The first time I visited Ottawa with my husband we stumbled upon the Fish Market Restaurant in the Byward Market district of the city. Both of us are fans of fish and seafood so this restaurant looked like a great choice, and judging by the number of tables that were occupied we weren’t the only ones who thought so!
From the outside the Fish Market Restaurant has a friendly feel, and its styling seems somewhere between posh pub and bistro, mixed with heritage building! Having had a day of drizzling rain for sightseeing around Ottawa we both looked worse for wear as we walked into the warm and dry restaurant, and the delicious smell of seafood and fish left our mouths watering and our tummies rumbling! The nice thing was that although the interior and the servers are smart, with a high class feel, we didn’t feel out of place, so I think a dress code of anything from casual to very smart would cut it here.
The menu is fairly extensive and it does change depending on the season and which fresh fish are available, and they also have daily specials to try if nothing on the menu grabs you. The restaurant itself, by the way, is on the main floor, and items on the menu here include Nova Scotia lobster, and mussels from PEI, while up on the first floor is a more casual dining room called Coasters Seafood Grill. The menu here does overlap a little with downstairs, but Coasters is most famous for its fish and chips!
Our experience was of the main restaurant, and all in all it was excellent. The service was brilliant, and the server’s knowledge of the menu and the different fish was very good. The food was wonderful, starting with the Creamy Clam Chowder which was perfect for warming me up after a cold, damp day of sightseeing! For the main I had the Arctic Char, which was again delicious.
A couple of years later we were back in Ottawa again with my parents, and having told them so much about the Fish Market Restaurant it was the natural choice for dinner for the four of us. I’m pleased to say that two years on and the experience was just as good as the first time, so if you’re ever in Ottawa and looking for a place for lunch or dinner, head over to the Byward Market and pick a table at the Fish Market Restaurant!
Photo and article copyright Claire Bolgil. Claire is a freelance travel writer based in Beautiful BC. Find out more about her at www.clairebolgil.com