Ottawa’s Best Lounges
With an increasingly diverse restaurant and nightclub scene, there are a plethora of attention-worthy spots to grab a relaxed after-work cocktail or experience a hip and cool night out with your closest pals. We’ve rounded up the most memorable lounges in Ottawa below so that you stay in-the-know once the sun goes down.
This retro-chic hot spot on Elgin Street continues to draw the 30+ crowd with its mid-century modern vibe and relaxed menu (think light snacks and craft cocktails).
Whether you’re looking for an after work cocktail, a quick dinner or an evening of socializing, Charlotte’s buzzy vibe is sure to provide the right backdrop for you.
Charlotte is open Tuesday and Wednesday, 1 pm-12:30 am; Thursday and Friday, 1 pm-1:30 am; and Saturday, 6 pm-1:30 am
Montgomery Scotch Lounge
Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday night the innovative Oat Couture cafe, which serves up 18 different bowls of oatmeal, transforms into a comfortable yet upscale lounge in the space of under an hour. Voila, the Montgomery Scotch Lounge, boasting over 50 single malt scotches along with scotch cocktails, wine and craft beer. The lounge is a creative outlet for owner Brian Montgomery and prides itself on being Canada’s only Single Malt Lounge.
Paul Saucier is a mixologist, scotch lover, bartender, and consultant, who has trained Montgomery Scotch Lounge staff, while chef Ben Baird whips up a variety of small plates (think charcuterie and cheese plates as well as gourmet toasts with tasty toppings) behind the scenes.
On the sweet side, Baird whips up a buttercrunch pudding with banana, shortbread, whipped cream and a splash of Glenfiddich.
Montgomery Scotch Lounge is open Wednesday-Sunday from 5 pm until late.
Social on Sussex Drive
With an upscale atmosphere, beautiful decor and a short but progressive menu, Social prides itself on innovative wine selections and craft cocktail offerings. A longstanding fixture on Ottawa’s scene, the ritzy lounge opened its doors in 1999 and was described by the Ottawa Citizen back then as “glamorous, hip and humming.” In 2017 renovations saw Social enlarge to a multi-roomed hangout by taking over the space of the former art gallery next door. The intimate space, with dramatically high ceilings, is comprised of five tastefully luxurious dining rooms which seat about 185 cumulatively. Add in the large, secluded backyard patio that seats about 100 and it’s likely you won’t have to wait too long for a seat. With live Jazz in the courtyard & weekend DJs to set the vibe, Social is one of Ottawa’s most vibrant & creative restaurants.
Open Monday-Wednesday, 11:30 am to 11 pm; Thursday 11:30 am to midnight; Friday 11:30 am to 2 am; and Saturday 11 am to 2 am
Copper Spirits and Sights
This chic indoor-outdoor lounge atop the Andaz Hotel offers one of the most superb views of the capital and has claimed the title of the city’s tallest rooftop bar. Cuddle up in the wintertime at the exclusive Winterlude Canadian Ice Bar or wait until warmer weather arrives to watch the sky softly swirl golden orange with the setting sun across the downtown skyline. Located on the sixteenth floor, Copper Spirits and Sights offers an artfully crafted cocktail menu, local beers, flavourful wines and elevated eats.
Copper Spirits and Sights is open Tuesday-Thursday, 4 pm to midnight; Friday and Saturday, 4 pm to 2 am
Located in the iconic Fairmont Chateau Laurier, Zoe’s Lounge is an opulent, chandelier-bedecked spot for a martini and a light bite. Whether you’re looking for a craft cocktail or are celebrating with high tea, this captivating lounge is sure to inspire discussion with its rich history. Named after Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s wife, Lady Zoe, the space was transformed from a concert hall and reintroduced as a bar in the late 1980’s, quickly becoming one of Ottawa’s most popular gathering places. Today, the room is contemporary chic and remains equally impressive with its big bold chandeliers, unique details and featured artwork, including six original Karsh photographs in the Reading Lounge leading to the bar.
Zoe’s Lounge is open Sunday – Thursday, 11 am to midnight; Friday & Saturday, 11 am to 1 am
Afternoon Tea is Wednesday – Friday, 1 pm and 3 pm seatings; Saturday & Sunday, 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm seatings