Business lunch destinations abound in the ByWard Market

As we know, requirements for business lunches vary. Sometimes a quiet place to chat is just the ticket. Or might you prefer a vibrant, happening spot? What about a quiet Thai or Indian restaurant? Happily, Lowertown’s colourful ByWard Market neighbourhood serves up a menu of varied taste opportunities, and the farmers market welcomes chefs who shop for the freshest ingredients.

Courtyard Restaurant

1
21 George St, Ottawa, ON K1N 8W5

Formerly a tavern named McArthur’s British Hotel, this restaurant’s stone walls could certainly spin some intriguing tales. In summertime, chat outside on the patio overlooking the heritage cobblestone courtyard which inspired this venue’s name. Choose an early meeting or linger later so as to absorb the courtyard’s relaxing ambiance. Come for European-styled yet locally inspired fare such as fish and chips, where the featured batter ingredient is Ottawa’s very own Kichesippi craft beer.

Sur Lie Restaurant

2
110 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5M6

Meat eaters rejoice! Your sole quandary will be what to choose at this quintessentially Canadian comfort food spot where chef and co-owner Steve Mitton procures meats from local producers following best husbandry practices. His delectable charcuterie is locally procured and often, smoked and cured on-site. Try everything from the pulled pork (with sticky barley) to corned beef on Rideau Bakery’s rye bread to the Back Packer Lunch. The latter includes duck liver, house-smoked bacon and pickles – a platter that’s reminiscent of the famed British ploughman’s lunch with a Canadian twist.

The Black Tomato

3
11 George St, Ottawa, ON K1N 8W5

A locavore’s delight: not only does The Black Tomato offer locally procured meats, vegetables, artisanal cheeses and more, but they go so far as to list their producers on their website. If you’re going to a business lunch, you can do your due diligence and impress your colleague with knowledge of local growers. Take the Nobel Bean, located in Perth, a company that provides the restaurant with fresh tempeh. Go here for creative burgers such as the cumin-infused catfish burger or O’Brien Farms beef tenderloin. Ambiance, you ask? Cozy, trendy, and in my experience, perfect for a good conversation.

Khao Thai

4
103 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5M5

Freshly made, fragrant Thai noodle dishes, curries and other delights await you in this red-and-gold setting. Regardless of whether your business colleague wants to order a favourite Thai dish or if they’re a newbie desiring of culinary adventure, this local favourite is a worthy choice. Even better is the fact that the chef selects sustainably raised (or caught) meats, seafood and fish. That great conversation point during lunch transforms into wonderful flavours as you taste such menu items as coconut infused tom yum goong.

The Red Lion Public House

5
47 Clarence St, Ottawa, ON K1N 9K1

The reputation of being casual, cool and comfortable is well-earned here – unless you choose a shaded patio table on the street in the height of one of Ottawa’s humid summers, that is. If you want a tender Canadian-grown Angus beef steak, a charcuterie or cheese sharing board – where you can observe how your colleague copes with sharing – this is the place for you. Summer’s humidity and heat may dictate a salad, so here’s where lime coconut chicken works impeccably with romaine.

Whether you're craving traditional vanilla or aiming to expand your horizons of taste sensations, the city offers many downtown ice cream shops through to picturesque village destinations nearby. Aficionados know to celebrate summer throughout the year: most of these destinations offer tasty treats even in wintertime, so you can reminisce about heat waves as snowflakes fall.
Westboro is a “happening hood” roughly 10 minutes west of Parliament Hill that’s become particularly renowned for its restaurants, pubs and cafés showcasing locally inspired cuisine. Where to go? Whether you want comfort food or an upscale restaurant, Westboro offers a cross-section of moods and tastes, although venues tend to be more casual here, in keeping with this community’s village scene.
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