Let's face it going on a date can be expensive! One problem Ottawa couples find when looking for amazing date ideas is most of them aren't suitable for those on a tight budget. Just the standard dinner and a movie can easily cost over $100, while affordable date options like going for coffee can get dull after a while.
Fear not, Ottawa offers plenty of outstanding date options that will provide you both with fantastic memories and won't break the bank. If you are looking what to do on your next date, here are cheap date ideas in Ottawa that you can do for under $15.
Price: starting at $3.95 a cupcake
Where: 6 Byward Market Square & 324 Richmond Road
If you and your date have a sweet tooth you need to go to the Cupcake Lounge! There are two locations in Ottawa, but the Westboro location is a better spot for a date because it offers more seating. The all natural cupcakes start at $3.95 and you can choose between their signature daily or seasonal flavors. The Cupcake Lounge even offer gluten-free options too!
Location: Starting at the Alexandra Bridge
Go for a romantic stroll along the Culture Trail in Gatineau. Starting from Alexandra Bridge near the Canadian Museum of History you can follow the red line on the ground. The 3 km path will take you past public art pieces, murals, and a variety of fantastic restaurants, cafes, and bars. On your self-guided tour, you'll be able to visit the umbrella covered street which makes for a cute photo spot.
Price: $6 a person
Location: 14 Waller Street
For $12 for one evening, you and your date can have a fantastic time at the Loft Board Game Lounge. The $6 stay and play fee gives you access to play any of the board games in their massive selection. Make sure to look out for the 2 players section, as there are plenty of fun board games to try that are perfect for a small group.
Price: Small cup or cone $5, large cup or cone $8
Location: 1211 Wellington Street
Head to Filuccia Gelateria to try out Ottawa's new gelato truck. This cute dessert spot in Ottawa is the perfect spot to share a large cup of gelato. Here the flavors change daily, with 7 flavors available each day.
Price: Regular drinks starting at $4
Location: 675 Somerset St W
A fun twist of the classic coffee date is to go for bubble tea instead. One of the best spots in Ottawa for bubble tea would have to be Chatime. This bubble tea company is the number one bubble tea shop in the world, with 800 stores worldwide. Their modern Ottawa shop offers a vast menu, and half the fun is simply deciding what to order. In addition to bubble teas, you can also find health drinks, tea lattes, milk teas, and smoothies too!
Price: Prices vary
Location: 87 Murray Street
For the perfect affordable date spot head to Mantovani 1946. Conveniently located in the Byward Market, this beautiful cafe has gourmet pastries, artisanal gelato, and outstanding coffee too. For an easy date, go for gelato or two pastries to share.
Price: Gourmet hot dogs starting at $3.50
Location: 1223 Alexandra Bridge
Tavern On The Hill offers one of the best patios in Ottawa. Located across the street from the National Gallery Of Canada, Tavern On The Hill gives you a prime view of downtown Ottawa and the Parliament Buildings. This spot is the perfect place to enjoy some gourmet hot dogs or a glass of beer and watch the sunset over Ottawa. At night the patio is also lovely when all the string lights are illuminated.
Price: Donuts range between $2-3
Location: 46 Byward Market Square & 1500 Bank Street
Keep it casual on your next date and go for donuts at Maverick's Donut Company. Here the made-fresh daily donuts range between $2-3, and they even offer vegan donuts too! Some of the donuts on the menu include lemon ricotta, chocolate mint swirl, and matcha lemon. The Byward Market location has limited seating, but you can easily take your box of donuts to go and enjoy them at a nearby park instead.
Price: Cost of one lock
Location: The Corktown Footbridge
Did you know Ottawa has its own love lock bridge just like the famous one in Paris at Pont des Arts? Ottawa's love lock bridge is The Corktown Footbridge located next to Ottawa University. As a sign of your love, you and your date can head to the bridge and add your own custom lock as a sign of your unending love.
Before you head out to the love lock bridge make sure to decorate your key lock with both of your names. This way, when you head back to the bridge in the future you'll easily be able to find your love lock.
Price: All happy hour menu items are $6
Location: 325 Dalhousie Street
Feast and Revel is one of the best restaurants in Ottawa offering Canadian cuisine with organic and hormone free products. Monday to Friday from 5 to 7 pm they offer a happy hour menu, where you can enjoy several dishes like poutine pogo, wings or cod ceviche along with a glass of wine or beers all for $6 each.
Location: Various locations
Go for a classic date, and head out at dusk to watch the sunset over Ottawa. Along the Ottawa River, there are plenty of great spots to watch the sunset, with two easy to reach spots being next to the Chateau Laurier, and behind the National Gallery of Canada at Nepean Point.
Price: $5.31 a person
Location: 292 Elgin Street
Spend the night laughing together at Yuk Yuks. On Tuesday nights at 8:30 pm Yuk Yuks hosts amateur night and tickets are only $5.31 a person.
Price: $5 a person
Location: 1077 Bank Street
If you two love old school arcade games and pinball, you need to visit the House of Targ. On Sundays, after 8 pm all the games are set to free play so you can play as much as you'd like for the $5 cover charge. With 17 pinball machines and 25 classic arcade games to play there will be plenty to keep you both entertained all night.
Location: The Dominion Arboretum
There is a reason The Dominion Arboretum is a popular spot for wedding photography, the garden is just stunning. Located next to Dows Lake here you can wander through the trees and flowers in the peaceful setting. While this location is pretty no matter the season the best times to visit are in the fall to see the leaves change color, or in the spring to see the blooming crab apple trees.
Visit The Ottawa Art Gallery
Location: 50 Mackenzie King Bridge
The new Ottawa Art Gallery is the perfect spot to bring a date. The free gallery has plenty of interesting exhibits to check out, and you can easily spend an hour or two exploring the gallery and discussing which artworks you both like best. There is also plenty of free workshops too that would be perfect for bringing a date who loves art. For example, on the second Wednesday of every month from 5 to 7 pm you and your date can enjoy a free drink and light snack as you join for a hands-on exploration of an art technique or theme.
Location: Gatineau Park
Spend some time outdoors together and go for a hike in Gatineau Park. Gatineau Park is only a short drive away and makes for a fantastic date spot. Here you both can enjoy the peaceful and beautiful setting as you hike along one of the many trails.
Before departing for the hike, pack your bag with a blanket, snacks, and drinks. This way once you reach a beautiful lookout point you can stop along the trail and enjoy a picnic together.
Price: price starting at $4.50
Location: Various locations
Indulge in the Canadian dessert, the Beavertail for a delicious date. This sweet treat is especially nice in the fall and winter as you can head to a Beavertail stand to warm up. Two great options are to go for beavertails after skating on the Rideau Canal in the water, or after going for a walk to see the autumn leaves.