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PATIOS AND PUBS: A beer with a view, Ottawa

It’s finally patio season in Canada, in more ways than one as the COVID protocols in most jurisdictions ease just as decent weather takes hold. For our first patio this summer, we’d like to bring to your attention Ottawa’s Tavern on the Hill, whose deserved motto is “a beer with a view.”

Located in Header House at the north end of Major’s Hill Park across from the National Gallery, patio patrons are treated to a panoramic view of both the parliament buildings and across the Ottawa River to Hull and the Canadian Museum of History. Guests can also spy The Chateau Laurier, Supreme Courthouse of Canada, the Astrolabe, and the Notre-Dame Basilica.

And sunsets are sensational.

Described as a “seasonal outdoor canteen, patio and coffee + ice cream shop,” the family-friendly venue specializes in gourmet hot-dogs (lots of toppings) and tacos, plus sandwiches and salads, plus a few items for breakfast (7-11 a.m.).

Later in the day, the menu is complimented with a full bar with extensive wine list (by the glass or bottle), including all four flavours: red, white, rosé and sparkling; and both Canadian craft and international beers; not to mention about a dozen house cocktails.

Patrons must order at a counter and food (but not alcohol) can be arranged to go – which means picnicking in the park.

Based on trendy Bubbledogs in London (which serves hot dogs and sparkling wine, though not outside) the patio opened in 2017 and last summer had gained enough fame to be voted the city’s top patio in a CBC poll.

Tavern on the Hill is located at 1223 Alexandra Bridge and open from 7 a.m. to “late,” though management warns that “very bad” weather may necessitate unexpected closures.

The venue’s new sister location, Tavern on the Falls, promises “same concept, different view” – situated at 1 John St. beside the Royal Canadian Geographic Society along Sussex Drive, with a sightlines of the the twin waterfalls where the Ottawa River meets the Rideau River.

Typically (notwithstanding pandemic restrictions) each venue has live jazz on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons, plus Tuesday on the Hill and Wednesday at the Falls. Reservations are not accepted at either location.

Tavern on the Hill

“Pubs & Patios” is an ongoing series in which we reveal some of our favourite public houses and patios both at home and abroad – and, in the spirit of the establishment, invite you to share with us yours. Send suggestions to

Previous articles: Pubs and Patios

First published at Travel Industry Today

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