One Day in Ottawa: actor Sarah McVie of CBC's 'Workin' Moms'

Where to eat and drink in the nation's capital

Photos courtesy of CBC and Wolf + Rabbit Entertainment, taken by Jackie Brown.

It's rare that a television series reaches the seventh season mark, but that's exactly what has happened with CBC's hit comedy Workin' Moms. The show's final season is currently airing on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. on CBC and CBC Gem—it will be available to watch on Netflix too as of Spring 2023—and its ensemble cast is as dynamic as ever.

Actor Sarah McVie plays Valerie Szalinsky on the comedy series and in 2021 she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series at the Canadian Screen Awards. Born and raised in Ottawa, she had many successful years working in the theatre world, playing mostly Shakespearean roles as a member of the prestigious Stratford Company, before venturing into film and television.

Though she now calls the Mount Dennis neighbourhood of Toronto home, she has an unabashed love of Ottawa and returns there often to spend time with family and friends. With quality time usually comes quality food and drink, so we asked Sarah McVie to share her favourite places to grab a bite when she's in the country's capital.

Here's what the Workin' Moms costar had to say.


The Ministry of Coffee on Wellington Street had just moved in a few years before I started Workin’ Moms and it’s still my go-to spot for breakfast when I’m in town. The coffee is top-notch and I can say with the full authority of a self-professed breakfast sandwich connoisseur that theirs is in my top 10 for deliciousness.

I also have a soft spot for these guys because they let Coco, my bichon frise, sit at my feet once when I needed her out with me in a warm place to caffeinate. I can’t say whether dogs are allowed. I don’t know. I think they should be everywhere but I’m aware that’s an extreme opinion.


For lunch I’m constantly craving pho, especially in those chilly winter months, and I’ve got two that I alternate between: Spring Roll House on Wellington St. and Pho Van Van on the corner of Wellington and Holland. My rule is that if I’ve earned it that day I get spring rolls too, but those are a treat.

The service at both these family run places is always joyous and hearty, much like the experience of sipping their flavourful broths.


[I love having dinner] at Arlo. The ultimate evening meal for me includes steak and oysters, potentially paired with other savoury sides, accompanied with a cold, dry, dirty martini.

The cozy and stylish interior space and a dynamite back patio, accompanied by flawless dishes and a phenomenal wine selection make Arlo my top pick. The option to buy wines from their bottle shop to enjoy at home is the icing on the cake.

I plan to throw a big party there one day to celebrate something really fabulous with all the people I love, like when I book the lead in a movie or get my own TV series.


The Elmdale Oyster House and Tavern was my regular watering hole for almost a decade. I love the way they’ve kept a sense of the old tavern and created a warm inviting space with the checkered floors and beautiful dark wood bar. I have to admit the availability of quality oysters served with choice condiments is a huge draw for me. 

The service has always been skilled and friendly. I wish I still had this spot down the street!

Watch: 'Workin' Moms' Season 7 trailer

Workin' Moms Season 7 airs on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. on CBC and CBC Gem and will be available to stream on Netflix by Spring 2023.