Late Dinner near Lord Elgin Hotel Ottawa?
We are flying in and will be looking for a place to have dinner between 8:00-9:00pm during the Tulip Festival. We will be checking in at the Lord Elgin. Reviews of the restaurant at the hotel haven't been stellar. Where would you recommend? We will have a car, but don't want to drive too far.
Although I live in Ottawa I have never eaten at Grill 41 (resto in Lord Elgin Hotel) but I have generally heard the same as you - the food is mediocre at best. I have often passed it during dinner service and they never seem terribly busy.
However Lord Elgin is right on Elgin Street - our restaurant strip in Ottawa. I know the Oz Café is open until 2:00 am and the food is very good - it`s about 15 minutes by foot from the hotel to the resto. Maxwell's Bistro is a perenial favourite and they are open until midnight. They are also located on Elgin about a 15 minute walk down Elgin Street.
If you would like to head over to the Byward Market, which is a hop-skip-and-a-jump from the hotel, I could recommend The Smoque Shack and they are open until 11:00 pm. I could also recommend The Grand (especially for their pizzas) and they are open until 2:00 am.
Apparently some of the tulip festival events will be held in Chinatown and on Preston Street. If it would interest you to dine out in either neighbourhood both spots are within a short drive/bus ride from your hotel. In Chinatown I can recommend the Yangtze (open until midnight) and on Preston Street I can recommend Pub Italia (open until 1:00am) and The Prescott (open until midnight).
If you are planning on visiting Dows Lake where most of the tulips are I could recommend Lago Bar and Grill (open to 2:00 am). The food is good, the view is nice, and it is located near most of the tulip beds.
Hope you enjoy your stay!
What an absolutely wonderful and helpful post! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your expertise. We are coming in for the concert at the NAC "Do You Hear the People Sing" and look forward to seeing Ottawa for the first time. I haven't been able to find a website that lists the best places to see the tulips, so in addition to your restaurant advice, you have helped me in that area as well. One question: The Byward Market - I'm wondering how far a "hop-skip-and-a-jump" is. I can't walk too far because of foot surgery. But we will have a car. Is it difficult to find parking at some of these recommendations?
Glad to be of help! If you are going to the NAC and are looking for dinner before the show I could recommend Le Café. I did not mention them on my original list because they close at 9:00 which may not be useful for the day you arrive. But might be handy if you want to tie in dinner and a show. And the food is very good.
As for the tulip festival they have a website: http://tulipfestival.ca/. It's not very helpful I'm afraid since they do not indicate where the tulip beds are located although I can tell you the best place to see them is at Commissioners Park at Dows Lake and Majors Hill Park behind the Chateau Laurier. In previous years they have had concerts at Majors Hill Park but the festival organizers have changed venues so no events will be held there this year. They have indicated on the website where events will be held (the Byward Market, Chinatown, and Preston Street) but have not indicated what is on. Which makes it difficult for planning your weekend-;)
As for the Byward Market you will be staying a little west of there. The market starts at Rideau Street and Sussex Avenue just past the War Memorial. There is a CIBC bank at the corner and it is only a five minute walk there. The Grand pizzeria I recommended is just a couple of blocks past - maybe a 10 minute walk or so? The Smoque Shack is on the eastern edge of the market and is closer to a 15 to 20 minute walk. If that is too far there is ample street parking and a municipal garage in the area. I don't drive although I have noticed more vacant parking spots in the evening than during the day. The Byward Market gets very crowded during the day on Saturday and Sunday so finding parking may be difficult.
Good luck with your trip and let me know if you need anything else.