Drum roll, please! Patio season has finally decided to grace Vancouver and we're excited to announce our list of the city’s best patios. (Click here for our 2013 Vancouver patio update).
Stroll around Yaletown or Commercial Drive on a sunny day and you’ll find no shortage of bustling patios brimming with happy revelers. But Vancouver, the city of restaurants, has so many more open-air dining spaces than meets the eye—and the fresh air often comes with world-class scenery.
Whether you’re looking to start the day with a sunny brunch, celebrate a special occasion or sip cocktails while taking in the twinkling cityscape, our list of Vancouver’s best patios has got you covered. Well, actually, uncovered in many cases!
Is your favourite Vancouver patio absent from our list? Who are we missing? Let us know!
Best Breakfast Patio
Provence Marinaside (1177 Marina Crescent)
Across the street from the seawall at Davie and Marinaside Crescent in Yaletown, Provence Marinaside is a great place to savour a Croque Monsieur benny while watching the parade of dog-walkers and morning runners. Also serves brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
Subeez (891 Homer St.)
Right in the heart of Yaletown at Homer and Smithe, Subeez has a long patio, parallel to the sidewalk, which gets sun throughout the day. They offer classic breakfasts with a twist, like the chorizo frittata with yam fries. Also serves brunch, lunch and dinner.
Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe (2095 West 4th Ave.)
A sunny morning doesn't go by without a lineup outside this Kitsilano diner. The cozy dining room is filled with kitschy “garage sale decor”, but the patio is the place to head for soaking up the sun while people watching on trendy West 4th. Also serves lunch and dinner.
The Galley Patio and Grill(1300 Discovery Street)
You don’t have to be a member to enjoy this fabulous patio, located on the second floor of the Jericho Sailing Centre. You'll find breakfast favourites like waffles, bacon and eggs, omelettes and more. This patio has a breathtaking 200-degree view from downtown Vancouver to the North Shore mountains and west of the Georgia Straight. Also serves lunch and dinner.
Best Brunch Patio
Milestone's English Bay (1210 Denman Street)
Enjoy one of Milestone’s signature benedicts or their lip-smacking pear and coconut pancakes while taking in the stunning view of English Bay from this patio. Feel like taking a walk while you digest? Sandy beaches are only a few steps away and a trip to Stanley Park takes no time at all. Also serves lunch and dinner.
Crave On Main(3941 Main St.)
Enjoy Crave’s lush and semi-secluded patio, where you'll sit in direct sun from late morning to evening. Try out tantalizing dishes like the cranberry and ginger French toast or the short rib migas. Also serves lunch and dinner.
The Whip Restaurant Gallery(209 East 6 Ave.)
Sit down to the stuffed French toast or the chipotle breakfast wrap and enjoy the bustling weekend crowds on vibrant Main Street from this sidewalk patio. Also serves lunch and dinner, and some of the best sunsets from mid to late summer.
Hub (1165 Mainland St.)
Right across from the Skytrain station in the heart of Yaletown, Hub is a great stop for sports fans. While it is known for its inventive pub fare, it’s the to-die-for prime rib hash that landed this restaurant on our brunch list. Also serves lunch and dinner.
Best Weekday Lunch Patio
Gallery Café at the Art Gallery(750 Hornby St.)
Just off Robson Street, the Gallery Café’s beautiful patio offers shade or sun, and their all-day menu offers a delectable range of quiches, paninis, salads and more.
Burgoo Bistro(3096 Main St.)
Burgoo serves “food for comfort”, like their mac and cheese and beef bourguignon. Or you can take the healthy route with their mixed greens and quinoa salad—which you can enjoy on their bright, uncovered patio. Also serves brunch and dinner.
Milestone's Cambie(2425 Cambie St.)
Perched above the new and shiny Cambie Street, this patio is the perfect spot after you escape your cubicle and venture outside. Choose from their extensive lunch menu of gluten-free favourites, signature salads, sandwiches, pastas and more. Also serves brunch and dinner.
Cactus Club Café Bentall 5 (588 Burrard St.)
Set back from the sidewalk on Burrard Street in the heart of downtown, this patio is a great choice for some mid-day sustenance. Sun exposure peaks in mid-afternoon, so Vitamin D seekers should stretch out their lunch—which may include tasties like the Korean-style BBQ pork lettuce wraps, BQQ duck clubhouse or halibut soft tacos. Also serves dinner.
Best Weekend Lunch Patio
Boathouse Kitsilano(1305 Arbutus St.)
Vancouver flocks to Kits beach when the sun is shining and the second-floor patio at the Boathouse is the place to be for taking in the magnificent scenery. Choose from a selection of world-class steak and seafood like the prime rib beef dip, northwest seafood pasta or the coconut pacific cod from their new West Coast Lifestyle menu. Also serves brunch and dinner.
The Teahouse(Ferguson Point)
Right on the western edge of Stanley Park overlooking the Burrard Inlet, the splendid patio at The Teahouse has a grand view that is matched by a sumptuous lunch menu featuring West Coast cuisine. Also serves brunch and dinner.
Endless Summer(1010 Beach Ave.)
Overlooking the spectacular False Creek marina, this patio is a wonderful place to enjoy the midday sun and fuel a weekend seawall stroll with European-inspired cuisine. And if lunchtime feels a little early for a drink, be sure to head back later to sample their exotic cocktail menu. Also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Earls Robson(1185 Robson St.)
Tucked away above busy Robson Street, Earls offers a respite from hectic weekend shopping andhas not one but two patios that collectively receive sun throughout the entire day. Their lunch menu has a wide selection of international fare and there are plenty of bar menu choices to whet your whistle. Also serves dinner.
Best Afternoon Patio
Fish House (8901 Stanley Park Dr.)
Enjoy a traditional afternoon of tea and scones, little sandwiches and sweets on one of two lovely patios in this historic building, all in the fresh air. The location overlooks the tennis courts and Stanley Park. Also serves brunch, lunch and dinner.
Cactus Club Café Yaletown(357 Davie St.)
Right on the corner of Davie and Hamilton, this large patio gets the sun from lunch until late afternoon, making it ideal for an afternoon brew and share plates of mini burgers, goat cheese on feta flatbread or calamari with chipotle aioli and tzatziki. Also serves lunch and dinner.
Moxies Robson(808 Bute St.)
Gain the perfect vantage of Robson Street on this second-floor patio at the corner of Bute and Robson. Snack on the combo platter made up of calamari, chicken tenders, avocado spring rolls, chicken wings and bread with dip, or relax and sip on a Moxie’s Bellini to beat the heat. Also serves brunch, lunch and dinner.
Starbucks Yaletown(125 Davie St.)
Overlooking Yaletown Park near the corner of Nelson and Mainland, this raised patio is a delightful spot for your afternoon caffeine fix. This area catches the afternoon rays, so you might want to make it an iced coffee in the sunny summer months. Open early morning, noon and night.
Best After Work Patio
Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House(777 Thurlow St.)
Right downtown, at the corner of Robson and Thurlow, this swanky patio is ideal for wrapping up the workday with a glass from their extensive wine menu (over 400 wines) and some nibblies from their happy hour menu. Also serves brunch, lunch and dinner.
Falconetti's East Side Grill(1812 Commercial Dr.)
Head to this second-floor patio, overlooking dynamic Commercial Drive, for their tasty fries tossed in garlic and lime and one of their famous sausages like the Yucatan Chicken or Sweet Italian. And if the mood strikes, stay until late for a nightly lineup of live music. Also serves brunch, lunch and dinner.
Chill Winston(3 Alexander St.)
You’ll be hard-pressed to find an empty seat on this busy patio if the sun is shining, but you may find it worth the wait—and there is plenty of prime people-watching to do in historic Gastown to tide you over. Once you have a seat you’ll be tempted to nibble on tempting appies like their ethically-sourced West Coast mussels or the Sunshine Coast steelhead served with artisan bread and jalapeno tartare sauce. Also serves lunch and dinner.
Yaletown Brewing Company(1111 Mainland St.)
With patios along both the Helmcken and Hamilton Street sides of the building, you can have as much or as little sun as you like. Try their Mumbai curry wings or the patatas bravas tapa washed down with one of their many regular or seasonal brews that are made on-site. Also serves lunch and dinner.
Best Patio for Drinks
Dockside Restaurant(1253 Johnson St.)
Protected on three sides by the Granville Island Hotel, this stunning waterfront patio looks out over False Creek towards downtown. Their in-house brewery has a wide selection of handcrafted beers, and their sampler offers a taste of their lagers and ales. As the sun sets on the city, the outdoor fireplaces and heated cabana offer warmth so that you can keep on enjoying the views and company. Also serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.
Tableau Bar and Bistro (1181 Melville St.)
Bring out your inner-Parisian with French-inspired cocktails at one of Vancouver’s newest patios, or take your tastebuds on a tour of France with a wine list that represents many regions around the country. Situated on Melville Street near Coal Harbour, they serve modern bistro fare with fresh West Coast ingredients. Also serves brunch, lunch and dinner.
The Keg Yaletown(1011 Mainlaind St.)
This is one of the best rooftop patios in the city and a lively place to have an evening drink, whether it's a cocktail, beer, spirit or wine. Treat your sweet tooth to one of their decadent desserts, like gooey s’mores or the famous Billy Miner pie. Also serves lunch and dinner.
The Keefer(135 Keefer St.)
Located at the edge of Chinatown, the dark and mysterious Keefer offers imaginative cocktails inspired by the antiquated profession of apothecary—and if you need an additional boost you can add an energy, clarity or confidence 'essence' to any drink on the menu. Once outside the restored warehouse, a cozy street-side patio promotes close proximity and conversation over a flickering flame.
Best Hidden Gem Patio
Mis Trucos Mediterranean Tapas Bar (1141 Davie St.)
You’d never know by looking at the unassuming house set back from Davie Street that a darling little patio lies beyond. But that’s the case for Mis Trucos, which serves delightful tapas and delicious sangria for dinner on its intimate patio, sheltered from the back lane by a wooden lattice fence. Served in singles or quads, bites from the ever-changing menu combine fresh ingredients with “just a touch of whimsy.”
Goldfish Pacific Kitchen (1118 Mainland St.)
Nestled between two rows of hedges behind this trendy west coast kitchen is a secluded patio where the young and hip head for clandestine eats. Revel in the seafood tower’s lobster, prawns, oysters, mussels and tuna, washed down with one of over 200 wines; or satisfy your dessert tooth with the banana spring rolls or honey ginger brûlée. Serves happy hour and dinner.
Adesso Bistro (1906 Haro St.)
Specializing in the culinary traditions of Italy’s northwest region of Liguria, this West End bistro has a lush patio that invites leisurely and luxurious dining. Indulge in authentic pasta and enjoy a nice selection of Italian wines. Serves brunch and dinner.
Ouisi Bistro (3014 Granville St.)
A cheery yellow building on swanky South Granville conceals the cozy patio that sits out back. This New Orleans-style restaurant has an enticing selection of Cajun and Creole cuisine, single malts and bourbons—and on Thursdays you'll be treated to jazzy live music. Also serves brunch, lunch and dinner.
Best Pub Patio
The Mill Marine Bistro(1199 West Cordova St.)
With spectacular views of Coal Harbour and the North Shore mountains, the Mill is a fantastic place to have a cold one on a hot day. The exposed patio gets sun from morning till night, and plenty of umbrellas are available if you need a break from the rays. Serves lunch and dinner.
Local Public Eatery(2210 Cornwall Ave.)
This Kitsilano pub provides the perfect view of cars cruising the strip; tourists and locals enjoying the grassy park and seawall; and gorgeous views of Kits beach, the ocean and beyond. The patio is sunny for most of the day and there is a nice selection of brunch, lunch and dinner options available.
Bridges Restaurant(1696 Duranleau St.)
The canary-yellow building and matching umbrellas at this waterfront patio on Granville Island certainly beckon one to stop for a meal; or simply gaze upon False Creek and downtown Vancouver over a drink or two. Choose from the bistro (available for lunch and dinner) or restaurant (available for dinner only) menus.
Darby's Pub(2001 Macdonald St.)
Receiving the sun’s rays for nearly the whole day, this rooftop patio in Kits is an ideal place to head after a day at the beach. Enjoy a rotating selection of craft beers and over 20 craft burgers, as well as appies, salads and mains. Serves brunch, lunch and dinner.
Best Birthday Patio
Monk McQueens(601 Stamps Landing)
Whether you want to secure the whole patio for a large party or reserve a table for an intimate dinner, Monk’s waterfront patio near the Cambie Street Bridge is a great place to celebrate. Indulge in their seafood and oyster selection and order a nice bottle of bubbly for a birthday treat. Serves brunch, lunch and dinner.
The Sandbar(1535 Johnston St.)
Towering over the False Creek harbour and bathed in sunlight from late morning till sundown, you’ll feel on top of the world when you celebrate at this Granville Island seafood restaurant. Always a happening place to be, your party is sure to be hopping when you plan your bash here. Serves brunch, lunch and dinner.
Glowbal Grill and Satay Bar (1079 Mainland St.)
What better way to start a birthday weekend than a decadent brunch on this lovely Yaletown patio lined with comfy benches and potted plants. Expect to be spoiled as you feast on lobster bennys, rosemary honeycomb French toast, and, of course, mimosas. Also serves lunch and dinner.
Earls Yaletown(1095 Mainland St.)
Direct your merriment to this sun-drenched space at the corner of Mainland and Helmcken. Boasting the largest patio in Yaletown, you won’t have to worry about leaving any friends out of your fete, and the menu is sure to please your group’s tastes with its selection of modern pub fare and West Coast-inspired cuisine. Serves lunch and dinner.
Best Casual Dinner Patio
Charm Modern Thai(1269 Hamilton St.)
When the tastes of Thailand beckon, head to this charming patio on the raised, brick walkway along Hamilton Street in Yaletown. Enjoy authentic Thai cuisine with a twist for lunch or dinner, and stretch out the experience with some Thai-inspired cocktails.
The Reef on Main(4172 Main St.)
From just after noon until sunset, the sun shines on this Main Street patio. Embrace the Jamaican vibe with the sun on your face, a cold Red Stripe beer in your hand and some scrumptious Caribbean cuisine on your plate. Serves brunch, lunch and dinner.
Las Margaritas(1999 West 4th Ave.)
When the sun is shining you’ll find many a hungry soul vying for a spot on this Kitsilano patio at the corner of West 4th and Maple. Beat the heat with a tasty margarita and freshly-made salsa, or sample from the largest tequila selection in BC. Serves a muy bien selection of Mexican fare for lunch and dinner.
Havana Restaurant(1418 Commercial Dr.)
Across from Grandview Park on Commercial Drive, Havana offers “Nuevo Latino Cuisine” for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Choose tasty eats like the Cuban sandwich, mole rubbed Mahi Mahi and Havana-style west coast mussels with chorizo and coconut broth. And what are the perfect accompaniments for languid summer days on their sunny patio? Mojitos!
Best Date Patio
Brix Restaurant and Wine Bar(1138 Homer St.)
Obscured by a heavy velvet curtain, the intimate courtyard patio in this Yaletown heritage building is the perfect setting for a romantic rendezvous. And the tantalizing menu will definitely help to set the mood if your plans extend past dessert and special coffee. Open from dinner until late.
Lift Bar and Grill(333 Menchions Mews)
Perched above the water on Coal Harbour, Lift has two spectacular levels of patio space with grand ocean views and prime sightlines of Stanley Park and the adjacent marina. The night heats up as the sun begins to set at this popular Vancouver nightspot, making it an ideal place to take the object of your affection. Serves brunch, lunch and dinner.
Trattoria Italian Kitchen(1850 West 4th Ave.)
Savour the sun and trattoria-style Italian cooking at this street-side patio on happening West 4th. Set the mood for love with sumptuous pastas, smooth Italian wines and lavish desserts. Serves brunch, lunch and dinner.
Cardero's(1583 Coal Harbour Quay)
Overlooking the Coal Harbour marina—with an awesome view of Stanley Park and the North Shore—Cardero’s perpetually-sunny patio offers al fresco dining that may inspire amorous intentions. Serves lunch and dinner.
Best Formal Dinner Patio
C Restaurant (1600 Howe St.)
Enjoy the passing boats and waterfront views of False Creek at this sunny patio across the harbour from Granville Island, and as the evening progresses, watch the incredible sunset beyond the Burrard Street Bridge. C, serving dinner only, is the founding restaurant in the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise Program, and its seafood beautifully marries sustainable with scrumptious.
Coast (1054 Alberni St.)
Just one block away from busy Robson Street, this posh patio is nestled back from Alberni Street, protected by a large awning and flanked by crackling fireplaces. Coveted for its fresh seafood, Coast offers a wide selection of high-quality fish and shellfish, as well as a small sampling beef, chicken and pasta. Serves lunch and dinner.
Blue Water Café(1095 Hamilton St.)
Serving quintessential west coast fare, this Yaletown hotspot has a fantastic patio surrounded by lush greenery at the corner of Hamilton and Helmcken. And the sun exposure at this dinner-only establishment is perfectly timed from early to mid evening. Choose from an amazing selection at the raw bar or order one of many tantalizing dishes like the west coast sablefish, Cherry Creek chicken or Waygu beef.
Nu Aegean Cuisina (1661 Granville St.)
Tucked under the Granville Street Bridge below the False Creek Yacht Club, Nu’s waterfront patio offers gourmet Greek with a gorgeous view. Enjoy a sunny brunch or dinner and experience how deliciously simple hummus, souvlaki and other Greek classics can be.
Best Special Occasion Patio
Cin Cin(1154 Robson St.)
Partly shaded by the trees on Robson Street below, this secluded patio fronts Cin Cin's second-floor restaurant. Known for its contemporary Italian cuisine and staggering wine list of nearly 800 labels, Cin Cin offers a memorable and unique dining experience in Tuscan-inspired style. Serves dinner only.
Seasons in the Park(Cambie & 33rd Avenue)
Situated at the highest point in Vancouver (Queen Elizabeth Park) this patio has breathtaking panoramic city and mountain views and stays sunny from late morning until evening. Serves a variety of enticing brunch, lunch and dinner selections.
Il Giardino(1382 Hornby St.)
The heritage building reminiscent of an Italian villa and the colourful linens adorning the tables and chairs create a wonderful ambience on this marvelous garden patio that receives sun all day. Add to that a beautiful menu of appetizers, pastas and mains—along with lovely Italian wines—for a special experience. Serves lunch and dinner.
Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill(1133 & 1129 Hamilton St.)
Head to this Yaletown patio for award-winning Mediterranean cuisine enjoyed in the summer sun. Luxuriate in the elegant al fresco experience as you flip through the 62-page wine menu and peruse the exceptional menu utilizing sustainable West Coast ingredients.
It's the most wonderful time of the year: patio season in Vancouver!
Catherine Roscoe Barr, BSc Neuroscience, is a Vancouver-based writer and fitness professional. Before settling on the West Coast she lived in Sydney, Toronto, Oregon, Montana, and practically everywhere in Alberta. She can be found jogging with her adorable dog, dining with her fabulous husband or voraciously reading anywhere comfy.
Blog: The Life Delicious