Places to Eat, Drink or Get a Coffee at Can-Con

A challenge I find at conventions is finding where to grab a coffee, get a bite to eat or grab a drink. So since I work downtown near the con hotel, I did some recon to try to point you in the right direction before you arrive.

The first thing to understand is downtown Ottawa tends to shut down outside of working hours and on the weekend, so even if you find something on Google Maps it might not be open. And while I’ve added store hours when I could find them, not everyplace posts its hours.

The hotel itself

The hotel is part of a buidling structure that takes up an entire city block bounded by Lyon (where the entrance to the hotel is), Slater, Kent and Laurier. The hotel’s restuarant is Prime 360, which serves good food, but can be pricey. Also, it is a popular place so might be full of a non-convention crowd.

There is a food court right off the hotel in the centre of the building complex. However, I don’t know if it will be open during the weekend.

Places to get breakfast / coffee

The hotel website says Prime 360 has a breakfast buffet, but I don’t know its cost.

There’s a Starbucks one block north on Kent and a Tim Horton’s on Slater between Kent and Bank.

Places for dinner

About a block south on Lyon is Tapas. I’ve never been there, but heard it’s good. It will be open until 10 on Friday, but only from 5-10 on Saturday.

A few blocks north and east on Albert between Kent and Bank is India Palace. It is open from 5-10 Friday and Saturday. I’ve been there and can highly recommend it.

Just around the corner on Albert is Baton Rouge. Very good food, but pricey. Maybe for a special night out.

Places for a beer

On the other side of the building complex is The Royal Oak, which is a part of a chain of bars in Ottawa. (So, if you enter “royal oak ottawa” into Google Maps you’ll get a lot of hits.) The food is reasonable in price and quality  and  you don’t have to walk too far! I’m thinking this should be the main bar for the convention.

A few blocks north and west, on Bay between Albert and Queen, is the Bay Street Bistro and the Black Bear. The Bistro is open for lunch and dinner from 11:30AM-10:00PM. The Black Bear is open from 11:00AM-2:00AM. I’ve been to both places a few years back and remember them as having decent food and prices.

What have I missed?

If you live downtown, leave a comment to let me know what places you recommend around the convention hotel (Lyon between Albert and Laurier).

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10 Responses to “Places to Eat, Drink or Get a Coffee at Can-Con”


  1. 1 Bundoran Press September 18, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    There are good Thai restaurants on Kent and on Queen — a few more blocks but still only five minutes walk. Festival Japan on Kent near Albert is open for supper.
    Also on Bay is Southern Cross a TexMex restaurant in the Radisson hotel (half a block from The Black Bear).
    Brew pubs at the corner of Bank and Sparks (3 brewers) and, farther afield, beside the canal (technically 555 Wellington) but ask for directions.
    Lots of fast food places on Bank — some open, some not but it’s a nice walk anyway

  2. 2 Nicole L September 19, 2013 at 11:26 am

    The food court in the Minto building definitely closes down in the evenings/weekends but there is a 24 hour convenience store, which may prove handy for quick snacks.
    The Scone Witch on Albert at Kent is open on the weekends (8-4) and very tasty. They also offer scone sandwiches at lunch or eggs and scones for breakfast. It’s not ideal though if you can’t have gluten.
    Festival Japan is excellent. Green Papaya on Queen near Kent is good. A couple of blocks further down (5 mins) is Eggspectations at Bank and Laurier and Tosca Ristorante at O’Connor and Gloucester.

  3. 3 Lucy Morrissey September 22, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Calvinas at 200 Laurier!!! Amazing. There’s another location at Metcalfe & Slater.

  4. 4 Bundoran Press September 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    I forgot Carmello’s! A great little Italian eatery on Sparks Street between Lyon and Kent. Just 3 blocks from the hotel and open for lunch and supper, Friday and Saturday and supper Sunday.

  5. 5 pstdarkness September 29, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Yes, the business district, where the hotel is, gets sleepy after 5pm. It’s always a shame when visitors stay around that sector and miss the rest of downtown Ottawa, which extends well beyond it.

    Be sure to branch out to Elgin Street, the Market, Centretown or the Glebe. That’s where the people, venues, events, bars, and restos tend to be. They’re all within 5-20 min walk, depending, and they’re open late.

  6. 6 rakerman October 1, 2013 at 6:52 am

    The area around the hotel is pretty quiet. There are some things in the neighbourhood. I’ve done a blog post on Centretown restaurants and shopping http://manifestomultilinko2.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/centretown-restaurants-and-shopping/

  7. 8 thatcalamity October 1, 2013 at 10:53 am

    As discussed on the Can-Con facebook page, The Oak will be the ‘unofficially official’ bar where people can go to meet and chat with other con goers between events.

    There’s also Taste Ramen Fusion (that has gluten free options!) on Bank between Gloucester and Nepean that’s quite good. Walking along Bank is probably the best bet to find a variety of options that are open on the weekend.

  8. 9 Jenner October 4, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    The Ottawa Ribfest on Sparks Street is a great option for BBQ lovers (vendors are now set up and will be around until Sunday night: October 6). Ribs, Chicken, Pulled Pork, Fresh Lemonade stands – a great place to replenish during the CON only a few blocks from the Minto!


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