Pub Italia

Pub ItaliaPub Italia
Pub ItaliaPub Italia
Bar, Eatery

434½ Preston St
Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 4N4

(613) 232-2326 | map

View: Place Reviews | Events
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 25
Photo of Conrad
4.38/5  rDev +15%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This is my go-to place for new beers. Even my wife likes it, and she's not a beer fan. The "abbey" motif is well done, with tables, bar stools, benches, booths, and seasonal patio. In the heart of Little Italy, it is big on Italian food, my favourite being the thin crust pizza.
This is where I had my first Westvleteran. Mmmm.

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

This used to be our go to place, until someone put us onto L'Autre Oiel.

There is a good selection of beers, but the taps can be a little disappointing.

Bottle selection is good, and there is always something to try.

The place can get crowded and hot during the summer, and it is definitely cool in the winter.

The food is okay, Italian and Irish mix.

The staff is friendly and service is usually pretty good, but when it is really packed it can suffer.

Prices are a little all over the map. Some beers can be quite reasonable, others quite pricey.

Overall, not a bad place to hang out, the patio is a nice option on a summer afternoon or evening.

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Photo of SEG1975
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Visited 2/2/13. Pretty good atmosphere for a nice bar in Little Italy. Place is packed up until 9:00 or so and then crowd starts to die down. Modest offerings on tap and way too many ciders for my liking, but the selection of bottles is very impressive. Some brews on display in "The Abbey" which can get pricey quickly. Bottles weren't too expensive, a bit higher than elsewhere, but due to the selection, don't mind paying a bit more. Very friendly wait staff. Definately worth checking out while in Ottawa.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

I had a chance to visit this place for the first time the other day. It is in an interesting looking building and the outside is decked out with all kinds of flags and beer signs. The inside is very dark and a little worn down. It almost feels like you're inside of a boat. Anyways... they have a great selection of beer and even some that you can't get at the LCBO or the "beer store". (we're pretty limited here in Ontario) The prices however are on the high side. You can expect to pay 13$ plus tax and tip for a small bottle of chimay for example. The service was friendly and prompt. I didn't try the food but other around were eating and it looked fairly decent. There aren't a whole lot of decent beer bars in Ottawa, so this is a fairly decent choice if you're in the area and looking for something different beer wise.

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

This was one of the places my friend was nice enough to take me to during my visit last Thanksgiving. It seems confused however, a Belgian beer bar in Little Italy? Whatever. Waitresses were cute, and there is a massive bottle list. If I recall, the tap offerings weren't out of this world, but the bottle list more than makes up for it. You can go look at their bottles, as they are kept in fridges in an other room. For some reason my friend wanted to do this, so off we went to look at the bottles. I don't remember why, but I guess it's like those fancy sea food restaurants where they let you pick out your own fish or own lobster? Definitely worth checking out. One of the better beer bars in Ottawa.

Inside tip: go here in summer time, sit out on the patio, and watch the beautiful women walk by. What more could you ask for?

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Photo of Swedes21
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Home of the BEER BIBLE, Pub Italia is always a nice spot to head down and get a bite to eat!
The thing that keeps me coming back is the 'BEER BIBLE' where the selections are unlimited.
You can easily walk in and travel the world and sample many different kinds of beer in one sitting.

The food is your reg pub food with decent sandwiches and good pizza's!

One of the best parts is that most beers have their own individual glass! Better, if you like the glass you can go next door (may have to ask the manager for access) and buy any glass they have (if your girlfriends purse isn't big enough to take the one from the table!!!).

Great spot for great eats and an AMAZING beer list!

Go enjoy the BEER BIBLE!

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Photo of papat444
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Came here last Saturday for supper to cap off our day trip to the capital.

As we head to the pub, i see the store which looked really cool. It was closed and then i forgot to ask the server to check it out. No biggie. Coming in, i notice it's a bit dim in here. Lots of neat medieval-style decorations with paintings, banners & drapes. Vines climbing on the ceiling and lots of wood paneling make it interesting for sure. Only thing is the accent of church-like decor made us a little uncomfortable. Major pet peeve was the lack of A/C. It was too hot and stuffy so we asked it we could switch to the patio and there was one table left.

They have lots of beer available for sure but i found myself wanting. Lots of LCBO representation with a decent amount of Ontario micros though i would have liked to see more choices on draft. Not much private imports either. They have lots to choose from but i just wasn't moved by it. Took a Lug Tread Lager with some pesto spaghetti. My wife took a strawberry Fruli with a half pizza. Emma shared with us. The food was pretty average stuff IMO. Good but noting more really.

I was happy to try this place but i didn't fully enjoy myself here. Not a bad place per se but i don't think i'll be coming back.

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Photo of uno99
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Stayed in OT one night for biz, so I figured I would take the chance to hit up their beer destination.

A: This is a large bar and you can tell somone went thought alot of time and money to make it look right. It's an intresting mix of belgium and italy that sort of works. tables and chairs didnt seem the highest quality but were reasonably comfy. bathrooms were clean as well.

S: The cute waitress I had didnt seem to know much about the beer, so after I was done my meal I made my way to the bar. The bar man wasent super talkative but friendly enough. his beer knowlege was better than the average bartender as you would expect, but not enough to make reccomendations or select appropriate glassware.

S: superb tap selection is what really stands out here. Delerium tremins on tap? where else in ontario are you going to get that? I recall about 30 taps available and apparently 200 bottles. They had a 2006 thomas hardy's that I just had to have since its out of production now and it was their last bottle...

F: I ordered one of their specialty pizza's which came to my table unnaturally quick. it wasent that great either. the dough was kind of off tasting and cardbord like and the toppings werent great either. the bread and oil that I was served as a free apetizer however was quite good.

V: I think the pizza was $8-9, Rochefort 8 was $9 and the last ever bottle of thomas hardy's you'll ever buy here was $13. pretty reasonable I'd say.

Quite a nice place and I'd definitly reccomend it to anyone visiting ottawa. I think next time I'll slip over to QC for somthing a little more crafty.

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Photo of berley31
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I used to live in Ottawa and had always made Pub Italia a regular hang-out, but I'll review it based on my most recent visit, which was a Tuesday evening.

We arrived at 7:00 pm with the intention of enjoying several beers and some food. We had been by the day before and asked an employee when they were open until, and were told 1:00 am. So, we had several beers... they have a large selection here, easily the best in Ottawa, with many Belgians that can't be found at the LCBO. Our waitress was young and not beer-experienced, which wouldn't be a big deal, but she ACTED like she knew beer. When my friend ordered a Westmalle Tripel, she said they were out but that if he wanted a similar beer, she recommended the Rochefort 10. Wtf?

We split several food items, which were all really good. The only really negative part of the experience was at last call, which happened around 12:00 am. We ordered our last beer, and then at 12:10 were given our bill. She was back at 12:15 asking for our credit card to pay. By 12:25, the employees were waiting at the bar, talking, and kept looking over at us, obviously annoyed. They even started turning off lights by 12:35 or so. If you're a restaurant with posted hours until 1:00 am, it's really not professional to be glaring at customers who have been there 5+ hours and spending over 150$ on beer and food when you aren't technically closed yet.

I'd still go back if I lived here, as their beer selection really can't be beat in Ottawa, and I love the food and environment. But the service took quite a hit this visit, which isn't encouraging.

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Photo of Ralphus
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

Pub Italia is a bit of an odd mix of styles.. living in Ottawa's little Italy, but appearing more as a Belgian abbey than anything else. Regardless it's quite popular and definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. There's three main areas: the bar with some booths and tables closeby, a central eating area and in the summer a good sized patio is open.

The beer selection is quite varied but much of it is available at the LCBO. The markup is reasonable though. Selection leans towards Belgian's but there's a good mix of everything. Some local beers are available including Mill St and Beaus but that might be all. The saving grace is Fullers ESB on tap which always seems to be amazingly fresh.

The servers are typically young women with no real idea about the beer, but they are friendly and provide good service. The bar tenders are knowledgeable, enthusiastic about beer and will come to the table if you have a question or order something they find interesting.

During good weather in the summer the outdoor patio can get busy but I have never had to wait for a table. And I guess if you had to, you could stop by next door and check out the beer paraphenalia store while you wait.

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Photo of mrmanning
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Located in the heart of Little Italy's restaurant row, Pub Italia announces itself from a block away with multiple beer signs out front, which shine bright in the night. The interior is made to look like an abbey, and there are bottles on display everywhere, as well as other beer memorabilia. Our server (a former Londoner, yeah!) was friendly and knew about the beers she was serving us. She also took the time to chat, which was nice. The beer selection was a large mix of Ontario micros on tap and in bottles, with a seemingly endless Belgian selection, including some harder to find bottles like Deus. On the down side, the pizza came missing the pizza sauce and our appetizer plate had things on it that were not listed on the menu, including two things that we didn't even like, so that seemed like a waste. I'll go back and give the food a try one more time when I'm in the area, but I'll definitely return for the beer.

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Photo of exbrit
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

Found myself in Ottawa for a few days so on tried this place out based on reviews here.

Firstly the selection of beer is quite good. They have tons of taps and a large selection of belgian bottles. That's about it for this place though.

Service was lacking. We had a group of 4 and it took forever to get waited on. The server came very infrequently.

The food was not very inspired. Had a pizza which was very plain tasting. The others in my group were not overly thrilled with the food either.

The atmosphere is quite remarkable. A belgian themed italian restaurant. Unique place.

As far as the beer goes as i said its a good selection considering the province. Ontario is pretty sad. I wouldn't compare this place with beer bars ive been to in michigan but for Ontario it is pretty good. Had a st. ambroise oatmeal stout a great lakes devils pale ale (decent) and a seasonal offering from beaus wich i have to say is quite good.

All in all i would go here again for the beer but not for the food wich was overpriced and plain

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Pub Italia has the largest selection of beer in Ottawa. Period. That isn't to say they have the best, which, in my humble opinion, they most certainly do not.

It's kind of a strange place. Smack dab in the middle of Ottawa's little Italy, it's called pub Italia but it has an Italian/Belgian theme, two countries I seldom think about at the same time. There are mussels and pasta/pizza on the menu, it has a church/abbey theme and it has a pretty extensive beer menu (available on their website). There's a restaurant, a bar and a beer merchandise shop next door.

The food menu is not great, especially when you consider the other eateries in little Italy. Overpriced pasta and pizza, not imaginative and not particularly tasty.

Can't complain too much about the service, it's eye candy. The restaurant staff don't know much about beer, but at least they seem to have an idea of what they have, I never had to repeat my order for them. They're staffed almost entirely by very good looking college/university girls and they all seemed cheery enough.

As for the beer menu, the only reason to really go out of your way for this place, it's a strange sort of selection. I found myself flipping through it about 10 times positive that there was something interesting but never actually finding it. Their beers of the month were good, some of the LCBO seasonals and some harder to find stuff for Ottawa (like Deus) but were really expensive. Otherwise, you're looking at a whole lot of similar tasting lagers, including a large selection of central and Eastern European swill. Who made this menu and how did they make their choices? So many choices from Belgium and yet Barbar made the list? Biggest beef is the lack of local selection. No Scotch-Irish, no Mill Street, no remotely interesting Canadian brews aside from Wellington and Beau's. WTF man? Why open a beer bar and refuse to support local breweries or even wider Canadian brews? Same goes for American beer, only real craft choices were Liberty Ale and Sam Adams I think. Saving grace - ESB on tap, bloody lovely. And, props for serving beers in their proper glasses when available.

Overall, a decent selection for the city, but really frustrating for the reasons mentioned above, not to mention some pretty high prices. I'll probably be back.

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Photo of Quej
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

On my first look at the bar I nearly had goosebumps. The sheer amount of quality and rare draught beer available is astonishing. The offer a huge selection of Belgian beers which are quite hard to find, though the price makes it harder to enjoy. The look of this place since it has been renovated is extravagant. The old abbey was nice, but the new area I enjoy even more. There are no tables in this bar, only old pews from churches which make the benches in the booths which cover this bar. Beautiful place.
I had a good experience with the service, it was fast and helpful. I have tried several plates and the food here is really quite good, but is outshone by its incredible beer selection.
A great place I ought to go more often.

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Photo of Bestuurder
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

An excellent place to find some of the rarest beers in the world. If you can't find it in any LCBO or other restaurant/pub, you can guaranteed find it here.

The atmosphere is excellent, good ambience, without seeming dark. The patio (seasonal) is a refreshing area to sit and bask in the summer sun with friends, and simply watch the pedestrians and traffic go by.

The quality is unquestionable. The only issue I have ever had was ordering a Sinha Stout (Lion Stout in other parts of the world) that I didn't think was all that fresh, since it had some sedimentation in the glass. But was replaced as soon as I even mentioned the issue about sedimentation.

The service, at times, leaves something to be desired. It really depends on who is working that day. A couple of the servers have gone on to bigger and better things, and I honestly miss them. But, not to say that the service is horrible, just try and go on a day that isn't too busy, because you might get ignored.

The food is honestly NOT the reason you will go to Pub Italia or The Abbey, its the beer, and the beer alone. I sometimes order the chicken or a nice porterhouse, but rarely will I order anything other than that. But each and every time, the food is very good.

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Photo of dherling
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

The place is seperated into three sections. The first is a store where you can buy memorobilia (shirts, glasses, coasters, etc.). The second is the pub and restaurant, the third is an abbey, a Belgian style bar. There is also at outdoor seating area, but it was January in canada, so that wasn't happening. The atmosphere is wonderful inside, lots of religous relics, stained glass windows, funky seating, pew style benches and tables, lots of old wood and abbey paraphanalia.

The service I had inside was damn near incompetent. I aksed my waiter for some help, I wanted a beer that was good, heavy, from canada, and not available in the US. He first brought me a Molson product, then a well intentioned new Canadian brewery that turned out to be macro lager swill, and then finally brought me a La Fin Du Monde with great satisfaction on his face. I didn't have the heart to tell him the one decent beer he brought me had been available in the US for over a decade. Would not have beenso bad, but I specifically showed him a list of the top Canadian beers as ranked by BA, and told him specifically no Unibroue. Oh well.

36 taps, 200 in bottles, outisde of Unibroue and St. Ambroise, no top Canadien beers. Lots of Belgians and Germans and even some decent US brews. Check out their web site for a full selection. If you're in Ottawa looking for good beers, this is THE place to go. I was specifically looking for good Canadian beer, and was dissapointed.

The food was good for pub food, my mussels were actually pretty tasty. The pastas looked decent, but I wasn't a fan of the bland pizza offerings. I felt the prices were good on the whole, but hey, it's Canadian money.

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Photo of bcollar
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I've been going to Pub Italia faithfully for a number of years because of their unique atmosphere, their selection of beers (both common and uncommon), and their decent food quality.

First --> their atmosphere: It's unique, very unique. Everytime I walk into the building, I get the feeling that I've travelled back in time to the Middle Ages. If you explore the building further, you'll come across a Belgian style pub called the "Abbey". The Abbey has a slightly different selection of beers and mostly focuses on ones originating from Belgium.

Second --> their food quality... Well -- this establishment could definitely improve the quality of some menu items; However, there are a number of choices that in my opinion are very good; including the pizza's and the baked pasta's. If you enjoy dessert, you won't be disappointed, I have yet to find one on the menu that isn't great.

Third --> their service: This can be hit and miss depending on when you go. I've had servers that are clueless about beer, and I've had the opposite as well. In general, if you go in expecting exceptional service, you might leave somewhat disappointed.

Fourth, and most important --> the beer! This pub offers everything from Corona to Orval! They have roughly 170 bottles and around 35 taps. You won't find more taps anywhere in Ottawa (as far as I know). And the only other location that can compete with their bottle selection is "The Vineyard". Periodically, they also bring in something a little different (the "Beer of the Month" and "Draft of the Month"); these can be hit or miss depending on what they have. Price wise, their bottles can range anywhere from about $4-10; their beers on tap are all quite reasonably priced.

Overall, if you do want to experience something a little different when visiting Ottawa; this would be the place to go.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.43/5  rDev -10%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Nice selection of bottle beers and taps for Ottawa (over 150 bottles and probably closed to 30 taps). The Abbey section is the place to go since they have some rare beers not on the regular menu (Cantillon, Rogue). Prices are what I expected for imported bottles. Food is a notch above average for Italian fares. Décor is great and patio is great during the summer months. The only downside is the clueless staff. For out of towner, you should note that this is a bit off downtown attraction and you should plan for cab fare before heading there.

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Photo of Goldorak
3.58/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

As Francis mentionned, for anyone in the area this place is Beer Mecca. Since Montreal has little to no "real Beer Bar" because of government restrictions, I decided to take the 417 down to our allegedly sleepy capital city to check it out. The complex is split in 3, the first part being thestore, which sells breweryana of every kind, from tap heads to glasses to parasols and T-shirts. Not bad.

We then proceded to the restaurant area, which is a cross between a church, an Irish pub, a medieval castle and an italian restaurant. What? Surprisingly, it works. Besides, with a Beer menu like that in Canada, I wouldn't care if shit rained from the ceiling (just put a coaster on top of my glass and I'll be fine). You'll pay a hefty price for the good stuff, but you'll get what you want. Plenty of Belgians, a few tap selections, but nothing over the top. They could use a bit more local representation, and a little less lagers. They did have St-Ambroise Oatmeal stout on tap if memory serves, but the rest of the taps went downhill from there.

Food was so-so. I wasn't very fond of my seafood pasta platter, the bread wasn't very fresh and the bruschetta entree seemed a little off. But having a nice Westmalle dubbel to go with it was awesome.

We had dessert in the third section, the "Abbey", a more bar-like atmosphere that has somewhat of a Belgian flair, if by that you mean a few flags (anyone ever notice the Belgian flag has the same colours as the old Canucks uniforms?), monk outfits on the walls and Stella Artois signs everywhere. They had the standard Interbrew taps, with Leffe, Stella, Hoeg and kriek. They did have a few goodies not offered in the resto area, like a small fridge filled with Cantillon. I was so happy I almost cried. The waitress who took my order laughed out loud looking at me all giddy like a schoolgirl while she was pouring my glass.

Speaking of service, the resto and bar area were like night and day. Our food waitress was 100% clueless about Beer, and came back twice to make sure she got our orders right. She was drop dead gorgeous however, so my single friend was more than happy to see her again and again. The girl behind the taps next door was pretty easy on the eyes as well, but she knew her stuff, and I saw her pour perfect pints, rinse every glass and make sure the head was good and thick.

All and all, I really liked it here at Pub Italia, I wish a place like this was closer to home!

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Photo of francisweizen
4.16/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

This is a nice place, although it is quite a walk from "downtown" ottawa. This pub is in the little italy district of Ottawa, and from the bottom of Bank street (The Barley Mow), it's quite a walk here, let me tell you! The atmosphere is nice and very restaurant like. The bar is long and nice, and the Belgian flare that they took when decorating this place, really shows. The quality of the ales here was nice (we got some tap Fullers London Porter) but the prices here were expensive as all hell! The tap selection was decent, but not better than other places we visited in Ottawa. I guess the stand out thing about this place is their big bottled beer menu. They had nearly 200 bottled ales, but the prices were expensive, and there were no brews represented that are not -easily- available in the states. Perhaps many of these ales are unavailable in Canada, but for someone like me, the beer menu was not that impressive, to be honest. The service was fast and friendly and although we had no food here, everything looked and smelled wonderful (although again, the food items were a bit pricey). Definately worth checking out whilst in Ottawa. A good pub to a US beer veteran, but probably an amazing place to most Canadians.

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Photo of Popsinc
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This is not only a must if and when you're in Ottawa, it's THE place in Ottawa.

Pub Italia is a great beer bar/restaurant. Divided into 2 sections, there is a "pub" side and an "abbey" side. The pub is obviously in the design of a more tradiational Irish pub while the Abbey is more along the lines of something you might find in Belgium. The beer selection also varies depending on which you chose. In the pub you will find more English/Irish/Scotish selection on tap with a vast bottle menu spanning other coutries such as Canada, Germany, Belgium & Italy. On the other side at the Abbey, it's pretty much Belgian fare...Achel, Rochefort, Delerium, Maredsous, Oravl etc etc. The selection is good on both sides, somehwere in the range of 150 total.

The food menu is the exact same on both sides of the establishment, which is not a bad thing. Mostly made up of interesting thin-crust pizzas and unique pasta dishes, you can also find some good sandwiches, salads and starters. I thought the food was good, but not above average.

If that isn't enough, there is a store one door over. They sell glasses, clothing and barware all at reasonable prices.

All in all this is a top notch establishment with a fine selection of beer. Great comfortable interior AND young, HOT waitresses to boot. Yeah. Don't let the name fool ya, this is a top notch beer bar. Check it out when in Ottawa.

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Pub Italia in Ottawa, ON, Canada
Place rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 25 ratings