When it comes to dates, especially first dates, it’s all about location. You want to pick a spot that is popular enough that the date is fun, but not so popular that the hustle and bustle of crowds detracts for your quality time. It can be a touch balance. Thankfully, Ottawa as a great selection of restaurants, cafes, lookouts, parks, and other venues for whatever vibe you desire for your date destination.
In this article:
- Three top fancy restaurants for date spots in Ottawa
- Three top cafes for a more casual Ottawa date spot
- Three best parks/walkways for an outdoor adventure date spot in Ottawa
Feeling Fancy? Here Are The Most Romantic Fancy Restaurants in Ottawa That Are Perfect for Dates
If you’re in need of elegance in a Canadian city, you can usually look for The Fairmont. Ottawa’s Fairmont Château Laurier is home to Wilfrid’s Restaurant; an upscale and sophisticated restaurant that offers 5-star Canadian cuisine for visitors and hotel guests alike. It’s a wonderful spot to eat while viewing the Parliament and Rideau Locks, in one of the most beautiful and historic buildings in Ottawa.
After dinner , you can take a walk down to the Byward Market to explore Ottawa’s bustling downtown scene or, stay at the Fairmont to continue your luxury experience.
If you’re looking for a fancy restaurant with some great scenery, this is a top choice.
The restaurant is open for dinner from 5:30 – 10 pm Monday – Saturday.
If you’re looking for 5-star food, then reserving a seat at Ottawa’s renowned restaurateur Stephen Beckta’s restaurant is a great move. Beckta can be found in a beautifully modernized heritage building right at the corner of Elgin and Laurier. Inside, a two-story restaurant with private dining rooms await those with reservations. Beckta prepares a 5 course interactive chef’s tasting menu each night to walk guests through an amazing culinary experience. Or, they can choose to dine with the a la carte menu.
If you’re looking for a fancy restaurant that brings a focus to the culinary experience, Beckta is your top choice.
Another heritage building restored into a trendy and upscale dining destination, Riviera can be found in an old bank on Sparks Street. Its sprawling ceilings and distinctive decor offer a relaxed dining atmosphere, with awe-inspiring food that is perfect for a dinner meeting or date.
Riviera is a great choice if you are looking for something that is both fancy and trendy. Riviera is known for its cocktail menu, with an in-house master-mixologist who can modify and create a cocktail to perfection. The food is decadent, the atmosphere amazing, and the whole Riviera experience is 5-star.
After dinner, you can take a walk on Sparks Street or up to Parliament Hill for some stunning views of the Rideau Canal.
The Shore Club
The Shore Club is a sophisticated dinner club that offers excellent seafood and steak. Just inside the Westin, the club is a bustling social scene at the bar, but offers a relaxed dinner experience as well. An expansive wine list is accompanied by a daily fresh sheet. White table cloths and 5-star service enhance the atmosphere that makes The Shore Club one of Ottawa’s top fancy restaurants.
Signature dishes include Antarctic Sea Bass, Steak & Lobster, and Big Eye Tuna, and desserts mention a Baked Alaska and Creme Brulee.
If you’re looking for an inviting yet upscale spot for dinner, this is your top choice.
Cafe Casual: The Best EasyGoing Date Spots in Ottawa
If you’re looking for a more relaxed and casual date spot, you’re in luck. Ottawa has awesome, fun venues that will serve that purpose.
Don’t let the word Salad fool you- this is anything but a standard salad bar. Lollo Salads in the Byward Market is a trendy new vegan cafe that is elegant & modern while still being fun and relaxing. The interior is fresh and inviting, and it boasts a huge selections of food, coffee beverages, sweets (think vegan chocolate mousse), and wine (mhm). You can sit in the bright and bustling shop, take it to go, or enjoy your date on their mini outdoor street patio. The entire experience makes you feel like you’re in Europe. And, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can take a bottle of their wine to go.
Oh So Good Desserts
Just down the street is another five-star cafe experience at Oh-So-Good. This cafe specializes in cakes and cheesecakes, and when we say specialized, we mean that they have over 20 different kinds of mouthwatering cake on display for you to choose from. And, a killer latte and super relaxed atmosphere. While its busy, the interior is super spread out, and there are tons of quiet corners for getting to know each other and deep discussions. It’s a top pick for a fun coffee date with your sweet tooth (erm, sweet heart).
If you’re looking somewhere that is less cafe and more lunch & drinks, Cornerstone is a great option. It’s got a large patio right downtown on Clarence Street, where all the action is, but its not super noisy. The menu is great and the drinks aren’t too fancy. It’s a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
Parks & Walkways
Looking for more of an outdoor vibe for your date? Here’s some of Ottawa’s best natural wonders, walkways, beaches, and areas to watch the sunset, eat watermelon, and get to know each other.
Some may know Mooney’s Bay as only a beach, but in reality, it’s actually a whole area with tons of activities that are perfect for dates. The beach is, of course, one of the most attractive spots, but walking to the north, you’ll find a bikepath that leads along a forest walk, that connects to the bike trail along the Rideau Canal. The whole area is lush with trees, not overly crowed, and perfect for watching the sunset.
Another great beach and bike-path combo is Britannia Beach. It offers an awesome view of Lake Ontario, which a quiet beach and walking trails. It’s also a stone’s throw from some great restaurants and patios, and to wellington west, which is full of awesome spots to grab a drink.