I really love fish and chips. Long before this website was even conceived, we had attempted to locate the best fish and chips in Ottawa by reading reviews, talking to friends, and randomly stopping at places that grabbed our attention. To be honest, it was actually the half-price wing specials that initially brought us through the doors, but we soon discovered that Patty’s Pub was actually a serious contender for best fish and chips in Ottawa. Surprisingly, not many of my friends even knew this restaurant existed, and there are even fewer online reviews that mention the classic English meal, but I have a theory as to why.
Patty’s serves perfect pub food, provided nobody's waiting for a table.
I can’t be the only person to have noticed this, as the regulars are clearly trying to keep this place a secret. Who can blame them – the more popular it gets, the more likely there will be a wait list. As soon as there's a wait list, the entire experience immediately becomes average. The food loses its lustre, the service becomes rushed, and most customers are probably left wondering why. Given this, there is simply no incentive for anyone who loves this restaurant to spread the word, and it’s a shame.
Patty’s Pub is dark, cosy, and family friendly. Prices are reasonable, the menu has great selection, and the bar features a different beer each month. When it’s not busy, I find the food difficult to beat (especially when it comes to the fish and chips). Unfortunately, we chose to get in line this particular visit, therefore contributing to the overall mediocrity of the night for myself and for everyone around us. Just let me say, if you were dining there that evening, please accept my sincerest apologies.
There are plenty of things that make Patty's Pub a good place to eat. Typical pub food, cozy atmosphere and characteristic pub decor. But that's also exactly why Patty's doesn't really make its mark in my mind as a prime Ottawa restaurant. This city has got to have hundreds of old, English or Irish style pubs. And each one boasts similar decor, menu, drink selection and atmosphere. You really have to possess a special trait, a unique offering to stick out, and I just haven't found it yet at Patty's. They do boast that they're the oldest Irish pub in Ottawa, which is unique. And the old, uneven planked floors and ancient bar have a lot of character, but don't really contribute to an amazing pub experience.
The food is pretty good; in fact, I'd say the fish and chips are great. Thin, crispy batter covering a modest portion of fish and a tasty and tangy accompanying slaw. The fries even looked homemade. Although the place was packed, the server didn't waste any time taking our order and bringing it out to us. And that's something that made me think. The place was packed - I mean, a line outside the door packed - and it was a Tuesday evening. So they have to be doing something right. Maybe every single person in the Glebe happened to want fish and chips that night. Maybe it was the chicken wing special that was on that evening. Or maybe there's just something about this pub that I'm missing. In any case, they serve good fish and chips, it's a fun place to spend a couple hours, and I know I'll be back in the future when I'm in the neighbourhood. But in the meantime if I want an Ottawa pub experience, I'll just visit one of the many in my neck of the woods.
(click to expand pictures)