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.
While these are a collection of our favorites, if you have a patio you think we should know about, tweet us using #CanadasBestPatios!
Bonavista Social Club
Upper Amherst Cove, Bonavista, NL
(709) 445-5556 bonavistasocialclub.com
The patio at Bonavista certainly lives up to its name, with wide ocean views that offer glimpses of icebergs, whales and dolphins. But the food is as good as the spectacular vistas. Be sure to sample the East Coast twists on pizzas and game meats—which are especially popular features. Afterwards, take a stroll around the property, in the gardens and greenhouse, where much of the produce on the menu is grown.
1177 Marinaside Crescent, Vancouver, BC
(604) 681-4144 provencevancouver.com
A recent renovation has rejuvenated this Southern French Mediterranean restaurant, bringing added sophistication and modern accents. From its vantage point at street level, the patio offers prime views of the marina and the historic beauty of Yaletown. It’s a great location to soak up the sights while basking in the aroma of fresh Provençal fare.
Il Posto Nuovo
148 Yorkville Ave., Toronto, ON
(416) 968-0469 ilposto.ca
Down a narrow alleyway you’ll find a refuge that’s been conjuring up rustic Italian fare since the 1980s. The courtyard patio, with its broad canary canopy, is a welcome sight for those seeking spacious retreat from the blazing summer sun. All the classics are on offer here, with grilled seafood, homemade pastas and fresh fish being just a few of the highlights.
1190 Victoria Dr., Vancouver, BC
(604) 336-1803 viateverepizzeria.com
You may have to wait a little for your authentic, Neapolitan-style pizza, but it’s worth it—especially if you can find some space on the cozy backyard patio. It only seats about 20, but it has plenty of shade and privacy thanks to the tall wooden fence. It’s a great place to sit and bask in wonderful aromas and dream about an Italian getaway.
361 Rue Saint-Paul Est, Montreal, QC
(514) 544-0446 crownsalts.com/lebremner
Among Le Bremner’s many not-to-be-missed offerings, Chef Danny Smiles and Chef Chuck Hughes are known for the fantastic new twists on seafood they conjure up in their subterranean digs. The back patio—a private cobblestone retreat with amber wood seating— offers plenty of shade, not to mention fantastic views of Old Montreal’s architecture.
1696 Duranleau Street, Vancouver, BC
(604) 687-4400 bridgesrestaurant.com
Bridges’ lemon-coloured building and umbrellas are certainly unmistakable. This great escape offers a wood-decked waterfront spot with two tiers of outdoor seating. There’s ample space, and unending views of the water, sky and city. The blend of city life and sea, not to mention the fresh West Coast seafood fare, keep diners coming back for more.
Driftwood Café (at the Wick)
500 Osprey Lane, Box 250, Tofino, BC
(250) 725-3100 wickinn.com/driftwood-cafe
The beachfront patio at the Driftwood Café offers fresh, sustainable seafood favourites, served to a soundtrack of foamy ocean waves—with stunning mountain views added in for good measure. In the evening, settle in with ‘Wild Side’ Spot Prawn cocktail with spicy horseradish panna cotta, sorrel and prawn crackers.
1133 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC
(604) 688-7466 cioppinosyaletown.com
Italian-born Chef Pino Posteraro manages to honour culinary traditions while still bringing a remarkable level of creativity and imagination to his dishes. But Cioppino’s is every bit as good for people watching on the patio; located at the front of the restaurant and featuring very Italian marble tables.
Terroni Price Street
1095 Yonge Street, 2nd Floor, Toronto, ON
(416) 925-4020 terroni.ca
Sit by the constellation-studded bar on a midsummer’s night and gaze out at Toronto’s dimming skyline as the sun sets. The Terroni rooftop patio offers great views of the downtown core as well as the charming neighbourhoods of Rosedale and Summerhill. Whet your appetite with hearty Southern Italian fare, and enjoy the charming serenity of this great outdoor space.
176 Dupont Street, Toronto ON
(647) 748-3287 roseandsonsbigcrow.com
The BBQ at Big Crow is stick-to-your-gut good—so much so that you don’t notice the wooden communal picnic benches that stretch out in the backyard patio. It’s simple, clean and brightly lit, and plumes of smoke and fierce piggy aromas rise from the custom pit. It’s best to have a game plan and bring famished friends so that you can try a bit of everything.
480 King Street W, Toronto, ON
(416) 367-0505 patriatoronto.com
King Street is usually a bustling thoroughfare, but Patria is happily ensconced in its own quiet alcove. Blink and you could miss the gated entry point. But that’s the idea. Even more reclusive is the patio—sheltered from the elements and illuminated by overhead orbs. Tapas and the Paella are a must here—all the selections are full of spice and flavour. You’ll want to return again and again.
111 Queen St E, Toronto, ON
(416) 863-6006 georgeonqueen.com
Graceful, elegant and approachable—that’s George. Executive Chef Loseto endeavours to make his food modern, with bold flavours and superb textures. Proudly boasting “Toronto Cuisine,” Loseto draws inspiration from the city’s intricate diversity and culinary traditions. With a fountained wall along the perimeter of the courtyard patio, the flowers and greenery provide a secluded escape from the everyday. Five- to 10-course tasting menus are encouraged, as they spotlight seasonal ingredients.
1240 8th Avenue S.E., Calgary, AB
(403) 531-2767 rougecalgary.com
This turn-of-the-century Inglewood building has been designated a Heritage Site, and it carries the history and significance to match. Today, with Executive Chef Jamie Harling and owner Paul Rogalski at the helm, Rouge continues to make headlines with its Canadian flavour profiles and local ingredients. It all seems to make sense in the serene outdoor garden and patio, sitting surrounded by mighty trees, native shrubbery and flowers.
Hotel Arts Patio
Hotel Arts, 119 12 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB
(403) 206-9565 rawbaryyc.ca
Drawing inspiration from diverse Asian influences (including Chef Ly’s own Vietnamese heritage), the Hotel Arts Patio offers fresh and vibrant plates such as BBQ Pork Salad roll with sweet hoisin peanut sauce. The urge to linger and suntan is certainly strong at this multifaceted Asian eatery.
1906 Haro St., Vancouver, BC
(604) 568-9975 adessobistro.net
Quietly tucked away on a residential street, it’s always a good choice to visit Adesso for some Alfresco dining on a warm summer night. Enjoy magnificent Italian seafood dishes on their outdoor patio. Walled with greenery, it’s a quaint and quiet spot to sip your vino and eat your meal at a soothing adagio pace.
150 25th St, West, Vancouver, BC
(604) 922-1414 thebeachhouserestaurant.ca
Located on the North Shore, the Beach House excels at showcasing West Coast cuisine via seasonally-driven menus. In addition to an array of seafood-centric dishes, the Beach-Side Patio offers a bounty of views. Gaze at pillowy clouds above crystal clear waters as you devour Japanese or Korean seafood features—a few of the many inspired creations at this romantic date spot.
The Bicycle Thief
1475 Lower Water Street, Halifax, NS
(902) 425-7993 bicyclethief.ca
At The Bicycle Thief, the menu is primarily Italian, but it features notable dashes of East Coast pride throughout. Nibble on dishes as you enjoy the boardwalk views, the waterfront scenery and Dartmouth just across the way. The only difficult thing about The Bicycle Thief? Deciding which dessert to order.
1442 Rue Sherbrooke O, Montréal, QC
(514) 843-8230 cafeilcortile.com
Situated between two scarlet brick buildings, Il Cortile’s flower-lined courtyard terrace offers simplicity, privacy and comfort. A rainbow of blooms dots the dining space and brings the ambiance of an Italian trattoria to life in Montreal’s Golden Square Mile District. Classic Italian fare is on offer, including grilled meats enriched with velvety sauces, and homemade pastas that would definitely receive Nonna’s nod.
Ship & Anchor
534 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB
(403) 245-3333 shipandanchor.com
Fun, multi-coloured picnic benches cluster at the front of this cheerful neighbourhood spot. Whether you’re looking for a pint during dinner or curing a hangover at brunch, the jam-packed space is always happy to welcome you. Pub delights are generously portioned and satisfying.
10065 100 St NW, Edmonton, AB
The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald opened its doors in 1915, and the Confederation Lounge has been welcoming guests ever since. Take in the sweeping views of the river valley, and indulge in locally-sourced meat dishes that will be sure to please any palate.
414 Dupont Street, Toronto, ON
(647) 340-6142 fatpasha.com
At Fat Pasha, Israeli fare is given a flavourful interpretation and emboldened with a bit of edge and playfulness. Relax in the backyard patio on one of the picnic benches. Privacy and shelter are provided via wood fencing and plants limbs that stretch along the walls. Edison lights provide atmospheric illumination for these Middle Eastern delights.
4001 Rue Notre-Dame O, Montréal, QC
(438) 383-3229 buvetteludger.com/#buvettegourmande
Ludger is an eatery with an art-induced vibe. The simple street-side patio graces the front and side of the restaurant. Settle in on rows of wooden booths that offer glimpses of the Saint Henri neighbourhood. There’s a wicked cocktail list and affordable upscale sustenance, such as raw oysters and freshly made pasta.
832 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON
(416) 364-4785 campagnolotoronto.com
Campagnolo is a tent-covered retreat on Euclid that comfortably seats 25. The back end is walled off and furnished with topiaries, and in the evening the mini lights strung along the metal fence makes the whole space glow. Enjoy Chef Harding’s take on Italian comfort foods, with modern and traditional interpretations, while you’re sipping on a glass of vino and people-watching.
The Robertson at Shadow Lawn Inn
3180 Rothesay Rd, Rothesay, NB
This New Brunswick boutique inn offers a charming spot on the Atlantic coast with an intimate side garden patio. Large manicured hedges line the perimeter, and the patio is surrounded by lush greenery and a sprawling vine wall. Sky blue umbrellas provide plenty of shade under which to enjoy coastal fare that features artisan delights from local suppliers and growers.
777 Rue de la Commune O, Montréal, QC
In a former life, Da Emma was once a Women’s Prison. Now its structural gravitas and stone walls make for an unforgettable dining experience. The patio is protected by tall manicured hedges, but there’s plenty of sun to be had on a good day and plenty of privacy from the outside world. (Though it’s not like being in solitary.) Simple white clothed tables and slender European street lights complete the experience. Meals are rustically Italian with grilled meats and hearty pastas.
Black and Blue
1032 Alberni St, Vancouver, BC
(604) 637-0777 glowbalgroup.com/blackblue
Satiate your carnal appetite at Black and Blue. On warm days, find the glass-encased patio at the front of the restaurant bursting with the aroma of grilled meat. It’s prime patio real estate on Alberni Street and a spot just made for people-watching. More outdoor space can be found on a roof-top patio that’s surrounded by city skyscrapers. It boasts a mixture of cushy banquettes and black basket-woven seating.
1016 8 Street SW, Calgary, AB
(403) 262-8480 bonterra.ca
At Bonterra, chef Glen Manzer offers up colourful, contemporary Italian fare. Diners can opt to have their meal in the back patio so they can take in the sun and bathe in the smell of blossoming flowers. Blonde walls and a high, pillared wood ceiling create a semi-enclosed structure that allows for privacy and minimizes outside noise.
Mahony & Sons
601 Stamps Landing (False Creek), Vancouver, BC
(604) 876-0234 mahonyandsons.com
Watch yachts float on the crystal-clear ocean or take in the spectacular Vancouver city skyline. There’s little wonder why this grand dockside patio is so popular. Located just behind the restaurant, it’s easy to capture glimpses of land, sky and sea while enjoying pub fare favourites that make great use of locally-raised meats and produce.