In our day and age, a lot of people meet through dating apps and services. Especially since it's pretty hard to meet someone in Ottawa, it's a great way to get yourself out there and being able to pick out your type is even better.
Once you've done all the necessary getting to know each other small talk, you realize you're interested in more or you just stop replying (everyone knows this feeling). It's hard choosing places for a first date when you've never met the person before, especially if you're scared of it being awkward. I mean, a lot of first dates are awkward but they make for great stories when you actually do start dating the person. I'm not saying these places are guaranteed to buy their love forever, but these 9 places are sure to make you feel more comfortable and less like you've signed up for an awful reality dating show.
1. Arlington Five // 5 Arlington Street
Arlington Five is a busy and adorable cafe that is very old school yet perfect for the first date. You'll never feel awkward because there are always people around, and the vibe of the cafe makes you feel super relaxed. If you run out of things to talk about, just start talking about your love for coffee–who doesn't love coffee?
2. National Gallery of Canada // 380 Sussex Drive
The National Gallery of Canada will automatically give you something to talk about on the first date. You can bond over your love for art, or you can bond over the fact that you don't get the hype. With all of the pieces in the gallery, you probably won't even remember you're on a first date because of how easy going you'll feel. If you aren't feeling it, you can always break away and move a little bit ahead of your date, and just pretend to be super into it.
3. The Loft Board Game Lounge // 14 Waller Street
The Loft will break the ice for sure. There's nothing like a little competitive flirting, and if you're with the right date, they'll think the same thing. There are hundreds of games to choose from, from childhood favourites to your favourite Netflix TV show board game. However, if you can't stand your partner by the end of the game, maybe give it another chance. People aren't themselves when they're competitive.
4. Real Sports Bar & Grill // 90 George Street
Since it's a sports bar, there is always some type of game on. This is a great place to take a date who is into sports that way you can bond over your knowledge for the game. It's usually pretty busy as well, so I doubt you'll ever feel awkward especially with the loud music playing.
5. Mooney's Bay Beach Shack // 2960 Riverside Drive
Right on one of Ottawa's beaches, this beach ice cream shack is the cutest thing you'll ever see. What's better than a beach and ice cream while getting to know someone? Now I know you can't technically talk a walk on the beach since it's super small, but you can lay down a towel and just talk about life like they did back in the day. You don't always need a fancy first date!
6. Oh So Good // 25 York Street, 261 Richmond Road
If you know your date likes desserts just from her Instagram feed or from the little talking you did on Tinder, this is the place to take her. There is every dessert you can imagine or ever want, and this will give both of you a burst of energy aka sugar rush and you won't be able to stop talking. You definitely can have your cake and eat it too.
7. The Moonroom // 442 Preston Street
This bar is perfect for those who want to have a more one on one, intimate date for the first meeting. The atmosphere is sensual, but we're living for the decor. It's a great spot for more mature people who want to kick back with a glass of wine and a charcuterie board. You won't even feel like you're in Ottawa in this sexy bar.
8. MacLarens on Elgin // 301 Elgin Street
MacLarens on Elgin is a sports bar/restaurant/pool hall which makes it a great spot for a first date. If you don't know how to play pool, your date can gladly show you and I'm sure there will be lots of laughs to be had. It gets you talking about multiple areas of life, and if you're bored of playing pool there are other things you can do to keep the conversation going.
9. The Albion Rooms // 33 Nicholas Street
Located in the Novotel Ottawa Hotel, this unique restaurant is one you have to check out. The place isn't very big, but they have couches and bar stools and even a patio, so you and your date can feel right at home wherever you choose to sit. The atmosphere of the restaurant is super laid back so you won't even feel like it's a first date and if your nerves are still there, they have amazing and unique drink choices that will for sure be a conversation starter.
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