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Top 12 Things to Do in Ottawa at Night

Top 12 Things to Do in Ottawa at Night

Let me tell you, Ottawa’s not just about politics and daytime sightseeing. Nah, our city’s got a whole other side to it when the moon is out and about.

We’re talkin’ cosy cafes, ice cream that’s worth every calorie, pubs, comedy clubs, and arcades where you can channel your inner kid. So, sit back, and read on, because I’ve got you covered with our list of the top things to do in Ottawa after dark.

Gaze at stars from the Canada Aviation and Space Museum


Address: 11 Aviation Pkwy, Ottawa, ON K1K 2X5, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-991-3044

Operating hours: 

  • Monday, Thursday to Sunday – 9 AM to 5 PM

Cost: $10 to $15

The Canada Aviation and Space Museum opens up a celestial window to the stars at night. Through their programs and with the help of telescopes, you get to marvel at constellations and planets, and perhaps even catch a shooting star if you’re lucky.

The museum by day is an intriguing visit, yet by night, it’s a different kind of journey—one that takes you not through the skies, but beyond them. Not to mention, experts and enthusiasts are often on hand to guide you through what you’re seeing.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to check the museum’s schedule for night events, as they vary. Parking is ample and usually free during these events.

Savour late-night bites at Elgin Street Diner


Address: 374 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1N1, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-237-9700

Operating hours: 

  • Open 24 hours

Cost: $-$$

There’s something about the Elgin Street Diner that feels right at home in the Ottawa night scene. Maybe it’s their 24/7 service or the fact that no matter when you stroll in, you’re going to get something comforting and delicious.

The diner’s menu is vast, offering everything from breakfast staples served round-the-clock to unique spins on classic diner grub. Plus, their poutine is legendary, and for many, it’s a rite of passage in the city.

Pro tip: Make sure you keep an eye out for their milkshake specials, perfect for those who love a sweet end to their night.

Chill out with a sweet treat at Moo Shu Ice Cream


Address: 477 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1Z2, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-565-1524

Operating hours: 

  • Wednesday to Friday – 2 PM to 9 PM
  • Saturday and Sunday – 12 PM to 9 PM

Cost: $-$$

Moo Shu Ice Cream is not your average ice cream shop. This quaint establishment takes the frozen treat game to a whole new level with its inventive flavours, which often feature local ingredients and Asian-inspired creations.

Flavours like Hong Kong milk tea and black sesame can transport your taste buds to places they’ve never been before, and their vegan options mean everyone gets to join in on the fun. It’s a beautiful blend of tradition and creativity.

Pro tip: While their hours can extend into the evening, especially in the summer, it’s a good idea to check social media for the latest flavour releases and availability.

Groove to live jazz at The Rainbow Bistro


Address: 76 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5M6, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-859-5123

Operating hours: 

  • Thursday to Saturday – 7 PM to 1 AM

Cost: $$

The Rainbow Bistro, nestled in ByWard Market, is an institution for live music, particularly jazz. For over three decades, it has served as a platform for both burgeoning talents and established artists, making it a must-visit for music lovers.

On any given night, the ambience here transports you to a timeless place where the music speaks directly to your soul, I attest to that. It’s the kind of environment where you can both lose and find yourself in the rhythm.

Pro tip: Reservations are a good idea, especially on event nights. 

Try your luck at the Casino du Lac-Leamy


Address: 1 Bd du Casino, Gatineau, QC J8Y 6W3, Canada

Contact details: +1 819-772-2100

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Sunday – 9 AM to 3 AM

Cost: $$-$$$

Just on the outskirts of Ottawa, in Gatineau, lies the glitzy and glamorous Casino du Lac-Leamy. This place is all about the thrill of the game, with its wide array of gaming options, from slots to table games.

It also has a restaurant, bars, and even some live shows. Whether you’re there to place a few bets, enjoy a meal, or simply soak up the ambience, Casino du Lac-Leamy provides a glamorous backdrop for an evening.

Pro tip: Try to take advantage of the free coat check, and don’t forget to sign up for the casino’s loyalty program for some potential perks. 

Catch a flick at the ByTowne Cinema

Media credit: xtinacavell


Address: 325 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5Y4, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-789-4600

Operating hours: 

  • Monday – 1 PM to 2 PM, 4 PM to 10 PM
  • Tuesday – 4 PM to 11 PM
  • Wednesday – 5 PM to 10 PM
  • Thursday – 4 PM to 12 AM
  • Friday – 6 PM to 10 PM
  • Saturday – 1 PM to 10 PM 
  • Sunday – 1 PM to 9 PM

Cost: $$

The ByTowne Cinema is like that old, cosy sweater you can’t part with—reliable, comforting, and always there when you need it. This iconic spot is the city’s go-to place for indie, foreign, and art-house films that you won’t catch at your local mega-cinema.

The staff are movie buffs who curate a selection so intriguing, you’ll want to camp out for the next show. And let’s not forget the popcorn—oh, that popcorn—worth the visit alone, perfectly buttered, making every bite a crunchy little piece of heaven.

Pro tip: Membership offers great perks like discounted tickets and a heads-up on upcoming screenings, so if you’re a regular, it pays to join.

Enjoy craft brews at the Clocktower Brew Pub


Address: 140 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7, Canada 

Contact details: +1 613-562-4878

Operating hours: 

  • Tuesday to Thursday – 11:30 AM to 12 AM
  • Friday and Saturday – 11:30 AM to 1 AM
  • Sunday – 11:30 AM to 10 PM

Cost: $-$$

Clocktower Brew Pub is a cornerstone of the Ottawa craft beer scene. With several locations sprinkled around the city, finding one where you can settle in for a pint (or three) is a breeze.

Their lineup of house-made beers has something to tickle every palate, from hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts. And if you’re unsure what to sip on first, the staff is super knowledgeable and ready to guide your taste buds on a hoppy adventure.

Pro tip: Make sure you keep an eye on their events calendar for trivia nights, seasonal beer launches, and specials. 

Bowl a strike at West Park Bowling’s glow-in-the-dark lanes


Address: 1205 Wellington St. W, Ottawa, ON K1Y 2Z8, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-728-0933

Operating hours: 

  • Sunday to Thursday – 12 PM to 9 PM
  • Friday and Saturday – 12 PM to 2 AM

Cost: $-$$

West Park Bowling is where you go to let loose, have a blast, and maybe—just maybe—bowl a strike under the neon lights. Their glow-in-the-dark lanes add an electrifying twist to traditional bowling, making every gutter ball look cooler.

This place buzzes with energy, thanks to lively music thumping in the background and the frequent clash of pins. It’s perfect for groups looking for a laid-back yet active night out.

Pro tip: Booking your lane in advance is wise, particularly if you’re heading there with a gang on a weekend evening. 

Feast on poutine at La Pataterie Hulloise after-hours


Address: 311 Boulevard Saint-Joseph, Gatineau, Quebec J8Y 3Y6, Canada

Contact details: +1 819-778-1659

Operating hours: 

  • Sunday to Wednesday – 11 AM to 8 PM
  • Thursday and Friday – 11 AM to 9 PM
  • Saturday – 12 PM to 9 PM

Cost: $-$$

La Pataterie Hulloise is legendary, known far and wide for dishing up the cheesiest, gravy-iest, most decadent poutine on this side of the Quebec border. Open late, it’s a beacon of hope for night owls and the party crowd needing to refuel.

I’m telling you, forget about counting calories; it’s all about indulgence here. Each bite is a mix of crispy fries, squeaky cheese curds, and just the right amount of gravy to glue it all together.

Pro tip: Expect a line, especially after the bars close, but it’s well worth the wait.

Play retro games at House of TARG’s arcade


Address: 1077 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1S 3W9, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-680-8274

Operating hours: 

  • Wednesday – 5 PM to 11 PM
  • Friday – 7 PM to 11 PM
  • Saturday – 12 PM to 2 AM
  • Sunday – 12 PM to 12 AM

Cost: $$

House of Targ is a pinball wizard’s dream come true and a haven for the 8-bit-hearted. From the outside, this spot seems like your regular, unassuming basement bar, but step inside, and you’ll find classic arcade games.

Yes, friends, it’s a time machine with a liquor license, and it’s as awesome as it sounds. Here, you’ve got a cold, frothy beer in one hand and the controls of Pac-Man in the other, all while hearing the sounds of over 100 pinball and arcade machines.

Pro tip: Be sure to check out their schedule because they host some incredible live music acts and offer amazing game and drink specials. Remember, it’s cash-only for the games, and don’t forget to try their hand-made perogies!

Laugh out loud at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club


Address: 1394 Richmond Rd, Ottawa, ON K2B 6R8, Canada

Contact details: +1 343-575-7178

Operating hours: 

  • Wednesday to Saturday – 7 PM to 10 PM

Cost: $-$$

Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club is where you go when you’re in dire need of a good laugh. This spot has been serving up comedic goods for years, and let me tell you, it doesn’t disappoint.

They’ve got a rotating lineup of hilarious local talent and big-name comedians gracing the stage. Sitting there, sipping on your drink in anticipation, you can feel the room buzzing.

Pro tip: Fridays and Saturdays are the big nights here, so book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. 

Enjoy craft cocktails at speakeasy Union Local 613


Address: 315 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K2P 0J8, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-231-1010

Operating hours: 

  • Monday and Tuesday – 3 PM to 10 PM
  • Wednesday and Thursday – 3 PM to 12 AM
  • Friday – 3 PM to 2 AM
  • Saturday – 5 PM to 2 AM
  • Sunday – 10 AM to 2 PM 

Cost: $-$$

If you’re the kind who enjoys their night with a dash of mystery and a spoonful of history, then Union Local 613 is for you. Inside, you’re transported to an era of Prohibition, jazz, and the art of fine drinking—sans the actual Prohibition part, of course.

The cocktail menu is a daring adventure through flavours, with each drink telling its story with every sip. And it’s not just about the drinks; the food menu, with its Southern-inspired fare, satisfies not just the palate but the soul.

Pro tip: Once inside, if you’re feeling adventurous, ask for the “bartender’s choice” and let them surprise you with a concoction tailored to your tastes.