ask Melissa about
underground • hidden bars • museums • fashion • canal • diner • tapas
What are the Ottawa spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
When you first arrive in Ottawa you can't miss going to the Byward Market. It is home to our arts and culture district, our fashion district and has some great places to eat.
Do’s and don’ts in Ottawa: (Ex: Tipping: yes/ no, public transport tips, safety tips etc.):
Ottawa is an incredibly safe city. Please be respectful of the staff that goes above and beyond to make your stay enjoyable. Canadians are known for their kindness and manners. We expect the same from our guests. Please tip your wait staff the recommended 18% however feel free to tip based on the quality of service.
What do you do and why do you do it?
I am the owner of MG Social ( www.mgsocial.ca ) It is a Social Media & Marketing company in Ottawa. You will often see me on television or on the radio representing Canada and Ottawa. I have often been referred to as one of Ottawa's trend setters and Influencers. I love this city and all the fun things that it has to offer.
How much do you spend on an average night out on the town?
I spend between $50 - $100 per night out in Ottawa.
Which Ottawa shops do you hit up when you’re itching for something new?
We have so many great shops. My favourite clothing shops are Kania, NRML, Vincent, Shad and Victoire.
Your all-time favorite musicians:
I love all music. The best place to catch live shows in Ottawa is at Bar Robo or in the Irish Village.
Which neighborhood is it best to experience during the day / night?
The best Day/Night neighbourhood is the Glebe.
What’s the area in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
What’s the one place in Ottawa you think is underrated?
Nepean. It has my favourite Sports Bar called Tailgators.
Where would you take a date for a romantic night out?
The 107th Fourth Avenue Wine Bar it is a hidden gem in the Glebe that only locals know about. The atmosphere is fantastic for a date and the prices are great.
Drunk and hungry - where do you go in Ottawa?
El Camino on Elgin Street. They have great Mexican food in the restaurant and a taco window that is open late. Perfect for any occasion.
It's freeeeezing out - what should a visitor do?
During the winter I recommend skating the Rideau Canal and then stopping by Cacao 70 at Lansdown for the best hot chocolate and treats.
Where do you take your guest when you want to impress?
If I'm trying to impress newcomers I like taking them to the top of the Andaz hotel. It has a fantastic view of the city and a great rooftop lounge called Copper Spirits.
Your go-to brunch spots:
My favourite breakfast place in Ottawa is the Wellington Diner. They have delicious food for a great price.
Your perfect night out in Ottawa includes:
My perfect night out in Ottawa would include starting at the Elgin Beer Project for the best selection of craft beer and appetizers. I would then head over to the Fourth Avenue Wine Bar for diner, Prohibition Public House for music and Entertainement and then El Camino for late night tacos.
Which local creators do you admire?
My favourite local creators are Stacey Bafi-Yeboa she is the fashion designer for Kania, Canada's Luxury Sweatshirt Company. Ryan Smeeton the mural artist and Liz Mok from Moo She Ice Cream and kitchen.
Special views that mainstream tourists don't know about:
The Mackenzie King bridge has great views and so does the Rideau Canal.
Best place for a cheap bite on-the-go:
The best cheap bites on the go would have to be any poutine truck or beaver tail stand.
Tomorrow’s your last day in Ottawa. How do you spend it?
I would spend it just walking around the Byward Market eating and enjoying the art and culture.
You’re meeting the mayor of Ottawa - what constructive criticism would you give them?
We have the best mayor, he loves talking to everybody. I would have to say the only thing Ottawa is truly missing is a pool bar/club.