a peek inside the fishbowl

03 Jul, 2012


Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy|Ottawa|Recipes and Food

Last week we celebrated the end of a school year and the efforts of two very hard-working students with a special dinner out.


Our destination: Mill Street Brew Pub. Have you been? No?



Mill Street Brew Pub is located on Wellington Street in the remains of a beautifully renovated stone mill (it’s actually the oldest standing mill in Ottawa) near Lebreton Flats. Here’s a view of part of the building:

Part of the original mill

We liked how they kept some of the old bits intact (this is away from the actual restaurant, but still cool):

Old stairs

The area is beautiful. It’s right on the bike path. The river is just over to the right:

Bike path near Mill Street Brew Pub

Local writer Ross Brownfoot snagged a great photo of this scenic pub in this blog post and resto review.

Ottawa long timers might remember this as the site of another restaurant called The Mill that got uniformly terrible reviews over many years. This is very much not the case anymore. New owners. Big reno. Big plans. We had a great dinner of upscale pub-type fare and I’m determined to go back sooner than later.

Here’s the menu in case you want to have a peek. Sarah ordered a burger. We were a little worried that she wouldn’t be able to finish it, but we were wrong. This was Mark’s:

Best burger!

Sarah’s was the same but she had a Caesar salad instead of fries.

I had a steak salad, which was a little heavy on the dressing (note to self, always order dressing on the side!) but was otherwise very good. You can see Emma’s fish and chips across from me here. They were excellent.

My steak salad

No more ordering off the kiddy menu for us! Darn it.

Craft beer fans rejoice! Mill Street Brew Pub makes their own line of beers on site. Tours are available but we did not partake. Next time for sure. I tried a glass of their original organic beer, which I enjoyed very much. ALSO – and this was new to me – they also brew their own root beer. It was proclaimed to be “the best root beer ever” by discerning tasters:

The root beer at Mill Street

Mill Street Brew Pub is a casual and welcoming place that seems to attract a lot of the after work crowd. Because of that I did feel a little underdressed in my shorts and (nice) t-shirt. Oh well. Next time I will wear a sun dress! Easy peasy. The staff were friendly and we had decent service. (A sidebar to parents: please don’t let your kids wander around busy restaurants unattended! I always picture a server accidentally dropping a tray of beer and nachos on some kids head. Just don’t do it.)

We had a great time and I can’t wait to return. Next time we’ll aim for a spot on the patio and not leave our visit to a special occasion.

Thank you Mill Street!

3 Responses to "Celebrating"

1 | Ross Brown

July 3rd, 2012 at 2:15 pm


Thanks for the shout out, Andrea! I enjoyed reading your review of Mill Street.

While I agree that kids shouldn’t wander a restaurant, I encourage everyone to explore both the upstairs and mail level. This beautiful building has been wonderfully maintained and there are great pictures of the mill and surrounding area during its industrial heyday.


2 | andrea

July 3rd, 2012 at 3:11 pm


I agree! Everyone should take a few moments to explore the restaurant. The views are amazing! When I mentioned wandering children I was referring to kids under 5 or 6 who are sometimes left to walk/run/crawl around the tables unattended by a parent or caregiver. That’s all. :)

3 | Heather R

July 3rd, 2012 at 4:32 pm


Sounds awesome! I work really close to there at Portage, so I think we’ll have to stop in some Friday after work and sample some of those lovely sounding beers!!

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  • a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive Look who I found! - a peek inside the fishbowl: […] He (or she) was just hanging out on a hosta. He’s the only one I’ve seen from our brood. […]
  • andrea tomkins: Me too! I am REALLY looking forward to it. We didn't get to go last year so I'm really counting on it this summer!
  • Ginger: I hope COVID-19 doesn't take away your camping trip!
  • andrea tomkins: It's going to be tough. The problem is that everyone seems to have a different tolerance. Some people think it's no big deal, while others haven't lef
  • Ginger: I'm that person too. I liked my personal space before this, but now...I would prefer even more than 6 feet please!
  • andrea tomkins: We have a natural gas BBQ but we bought this portable one a few years back fo camping and/or picnics. I loooove the smell of burning charcoal! And yes
  • Corvid: You have a charcoal grill *and* a gas bbq? Or just charcoal? I have both. Charcoal flavour is unique/delish. What restaurant is that?

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. 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.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


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