When patio season is as brief as it is in many parts of Canada, you need to take advantage of it while it lasts. Here are our picks for some of the top patios to check out, whether you are overlooking the Pacific, the Atlantic, or anywhere in between.
Mission Hill – Kelowna
Mission Hill is hard to beat, given that it is literally located atop a hill that overlooks Lake Okanagan. With equally amazing food, award-winning wine, and scenery, it’s the ideal place for a romantic date night to wow your significant other and certainly worth a trip to the Okanagan. I’m getting starry-eyed just thinking about it.
River Café – Calgary
Year after year, River Café wins awards for being the best place to take out of town guests, as one of the most beautiful restaurant locations in Calgary. Located in the heart of Princes Island Park, it’s a lush little oasis in the middle of downtown, surrounded by the Bow River. The food matches the view too, a spectacular example of regional cuisine that uses only freshest ingredients with traditional techniques. If you can’t take time off for a summer vacation, lunch or dinner here is as close as it gets.
Grenade – Montreal
The beauty of Grenade is that it’s far enough from the beaten path for tourists to stumble on, so you get the authentic local neighbourhood vibe. It’s got inspired cocktails and small plates to suit your heart’s content. Plus, you don’t have to deal with the riff raff of the downtown crowd.
Joe Fortes – Vancouver
Joe Fortes has been a Vancouver institution for as long as anyone can remember. The rooftop patio is one of its greatest selling features. With a large, horseshoe-shaped bar and outdoor fireplace for those chillier evening, it’s easier to forget you’re in the hustle and bustle of the heart of Vancouver.
Bonavista Social Club – Newfoundland
Food inevitably tastes better when you’re overlooking the ocean at Bonavista Social Club. Situated right on the coast of Newfoundland, you can stare out at the Atlantic for as far as the eye can see. Combine that view with local favourites, like the moose burger and partridgeberry bread pudding, and you might just make it your home for the patio season.
Rouge – Calgary
Rouge’s backyard garden patio is about as gorgeous as it gets. It’s covered so you’re safe from the blazing sun or pouring rain, and you quite literally get to see where your food is coming from in its restaurant garden. If you’re looking to book a big summer event in Calgary (a wedding, perhaps?), it’s the place to go, for both the food and ambiance.
Confederation Lounge – Edmonton
Edmonton is not often described as a beautiful city, but when you’re gazing out at the river valley, it’s hard to argue otherwise. Sit back and relax at Confederation Lounge with a cocktail or glass of wine, and nibble away at some brown butter popcorn. It’s the perfect way to lounge away a summer afternoon.
Fat Pasha – Toronto
Fat Pasha on Dupont Street in Toronto might be an unassuming choice for a great patio, but don’t be fooled, it has got a secluded little hideaway for when eating inside just doesn’t seem like a desirable option. Its menu is also perfectly suited to the light eats you crave when the temperature soars. Hummus, falafel, fattoush; It has got all your Middle Eastern favourites.
The Chase – Toronto
If snazzy rooftop dining is your thing, then The Chase is the place. Get an incredible view of downtown in the 6ix while you indulge in East Coast and West Coast oysters, or butter poached lobster. Frankly, you can’t go wrong with any of its offerings, and the rooftop view will have you feeling like a rockstar.
Araxi – Whistler
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: dining in the mountains just makes the food you’re eating taste better, not that Araxi needs any help in that department.Whether it’s a Rittersport bar out on the hiking trail, or an elaborate chilled shellfish platter at a destination like Araxi in Whistler, it’s like your taste buds are hyper-attuned to all of the flavours coming at them. And at Araxi, you’ll definitely want to catch all of them. Treat yourself, why don’t ya?