Four Ottawa Bars Perfect for Quick Bites

Where to stop in for tapas, charcuterie, small plates or just plain snacks

Be they tapas, charcuterie, small plates or just plain snacks, under-sized food has captured the imagination of bar owners in our nation’s capital who have discovered that people just love a casual night out with a really great glass of wine and a little nibble.   

North and Navy

Bucking the tapas trend, North and Navy has opted, instead, for cicheti, the traditional bar food served in the many bacaros of Venice, Italy – northern Italy’s answer to taverns. This Centretown spot draws most of its inspiration from these bacaros, casual spaces that serve up rustic seafood and local specialties with, of course, plenty of excellent wine. The cocktail selection is limited to a top-notch Aperol Spritz and a crowd-pleasing Negroni, both of which serve as perfect precursors to a night filled with anchovies, smoked ricotta, salt cod and your choice from one of the country’s most exciting lists of bubbly.

226 Nepean Street, 613-232-6289

Soif Bar au Vin

Unlike in the 1980s, when half of Ottawa’s nightlife was to be found in Hull, it can be hard to lure people across the river these days. But, no trip to Ottawa is complete without a visit to the Gatineau, especially now that Veronique Rivest, Canada’s Top Sommelier in 2006 and 2012, has opened a wine bar in Hull that just happens to be only perfect. Soif (translated as “thirst”) is an oenophile’s dream and a welcome relief for the casual wine lover, since the list is diverse and esoteric, yet perfectly approachable. And, of course, the limited menu of snacks including bone marrow, smoked trout and tartines, pair absolutely impeccably with the well-chosen wines.

88 Rue Montcalm, Gatineau, PQ, 819-600-7643

Belmont Snack Bar

Located a little off the beaten path down in Old Ottawa South, the Belmont Snack Bar is a late-night phenomenon specializing in hard liquor and, well … snacks. But, with chicken skins, hot rabbit sandwiches and blackstrap mackerel on the menu, it’s safe to say these aren’t exactly run of the mill snacks. The same can be said for the unpredictable and ever-changing drink lists, which feature local beers, a small selection of solid wines, and bold signature cocktail specials that make use of the ubiquitous bourbon and Italian bitter digestivos and aperitivos. If you’re lucky, you might catch a tiki punch night.

1169 Bank Street, 613-979-3663


Belmont Snack Bar


Two Six {Ate}

Hyper-local, reasonably priced, and super laid-back, Little Italy’s Two Six {Ate} specializes in Italian-ish small plates foraged from nearby sources. Although it’s a two-level restaurant, it’s small enough to still qualify for boite status, while tables augment the tiny little main floor bar seating area. That said, there’s plenty to like about this late-night hot spot’s creative food-centric cocktail menu that makes use of fig jam, fresh juice and plenty of farm-to-table ingredients. There’s also local beer, and a good wine list that manages to split pretty evenly between imports and Ontario products. No room at the bar? Play a little Ms. Pac Man to pass the time while you wait for a seat to come available.

268 Preston Street, 613-695-8200

Four Ottawa Bars Perfect for Quick Bites
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