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Ottawa Highlights

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Long overlooked by travelers moving between Montreal and Toronto, Canada's Capital is in the midst of a mass cultural revitalization and foodie renaissance. Finally on the cusp of finding its identity, Ottawa offers much more than just a visit to Parliament Hill. With each year come dozens of new boutiques, locally inspired restaurants, an ever-expanding list of music and cultural festivals, improved green space and architectural revivals, and easy access to the bounty of Quebec.
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93 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N 7B3, Canada
Rene Rodriguez's Navarra is a fusion tapas experience, with influences from all over Spain, as well as Latin America. The wine list is carefully curated, and there are a number of cocktails to get any evening started on the right foot, in a hip,...
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315 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K2P 0J8, Canada
There's a lot of soul in the bourbon-heavy cocktail menu at Union 613. Skip the restaurant bar upstairs in favor of the downstairs speakeasy where you can enjoy your choice of a classic cocktail, seasonal creation, or house specialty in a more...
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Wellington St, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A4, Canada
Take a look around the back of Parliament Hill and you will find stunning views of the Gatineau Hills, the Ottawa River, the National Gallery and Victoria Island. Descend the 273 steps to the riverside and you can make your way back up again next...
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55 Byward Market Square, Ottawa, ON K1N 9C3, Canada
ByWard Market is both a market, filling the block bounded by ByWard, William, York and George streets, and the name for the surrounding neighborhood. This is where Ottawa began, an area laid out by Lt. Col. John By who oversaw the construction of...
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110 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5M6, Canada
Murray Street has all the makings of a nice evening, with a healthy selection of Old & New World wines, outstanding charcuterie, and a constantly changing menu that's upscale without being pretentious. It's a nice place for a leisurely meal, not...
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Ottawa, ON, Canada
One of the great engineering feats of the 19th century, the Rideau Canal was constructed between 1826 to 1832 originally as a military and commercial waterway connecting the Canadian capital to Kingston, at the head of Lake Ontario. Today, it is...
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195 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1W7, Canada
Bread & Sons is by far my favourite takeout breakfast spot in Ottawa. Goat's cheese and rosemary borekas with fair trade coffee, or croissant breakfast sandwiches with asiago cheese, sea salt, and a poached egg are my top picks.
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380 Sussex Dr, Ottawa, ON K1N 9N4, Canada
Featuring the works of Tom Thomson, Emily Carr, and the Group of Seven, the National Gallery of Canada is one of the country’s premiere destinations for paintings, sculptures, and contemporary art. The building also hosts the Canadian Museum of...
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137 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5M7, Canada
Don't let its unassuming entrance fool you, this local eatery is standing room only if you don't arrive early on most every night of the week. A popular spot due to its central location, it serves a tasty deluxe burger and fries along with its...
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250 City Centre Ave #112, Ottawa, ON K1R 1C7, Canada
Yes, Art Is In Bakery truly makes baking an art! Located inside a former industrial warehouse in Ottawa's west end, this edgy gastro-bakery blends the best elements of a Brooklyn eatery and a Parisian boulangerie. Even Ottawa Magazine cited it as...
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1066 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K1Y 2Y4, Canada
Yes, Ottawa's Burger Wars have begun in earnest, with dozens of places battling for burger supremacy - but for my money, the best bet is still the simplicity of Hintonburger. Occupying what was formerly the first KFC establishment in the city, the...
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Park Ave, Ottawa, ON K2P, Canada
Early in June, hundreds of vendors descend on Patterson Creek to exhibit their works. Rent a Bixi bike from downtown and make a day of cruising the beautiful Rideau Canal, strolling through the park which extends off of it, and then continuing on...
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1103 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1S 3X4, Canada
Looking for a sweet and addictive taste of real Italy? Stella Luna is a family-owned gelateria in the heart of Ottawa, making fresh gelato from scratch every morning. Highly recommend the dark chocolate with cinnamon and chiles, or if you need a...
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1240 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1S 3Y3, Canada
One of my absolute favourite places in Old Ottawa South is Yardley's Antique Furniture. It's always a treasure hunt/obstacle course in the sardine can-packed, dusty three floors of Yardley's. I can find a century's worth of ephemera inside from...
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1325 Wellington Street West, Ottawa, ON K1Y 3B6, Canada
A food-and-drink pairing treasure resting at the top of a long set of stairs in Ottawa's Wellington West neighbourhood, the Wellington's rough brick walls, laid-back vibe, wide-ranging wine and beer list and an ever-changing menu focused on...
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5510 Canotek Rd Unit 15, Gloucester, ON K1J 9J4, Canada
One of the newest additions to Ottawa's rapidly-expanding microbrewery scene, Dominion City Brewing Co. is producing beers that taste like they're made by seasoned brewmasters with decades of experience in the precious chemical balancing act that...
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442 Preston St, Ottawa, ON K1S 4N6, Canada
What goes with bacon-wrapped olives? A Brazzo! Bookers Bourbon, W&H Rare Old Oloroso Sherry, and West Indian orange bitters on top of two enormous ice cubes. A gin martini, however, wouldn’t go amiss either. This Little Italy bar, whose menu lists...
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1074 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1S 3X3, Canada
Billed as Ottawa's home of things you won't see anywhere else, the Mayfair is the city's oldest and longest running cinema. Situated at the crossroads of the Glebe and Old Ottawa South - and having been in operation since 1932 (!) - this heritage...
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370 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1N1, Canada
One of the best small pubs in Ottawa to chill out in by yourself with a pint and a book (or choose from their library), peruse local artwork on the walls, or chow down on quality food and drink from a long line of craft beer taps with your...
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885 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1S 3W4, Canada
An Ottawa institution since 1985, Irene's is a haven for small stage blues, folk, country, bluegrass, and rock shows. The wooden benches and rough, customer-carved tables serve as the perfect resting place to drink back specialty whiskeys and...
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411 Cooper St, Ottawa, ON K2P 0H1, Canada
One of Ottawa's last used record shops, the Turning Point's 2 floors boast a stock of over 20,000 items, from cds, concert dvds, a huge collection of vinyl and other collectibles from the course of rock history. I'm always on the hunt for those...
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Located at the southern end of the Glebe, Kaleidoscope Kids' Books is Ottawa's only children's bookshop and well worth seeking out during any visit to the city. Packed with a range of books for kids from 0-15, there's something for everybody...
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866 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1S 3W2, Canada
La Brioche in the Glebe is the best spot in Ottawa to sample the sweet soul of Ottawa's vast Lebanese culinary community. Packed with a wide-array of baklava, walnut and cream-stuffed kattayef and many other Middle Eastern desserts, La Brioche is...
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792 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1S 3V8, Canada
While there are several Nicastro's around the city (different owners, same family), the Bank Street Glebe location is my favourite, with its fresh organic produce, huge array of European and Canadian cheeses, and wall full of gourmet DOCG specific...
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385 Sussex Dr, Ottawa, ON K1N 1J9, Canada
One of the most striking architectural accomplishments in Ottawa is the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica—the city's oldest and largest church, with its origins dating to 1839. Whether or not you're religious (or even a fan of neo-gothic...
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1 York St, Ottawa, ON K1N 6Z5, Canada
For a relaxing, leisurely evening in an upscale, yet laid-back atmosphere, check out Play near Byward Market-Parliament Hill. The menu is based on a host of small plates, not unlike tapas, and the wine list is extensive but not overwhelming.
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2 Daly Ave #240, Ottawa, ON K1N 6E2, Canada
So many festivals take place in Ottawa that they merit their own network: The Ottawa Festival's Network. Bluesfest draws a lot of big names, Ottawa Writer's Fest introduces you to a range of intellectuals with interesting stories to tell, and the...
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1 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON K1N 8S7, Canada
There's lots to do outside in Ottawa during the Winter. On the left side of the picture is the Bytowne Museum, which is open year round. Further up the canal, you'll find skating, chalets with hot chocolate to warm yourself up, and 'Winterlude'...
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240 McLeod St, Ottawa, ON K2P 2R1, Canada
Having lived in Centretown for many years, I'm always impressed when I walk up Metcalfe at night, and see the illuminated glass casing (the Lantern) and the giant blue whale contained within looming over me. Similarly, getting off the highway and...
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Pretoria Ave, Ottawa, ON K1S, Canada
Easily accessible from downtown, bike with the family on over 50km of automobile-free roadways every Sunday morning during the summer. If you haven't got your bike already, pick up a Bixi bike located at numerous locations throughout downtown....
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1 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON K1N 8S7, Canada
Most of Canada’s 19th-century hotels, such as this one, were built by rail companies to house passengers. The limestone landmark, furnished with Louis XV–style decor, overlooks the parliament buildings. Expect exhibits this year to celebrate the...
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24a York St, Ottawa, ON K1N 1K2, Canada
Situated in the cobblestone courtyard that runs parallel to Sussex, this is my favourite coffee shop in Lowertown. I love to people watch while eating my warmed and buttered cheese and peppercorn scone.
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1 Vimy Pl, Ottawa, ON K1A 0M8, Canada
The Canadian War Museum is among the most popular destinations for visitors, offering a look at Canada's military history on the front lines as well as at home. Often, the museum provides unique and unexpected insights, as with their summer 2013...
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104 Guigues Ave, Ottawa, ON K1N 5H7, Canada
Owners Regine and Katie have been instrumental in developing this end of Dalhousie Street with the establishment of Victoire. Dalhousie continues out of the Northeast corner of the Market and has a range of independent coffee shops, salons,...
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504a Kent St, Ottawa, ON K2P 2B9, Canada
The Whalesbone is one of Ottawa's best places to eat sustainably farmed oysters and fish, but the sit-down location can get a little pricey. Three blocks away is their wholesale location, which serves takeout treats like oyster po'boys with aioli,...
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Ottawa, ON, Canada
The Canadian Tulip Festival is magnificent! The tulips are a gift of the Netherlands to Canada every year. If you're ever in Ottawa in the spring, you must visit this festival! I have never seen so many different colors and varieties of tulips in...
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42 York St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5S6, Canada
For anyone looking for a true Ottawa experience in the historic, yet overly-touristed Byward Market, the Laff at the Chateau Lafayette is a good bet. Ottawa's oldest bar - serving since 1849 - is filled with the crazy assortment of characters that...
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Ixelles, Belgium
This loft style guesthouse is a hidden gem in a vibrant part of Ixelles. It is in the African neighborhood of Matongé, surrounded by funky restaurants and shops that are walking distance to the bus and the Porte de Namur metro. Longue Vie is...
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Place de la Vieille Halle aux Blés 43, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
This is a delightful little hotel in the heart of Brussels located in a picturesque square just minutes from the Grand'Place.......
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Rue Montagne aux Herbes Potagères 7, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
One of my favorite places to grab a beer and a snack is a la Mort Subite. Although it does become touristy, it is a civilized class of tourists who like to relax and grab a quiet beer and something to eat, unlike the more popular Delirium Cafe....
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Brussels, Belgium
This is a weekend dedicated to Belgian beers. Small and big breweries present their beer on the Grand-Place. The entrance is free, the tastings have to be paid. And if you are not a beer fan, go for the amazing, fresh oysters sold by different...
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1000 Brussels, Belgium
After a March week that included a freak snowstorm, a windstorm, and pounding rain, we woke up to a sunny day in Brussels—a perfect day to explore the Jeu de Balle market. We walked by jumbles of scarves, old records, antique silverware, vintage...