The Best of Ottawa – Rockcliffe Dairy Bar

“I doubt whether the world holds for anyone a more soul-stirring surprise than the first adventure with ice cream.” – Heywood Broun

It’s hard to imagine a more ideal ice cream shop than the Rockcliffe Dairy Bar (or Bar Laitier Rockcliffe).  This little purveyor of frozen treats and nostalgia anchors the Rockcliffe Pavilion in Rockcliffe Park, carrying on a tradition that a local couple started back in 1929.

There’s nothing fancy about the place, just a selection of classic ice cream flavours (tiger tail, mint chocolate chip, pralines and cream) at incredibly low prices.  Our quartet can each get a cone (make mine a double), and it’s just $10.  Try doing that at your local gelateria.

To make it even more better, the place is run by the boys scouts.  That’s right, your double scoop waffle cone helps support our brave young men in uniform.  It’s actually your civic duty to eat their ice cream, and the more often, the better.

As if that’s not enough, Rockcliffe Park also happens to be one of the prettiest spots in the entire city.  There’s nothing better than enjoying your ice cream while standing in the Rockcliffe Pavilion (circa 1917), looking down on the confluence of the Gatineau and Ottawa rivers.  Toss in a sunset over the Gatineau Hills and you’ve achieved perfection.

You can find Rockcliffe Park on the Rockcliffe Parkway.  Just head east on Sussex, past the Prime Minister’s residence and Rideau Hall.  The dairy bar is open most evenings during the summer – get there a bit before sunset to avoid disappointment.

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2 thoughts on “The Best of Ottawa – Rockcliffe Dairy Bar

  1. I loved this post and shared it with a DJ from 99.7 FM who recently moved from Montreal to Ottawa and was looking for tips on great places to bring her visiting friends. I’d also like to share your photos on an internal website where I work where we are starting to share informal tips on great things in our area etc. May I have your permission to share the photos from this page?

  2. Sadly, I’ve come to the conclusion that the dairy bar isn’t in operation. I’ve visited the park about a dozen times this summer, each time hoping that the sign would be out, only to find the doors locked.

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