It is my wish that you derive as much joy and pleasure from this city as I do. I have therefore taken the time to carefully curate this list, detailing some of my favourite destinations and activities in the capital city and its surroundings: those that stimulate and inspire me. While I wish I could describe each spot in detail, I have chosen to only feature a few. Others are simply listed for you to research further. Enjoy!
This restaurant, located in lovely Hintonburg, is truly flawless. The food is meticulously crafted and the staff are informative and attentive. Blending classic technique with molecular gastronomy is Carben’s true talent.
Known for its vintage-inspired decor, and its modern industrial vibe, this contemporary style restaurant is an essential spot for Ottawa locals and travelers alike. Keep your eye out for the Prime Minister while you’re there, he’s a Riviera regular.
A bright and atmospheric restaurant, MeNa serves French cuisine with impeccable presentation and delicious flavours. The blind tasting menu option is sure to surprise and delight.
Full menu available, open Sat/Sun lunch
PLAY FOOD & WINE
Play is one of Ottawa’s most popular spots; their creative small plates and impeccable service make it one of my favourites.
For inspiring eats upon waking
BAKER STREET CAFE
Everything on your plate at Baker’s is made from scratch and served fresh. As it is likely the best brunch spot in Ottawa, expect to wait in line before being seated. There are certainly worse things than being served fresh muffins as you wait in line.
Because I love soaking in the sun
SALT DINING & LOUNGE
An elegant restaurant in the core of Ottawa’s little Italy, Salt’s menu is only slightly more impressive than the aesthetic and comfort of its lively summer patio.
NIGHTLIFE + ENTERTAINMENT
BROOKSTREET HOTEL JAZZ LOUNGE
With live jazz 7 nights a week, choose this elegant and cozy spot, and enjoy some of Ottawa’s best live jazz music, drink in hand, sharing the bliss with that special someone, gently gripping your hand.
OTTAWA TASTING TOURS
An escapade best suited to those looking to get a small taste of everything while strolling through Ottawa’s Byward Market. A private tour for two can be crafted by request.
LE NORDIK SPA
My favourite day-getaway spot. Spend the day soaking in the baths at North America’s largest (and most beautiful) outdoor spa. Be sure to drop by the Källa salt water pool, my personal highlight, modelled after the density of the water in the Dead Sea.
VINTAGE PLANE RIDES
Fly high into Ottawa’s sky (no pun intended) and experience the view from above, along with the novelty that is travelling in a vintage WWII plane.
TOURS EXPEDITION OTTAWA
Canoe trips, hiking and bike trails, ski routes. TEO is the perfect way to explore the finest of the region’s most beautiful outdoor spots, leaving the planning and any equipment needs to the experts.
ENJOY THE OUTDOORS
Check out these gems, some of the best ways to enjoy Ottawa and the surrounding area’s outdoors
WEEKEND GETAWAYS AND NEARBY ESCAPES
Hotels (and spas) for the perfect romantic getaway, no matter the time of year.