a peek inside the fishbowl

02 Aug, 2017

Andrea’s Tuesdays: a visit to Ottawa’s Tavern on the Hill

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life|Ottawa|Recipes and Food

To review: every other Tuesday is my day off and I’m trying to use this time to recharge my batteries. No work, no meetings, minimal errands. Last time, I visited the Arctic via the Canadian Museum of Nature.

It’s been awhile since I posted a report of a Tuesday adventure, but since my last missive it’s been a whirlwind of summer holidays and work-related deadlines and I actually haven’t had a proper Tuesday until yesterday.

When a friend suggested we dine at Tavern on the Hill I knew it had to be the subject of a proper Tuesday kind of outing. Read this write up about it over at the Ottawa Magazine website and you’ll understand why I was rarin’ to go, but let’s just say they had me at champagne and hotdogs.

We hopped on our bikes and made our way downtown via the Ottawa River Pathway. The ride passed by in a blink, a phenomenon I attribute to the fact that we chatted the entire way. Unfortunately, the path behind Parliament Hill is still closed so we had to weave our way through downtown traffic. At one point we just gave up and walked our bikes down the sidewalk until we turned toward’s Major’s Hill Park.m

Tavern on the Hill makes excellent use of a small stone building you may or may not have noticed on your downtown wanders. It is on the National Gallery side of the park and was originally built in 1901. In a previous life it was a potting shed, and much later, an art gallery. Today, this is where orders are taken and hot dogs are assembled for the hungry hoards.

It was hotter than Hades that afternoon, but perhaps my sense of the temperature was heightened by the fact that I was very damp and out of sorts when we finally made it there. I guzzled my radler and forgot to take enough photos to fully illustrate this experience but I will say this one important point: there is plenty of seating on the patio area. In fact, I was surprised to see how many people could be accommodated at shady tables and long cushy couches.

At Tavern on the Hill, you in the very centre of a very Ottawa landscape. There are gorgeous views on every side, not matter where you’re sitting or which direction you happen to be facing. This is what it looked like from our spot:

Tavern on the Hill, Ottawa

View from our table at Tavern on the Hill

Good to know: Tavern on the Hill accepts debit and credit (this info was not on the website) and from what I could see, the menu is scaled down from original reports. It’s all about hot dogs (of which there are many from which to choose) and cold beverages. Hot dogs are ordered on one side – at the entrance – and the bar is around the corner. I ordered the Mexican hot dog, which was very good, especially paired with my radler (er, or two), which turned out to be the perfect beverage on a hot summer day.

A cold bevy at Tavern on the Hill

Hot dog at Tavern on the Hill, Ottawa

A tip for you: listen hard your name called when your order is ready! We didn’t hear, and as a result our order waited under a heat lamp for a few extra minutes (but this was no big deal, really).

Ottawa Magazine’s article mentioned the hot dogs on the menu are a chicken/pork blend, which isn’t mentioned on the Tavern on the Hill website. As a mostly non-beef eater I did wonder, but went ahead anyway. Veggie dogs and gluten-free buns are available.

If you have mobility issues you will definitely want to watch your step. The umbrella bases, tables, and chairs, take up more of the floor than you may expect and the ground is uneven in parts, especially away from the raised decks.

Anyway, that is neither here nor there. It was a great hot dog, great drink, great company, great view. All too soon, it was time to pack it in, give up the pretty panorama, and return to reality. We had the wind in our hair and full tummies as we followed the river home again. Bliss.

I enjoyed our experience so much I’m already itching to go back. Next time I’ll bring the family and pick a weekday evening to enjoy the most “Ottawa” landscape in the city.


2 Responses to "Andrea’s Tuesdays: a visit to Ottawa’s Tavern on the Hill"

1 | a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive Andrea's Tuesdays: food, flowers, and films about flowers - a peek inside the fishbowl

August 17th, 2017 at 10:38 am

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[…] To review: every other Tuesday is my day off and I’m trying to use this time to recharge my batteries. No work, no meetings, minimal errands. Last time, I biked to Tavern on the Hill for beer and hotdogs!  […]

2 | a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive Day one of 45 - a peek inside the fishbowl

August 22nd, 2017 at 11:26 am

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[…] THAT we had lunch at Tavern on the Hill. This is my second time here and it was just as good as the first, albeit with slightly damp […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our two daughters Emma (18) and Sarah (16). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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