It’s patio season: Time to head outside and reconnect with nature. Well… a more civilized version of nature with a full menu and an extensive wine list. Of course, not all patios are created equal. So, the Canada’s 100 Best judges have combed the country to find the patios we feel are worthy of your scarce free summer hours.
Check back regularly for our updating listings, or watch for the full list Thursday, July 2. And, while these are a collection of our favorites, if you have a patio you think we should know about, tweet us using #CanadasBestPatios!
1000 College St., Toronto, ON
bairrada.ca (647) 694-1172
At Bairrada, you’ll feel less like you’re at a downtown restaurant and more like you’re at the family table. In fact, you’d feel right at home going utensil-less at this Portuguese Churrasqueira, partaking in their legendary barbecued meats, grilled seafood and fish. So sit in the cool breeze and ample shade, at a spacious picnic table surrounded by tulip blossoms and trickling water, and enjoy.
41 Clinton St., Toronto, ON
giancarlotrattoria.com (416) 533-9619
In the heart of Toronto’s Little Italy, you’ll find an unmistakable rustic brick archway. Make your way through it to the back of the private patio, and you’ll find a hidden Toronto gem—Giancarlo. Sheltered from the busy streets behind a wall of green shrubbery, it offers unexpected privacy and a menu that is simple yet sublime. Chef Eugenia Barato offers up some can’t-miss dishes at this veteran restaurant.
777 Thurlow Street, Vancouver, BC
joefortes.ca (604) 669-1940
The boisterous spirit of legendary early 20th century Vancouver hero Joe Fortes is reflected in this restaurant that bears his name. It’s a grand environment, with a menu to match—including three tiers of fresh, locally-caught sea fare. Saunter up to the second floor patio and find a spot in Vancouver’s most desirable roof garden—an urban oasis featuring a living green wall, cozy outdoor fireplace and bustling horseshoe bar.
333 Menchions Mews, Vancouver, BC
liftbarandgrill.com (604) 689-5438
Lift can be found at the intersection of land and sea. A popular outpost in Coal Harbour that serves Pacific Northwest delicacies, the Lift patio is the perfect spot to sit and watch the luxury yachts that dot the shoreline as they bob up and down in clear blue waters under cotton-candy skies. The urban-chic restaurant offers unique grilled meats and seafood delicacies in an environment that’s tough to top.
25 Prince’s Island Park, Calgary, AB
river-cafe.com (403) 261-7670
If only all adventures into the woods resulted in finding a cozy lodging filled with the finest Canadian cuisine. At the heart of Prince Island Park, River Cafe offers up the enchantment of the forest, not to mention beautiful homestead eats. River sources locally from a network of more than 60 suppliers, and it also cultivates its own garden that produces many herbs, berries and edible flowers. Sit outside on the patio surrounded by tall, magnificent trees and relish the natural beauty.
The Chase rooftop
10 Temperance Street, 5th Floor, Toronto, ON
thechasetoronto.com (647) 348-7000
Owner Steven Salm spared no expense to make this penthouse a shining gem. And it was worth it—the sprawling cityscape views from its patio are remarkable. Chef Michael Steh spotlights modern Canadian cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh seafood and seasonal ingredients. Shared platters are encouraged, including favourites like chicken and halibut dishes.