- Type: Shopping, Neighborhood/Area
- Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
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Sitting at the heart of downtown Ottawa, the beloved ByWard Market is one of the country's oldest and largest public markets. Throughout the year, you'll find local vendors selling everything from souvenir trinkets to maple sugar candy to handmade cold-weather necessities like hats and mittens. This is the ideal place for fresh produce or a cheap meal-on-the-go; during the summer, outdoor stalls sell local favorites like poutine (French fries topped with cheese curd and gravy) and Beaver Tails (fried dough covered in everything from chocolate to cheese). Surrounding the main market building -- home to the Moulin de Provence Bakery, a favorite snack stop of President Obama -- are numerous boutiques, restaurants and nightlife spots. Don't worry if you're visiting in the winter -- those same yummy stalls stay open, but they just move indoors.
Most visitors agree that you have to stop by this market during your stay. According to one TripAdvisor user, "Shops and vendors were interesting and diverse. Where else can you get a beavertail, homemade ice cream, and an Obama cookie all in one afternoon? The street performers were fun, and the entertainment at night around the restaurants pretty darn good."
The ByWard Market is open every day and free to explore, but you might want to consider bringing some extra cash in case something strikes your fancy. For more information, check out the market's website.