By Ottawa Rickshaws
With this near-comprehensive patio list we tried to give coverage to most of the city, although we felt some neighbourhoods simply lacked strong patio space. Obviously you may have different opinions, or suggestions to add. If you can make a good case in the comment section below, we may be willing to add your suggestions!
Serving some of the best pub nachos in the city, James Street Pub offers a huge patio space ideal for greasy food and drinking pitchers with large groups of friends. Leave your sensibilities at the door though. This is a patio where things might get a bit sloppy!
The Royal Oak on the Rideau Canal is like an oasis for those looking for a pit stop after a bike ride or walk along the canal. Their upstairs patio balcony overlooks the Rideau canal, perfectly situated to face the sun during the afternoon. Sharing a pitcher on their patio while watching the boats go by is a quintessential summer experience in Ottawa.
Forno Antico might be one of those places on Bronson that you’ve driven by a million times but have never pulled over to experience. While its claim to fame is its doughy wood-stove baked pizzas, Forno Antico offers a very underrated patio experience in the summer. Swing by at 9pm for some pizza and wine outdoors on a hot summer evening.
Adam: On the first truly hot day of the year, the Byward Market is bustling with thousands seeking a patio on which to enjoy their first patio beer of the season. Often this is a fruitless pursuit as just about every patio is brimming with people soaking in the sun. I found myself in this position with some friends several years ago, seeking a patio among the throngs of like-minded individuals.
Kinki’s secluded backyard patio was my salvation. Hidden away, this patio is a gorgeous space in the Byward Market. Enjoy a Sapporo with some sushi, or massive pitchers of cold mojito on a sweaty summer afternoon. The patio is sunny but shady, quiet and relaxing.
Tucked away behind Navarra Restaurant on Murray Street is a quiet backyard patio. Go for some tapas and cocktails on a starlit evening for a pleasant, off-the-path experience in the Byward Market.
The Black Tomato occupies very prime patio real estate hidden away in the Byward Market’s Clarendon Courtyard. This atmosphere lends a historical old-world vibe to the conventional patio experience. Diners are able to enjoy a bit of shade provided by the surrounding stony architecture and outcropping greenery. This patio space is ideal for those looking for a little peace and quiet while they enjoy a beer or glass of wine.
While the patio at Ottawa’s oldest tavern is fairly exclusive, it does offer an enjoyable outdoor seat to enjoy The Laff’s burgeoning line-up of local musical acts over a beer.
Another great courtyard patio–The Black Thorn’s patio is found in the Tin House Courtyard, looking up the Tin House monument and a majestic water fountain.
The Earl of Sussex offers rustic Byward Market patio experience. Located steps away from the Notre Dame Cathedral, the National Gallery of Canada, and Major’s Hill Park, this patio is truly surrounded by Ottawa’s history and culture. If you’re looking to watch sports over a brew or three on an outdoor patio, The Earl of Sussex is one of the better options in the Market on a nice night.
Connected to the National Arts Centre, Le Café overlooks Rideau Canal in a prime location for yacht-watching and waving at tour boats. Ideal for a night out before a show, Le Café has a lengthy drink menu full of summer cocktails, wines, and mixed drinks.
The balcony patio of The Fox & The Feather is made for soaking up the sun on an afternoon with a pitcher of lager (or waving a Sens flag from after a triumphant victory). Located on Elgin St., The Fox & The Feather offers a large space with an enjoyable view of the neighbourhood and Centretown greenery.
The patio at Sir. John A.’s is notable for having a big flat screen TV outdoors for sports fans to crowd around for Sens playoff games. This feature offers customers a great atmosphere for watching a game with friends over beer and wings, also inviting passers-by to stop and gawk at the screen from the sidewalk.
The patio at the Royal Oak on Kent St. has strength in its size and convenient location if you work nearby. Located in the hustle of Ottawa’s office district, the Kent St. Royal Oak is there for you on a sunny Friday afternoon when you just can’t make it to the end of the day. The ambiance mixes old-world Ottawa with a modern, urban sensibility.
Everyone likes a patio in a semi-residential area. Located in Ottawa’s Gay Village, the patio at Centretown Pub gives you the distinct vibe that you’re kicking it back with a beer on your friend’s front patio to people-watch or simple enjoy the summer on a weekend afternoon.
Located directly across from the Parliament Buildings, the patio at Parliament Pub allows you to drink a pint or pitcher with a patriotic Canadian backdrop. This alone makes it worthy of this list!
The patio at D’Arcy McGee’s is fairly small compared to some of the patio’s on this list. That said, there’s something to be said of the pub’s rustic surroundings, and the patio’s view of some of Ottawa’s most impressive sites and architecture. Experience Sparks Street’s cobblestone old-world feel, and D’Arcy McGee’s classic atmosphere while look on at the Canadian War Memorial, the Chateau Laurier, Union Station building, and perhaps even a glorious sunset.
Quinn’s in the Glebe is a quaint little pub offering some of the freshest pub-style burgers in Ottawa. Their patio, while simple, provides an ideal outdoor location to chomp down on a solid burger with a few pints to wash it down. You’ll pretty much feel like you’re on your back deck enjoying a BBQ burger!
This hidden little patio in The Glebe is like a world unto itself. Tucked behind 107 on Fourth Avenue Wine Bar is a serene deck patio perfect for wine and antipasti. Shaded by backyard foliage and scented with summer flowers, this is an awesome patio to quietly slip off to.
Found in the heart of Chinatown, Zen Kitchen has a comfortable front deck wrapped around the front of the restaurant. Enjoy gourmet tapas under the sun or choose from their award winning wine list!
Brian: With its location right along one of the busiest stretches of the Rideau Canal, Canal Ritz is one of the patios on this list that is just as popular in winter as it is in summer. This luxurious canal-side patio in July turns into a rink-side patio in February that is a great place to get a nice lunch after a day of skating. I distinctly remember eating here once every winter as a kid, before rushing off to the nearby Beavertails for my desert.
Brian: Renowned for its huge selection of beer conveniently packed into the “Beer Bible”, Pub Italia was the obvious choice to celebrate my birthday a few years ago. While sitting on the patio drinking some pints, in came one of Ottawa’s infamous 30-minute August thunderstorms to join the festivities. With nearly any other patio in the city this would have spelled sure doom, however Pub Italia’s semi-indoor patio, surrounded by three walls and a glass roof weathered the storm. Yes, you don’t get the benefit of a nice tan (or burn!), but Pub Italia’s patio gives you the benefit of fresh outdoor air, while still being sheltered from the elements.
Located on the second floor of Dow’s Lake Pavilion, Malone’s balcony patio offers a spectacular view of Dow’s Lake. Their food is also fantastic, which makes this patio one of the better summer evening date locations.
K&S on the Keys at South Keys has two fantastic patios. The first, on the ground level, is your standard patio that gets lots of sun. There is also an extremely large balcony patio extending from the second floor of the restaurant. There is just something special about sitting on a nice, big sunny patio that is not on the ground. Maybe it’s just because you’re closer to the sun? Who knows?
The Mill Street Pub probably has some of the nicest patio scenery in the city. Since the pub was made in an old mill building, the patio (and restaurant as a whole) layout is complex and at times confusing, but this adds to the charm of the restaurant. But what keeps all the tiers of this patio together is the wonderful scenery, highlighted by waterfalls coming from the Ottawa River behind the restaurant. The combination of sun, waterfalls and craft beer creates the perfect summer atmosphere.
This is easily the nicest patio in Hull, and one of the largest patios in the whole Capital region. Like Mill Street, it is a microbrewery in an old mill building, housed on the banks of Gatineau’s Ruisseau de la Brasserie (French for ‘Stream of the Brewery’). With its location just outside of downtown, Les Brasseurs du Temps has the space for a huge patio with a great view of the aforementioned stream and the old mill building.