About Social - Ottawa

537 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1N 6Z6
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Opened in the summer of 1999, SOCIAL was conceived as the perfect blend of restaurant and bar. It was envisioned as a place where guests could enjoy an evening drink without feeling obligated to order dinner too, but where a sizzling menu meant that food was always an excellent option. When its doors first opened, SOCIAL was the first restaurant in the capital to regularly feature a live DJ, which instantly gave it a reputation for innovation. Ten years later, SOCIAL continues to deliver, known in the capital city for its imagination and its chic, modern vibe. With fifteen-foot ceilings, ultramodern decor and gorgeous exposed stone walls, the space offers an unparalleled atmosphere for a sit-down dinner or some after-work cocktails. Guests can expect high-quality professional service and a menu to match, proving that SOCIAL is truly a downtown destination that has it all.

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Bistro, Continental, French / Canadian

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Mon-Fri.: 11:30am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Nightly: 5:00pm - Close.

Cross Street:
George / York

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
CAN$31 to CAN$50

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(613) 789-7355

Website:
http://www.social.ca/

Entertainment:
Live music can be heard every Wednesday night in the summer on the Courtyard - a mix of jazz, acid jazz and blues. An assortment of DJs are spinning on Friday and Saturday nights all year round.

Catering:
Let us host your next corporate dinner or special occasion. We love to celebrate! Please call for details.

Parking Details:
We are located between George St. and York St. on Sussex Drive. You can find meter parking and 2 parking garages on York Street. Parking is also available across the street at 700 Sussex Drive and around the market area.

Public Transit:
There are public transit stops on Rideau street and at the Rideau Center (which is within walking distance).

Executive Chef:
Chef Christopher Craig

Private Party Facilities:
The lower lounge is a private area that can accommodate up to 18 people for dinner. The S-Lounge - a private dining room for groups of 28 or combined with the adjacent room can seat up to 50 guests. There is also the upper lounge area that can host up to 24 people for a sit down dinner. Last but not least there is the front dining room. This area has an open feel and can accommodate up to 28 people for a dinner. There are many options which can accommodate anything from large business meetings to intimate parties.

Private Party Contact:
Eleanor Quesnel: 613-789-7355x

Additional:
Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Happy Hour EVERYDAY from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

Restaurant Photos

Promotions

SOCIAL HOUR

Special valid Apr 5, 2016 - Aug 5, 2016 all week from 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Promotions

SOCIAL HOUR

Special valid Apr 5, 2016 - Aug 5, 2016 all week from 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Details
Our version of HAPPY HOUR! Discounted food & drinks everyday, from 3PM-6PM!. Excludes Tax and Tip. Featured Cocktails, Oysters, Charcuterie & Cheese, and more!. Special valid Apr 5, 2016 - Aug 5, 2016 all week from 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM.

Social - Ottawa Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.3

service

4.5

ambience

4.4

noise

Moderate

91% would recommend it to a friend

fit for foodies (25)
special occasion (21)
good for groups (12)
See All
romantic (11)
notable wine list (9)
neighborhood gem (9)
hot spot (9)
late-night find (8)
great for outdoor dining (7)
vibrant bar scene (6)
great for lunch (6)
great for brunch (4)
scenic view (2)
kid-friendly (1)
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Newest
440 reviews
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Loved Social!!

Dined 7 days ago

First visit to Ottawa and Social was highly recommended. One of our best meals ever. Sat on the lovely outdoor patio and were served promptly and professionally. Raisin bread was yummy, and wine though pricey was delicious. We had the mushroom and beet appetizers, and the duck and ling cod as entrees. All were superb. Dessert was also exceptional. Can't wait to go back!

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I NEVER GIVE 5 stars and I did for this!!!!

vip
Dined on May 15, 2016

What can I say... I have never give 5 stars on everything across the board BUT THIS PLAVE ROCKED! Food is AMAZING! Servers are AMAZING! The place is simply amazing! I went with a celebrity client who is VERY picky and he never goes back to a place more than once WE WENT 3 TIMES!!!!!! Can't wait till my next trip to Ottawa so I can go back! Nothing is bad about this place!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service4
value2

We loved the food but the portions were ...

Dined on May 14, 2016

We loved the food but the portions were small. Unfortunately, the price did not reflect the portion size and our appetizer cost $17 for 6-8 thin pieces of tuna. Even though the food is great, I will think twice before I go again.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
food5
ambience4
service4

I had their gourmet hamburger and it was ...

Dined on April 18, 2016

I had their gourmet hamburger and it was incredible. The service was attentive and the servers were friendly. The ambiance was luxurious and chic. I would definitely return for another meal.

food4
ambience5
service3

We have been to social many times and al ...

Dined on April 16, 2016

We have been to social many times and always enjoyed ourselves and lived the food. This was our first visit with the new menu and was very disappointed that there was only one salad choice- Kale. I feel that I had to order food that I didn't necessarily want but for lack of alternates I had to settle. That being said- the food I did order was excellent. Unfortunately -we will not be returning.

food5
ambience4
service5
value4

My go-to restaurant in Ottawa

vip
Dined on April 12, 2016

I've eaten here several times as part of business group meetings. Food has always been delicious, service attentive and helpful. On my own after a meeting last week, decided I'd see how they did for a solo diner. I was not disappointed. Delicious steak frites--both the steak and the frites were hot, flavorful, and perfect texture. Roasted beet salad was wonderful. All paired with a delightful Amarone. I'll be back.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups
food3
ambience4
service4
value3

No charcuterie in the charcuterie ...

Dined on April 8, 2016

While I enjoyed the cheese plate, I found the choice of cheeses to be uninspiring and was surprised there was no meat included in a plate calling itself charcuterie. Maybe a name-change is in order.

food5
ambience4
service5
value4

great food!

Dined on March 12, 2016

We were celebrating our daughters iron ring ceremony from Ottawa U with family and friends. Since we'd already had appetizers @ the wine and cheese event, we just needed dinner but w a few options to share. The staff was very attentive and brought our shared plates already split which we all appreciated! The cod, mussels, fries, burger and calamari were all very tastey! thx Social!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Likely Most Dependable Restaurant in Ottawa

Dined on March 5, 2016

I've dined at Social easily a dozen times over the past decade (or more), there was at most one or two meals I was not happy with. One of the few good restaurants in the capital that has avoided the ubiquitous fusion-creep that is so pervasive here. Pure european continental (mainly french) cuisine done extremely well. I had the Fried Calamari appetizer. Excellent. Lightly battered and buttery tender. Best calamari I've had in ages. For main course, I had the Duck Confit. Again, excellently prepared. Nice crispy skin, succulent savoury meat. It came with fingerling potatoes, parsnip and greens. All nicely done, not overcooked. A larger portion of veggies would have been nice. The one negative I would add is unfortunately, Social appears to have changed bakeries as the bread now is most definitely sub-par. Where they used to have nice crusty slices of a variety of hearty breads, they now have a white or multi-grain dinner roll. Something you'd expect more from a Swiss Chalet or St. Hubert, not a restaurant of Social's caliber. Service was excellent. Friendly and well-informed without being overbearing. Definitely still a highly-recommendable restaurant in a city where dining can be a nightmare!

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
food1
ambience3
service2
value2

Not the best food

Dined on February 28, 2016

Service and ambiance was fine. But the food was too salty. Even the vegetables.

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

nice evening

Dined on February 18, 2016

Went with a friend, it was quiet, Nice evening. The good was good, the wine a bit expensive but That was not unexpected

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Beautiful comfy setting and flavourful food.

Dined on January 8, 2016

It is my pleasure to recommend this classy restaurant. My husband and I were going to an NAC event and needed a dinner spot close-by. This was the perfect spot. There was a recent renovation and although the restaurant was elegant before, it is more beautiful and on trend. Loved the giant houndstooth fabric on the bar stools. The hexagon gold and black wallpaper is edgy and the light fixtures are modern and classic. There are large banquettes everywhere with comfy cushions and great fabric. Lots of room to wiggle. The decorator/designer did a beautiful job of marrying new textured and elements with the traditional classic high ceilings and stonework. It feels warm and cozy. Ok... Now the food...although I could give you a couple more paragraphs on the decor alone! The menu is balanced and not too overwhelming. Great options! My husband ordered the short rib pappardelle with a sage cream sauce. Awesome! Pasta was definitely home made and cooked beautifully. The sauce was decadent tasting without being too rich. I ordered the traditional favourite of steak frites. The steak was full of taste and cooked a perfect medium. The portion sizes were suitable. Not too teeny and not over the top. My steak came with a mini jug of a velvety white yummy sauce. I had dipped my fries in it, which was selfish but when I tried it with the steak it was AMAZING!!!!!!! They had a little bowl of blue cheese too apparently to top your steak. I passed as I am not a fan of blue cheese, but I am sure it would've been delicious. Our server was sweet. She was helpful and attentive without bugging us. She did not rush us through our meal and was a cutie pie. I commented about the decor and she said she just loved working in such a beautiful environment. All the staff seemed upbeat and running around, working hard. We actually are going back this week and taking our friends. It was that good!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food3
ambience4
service2
value1

There were food leftover (previous night ...

Dined on January 6, 2016

There were food leftover (previous night) on the seat (whole green bean + smaller pieces). Very ordinary duck confit (re heated). Coffee was served before desert, even if we commented against. We were told that the coffee was ready and that the desert needed preparation time (it was a frozen chocolate mousse with rasberry coulis...). In total only 6 people in the restaurant for this lunch, no overworked excuse possible. Since I was not impressed by two previous visits, this is the last one!

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Delicious

vip
Dined on December 31, 2015

Impeccable service and delicious food. Not a cheap meal but worth it.

Tags: romantic, special occasion
food1
ambience5
service1
value1

Disappointing

Dined on December 26, 2015

We didn't know who are server was for most of the evening...In the end, the bar tender was very apologetic, but service was terrible, but most of our warm entree dishes came out cold and even the coffee and cappuccinos were cold! So disappointing. Social should learn that you are better off turning away people than being understaffed and dishing out cold food that takes forever...

Tags: late-night find, scenic view, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5

The food was great. Inside bricks were beautiful.

Dined on December 10, 2015

I would definitely recommend this restaurant to friends and family. The service was excellent - from being greeted at the door right to leaving at the end of the lunch. The service was impeccable and the food was delicious. Right in the city's centre, it was a convenient walk back to the office afterwards. A+.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service4

They have a hard-to-find appetizer

Dined on November 30, 2015

I was delighted when I read the menu and saw that they have smelts - they were very tender and tasty!! So hard to find this appetizer in Ottawa; Café Ventuna used to have them but they went out of business :( I'll be back, just for the smelts (and of course the fabulous summertime patio :)

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining
food5
ambience4
service5

An old favorite

Dined on November 26, 2015

It's been over 10 years since visiting Ottawa & we wanted to try an old favorite-Social. The menu seems simple, but it's anything but. Our dishes were a wonderful blend of subtle flavors and very fresh food. After 10 years, a great restaurant got better. Our main courses were the trout and the short rib pappardelle. Both were scrumptious.

Tags: fit for foodies, hot spot
food1
ambience4
service3

Disappointing

Dined on November 26, 2015

Went to Social for a working lunch. I am all for smaller portions and avoid chain restaurants that tend to dish up huge portions of over salted food. However the portions at Social are ridiculously small. The roast beef sandwich.... a tiny piece of bread with minuscule shavings of beef and some arugula on the side. Too trendy for its own good. Won't be returning.

food4
ambience3
service5

Solid experience

vip
Dined on November 3, 2015

Went with a larger group. Enjoyed a variety of dishes. No complaints. Decent food. Not exceptional.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups
food5
ambience3
service4

Pleasantly surprised

Dined on October 30, 2015

Hadn't been to Social in quite a while so we decided to go back. Everything was very good. I had the mushroom bisque which was amazing and the trout which was also excellent. My spouse had the steak frites which he thoroughly enjoyed. Our server was attentive and made sure we got to our 8pm show on time. My only complaint was the noise level - a little loud for my liking but not so much so that we couldn't talk. We will make sure it isn't so long between visits next time.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience4
service5

Great dinner once again

Dined on September 30, 2015

My wife & I celebrated a special occasion at Social in September. We let our server know we where not in a rush and she recommended some appetizers to start off with & we tried a couple of their popular cocktails. The lamb appetizer & smelts were really good. For dinner we shared the branzino fish & the ribeye & we were very happy with our choices. My wife & I had wine by the glass as our tastes for wine vary & the selection by the glass was very good. The service was friendly & we didn't have to ask for anything as our needs were anticipated well. We will be going back for my birthday later this year & can't wait to have that ribeye again.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food2
ambience3
service2

very plain appetizers. had the tomatoe s ...

Dined on September 5, 2015

very plain appetizers. had the tomatoe salad big chunks of barely ripe tomotaoes. quite disappointing. had the lamb as main course. it was very good, but the sides were very plain and bland: boiled cabbage with beets and carrots. my wife had the duck confit. duck was great, but the side of potatoes and chicory was unimpressive. passion fruit desert was good

Tags: great for outdoor dining, romantic
food3
ambience3
service3

Lost Reservation

Dined on August 6, 2015

I used this on-line reservation service and the restaurant did not have our reservation.

Tags: good for groups
food3
ambience4
service5

Superb evening

Dined on August 1, 2015

Six friends gathered for a meal to mark a special occasion. One of us is almost a regular for lunch; the rest had never been to the restaurant. We had a terrific evening. The wine list offers a wide range, and is beautifully organized by origin, type and cost; the staff was friendly and well informed. Several of us were disappointed that one of the restaurant's signature dishes --Duck Confit--was not available that night. The other mains were good but not terrific: the rabbit was stringy, steak not overly flavorful. The standouts were the crisp baguette and garlic oil-butter it came with before the meal--how lovely to be served a high quality pre-meal bread and butter; and an appetizer--Wild Mushroom Soup, perhaps the best I've ever tasted, impressively presented. The frites that came with the steak were excellent, and the kitchen, at our request, kindly provided us with a side of the Schmaltz Potatoes that normally come with the confit--and very good they were (not like Grandma used to make--maybe that's a good thing). Desserts were pretty but undistinguished. Whatever the food's shortcomings, it was an excellent evening in a lovely spot, hosted by fine wait-staff who made our very happy party glad to be there.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
food4
ambience5
service5

Excellent dining experience.

Dined on July 29, 2015

We took guests here for a special occasion and everyone had a wonderful experience. Food was great, ambience was lively and elegant.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
food2
ambience3
service5

Our Experience

Dined on July 24, 2015

Loved the ambience, the design and decor was very trendy and relaxed with a loungey feel. The food was pricey and portions were small, so that was a little bit disappointing, however our meals were very tastey. If you're looking for a fine dining experience, I wouldn't recommend Social. I would recommend Social more for drinks and socializing with friends as the atmosphere caters to that kind of thing. I would avoid ordering the onion rings.

Tags: great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view
food5
ambience5
service5

long lovely lunch

Dined on June 25, 2015

We had a wonderful time at Social on this visit. A long afternoon on the patio with exceptional service. We both enjoyed our dishes ( Trout for me & the Duck Confit for my colleague). wine by the glass was recommended for us by our server which went very well with the dishes. It such beautiful day & such a gorgeous courtyard we stayed for another glass after lunch.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food2
ambience2
service4

Overall disapointing experience!

Dined on June 19, 2015

We have been here more than a dozen times before then the restaurant has changed it concept and decor to a more casual setting (seriously it looks like a grandma house with it flowery wallpapers...) however the price remains the same. We were a group of 7 and ultimately all of us were super disapointed with the food. Way overprice. and not well presented at all, the ceasar salad was put in a super small dish, the bouillabaisse was so tasteless. We will not be coming back there anytime soon. It used to be one of our fav restaurant in Ottawa... what a shame.

food1
ambience3
service3

Huge disappointment!

Dined on June 12, 2015

Our daughter selected Social as a special place to celebrate her graduation from Carleton on Friday, June 12. I have nothing good to say about our experience: We were a group of 5.Three of us ordered appetizers -the order of mushroom bisque arrived lukewarm - actually it was cold but I didn't want to make a scene to take away from my daughter's celebration. The tartare ordered by two of us was ok - probably because there was no temperature requirement. Three of us ordered the lamb - one ordered the duck - and one ordered the gnocchi. All three orders of lamb arrived on the cold side - the duck was overdone: dry, cold and pretty much inedible. We had a much better meal at a Toronto airport hotel the next evening. Our server was very pleasant but her demeanour can't make up for our poor overall experience. I won't bother going back.

food3
ambience4
service4

Slightly off base menu

Dined on May 31, 2015

For the four of us who attended, the overall experience was okay. The salmon entree was well received but the cod was not entree worthy. Very disappointed. The lamb was nicely done as were the two side dishes we ordered; however, although while the side dish of carrots looked garden fresh they were completely and totally inedible. The wine list was marginally acceptable in terms of price ($50-$90 range) but we were able to find something that worked very well. Knowing what this restaurant is hoping to achieve I would return but be very specific on what I'd order.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups
food4
ambience5
service3

Wow --- great new look!

Dined on May 31, 2015

Wow, hardly recognized the place --- has been totally renovated with a fresh new look. Impressive. And, the food was equally impressive. I had the steelhead trout which was perfectly prepared and beautifully presented --- absolutely delicious! My friend had the kale salad which was generously sized and very tasty. She also enjoyed the ahi tuna appetizer. The couple sitting beside us said that their meal was also delicious. Service was slower than we would have liked, but suspect they may have been busier than usual on a Sunday night because of the Diana Krall concert at the NAC. I'll definitely be back!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service4

Outstanding food in a chic environment

Dined on May 31, 2015

Our recent dinner at Social exceeded our expectations. The food was creative, delicious and worth every dime. The wine list was interesting and the ambiance was unique. This restaurant is a must for anyone living in or visiting Ottawa.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food3
ambience3
service4

out with new new, in with the old

Dined on May 31, 2015

I much prefer the old decor. The new decor gives it a cape cod feel. It is no longer a hip hot spot like it used to be with the couches. The new menu also lacked selection. Our food was bland and cold. the old menu was excellent. Overall very disappointed with the new place.

Tags: good for groups, notable wine list
food4
ambience5
service2

Poor service

Dined on May 29, 2015

We visited Social on May 28th at 6pm. We have been there many times and again the food was very good. I had the scallops as an appetizer, my daughter the mushy peas on toast and my wife the Caesar salad. We all had the burger for our main meal. All solid. However, the service was very poor. We explained that my wife was diabetic and needed to eat quickly. The waitress looked as us blankly and did not seem to care. It took 35 minutes to get the appetizer and 1hr15min to get the main meal. The waitress was disorganized, unavailable and hard to find. We left angry.

Tags: fit for foodies
food5
ambience5
service5

Trendy Hot Spot!

Dined on May 25, 2015

Great dining experience! This place is very trendy and happening, the food is outstanding, the service is top quality. Great spot to meet up with a group of friends, casual atmosphere with fine dining.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
food1
ambience3
service3

Food looks good but the taste isn't there

Dined on May 20, 2015

The service is always slow, the waiters are eager to serve but don't realize the different water (mineral with gas, still) in the glass and they don't ask! The Caesar salad is literally a joke! It's a romaine lettuce uncut but shaped that is served to you in a small plate; once you try to cut it....everything falls off the plate...sauce is bitter on top of that...I've returned it. Lamb is dry, burger ok...try another restaurant instead!

Tags: vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service5

Great Meal

Dined on April 18, 2015

I dined at Social on a Saturday night with my two daughters to celebrate their birthdays. The service, meal and ambiance was fabulous all night. Everyone was extremely friendly, the pace the food was brought out was perfect, the food was some of the best I've had in Ottawa and they have a great wine list. I had previously been there for a lunch function which was also top notch and the reason I chose it this time. I would highly recommend it if you haven't been.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
food5
ambience5
service5

we had a lovely evening and the great service

Dined on April 17, 2015

The food, the service and the ambiance were excellent.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
food4
ambience4
service4

The scallops were amazing!! I would re ...

Dined on March 18, 2015

The scallops were amazing!! I would recommend them.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion

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