One man’s manna is another man’s muck, and the same can be said about patios. Whether you’re the people-watcher who likes her ahi seared, or the introspective soul who down his reds by the bottle, there is a patio—with plate and plonk to match—for you.
The Person: Old World Connoisseur
The Place: Brix Restaurant & Wine Bar
What to Eat: Duo of Gulf Island lamb
What to Drink: One of 60 wines by the glass
This secluded little courtyard is reminiscent of English gardens, outdoor pubs and cobblestone streets. Think fairy lights, vines, and a stories-high, rain-proof cover above it all. The cuisine is contemporary Canadian, and the wine list is expansive. If cocktails are your thing, try the Madagascan Breeze, a combination of vodka, vanilla liqueur, cranberry and pink grapefruit.
1138 Homer St.
The Person: Posh People-Watcher
The Place: Glowbal Grill & Satay Bar
What to Eat: Pan-seared sablefish
What to Drink: Glow Girl
It’s screened by a ring of cushioned banquets and greenery, but offers the perfect vista for those looking to see or be seen. Watch the comings and goings of Yaletown while trying the lamb chop satays or -- on colder nights -- the Kobe beef meatballs with truffled spaghetti.
1079 Mainland St.
The Person: Romantic Gardener
The Place: Shaughnessy Restaurant
What to Eat: Cider-brined pork loin chop
What to Drink: Mimosa, of course
Think The Secret Garden and the endless fluttering of birds. Now add twinkling lights at night, and you’re literally in clover. With a setting smack dab in the heart of VanDusen Botanical Garden, and a menu made up of local ingredients — the organic vegetables come straight from the Garden itself — could afternoon tea be more ideal? The housemade white chocolate and pecan ice cream isn’t bad, either.
Oak St. and West 37 Ave.
The Person: Nautical Dreamer
The Place: Saltaire
What to Eat: Pear and pancetta pizza
What to Drink: Seabreeze, anyone?
Sitting atop Ambleside Beach, this beautiful patio—think solid teak tables, comfy ironwork chairs and stone floors—gets top marks for the spectacular view of Howe Sound and the Vancouver skyline. The atmosphere is casually upscale, the pizza oven is wood-burning and the service is only one reason why this restaurant is a long-time West Vancouver favourite.
235 15 St. (W. Van)
The Person: Dog Lover
The Place: The Smoking Dog Bistro
What to Eat: Ribs and frites
What to Drink: French Kiss
Situated on the corner of Dog Walker and Gym Diva, in the heart of Kitsilano, this patio is not so much about people-watching, as it is about dog-watching—see how many breeds you can count passing by in under thirty minutes. The menu is classic French, the prices are reasonable, and you’re only a few blocks from the beach. Did I mention the twice-weekly live jazz?
1889 West 1 Ave.