Pick your Poison: 10 of Ottawa’s Best Options for a Fun Night Out

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Night Out in Ottawa  

If you’re looking for an evening out on the town, Ottawa has a little something for everyone. With everything from lively and fun LGBTQ+ nightclubs that will have you getting down on the dance floor, to casual breweries, to authentic Scottish pubs, Ottawa has a great option for whatever kind of night that you are looking for. Check out this list for 10 of the best tried-and-true options in Ottawa for a night on the town, no matter where that night may take you.

1.For some good ole’ family fun:

The Loft Board Game Lounge
Photo credit: The Loft Board Game Lounge

The Loft Board Game Lounge. You know what’s better than just a drink? A drink with friends. And you know what’s better than that? A drink with friends over a fun board game. The Loft Board Game Lounge delivers all of the above. This intimate space is a perfect spot to hang out and have a beer with friends while enjoying a fun round of Parcheesi, Connect 4, Monopoly, or any of your other favorite board games. The Loft has a wide array of family games, card games, party games, strategy games, war games, and more, as well as an experienced staff that is always available to teach you the rules (because who has the time to read 8 pages of complicated rules anyway?).

2. For when you just can’t make up your mind:

Beerocracy Pub
Photo credit: Beerocracy Pub

Beerocracy. The best place to go when you want more options than you can possibly decide between. With over 45 different beer options and more than 50 different food options, Beerocracy is quite simply overwhelming, but in the best possible way. Every beer is tasty and strong, and every dish is delicious as can be. It’s no wonder that this is such a classic choice! Don’t worry if you can’t choose your favorite food or beverage options the first time around, you’ll definitely be back for more. Beerocracy is the perfect spot to expand your beer and pub food palette.

3. For when you’re looking for an Ottawa classic:

CLOCKTOWER BREW PUB
Photo credit: CLOCKTOWER BREW PUB

Clocktower Brewpub. The Clocktower is a local classic and is the longest established full service craft brewery in Ottawa. (Let me translate that for you – they’ve been around the longest and they’re the best at what they do). Open since 1996, the Clocktower has several locations around Ottawa. You won’t go wrong with any of them, but if we had to recommend one, it would be the original Pub and Brewery at 575 Bank Street. Settle in for a delicious beer (we recommend the Kolsch, Raspberry Wheat, or Clocktower Stout) and a delicious bite at one of Ottawa’s oldest and most well-loved brewpubs.

4. For when you want a taste of the finer things in life:

The Highlander Pub
Photo credit: The Highlander Pub

Highlander Pub. The Highlander Pub is Ottawa’s “Only Gold Level Single Malt Scotch Bar,” AKA a snazzy drinking experience. The Highlander Pub is named after the Scottish Highlands, an area that is famous for its welcoming hospitality and picturesque beauty. Located at 115 Rideau Street, the Highlander is the perfect spot to come and spend your lunch break or evenings enjoying fine food, any of the 300 single malt scotch whiskies, or a pint of your favourite brews from one of the 17 taps available. Pro-Tip: When you’re there, engage the friendly bartenders in conversation over a glass of scotch and ask them to tell you the hilarious history of the Scottish Haggis. You won’t be disappointed.

5. For a fun night out with the guys:

Mulligans Golf Bar
Photo credit: Mulligans Golf Bar

Mulligans Golf Bar. Looking for a change of pace from your typical brewpub? Mulligans offers something unique: an opportunity to play a super fun (and super realistic) game of golf on one of their high-tech golf simulators. This spot is perfect for getting together with the guys and enjoy a beer and game. The simulators use high-resolution imagery, geophysical, and satellite data that will have you swearing that you’re playing on the actual course. Combined with their delicious drink and eat options, Mulligans is a great alternative for your typical night out.

6. For when it’s all about the atmosphere:

Flora-Hall-Brewing-Buildging Photo credit: Flora Hall Brewing

Flora Hall Brewing. Flora Hall Brewing is relatively new to the Ottawa beer scene but has been making quite an impression since it opened in 2016. While the wide array of brew options are undoubtedly delicious, the thing that makes Flora Hall super special is just that – Flora Hall. The historic building was built in 1927 by the Welch and Johnston automotive firm and for more than 50 years housed the company’s automotive radio repair business and other electrical services for cars and trucks. Since being renovated in 2016, the building is now one of Ottawa’s coolest spots to sip on a pint. With soaring ceilings, huge windows, multiple levels of seating, and industrial exposed brick and stone walls, the atmosphere at Flora Hall is hard to beat.

7. For when you’re looking for some hometown brews:

Ashton Brewing Company
Photo credit: Ashton Brewing Company

Ashton Brewing Company: Ashton Brewing Company is truly a family owned and family run business. The Hodgins family has been serving up great food and drinks at over 20 different pubs around the country since the early 1970s. The uncontested jewel of the Hodgins family empire is Ashton Brewing Company, located in the Old Mill in Ashton. The Hodgins teamed up with Lorne Hart, renowned brewmaster, to bring you some of the best home-brewed beer you’ll taste in Ottawa. Settle in along the banks of the Jock River in the heart of the Ottawa Valley and enjoy an authentic pub ale brewed on site at The Ashton Mill. Once you get comfy, you’ll never want to leave.

8. For a night you won’t forget:

Lookout Bar & Night Club
Photo credit:Lookout Bar & Night Club

Lookout Bar & Night Club. Lookout, this club is sure to have you getting down low on the dance floor. One of Ottawa’s best known LGBTQ+ bars, Lookout Club was voted as the #1 Nightclub in Ottawa 2 years in a row (2017 & 2018) by FACES magazine and is known for their fun, welcoming, and energetic atmosphere where people love to let loose and hit the dance floor! Lookout has something for everyone with Karaoke Night, Video on Demand Night, and their FAMOUS Drag Nights (which we highly recommend). If you just want to let loose with your friends and really have a fun night out, Lookout is the spot to do it.

9. For when you’re looking for a little Scottish flair:

THE GLEN
Photo credit: THE GLEN

The Glen Scottish Pub. The Glen is one of the coolest and most underappreciated spots to grab a pint of Guinness in all of Ottawa. This cute and homey Scottish Pub has been in operation since 1988 but expanded into a new location in 2010. The Glen serves all kinds of typical (and tasty) Scottish foods including Haggis (Vegetarian Haggis is also available), beef liver, Shepherd’s Pie, and Scotch Meat Pie, but if you want to try something truly delicious, the fish-n-chips is definitely the winner. The crispy, freshly fried fish is the perfect compliment to a Guinness from the tap and catching up with an old friend.

10. For getting back to the basics:

PourBoy
Photo credit: Pour Boy Pub

Pour Boy Pub. Pour Boy Pub is just that, your classic brewpub. Forget the bells and whistles and get back to the basics of a great, casual night out with your closest buddies. Pour Boy has a variety of entertainment options throughout the month if you are looking for a little fun while you drink including trivia, paint, bingo, comedy and music nights. With $5 pints every day and a variety of tasty pub food options available, Pour Boy is a great option for an affordable and fun night out.

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About the Author: Annie

Annie Albrecht is a freelance writer, editor, and content marketing strategist from Austin, TX. Currently based in Madrid, she spends most of her time trotting around Europe, hiking mountains, and facetiming her dog while sipping a glass of red wine. Besides travel, Annie loves discovering new music, lively political discussions, and being outside.

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