Living Like a Local in Ottawa

Where to eat, drink and shop in Canada's capital city 


 

Photo by Scott Adamson-Jeremy Fisher at Murray Street Kitchen

Singer-songwriter Jeremy Fisher has lived many places: Seattle, Montreal, even on the road as he biked across Canada. But it’s Ottawa that he calls home. “Ottawa has everything. It’s a big city in a small town,” says the Juno-nominated musician. These are some of his favourite spots.

For Good Coffee

Raw Sugar Café is a licensed coffee shop for late risers. It opens late and stays open late—sometimes until 2 a.m. They do art and music shows and host all kinds of events, so it’s kind of a community hub. There’s a long list of Canadian and international talent that have played here.”

Where to Have a Drink

“My favourite drinking hole is The Manx Pub. There have been times I’ve gone straight from the airport to The Manx. It’s a basement pub. It’s small. They don’t have TVs. It’s a place you go to have a great conversation and stay up late.”

Where to Dine

“It’s so hard to choose. Murray Street in Byward Market has a nose-to-tail focus. It’s always delicious. And they do a great brunch. Ottawa is also known for its shawarma. My favourite is Shawarma’s King on Bank Street. It’s got the most heavenly garlic paste that they serve with fried potatoes. And their chicken shawarma is great.”

Favourite Hangout

“As somebody who travels and spends a lot of time in bars whether I like it or not, House of TARG: Pinball & Perogies is the one place that I’m always in the mood to go to. There’s almost always a show going on. There’s great food. And there are video games that I grew up loving, and some of them you can still play for a quarter.” 

Where to Shop

“I should give a shout-out to maybe the best drum shop in Canada, Dave’s Drum Shop. Their slogan is: ‘Ottawa’s Only Drum-Only Shop.’ They don’t only serve the vibrant musical community in Ottawa, but they deal all over the world.”

For Live Music

“Every weekend in the summer there’s a festival, from Ottawa Bluesfest, one of the biggest, to Arboretum Festival, which is more boutique, and the CityFolk festival. The best show I saw last year was Constantines at Arboretum.”

City Highlight 

“Cycling. It’s really great because of the trail system along the Rideau Canal. All the National Capital Commission property bike trails are well maintained and extensive. You can do a day trip out to Aymler, Que., or ride into the Gatineau Park hills up to Meech Lake for a swim.”

Getting There: WestJet flies to Ottawa 15 times a day from seven Canadian cities. 

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