Calgarians love their patios, and during this summer in particular, with its especially lovely hot weather, who can blame them? Three new spots in Calgary’s bustling dining scene have hip, secluded patios where you can sip refreshing brews and enjoy the city’s famously late summers.
Kensington’s Oak Tree’s patio has a prime view of the downtown skyline. Photo: Adele Brunnhofer.
OAK TREE TAVERN 124 10 St NW, 2nd floor
This cozy wooden patio in Kensington is on the second level above The Source and has a fantastic view of downtown Calgary. Though tucked away, the Oak Tree’s patio still feels very much a part of the busy neighbourhood, and its proximity to downtown and the Sunnyside LRT station make it a great stop for the after-work crowd. At night, when its patio lights are switched on, the space has the vibe of an urban rooftop party. Local Village Brewery beers are available on tap, and the menu includes house-made burgers and savoury sharing items like nachos and curry fries. (more…)
TWG Tea Summer Hamper. Photo courtesy TWG Tea
Summertime means teatime. At The Urban Tea Merchant, cool off on the patio with iced teas, tea sangrias or tea-infused cocktails—a Pink Flamingo Cosmopolitan, perhaps, or a Morroccan Mint Mojito. To host your own tea party at home, pick up a TWG Tea Summer Hamper ($250 and up; pictured), which includes Vogue teacups and saucers, made out of porcelain and hand-painted, and celebrate teatime in style. The Mad Hatter would approve.—Sheri Radford
Sockeye salmon rolls, lobster rolls and assorted nigiri sushi, at Ki Modern Japanese + Bar. Photo by KK Law
These out-of-sight patios offer the ultimate in alfresco good taste.
1 Ki Modern Japanese + Bar (pictured) Superlative sushi and more are best enjoyed on the tony bamboo-clad rooftop terrace.
2 The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant This Granville Island rooftop deck features a fireplace and afternoon mussels-and-beer specials.
3 Crave Go early to feast on chef Wayne Martin’s casual West Coast bites on the sunny back patio.
4 Brix Restaurant & Wine Bar Well-matched wines and local fare are served in an intimate atrium.
5 Le Gavroche A duo of white-linen-clad tables (yes, just two) above the front door invites lunchtime lingering overlooking the street.
6 Reflections West Coast brunch or cocktails and tapas are served in style at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia’s gorgeously appointed fourth-floor outdoor lounge-bar.—Tim Pawsey
Le Café at the National Arts Centre offers great views of the Rideau Canal.
The sun is shining. The drinks are cold. All you need is a patio. Try one of these popular outdoor dining spots.
375 Queen Elizabeth Dr. (Glebe)
21 George St. (ByWard Market)
Murray St. Charcuterie
110 Murray St. (ByWard Market)
361 Elgin St. (Downtown)
53 Elgin St. (National Arts Centre)
La Bocca photo by Toshi Kawano courtesy Tourism BC
Whatever the weather, you can’t go wrong sitting on the spacious heated patio at La Bocca, right in the heart of Whistler Village. Enjoy the people watching, along with the locally sourced food, Ocean Wise seafood and BC wines. Just don’t forget your sunscreen.—Sheri Radford
Clockwise from front: pizza funghi; frittata with goat cheese; and linguini with clams at CinCin. Photo by KK Law
Up a few stairs off Robson, long-running CinCin yields the ideal weekday lunchtime escape on its heated, camellia-adorned covered terrace (also open nightly for dinner), well above the busy street. Regulars go for the fresh daily-made pasta (including gluten-free choices), wood-fired pizza and fresh, local, Ocean Wise seafood, such as rare albacore tuna or grilled sea scallops, well matched with wines from a bountiful cellar.—Tim Pawsey
Herb-crusted halibut with Tuscan beans, jalepeno tomato and Prosecco cream sauce, at Il Nido. Photo by KK Law
Some of Robson Street’s best dining is tucked away, out of sight, as at Il Nido (pictured), a low-key, gently elegant escape in the Manhattan Block courtyard. Franco Felice’s cozy trattoria is known for inventive salads and pastas, house-made gnocchi, authentic mains such as veal saltimbocca, and decadent desserts, perfect for post-show lingering. For good casual fare, to catch the game or hang on the patio, check out Earls on Top, above London Drugs. Or, for happy-hour smoked salmon, and tempura prawn snacks, on the city’s best-concealed roof garden, climb the gracious staircase at landmark Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House.—Tim Pawsey
The rooftop patio at Your Father's Moustache is a summer hot spot.
• The Maxwell’s Plum on Grafton Street: Large sidewalk patio, 60+ beers on tap, sports on big-screen TVs, kitchen open until 2am.
• Your Father’s Moustache on Spring Garden Road: Live music, rooftop patio, daily food specials.
• The Red Stag Tavern on Lower Water Street: Top-notch fish and chips, rooftop patio, located in the
historic Alexander Keith’s Brewery building.
Enjoy drinks on the patio at neighbourhood haunt Local Public Eater. Photo by KK Law
Combine an afternoon at the beach with drinks and a bite at any number of handy haunts. Local Public Eatery (pictured) boasts a bustling patio right across from grassy Kits Beach, while the deck of The Boathouse Restaurant is the perfect spot for a bucket of shrimp and a cold cerveza in the heart of English Bay. Locals make sunset treks to Jericho Beach’s The Galley Patio & Grill to watch the yachts over buffalo burgers and R&B pale ale.—Tim Pawsey
The sophisticated patio at Goldfish Pacific Kitchen. Photo by KK Law
1 Joe Fortes The tastefully adorned, plant-filled, rooftop garden sits above busy Robson Street at Thurlow.
2 Goldfish Cozy couches beckon from the back of this Asian-inclined West Coaster.
3 Gotham This discreet alfresco hideaway is mere steps from Pacific Centre.
4 Dockside Granville Island’s “other” brewery offers refreshing, waterside ales.
5 Cardero’s This sun-soaked afternoon escape in Coal Harbour lures with crispy wok squid and sesame-crusted albacore tuna.—Tim Pawsey
Toronto’s hottest season is in full swing; after so much sightseeing, you’re no doubt in need of refreshment. Pull up a patio chair or stop by a swanky lounge for a sophisticated cocktail, local microbrew and a tempting taste of city life. Click the images below to discover our favourite patios, drinks and more. By Marisa Baratta