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SOCIAL Restaurant & Lounge

SOCIAL Restaurant
Cuisine Style:
Canadian Free-style
Elegant, sexy urban lounge
Byward Market
138 (across several areas)
537 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, ON K1N 6Z6

SOCIAL Restaurant
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.

Fittingly, SOCIAL is located at the very hub of Ottawa's downtown, occupying prime real estate on Sussex Drive with a patio facing the Clarendon Courtyard. The National Gallery and the Parliament are nearby, and the buzz and bustle of the Byward Market is just around the corner. The popular Fairmont and Westin hotels are within walking distance, making SOCIAL the ideal destination for tourists soaking up the Ottawa nightlife. For Ottawa-dwellers, the restaurant is a well-known hotspot of social activity, with clientele ranging from the business set to the sexy, urban party crowd.

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With culinary selections described as "Canadian Free-Style," the restaurant is known for its varied and innovative drink menus and top-notch creative cuisine. SOCIAL's offerings include classic, familiar dishes with an exciting dash of old and new world flavours, inspired by the genius of acclaimed Executive Chef Matthew Carmichael.

Carmichael is attuned to the relationship between food and culture, having written a thesis at the University of Ottawa about the role cuisine plays in tourism. Formerly a consultant with the Canadian Tourism Commission, Carmichael worked on product development opportunities in Canadian cuisine before embarking on a four-year adventure in Toronto. After spending several years working with world-renowned chef Susur Lee and later serving as sous-chef with other acclaimed culinary talents, Carmichael returned to the national capital. He now holds court in the kitchens of both e18hteen and SOCIAL, energizing a team of young, eager talent. Infusing his cuisine with our country's multiculturalism while emphasizing Canadian-sourced ingredients, Carmichael has definitely earned his reputation as one of Ottawa's hottest chefs.

In the last few years, SOCIAL has undergone some layout improvements. The lower lounge is now a private area, and some space was annexed from next door to open the S-Lounge - a half cocktail lounge, half dining room. In the summertime, the courtyard patio is the ultimate location for drinks, music and conversation. The restaurant also boasts three private lounge areas in a variety of different sizes, which can accommodate anything from large business meetings to intimate parties. Live music can be heard every Wednesday night in the summer - a mix of jazz, acid jazz and blues. An assortment of DJs are spinning on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights all year round.

Whether you’re heading out on a hot date or planning a gathering with friends, SOCIAL is the destination of choice for a unique vibe, great music and a mouthwatering menu. Creative, vibrant and true to its name, SOCIAL is a crown jewel among Ottawa’s downtown dining and nightlife options.

Reservations are recommended as far in advance as possible, particularly for large groups. Dinner reservations for up to eight guests can be made online; for larger parties, please contact the restaurant directly.