoes and White Turnip.
Strawberry Blonde Bakery
114B Grange Ave.; strawberryblondebakery.com
If you’re looking to satisfy that sweet craving without feeling the guilt, Strawberry Blonde Bakery makes your sweet dreams come true. With an array of gluten-free, nut-free, and vegan treats, this cozy little café is the perfect spot for an afternoon pick-me-up.
Suzy Q Doughnuts
969 Wellington St W.; suzyq.ca
This family-owned business offers house-made doughnuts in some of the most interesting and creative flavour combinations. One of their best sellers, The Maple Bacon doughnut, is made with local maple syrup and in-house sliced bacon, making it the perfect sweet and savoury treat. Other flavours, such as Cookies and Cream, Blue Vanilla Fruit Loop and Salty Caramel are among the popular choices always in high demand.
The Jackson Café
50 Mackenzie King Bridge; oaggao.ca/eat
Located in the Art Gallery of Ottawa, the Jackson Café showcases the building’s unique and stunning architecture. Not only is it utterly stylish and sophisticated, but it’s also a great spot to enjoy a quick lunch or grab a bite on-the-go.
Enjoy a picnic
Warmer weather is the perfect time for dining al fresco under the mature trees lining the Rideau Canal. Grab a few snacks at the ByWard Market and find your sweet spot along the water to enjoy watching boaters and kayakers passing by.
Ride along the Rideau Canal
RentABike, 2 Rideau St.; rentabike.ca
Biking alongside the Rideau Canal is definitely a must and it’s a terrific way to explore the city. Located downtown across from Parliament Hill, RentABike has a cycling selection for all ages and preferences. Whether you decide to ride competitively or leisurely, the paths running along both sides of the canal take you through some of the city’s most beautiful scenery.
Enjoy water sports at Dows Lake
Dows Lake Pavilion, 1001 Queen Elizabeth Dr.; dowslake.com
If you prefer to be on the water, rent a kayak, canoe or paddle boat at Dows Lake Pavilion. With a variety of on-site restaurants and scenic views in the area, this is an ideal spot to enjoy some recreational activities.
Stroll around the ByWard Market Neighbourhood
Being one of the city’s most popular attractions and home to more than 600 shops, museums, market stalls, restaurants, galleries, and cafés, no trip to Ottawa is complete without a visit to the historical ByWard Market neighbourhood. Let yourself wander aimlessly around the streets and corners while you pick up a few souvenirs along the way.
July 10 to September 3, 2018; ottawafestivals.ca/event/northern-lights
If you’re looking for some entertainment after dark, grab a blanket or a chair and experience a patriotic light and sound show set against the beautiful backdrop of the Parliament Buildings. The show illuminates Canadian stories of nation-building, partnership, discovery, valour, pride and vision for a country.