Ottawa Travel Guide

a guide to ottawa tourism travel escort companion

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!

RESTAURANTS

WHALESBONE

I’m a sucker for fresh seafood, and Whalesbone never disappoints. Visit this lively spot for Ottawa’s finest freshly shucked oysters, and other soulful ocean delicacies.

RIVIERA

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.

BAR LAUREL

This cozy and dimly-lit bar, known to attract food lovers from all over, impresses with its chic ambience and its creatively curated Spanish-inspired tapas menu.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Fauna (Seasonal Canadian)
Sur-lie (Modern French)
North & Navy (Northern Italian)

WISHLIST

Fairouz (Middle Eastern)
The Rowan (Gastropub)
Genji (Sushi)

LUNCH

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.

BRUNCH

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.

PATIO

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

LIVE MUSIC

ZOE’S LOUNGE

For Friday and Saturday night dates, 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.

THEATRE

NAC

The National Arts Centre is one of Ottawa’s biggest artistic attractions, featuring the best in Broadway musicals, local orchestras and other theatre productions.

FIND OTHERS HERE

DANCING

LA DISCOTEKA

I love to dance, and there’s really nothing more sensual than heating things up with a night of Latin dancing. For that, La Discoteka has got you covered.
More Latin dancing listings here.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

COCKTAILS + APPS

I am a non-drinker, but the apps and overall feel of Absinthe and 107 Fourth Avenue Wine Bar are my favourite. Plus, my trusted sources tell me that some of the best drinks in the city can be found at either of these two spots.

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.

DAY ACTIVITIES

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

Lac La Pêche (beach, canoeing)
Ottawa River Pathway (bike path, running)
Rideau Canal Skateway (winter skating)
Pink Lake Trail (hikes and walks)
Caves and Mines
(between 20 mins-2 hours of travel outside the city)

INSPIRING ARTSY ESCAPES

WEEKEND GETAWAYS AND NEARBY ESCAPES

Hotels (and spas) for the perfect romantic getaway, no matter the time of year.

WAKEFIELD MILL

CHATEAU MONTEBELLO

DRAKE DEVONSHIRE INN

BOUTIQUE HOTELS

ANDAZ HOTEL

ALT HOTEL

ARC HOTEL

THE METCALFE