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Reserve a table
2
Mon, 4/22
20:00

Ratings and reviews

Travellers' Choice2023
RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Location and contact

Byward Market Area
0.2 miles from Rideau Canal National Historic Site
About
We are a modern, small-plates restaurant that serves full appetizer-sized portions of market-driven cuisine, all prepared from scratch with care in our open-concept kitchen overlooking our second floor dining room and kitchen bar. We use local, sustainable and seasonal products where possible, and believe in supporting area farmers as much as we can. This small-plate format allows guests to sample a few different dishes without having to commit to just one main course in a traditional restaurant. Celebrate occasions in our semi-private dining space, have a casual drink at our bar or plan your next event by booking the entire dining space.
PRICE RANGE
£18 - £59
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Lunch, Dinner
CUISINES
Wine Bar, Canadian
FEATURES
Gift Cards Available, Reservations, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service
Reviews (1,883)
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1,726 results
Traveller rating
1,064
473
134
38
17
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LanguageEnglish
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Traveller rating
1,064
473
134
38
17
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All reviews gnocchi hanger steak cheese plate charcuterie octopus fries pork soup small plates by the glass great wine tapas style byward market wine pairing attentive service dishes canada
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Reviewed 6 days ago

I visited on a quiet night and my sister & I were amongst the only ones in the restaurant. Skipped the appetizer and for the small plates I had the ramp gnocchi which came with a very good blue cheese sauce that was very rich....The next plate was the grilled sirloin with well seasoned french fries. It was delicious and the fires were superb. Service was good and at a good pace.More

Date of visit: April 2024
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Reviewed 29 December 2023

OK - this spot is expensive, I'll say that first. For five of us our bill was nearly $500. But - we had a really lovely night! The service was exceptional. Like the best server I've had in years. The food was also really tasty...- we split dishes but the stand outs were the steak, bread and butter, and the beet salad. All super tasty. I really liked the vibe here too - cozy, casual with an air of fancy without being stuffy or uncomfortable. Will be back!More

Date of visit: December 2023
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Reviewed 7 October 2023

Fabulous food with surprising ingredients. Good music and excellent service. Definitely good value. A bright space. Interesting cocktails.

Date of visit: October 2023
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Reviewed 3 October 2023 via mobile

Innovative dishes, exquisitely prepared. The scallops, beef, cheese plate and grilled peaches and goat cheese are all fabulous. Generous portions 1-2 plates per person to share is ample. Be sure to check out their innovative cocktails- the three sheets to the wind is a great...version of a negroni and the strawberries & tea was light and really refreshing. The service is excellent.More

Date of visit: October 2023
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Reviewed 20 September 2023

Enjoyable tapas style dinner. The food was all tasty and beautifully presented. Good selection of wines by the glass as well as bottles. Enjoyable evening

Date of visit: September 2023
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Reviewed 9 September 2023

As someone who eats out regularly in Toronto and Montreal, I really had higher hopes for this spot. It didn't fail to disappoint. My colleagues and I shared six dishes which were all just, well, okay. The dishes showed some imagination and were tasty, but...nothing a competent cook couldn't easily put together at home. At $25 a plate, I was expecting more. As for the atmosphere, the dining area looked tired and unloved. The entrance way was unkempt and uninviting. Our table was uncovered and a little sticky, and the chairs were incredibly uncomfortable (faster turnover?). Compared to Henri in Montreal at which I dined just days earlier, Play Food & Wine plays in a different league, the minor league. On the bright side, the staff were wonderful and attentive.More

Date of visit: September 2023
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed 8 August 2023 via mobile

The menu at Play is of simple appetisers followed by 2-3 small plates each for main course. All the food was interesting and tasty, well presented and served in a timely manner. Small selection of good wines by the glass.

Date of visit: August 2023
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Reviewed 4 August 2023

The best dinner so far during our Canada holiday. Very tasteful dishes, good wine and great cocktails. The service was also very good.

Date of visit: August 2023
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Reviewed 16 July 2023 via mobile

There was nothing left to be desired! We made a reservation based on seeing it was close to our hotel, and then read some good reviews… MY GOD!!! What a great meal! Two of us shared he octopus, mushroom croquette, ling cod, and gnocchi, and...it was perfection! Only regret was that we didn’t eat st the kitchen counter! We will definitely go again and again upon returning to Ottawa!More

Date of visit: July 2023
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Reviewed 14 July 2023

We enjoyed a wonderful dinner in Ottawa at Play. We tried five different small plates, each of which was beautifully presented and prepared. We highly recommend this restaurant to folks looking for a delicious and thoughtful menu and attentive service

Date of visit: July 2023
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Reviewed 24 June 2023

The food is excellent and interesting. Ask for a seat at the kitchen bar. You can see the chefs prepare the food and it makes the visit extra special. The servers are very knowledgeable about the wines and wine pairings for different menu items. You...can never go wrong if you follow their recommendations. The mustard and chutneys on the charcuterie board were awesome! the flavours explode in your mouth. The chefs and servers are very customer service oriented and I cannot say enough good things about the service. The desserts are particularly interesting. the dessert with pears, blue cheese etc was excellent. We ALWAYS visit this restaurant when we go to Ottawa or even drive through Ottawa. I cannot say enough good things about it.More

Date of visit: June 2023
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Reviewed 10 June 2023 via mobile

Great atmosphere, the food selection was excellent and the service first class. The wine list was extensive and reasonably priced. This resturaunt was a highlight during our stay in Ottawa visiting from Australia. Highly recommend giving it a try…

Date of visit: June 2023
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Reviewed 4 June 2023 via mobile

We had an excellent lunch yesterday at Play….the food was top notch and our server was fabulous..highly recommend it for lunch ..I had dinner there years ago and it did not disappoint the sending time around

Date of visit: June 2023
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Reviewed 3 June 2023 via mobile

The food was excellent- we shared 4 small plates and that was plenty and still have room for sharing a delicious dessert. Highly recommend.

Date of visit: June 2023
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Reviewed 23 May 2023

Play used to be our favourite restaurant but it’s going downhill fast. For $25 per plate I got five very small pieces of cold steak with fries that had been cooked in old oil, and smoked duck that had obviously been plated ahead and put...in the fridge. Cold and unappetizing, and did not look anything like the picture posted on their website. We brought our own wine, $25. Corkage fee, had four plates plus one dessert to share, $185. With tax and tip. This isn’t inflation, it’s price gouging.More

Date of visit: May 2023
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
Pathfinder486517
31 August 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Keyko1 | Reviewed this property |
no
0
Votes
andresi560
9 December 2017|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from caravino1 | Reviewed this property |
I recommend a reservation. We did not have one, but were able to sit at the bar, which we enjoy. So it wasn't a problem for us, if you want a table, make a reservation.
1
Vote
bdc204
29 May 2017|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Sarah W | Reviewed this property |
Hi From what I can remember, it is not wheel chair accessible. The restaurant is on the ground floor but you have to go up a couple of steps to enter.
0
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PLAY FOOD & WINE, Ottawa - Byward Market Area - Updated 2024 Restaurant Reviews, Menu, Prices, & Reservations - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Play Food & Wine

Yes, Play Food & Wine is taking precautions against COVID-19. A full list is available within the "safety precautions" section of this page.

Play Food & Wine is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4