The Most Scenic Outdoor Patios in Ottawa
Tavern on the Hill | Tavern on the Falls
Ottawa’s choice for best patio has to be Tavern on the Hill! With two equally picturesque locations, in Major’s Hill Park and overlooking Rideau Falls, Tavern on the Hill and Falls are must visit spots to get a drink in Ottawa. These seasonal patios and takeout-style dining offers a variety of cocktails, wine, beer and alcohol-free beverages. They also feature casual eats including their ‘gourmet dawgs’ with different topping options, available as 100% beef or vegan.
Weather (and Covid) permitting, they have live music on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Grab a drink, relax and enjoy the view.
Addresses: 1223 Alexandra Bridge | 1 John Street, Ottawa
Dow’s Lake Pavilion Restaurants
Umbrella Bar brings a social cocktail back to the basics, on a picturesque covered patio overlooking Dow’s Lake. It is a bright, spacious patio featuring twinkly lights and other cozy elements. Umbrella Bar has a diverse menu of drink options, and the best fried chicken and mac n’ cheese in the city! The Chicken Sandwich is one of my favourite meals in Ottawa, and is hands down a must try for crispy chicken lovers.
Mexicali Rosa’s provides authentic California-style Mexican food in their six restaurant locations. The food is a result of the blending of two cultures, including ingredients and spices. The atmosphere at Dow’s Lake is a mix of traditional elements with a modern twist, including a spacious patio and scenic view of the lake and Commissioners Park. Let’s not forget about the fun drinks; multiple margarita options in a glass or pitcher, tequila based cocktails, cold beer and wine. If you’re a Sangria lover, you must try their Sangria Tower!
Address: 1001 Queen Elizabeth Driveway, Ottawa
With three locations in Ottawa, Remic Rapids, Patterson Creek Park and Confederation Park, the NCC Bistros offer a casual outdoor dining experience while you immerse yourself in nature. The NCC is the major contributor in keeping our capital city looking as beautiful and well-kept as it is. They enhance our enjoyment of city greenspaces with this unique food experience. You’ll find menu options such as hotdogs, sausages, slushies, beer and wine at the Remic Rapids location. The Confederation Park bistro offers paninis, baked goods, ice cream and a variety of coffee and alcoholic drinks. Patterson Creek Park is a newer opening - menu coming soon. Spot their red umbrellas and wooden tables outdoors!
Addresses: Sir John A Macdonald Parkway | Bank Street | Elgin Street & Laurier Avenue W
Copper Spirits & Sights
Ottawa’s tallest patio is on the 16th floor of the Andaz Hotel. Overlooking the Byward Market, with Parliament and the Ottawa River also visible in the distance. They have comfy lounge style seating and fire tables, with a glass wall offering a view from any spot on the patio. It is absolutely beautiful during a sunset! Their menu features casual eats like charcuterie, and extensive drink options including wine, Ontario craft beer, classic cocktails and aged whiskeys.
Address: 325 Dalhousie Street, Ottawa
Clarendon Lane Courtyard Patios
The following four restaurant patios are nestled in a quaint courtyard off of the Byward Market, with a European summer atmosphere. Enjoy food and drinks atop cobblestone streets, next to green vines climbing up historic stone walls, with twinkly lights ahead.
Known for their tacos and donuts, Sidedoor’s menu is inspired by street food of Southeast Asia. The menu options are tapas, small plates that are meant to be shared and come throughout the meal. I recommend the dumplings as well as their tacos!
Address: 18b York Street, Ottawa
This fine dining restaurant now known for hosting weddings and events, was once a log tavern first constructed in 1827. Their contemporary cuisine and picturesque location, both inside and out, is a clear choice for a romantic evening. Enjoy a meal such as gnocchi or steak in this picturesque courtyard.
Address: 21 George Street, Ottawa
An award-winning event space, this restaurant has seen the likes of ambassadors, ministers and other leaders. This artsy tea room and cocktail lounge features enticing menu items such as wakame salad, tuna carpaccio, sushi rolls and a seafood platter.
Address: 527 Sussex Drive, Ottawa
Social puts a modern twist on Canadian and French cuisine, paired with craft cocktails and an enlightened wine selection. Join them daily from 3:00pm – 5:00pm, for the Social Hour menu of $6 food and drinks.
Address: 537 Sussex Drive, Ottawa
La Terrasse – Fairmont Château Laurier
Feel like royalty dining on the terrace of Ottawa’s castle. With Parliament buildings in sight, and a clear view over the Rideau Canal locks, there is no better place to have a full Ottawa experience. Their impressive drink menu features beer, wine, signature cocktails and ‘Showstoppers’ such as the Surf & Turf Caesar. If you’re a Caesar fan, this epic cocktail is a must-try.
Now taking reservations, book ahead if you’d like to visit.
Address: 1 Rideau Street, Ottawa
Mill Street Brew Pub
Sip on a pint of your go-to Mill Street beer, on a spacious patio overlooking the Ottawa River. This Toronto brewery opened their second brew pub in Ottawa, in a 177-year-old stone gristmill. Sit next to this historic building, under a red umbrella as you watch the water rush by, and bikers on the Ottawa River Pathway. The Organic Lager is a classic, if you’re not sure what to drink.
Address: 555 Wellington Street, Ottawa
Nestled in the sub-city of Carp, is 47 acres of vibrant green vineyard. Kin Vineyards winery will transport you out of the city, as you enjoy a variety of wine tastings, paired with their Italian restaurant partners. It is a prime spot for photos, and sunset views over the vines. Pop by for a glass or book a tour and tasting experience, from Thursday to Sunday. I am not typically a red wine drinker but the smooth Kin Pinot Noir could turn me!
Address: 2225 Craig’s Side Road, Carp
Kelly’s Landing Restaurant
The ultimate summer spot; Kelly’s Landing offers pub fare and seafood with waterfront views. This casual eatery has a spacious patio deck, next to wooden docks on the water, where boaters can stop in for a bite. Enjoy the quaint small-town atmosphere of Manotick, while you look out over the river. Open seasonally from March to October.
Address: 1980 River Road, Manotick
Joe’s Italian Kitchen
Historic stone walls, sunny patio seating and rushing waterfalls? You’ll find it all plus delicious Italian eats at Joe’s Italian Kitchen, in Almonte. The closest I’ve felt to visiting Italy in the Ottawa Region is at Joe’s! Enjoy your Italian panini, pizza or pasta, made with fresh, quality ingredients, as you admire the Grand Falls on the Mississippi River.
Address: 7 Mill Street, Almonte
Ashton Brew Pub
Prepare to be enchanted with this authentic British pub, just outside of the city. Located on the banks of the Jock River, Ashton Brewing is situated in a historic mill in the town of Ashton. If the building and atmosphere weren’t appealing enough, you can enjoy their fresh craft beer and pub eats on a covered patio overlooking the water, and luscious greenery. The Blueberry Wheat ale is a must try.
Address: 113 Old Mill Road, Ashton
If you love the beach and burgers, Baja is a must stop during your Ottawa summer. They have been voted Ottawa’s best burger, and I can attest to how truly tasty this meal is! The colourful décor, twinkly lights and upbeat music will give you a truly tropical feeling as you enjoy casual eats and cold drinks. Soak up the sun and waterfront views at both Britannia and Mooney’s Bay beaches.
Address: 102 Greenview Avenue | 2960 Riverside Drive, Ottawa
Take in the sight of the sun reflecting off of the Rideau Canal, on an extended dock patio at Canal Ritz. This relaxed eatery offers simple Italian dishes, and classic cocktails, with a brunch menu on weekends. It is the perfect patio stop for bikers, being just a step away from the Rideau Canal Western Pathway. Sit and watch canoes and kayaks paddle along the canal, while you’re close enough to touch the water yourself.
Address: 375 Queen Elizabeth Drive, Ottawa