We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

Avant-Garde Bar & Gift Shop

Byward Market Area
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
135 1/2 Besserer St, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6A7, Canada
+1 613-321-8908
17:30 - 02:00
Open now
See all hours
Tue - Sat 17:30 - 02:00
More Info
Add Photo Write a Review

13 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Showing 11: English reviews
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
24 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 November 2016

Good for live events and the general quirky atmosphere which unusual in the centre of Ottawa. It is family owned, they have a good collection of eastern European spirits and vodkas. Not expensive. Their finger food is quite nice too.

Thank jamious0
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2016

I can't speak for the food, but the drinks we had there were reasonably priced and special. A very good selection of vodka which is served with a side of sliced pickles. The bar itself is pretty basic and not flashy. The atmosphere is very cool & nonchalant. My friends & I enjoyed a fabulous night there. Definitely a unique... More 

Thank Olga T
1 review
Reviewed 16 October 2015 via mobile

Only bar in Ottawa that is unique and womderful. An honest bar with great local acts. Good beer selection with Baltika and Steam Whistle and more.

Thank David M
Potsdam, New York
Level Contributor
170 reviews
118 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2014

An authentic Russian bar in downtown Ottawa - try the cool cocktails (exquisitely made) and try the vodka kept in the freezer. Fun live music (a bit off the beaten trail) and a quirky environment.

2 Thank Thomas M
Level Contributor
183 reviews
133 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 184 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 January 2012

A-G was for several years my favorite downtown bar in Ottawa featuring good food, drinks, service and prices in a fun atmosphere for inviting friends. Sadly after the past two or three times it has become clear that it has little to recommend it anymore. The most glaring issue is the service, which has only 1 server for the entire... More 

3 Thank J P
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2010

Excellent bar that stimulates great conversations and debates about art, design, history, and everything in between. Not only has the most delicious borscht I have ever tried, but its drink menu is super impressive with unique cocktails and wide assortment or spirits (specialty - vodka, of course!).

3 Thank g3st4lt
Jiaozuo, China
Level Contributor
112 reviews
90 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2009

I like the food here, and the prices, but I can't really handle too much of the giant screen playing 80s music all the time. Don't get the Thai iced coffee....

Thank starlaOttawa
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
Reviewed 18 June 2008

this oddity is pretty interesting. all russian. was that legal absinthe i saw them drinking? i dont know..

Thank A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
Reviewed 2 February 2008

Wicked great arthouse bar.

Thank A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
Reviewed 18 January 2008

On Besserer near Dalhousie, two blocks East from the Rideau Centre and across from Les Suites/Novotel. Specializes in Russian and European beers, this tiny venue also features live Jazz and an exhibit gallery. A great place to escape with a book and enjoy a good beer. www.avantgardebar.com

Thank A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook

Travellers who viewed Avant-Garde Bar & Gift Shop also viewed

Ottawa, Ontario
Ottawa, Ontario

Been to Avant-Garde Bar & Gift Shop? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing
Improve this listing

Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Bar, European, Russian
Open Hours
17:30 - 02:00
17:30 - 02:00
17:30 - 02:00
17:30 - 02:00
17:30 - 02:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 135 1/2 Besserer St, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6A7, Canada
  • Location: Canada  >  Ontario  >  Ottawa>  > Byward Market Area
  • Neighbourhood: Byward Market Area
  • Phone Number: +1 613-321-8908

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Avant-Garde Bar & Gift Shop staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?