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Nearby points of interest

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About Social - Ottawa

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.

537 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1N 6Z6
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Bistro, 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:
Jeff Bradfield

Private Party Facilities:
Whether celebrating a special occasion with family and friends or hosting a corporate event, Social - Ottawa can accommodate all of your special event needs.

Private Party Contact:
our Events & Office Manager - Eleanor Quesnel: (855) 805-9231

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wine

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

Social - Ottawa Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.2

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.1

service

4.4

ambience

4.2

value

3.7

noise

Moderate

83% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (11)
Good for Groups (9)
Good for a Date (9)
See All
Romantic (9)
Good for Anniversaries (7)
Fit for Foodies (6)
Pre/post Theatre (5)
Local Ingredients (4)
Notable Wine List (4)
Neighborhood Gem (4)
Handcrafted Cocktails (4)
Great for Lunch (4)
Creative Cuisine (4)
Good for Birthdays (4)
Late-night Find (3)
Modern Decor (3)
Vibrant Bar Scene (3)
Quiet Conversation (3)
Cozy (3)
Private Room (3)
Bar Seating (3)
Hot Spot (3)
Great for Outdoor Dining (2)
Fun (2)
Great Beer (2)
Tapas (2)
Authentic (2)
People Watching (2)
Good Vegetarian Options (2)
Healthy (2)
Business Meals (2)
Seasonal (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Scenic View (1)
Comfort Food (1)
Outstanding Value (1)
Historic (1)
Casual (1)
Happy Hour (1)
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518 reviews
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 (Toronto)·Dined 3 days ago

Very good food and drink, delivered promptly, ample portions. The rabbit was probably the best I've ever had.

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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

vip
 (Vancouver)·Dined on March 20, 2017

Been going to Social for years...always delicious and friendly service.

Tags: Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Ottawa)·Dined on March 16, 2017

The restaurant is ok, starts aging! Food is good, but not extraordinary, dishes small, my daughter had Lamb ribs , that was really good. For the prices they charge , they definitely must do a little effort, service just ok.

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food3
ambience3
service2

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on March 5, 2017

Social is always enjoyable. The only "sort of" issue is it's too bloody dark. It's hard to appreciate the presentation of food when you can barely see it !

Tags: Hot Spot, Happy Hour, Bar Seating, Vibrant Bar Scene, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on February 28, 2017

Excellent service. Great entrees, nicely plated, well seasoned, well prepared. Good wine list but limited in the $50-75 range (I only looked at the reds).

Tags: Local Ingredients, Business Meals, Great for Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on February 21, 2017

Nice ambiance. Great service. Food well prepared.

Tags: Good for Groups, People Watching, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on February 18, 2017

Excellent service. Great food. Fun place with great vibe.

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food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on February 5, 2017

We had a lovely dinner at Social--a very short walk from our hotel. My husband and I both had a very tasty roasted tomato soup to start--we then had a great pasta special and the burger as main dishes. The burger is made in house and is fresh, meaty and rich. It comes with an abundance of fries and a fabulous aioli sauce. The waiter was friendly, attentive and very eager to answer our questions about menu selections. The decor is lovely and tables are spaced well.

The only issue we have with Social is the very loud music played by a DJ (we were there on a Saturday night ). Most of the diners had in fact come for the food, although there were a few enjoying drinks at the bar. The patrons ranged in age from 20-60--average age being in the higher range (40s-50s). It was not easy to have a conversation with the dance/house music. If the crowd later in the evening is more interested in a bar/club experience, then why not let the diners eat and talk, and bring in the wine drinking Dj later on in the evening ( after 10:30). I have been to hundreds of restaurants in the past few years in many cities around the world, and have not ever encountered a DJ playing such loud thumping music in a 'Fine dining' setting.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Modern Decor, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on February 4, 2017

I really like Social restaurant, but I was desapointed in my meal, my rabbit was very dry :( But overall I still like my experience andI would recommand. Thank you!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on February 2, 2017

This was not my first trip to Social. The service is always impeccable, and Giuseppe's pronunciation of the Italian dishes were almost enough reason to return. The drinks were excellent, as were the meals. I had the lamb, which was done really nicely, and the pea mash with it was of a perfect texture. We shared a nice dessert of Stilton chocolate cake that used the Stilton to perfection to keep the chocolate from being overly sweet.

The after-dinner drink was especially a nice touch. I'll go back to Social anytime.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on January 26, 2017

Above all the service was incredible. I dined across from the bar area with 2 out of town colleagues. We were immersed in great conversation + impeccable service + food from start to finish.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Business Meals
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on January 13, 2017

Both my wife and I frequent Social every 3 months or so and I look forward to it every time I make a reservation. I always start with a "Peartini" which are amazing (sometimes I go crazy and have 2!). My wife had the Kale salad to start which was hearty and tasty. Each time I go, I switch between the ribeye steak which is "so flavourful" and the tender rack of lamb with mushy peas - very interesting and tasty combination. The creme brule was excellent! But most of all, we are always served by one of two servers who we now know and enjoy seeing. We feel very welcomed when we go there. I encourage you to try Social, which is a key place to dine in Ottawa!
Keep up the good work,
Rick

Tags: Great for Lunch, Romantic, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 1, 2017

A fantastic three course meal with wine pairings for New Year's Eve. My wife began with the seared scallops and I had the duck carpaccio: both were fantastic! Next came my wife's beef tenderloin and I had the bouillabaisse which was not only memorable but well executed and flavourful. The banana cake putting dessert and my wife's chocolate boost cake were an indulgent end to a stellar meal.

The wine pairings were perfect. This is in Ottawa gem, though pricey, it is certainly worth it.

I have eaten at a many fantastic restaurants in Toronto, Montreal, Paris, Las Vegas, and this one competes with all of them.

Well done.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Romantic, Seasonal
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on December 31, 2016

It was a first time at Social for most of our group. Amazing and very friendly service, great ambiance, and my medium rare steak was done to perfection.

Tags: Comfort Food, Outstanding Value, Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Cozy, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on December 19, 2016

Hi, we have been to your restaurant many times, this summer we were there 3 times and it was great, we were just there this past Sunday, it was horrible I hate to say. We had the cod and it was inedible. The chef tried it and actually said yes it's probably not that fresh, we thought we were going to be sick so we stopped eating it. Then they compt , we had the chocolate cake and apple crumble, again both terrible the cake was so dry, any way we do love your place, like I said we e been there often, maybe Sunday's are not a good night to go. ? I'm glad you gave us (4) in total the chance to comment,, good luck moving forward on your Sunday night meals!!!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
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food1
ambience5
service3
value1

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 10, 2016

Great food and excellent service. The Brick Chicken was superb!

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food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on December 10, 2016

Ambience at social was amazing - very cozy setting for brunch. The brunch itself was a total let down. Somehow they could not poach eggs to the requested level. Had to send back my plate once for a re-do - gave up after the second error and stuck to coffee and juice (which also had to be re-done, first serving of juice was more pulp smoothie)

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food1
ambience4
service2
value2

 
 (Phoenix)·Dined on December 4, 2016

Had heard mostly great things about this restaurant but with a few caveats since their renovation. We were first timers so nothing to compare to, but overall the decor and noise level (it is the busy Christmas season I know) almost made the experience a writeoff - thankfully the food more than compensated. Also the wait staff seemed very rushed and not overly friendly. Not sure I'd rush back - I suspect there are other places I'd try first.

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food4
ambience2
service3
value3

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on December 1, 2016

Impeccable service; great attention to detail. Very welcoming atmosphere. Great for any occasion!

Tags: Historic, Authentic, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on November 27, 2016

What an awesome evening. Great food, service, and atmosphere. Will definitely return!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Modern Decor
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on November 18, 2016

We have been to Social many times and we always have an excellent meal. In the past, I had enjoyed their peartini, and even though it was no longer on the menu, they made me one. Thanks! I started with the scallops which were very tasty and tender. I really enjoyed the collard greens and the crunchiness of a few pieces of popcorn in the dish. For my main, I had the rack of lamb, which came with a tasty gramola (spelling?), fingerling potatoes and mushy peas. What an interesting melange and the rack of lamb was the most tender I have ever had. I will order it again the next time I go, which will be soon. My wife had the beet salad and the always excellent burger. If we had one minor concern, the beets were very undercooked, almost raw and difficult to cut.
Well done Social!

Tags: Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Toronto)·Dined on November 17, 2016

VERY loud on Friday and Saturday nights. Conversation impossible. Good quality of meat.

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food3
ambience2
service4
value2

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on November 13, 2016

Celebrated our sons engagement . We were given a beautiful table in front of the window . Once seated they brought flutes of Prosecco which was totally unexpected but definitely set the tone for the evening . Our server was attentive and knowledgable . I had the ling cod which was grilled to perfection . The decor is refined without being stuffy . Thank you Social for a wonderful night to remember !

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Hot Spot, Good for Anniversaries, Modern Decor, Private Room
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on November 12, 2016

overall the experience was awesome. the atmosphere was very upbeat and unique. service was very good staff was knowledgeable and very accommodating. prices were a touch on the high side which was expected. overall 5 stars and will go again.

Tags: Authentic, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value2

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on November 11, 2016

We were 2 people and out table was right next to the window. I can tell you that it was a very cold windy night and that made sitting by the window very uncomfortable.

I asked for my steak to be cooked medium and it was over done.

My glass of wine from the bar had some of the top metal cover from the wine glass in the glass. As it was red wine I only found out towards my last sip of the glass.

The server was very gracious and instead of coming back with another glass of wine she arrived with 2 shots. I don't think the resto understands that should I have not noticed the piece of metal wrapper in the glass and I consumed it could have led to a serious law suit.

Overall felt cramped and uncomfortable at our seat. My steak was over cooked and I was still charged the full price of the steak

Tags: Good for a Date
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food3
ambience2
service4
value2

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on October 30, 2016

We went there for a dinner for two on a Sunday evening. The waitress was very polite and attentive. The Oysters were some of the best we've ever had, the cheese board was incredible, the seasonal pasta was fresh and al dente, and the rabbit dish was delicious. We will definitely be returning to order the oysters and try the other menu options.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on October 29, 2016

Good food. Nice selection. Great service. ............

Tags: Casual, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on October 28, 2016

Well located, in Byward Market. Food was very good, especially liked the beet salad and kale salad . The oysters were also very good. We were in a large group and everyone enjoyed the mains that they ordered. We had a variety of dishes eg duck, rabbit, steak and frites, I had the ling cod which was perfectly cooked, delicate, with large flakes that were delicious.

Tags: Romantic, Historic, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on October 20, 2016

Lovely decor. Comfortable booths and upholstered chairs. Quiet. Has an intimate feel.
Interesting menu. Duck confit very good. Attentive service.

Tags: Casual, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on October 15, 2016

Amazing service, great food and relaxed atmosphere made our special occasion even more so.

Tags: Romantic, Bar Seating, Happy Hour, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Private Room, Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Outstanding Value, Modern Decor, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on October 11, 2016

my personal taste you should always have crème brûlé on the dessert menu.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on October 8, 2016

As always it was fun and the food great :) Lovely staff too! They made my birthday feel special.

Tags: Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Bar Seating, Late-night Find, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Groups, Sunday Lunch, Casual, Cozy, Modern Decor, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Lunch, Fun, Business Meals
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 28, 2016

The sea urchin bernaise sauce could have been a starter/soup... it was great! All the meals at the table were well-enjoyed, and the environment was great for good conversation.

Tags: Modern Decor, Organic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Pre/post Theatre, Great for Outdoor Dining, Quiet Conversation
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on September 24, 2016

We had a good meal at Social - was brunch on the weekend; friendly staff, very good food, though the service was a bit slow, nothing to complain about. It's in a great location in the Market and great for people watching. Good place to have a social gathering too.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Modern Decor, Great for Brunch, Special Occasion, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene, Bar Seating
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 24, 2016

Service was slow waitress wasn't friendly. Didn't meet expectations.

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food4
ambience3
service2

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on September 20, 2016

Service was attentive and unobtrusive. Have dined here numeorous times and although the food was good on this occasion the main meals were not hot when they arrived. Both the beet and the kale salads were delicious while both the salmon and the steak frites were disappointing as they were lukewarm. We did not mention to the wait staff as we were pressed for time.

Tags: Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on September 15, 2016

We met friends for lunch a few days ago. We liked the decor and atmosphere but frankly, the food was a disappointment. The burger in the daily special kept popping out of the bun and was messy. The kale Caesar was not a hit but our friend liked the dressing. The fish and chips were also less than anticipated. The fish servings were small, the fries greasy, and there was no side of cole slaw or other vegetable which is customary. And for $18, I would have expected to have halibut or haddock rather than cod. My wife would have loved to order a cocktail but at $12-$15 each, they are just too expensive. The table was a bit large for us but private and the service was good.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on September 14, 2016

I had the luch box - a smoke meat sandwich
the meat was too fat - maybe offer lean or...

Tags: Great for Lunch, Business Meals
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food2
ambience3
service4
value2

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on September 10, 2016

We like this restaurant.
We got the service in French & in English!
We appreciate it a lot!!
The food was good & our waiter was excellent!
I recommend this place!
Thanks

Tags: Good for a Date, Romantic, Special Occasion, Happy Hour, Cozy
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food4
ambience4
service5
value2

vip
 (Ottawa)·Dined on September 4, 2016

I have been to Social at least a dozen times over the years. Food is fairly consistent. Had the duck confit which was very nice. Good sized duck leg with decent portion of veggies and potatoes. It came with a 'basil pea puree', unfortunately the basil was overpowering and could not really taste the pea. They also appeared to use a basil that has a strong minty flavor associated with it on top of that! On a positive note, they've improved their bread, now 2 types of baguette: white and multigrain with raisins.

Desert selection very limited - basically 4 items and most of which are very unorthodox. Not one chocolate selection. Don't come here with big hopes on dessert.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, People Watching, Fit for Foodies, Fun, Handcrafted Cocktails, Historic, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

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