If you’re visiting the capital region or looking for a date idea, check out my favourite date spots in Ottawa, from chic restaurants to rejuvenating spas.
1. El Camino
This Mexican restaurant often has hour-long lineups, but the tacos and cocktails are so worth it! My favourite item on their menu is the ox tongue taco. I usually go right when it opens on a weekday to get in and avoid the queue.
You need to cross the bridge to Gatineau, but it is so worth it. The wine bar is operated by the world’s top female sommelier, Véronique Rivest, and most of their bottles are natural wines can’t be found on the shelves of liquor stores. Oysters and prosecco make for the perfect, sensual date night.
3. Bytowne Theatre
This indie movie theatre is probably my favourite part about living in Ottawa. They screen independent and world films, as well as host film festival programs throughout the year.
4. Byward Market
A visit to Ottawa wouldn’t be complete without a trip here. I love visiting in the fall during harvest season to pick up local fresh veggies for a dinner date in. With tons of cute boutiques, bars and bakeries, there is something year round. Nordstrom is also nearby which makes for a great afternoon of shopping!
5. Skating on the canal
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without a mention of skating the Rideau Canal. Day or night, it makes for a perfect date, especially when you go back inside to warm up with a cup of hot cocoa.
6. Library of Parliament
You can only visit this library on a Parliament tour or, if you’re lucky enough to be a parliamentarian, but it is stunning and a must-see if you come to Ottawa. The gothic revival library survived a major fire, and is decked out in beautiful woodcarvings.
7. Gatineau Park
A short twenty minute drive away from Ottawa is a winter wonderland. In the fall, you can enjoy the beautiful colours and hike to Pink Lake, which is a stunning shade of turquoise blue. During the winter, the large park has many ski hills if you’re adventurous, or you can pamper yourself with a couples’ massage and relaxing day at Nordik Spa-Nature, North America’s largest spa.