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.
Bistro, Continental, French / Canadian
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Mon-Fri.: 11:30am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Nightly: 5:00pm - Close.
George / York
CAN$31 to CAN$50
AMEX, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa
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.
Let us host your next corporate dinner or special occasion. We love to celebrate! Please call for 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.
There are public transit stops on Rideau street and at the Rideau Center (which is within walking distance).
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
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.
Social - Ottawa Ratings and Reviews
We opted for a tapas style ordering of m ...
We opted for a tapas style ordering of most of the appetisers. Although the food was not exceptional, there were some high notes (the mushroom on toast, the octopus, the pork belly) and the service was truly noteworthy - our waitress knew her role, knew the menu instinctively and was great at explaining and selling it. My friend and I were reunited after several years not seeing each other and it was a perfect setting. We would definitely come back and I would recommend it, absolutely.
Very disappointing. Wine selection was u ...
Very disappointing. Wine selection was unimaginative, limited and of poor value. More disappointing and somewhat shocking was getting served HALF a small Cornish hen as my main course.
Who does this and why? The Market is a tourist trap and Social appears to be taking advantage. It's too bad because the food is pretty good but the value is horrendous. Charging $18 for a large pour of mediocre wine and serving customers small portions is insulting. Finally, the coffee, both decaf and regular is amazingly horrible and should be avoided. There are many better options in Ottawa and in the Market for dinner.
I requested the room with the window ove ...
I requested the room with the window overlooking the courtyard - it was more private and suited our business appreciation dinner. We enjoyed before dinner drinks, appetizers and wine with our mains - our server was pleasant and didn't rush us but tended to our needs.
Social is an upscale restaurant that I would recommend to our friends and business associates.
The food is ok, but very expensive for ...
The food is ok, but very expensive for the quality (e.g. Fries are 8$, and the pork belly, while delicious, was $17 for an appetizer
The service left much to be desired, for starters they didn't bother to clarify whether I wanted at 5 or 8 oz. glass of wine; they simply brought me an 8 oz and charged $20 to the bill. 5 is standard - they should have asked instead of assuming. The server was very imposing and our group felt like we were constantly being interrupted by the server.
Overall, the atmosphere is nice, the food is ok, but it is all very overpriced (even by Byward market standards).
Of the four times we have been to this r ...
Of the four times we have been to this restaurant, this is the first time we encountered an issue with the service. Simply a missed order. Otherwise, this is a great restaurant with excellent staff. We will definitely be returning.
My wife and I had a lovely time at Socia ...
My wife and I had a lovely time at Social on Friday night. First, the staff was excellent, so accommodating and friendly. Second, the food was tasty and fresh with innovative combinations. We especially loved the mushroom pasta dish, light sauce, beautifully cooked pasta...yummy! Also, the fresh bread with truffle butter was exceptional.
An ideal evening in an Ottawa Courtyard.
Don't go to social if you are in a hurry- but the pacing of the meal, given that we had the time, was very nicely relaxed.
The charcuterie plate was really nicely varied, and the fish of the day served with a large-grain cous cous, was perfectly prepared.
I would return (and will)!
Excellent as always!
With so many restaurants in Ottawa going the (con)fusion route. Great to see Social adhering to it's reliable continental european foods true to the cuisine. Only one downside this time around, for some strange reason, the DJ jacked up the music to Ibiza-clubbing levels by 9pm??!!! Made conversation very difficult for diners.
We have been here several times, but thi ...
We have been here several times, but this was the first time in several years. The appetizers were very good and diverse although a little too expensive to turn two into a full
meal. The main courses were quite disappointing sorry to say. The burger was swimming in mayonnaise and the quality of meat not up to the nearly $30 price tag. the drinks were great and I wondered why Social is not a drinks and small plates restaurant. Hard to get it all right by could use some help in the kitchen.
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!
I NEVER GIVE 5 stars and I did for this!!!!
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!
We loved the food but the portions were ...
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.
We have been to social many times and al ...
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.
My go-to restaurant in Ottawa
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.
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!
Likely Most Dependable Restaurant in Ottawa
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!
Beautiful comfy setting and flavourful food.
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!
There were food leftover (previous night ...
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!
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...
The food was great. Inside bricks were beautiful.
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+.
They have a hard-to-find appetizer
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 :)
An old favorite
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.
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.
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.
Great dinner once again
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.
very plain appetizers. had the tomatoe s ...
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
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.
Please sign in to record your input. Thanks!
Report this review as inappropriate?
If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.