Place to hang out in Ottawa for dinner and reading
February 24, 2016 4:54 PM   Subscribe

I might or might not be needing a place to spend Saturday evening in Ottawa, for dinner and some time afterwards with a book. I'd like to not be rushed out, I don't care if it has booze, wifi is not necessary, and nearish Nepean would be best. I have a car.
posted by jeather to Travel & Transportation around Ottawa, ON (8 answers total)
Nepean is a weird area that doesn't have a ton of diversity in it's restaurants: a lot of chains, sports bars/pubs etc. I suspect many of these would be loud and crowded on a Saturday night and maybe not the best environment to hang out reading. Boston Pizza (on Merivale) is an above average chain with enough tables that no one will be anxious for you to leave. Big Rig (Pinecrest and Iris) is an outstanding local brewery/restaurant that gets pretty busy but has a relaxed atmosphere. The Prescott in Little Italy (15 minute drive) has pretty good food at astonishingly low prices, and I've never seen it more than 1/4 full.
posted by mikek at 5:51 PM on February 24, 2016

I've read at The Albion Rooms and Zoe's Lounge. They're both hotel bars, the first run by the Novotel and the second by the Fairmont Château Laurier. Menus here and here.

The Albion Rooms is better lit. Zoe's Lounge often has a piano player on weekends.

Both locations are downtown however and parking might be an issue for both. I usually park in adjacent residential streets and walk there.
posted by Milau at 5:52 PM on February 24, 2016

Sending a non Ottawa resident to park downtown on a Saturday night? Are you trying to prank her?
posted by mikek at 5:55 PM on February 24, 2016

Too funny! No I wasn't trying to prank. I've found that parking in Ottawa is easier than in most cities.

Jeather perhaps only proceed downtown if you're used to city parking. Or ask the hotels where to park.
posted by Milau at 6:00 PM on February 24, 2016

I'm a big fan of Bridgehead which is the local coffee chain. Lots of locations and I think some are open later than others.

I'd probably suggest dinner at either the Hintonburg Public House or Elmdale Tavern and then you can hang out afterward at either the Bridgehead at 1024 Wellington or the Ministry of Coffee and Social Affairs. They're all right near each other. There's usually plenty of parking in Hintonburg. It's about 20 minutes from Nepean I think.

How good do you want the dinner to be? Further west on Wellington there are some very good restaurants- Wellington Gastropub, Allium, Supply and Demand to name a couple.
posted by betsybetsy at 6:36 PM on February 24, 2016

I'd recommend just about any phở restaurant in Chinatown. Open late (some don't close at all) and you won't be bothered if you want to stay a while and read.
posted by ageispolis at 7:54 PM on February 24, 2016

+1 any Bridgehead location. That is where we people of Ottawa go when we need to sit around for a while.
posted by ITheCosmos at 5:42 AM on February 25, 2016

Many thanks. I didn't end up needing a place this time, but maybe next time.
posted by jeather at 8:59 AM on February 29, 2016

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