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From bougie to hidden gem, Insta-worthy to beach-side, here are all the best patios to get your sip n' sun on this summer.
Let’s face it, patio season is short and sweet—so it’s go time. Read on for the best spots for sipping, snacking and sunning—think dog-friendly destinations, ‘grammable go-tos, hidden hangouts and more.
Pretend you’re a fancy jetsetter at Reflections, the 4th floor rooftop oasis at the Hotel Georgia, where passion fruit coladas flow, couches are napping-approved and the only wildlife is a tastefully draped pergola. It’s a bougie patio paradise where cheap pitchers are swapped for posh sips and sharing plates—bring your fellow faux globetrotters and get ready to ask, “Are we in Vancouver or Milan?” Read more on this bougie patio here.
If you’re after ocean breezes, seagull soap operas and a post-market hangout, Popina Canteen on Granville Island has got you covered! With a patio born from a bunch of chefs dreaming up killer lobster rolls and fried chicken, this lively spot offers al fresco dining with a side of Burrard Street Bridge views. Read more on this Granville post-market patio here.
Craving a secret European getaway smack in the heart of Vancouver? Swing by Robba Da Matti, where a ’60s living room meets an Italian courtyard, all wrapped up in a dreamy, light-draped patio. Tucked away from the usual beach bum bustle, it’s the place to sip Aperol spritz, munch on warm olives and take comfort in carb-heaven dishes. Now that’s la dolce vita! robbadamatti.com
Social‘s tropical patio is a sunshine-drenched, Instagram-worthy haven, teeming with boozy slushies, live DJs and late-night sushi tacos. Whether you’re a brunch-enthusiast, content creator or just looking for a trendy rooftop escape, it’s the ultimate playground for 20-somethings ready to party, fuelled by peach pink vodka lemonade pitchers and a side of kimchi-kicked dumplings. socialyvr.com
Maxine’s Café & Bar is like your effortlessly chic friend, but in patio form! This West End haven serves up comfy elegance with a Parisian twist, from the rattan chairs to the basil gin sours. It’s the perfect spot for brunching on monstrous pancakes or people-watching—the joggers, stylish dog-walkers, and family bike rides make for great patio bingo. maxinescafebar.com
Ever stumbled upon a secret Zen garden with twinkling lights, flame-seared sushi and Japan-Euro-inspired desserts? That’s Minami: a romantic hideaway right in Yaletown’s heart, perfect for scoring first (and second) date points! With just 24 seats, it’s as exclusive as it is enchanting. From the sampler sushi to the triumphant return of the bluefin tuna roll and sake flights, it’s like a culinary fairy tale, set in a garden patio. minamirestaurant.com
The Galley at Jericho Sailing Centre is where you park your flip-flops when all you crave are top-notch beach views, and you don’t give two hoots about what’s on your plate. Not that their frosty Moody Ales and crispy fish and chips aren’t a treat—it’s just that the sparkling ocean, snowcapped mountains, and downtown skyline views from the faux-marble patio tables steal the show. Grab a second pint, slather on extra sunscreen, and soak in this postcard-perfect vista of our beloved city. thegalley.ca
The Victor is where Queen Bey would pre- or post-show dine if she were you, dishing out elevated (literally, it’s on the 6th floor) pre-gaming. Stealthy yet expansive, this patio is a stone’s throw from downtown stadiums, serving snobby-steak levels of deliciousness with sides that scream indulgence. Oh, and the rum-spiked Tiki Kahiki? A superstar cocktail in its own right. Just don’t forget to soak in those glowing BC Place lights and downtown views. parqvancouver.com
Mount Pleasant Vintage & Provisions is an unexpected gem hiding in a trendy heritage house. With two patios to choose from, both offering unique vibes, you’ll be vibing to ’90s rap surrounded by a graffiti-style mural or soaking in city views. The menu, reminiscent of a kid’s birthday party, has hotdogs, tater tots, and cookout favourites like wood-fired oysters and saucy beef brisket. Choose from local beers or boozy slushies, but don’t miss the Tiger Claw, a unique vodka soda concoction. Barely a year old, this place is already a cult favourite. mtpleasant.bar
“I’ll go with the Granville Island hotel’s Dockside restaurant—for the ambiance, the fireplaces and that sophisticated, stylish and contemporary feel. Give me the skillet-baked cheese rolls and the pork belly and I’m good to go. There’s perfect waterfront views plus epic views of downtown, and they also have a happy hour and heat lamps and blankets when it gets chilly.” —Mijune Pak, Food Network Canada entertainer, judge on Top Chef Canada and Iron Chef Canada and host of Michelin Vancouver
“I love Hanai’s patio. It feels like a community—whenever I go there, I bump into the nicest people. I usually have a glass of sake or one of their playful slushy cocktails. And, of course, Burdock’s garden patio (biased, I know), where you get to see Chef Andrea come out and pick herbs for dishes. Also there’s nothing better than having a beautiful piece of burrata or profiteroles while enjoying a bottle of bubbles.”— Shiva Reddy, sommelier at Burdock and Co and food and wine columnist for CBC Vancouver’s On the Coast
“One of my favourite restaurant patios in the city is Livia on Commercial Drive. This family-run bakery, pasta and wine bar (named after the owner’s nona) boasts the charm and warmth you’d expect from an Italian café. It has such a welcoming atmosphere, and the front patio is the perfect spot (rain or shine—it’s covered) for people-watching. I highly recommend the breakfast sandwich for brunch, and you really can’t go wrong with any of Livia’s fresh pastas for lunch or dinner. On your way out, be sure to grab a loaf of sourdough (my favourite) and some of their mouthwatering pastries.” —Jaycelyn Brown, Said the Whale keyboardist and avid home baker
5380 University Blvd.
Opened February 2023
West-siders (and east-siders who aren’t afraid of a little drive), listen up: this new restaurant on UBC campus has a totally dreamy 40-seat patio that’s bathed in sunshine. The ultra-popular mid-century modern horseshoe booths are the ideal spot for snacking on pescetarian charcuterie. wildlightrestaurant.ca
8558 River District Crossing
Opened May 2023
Local is establishing a patio empire in this city. There’s the famed Kits Beach location, the tourist-friendly Gastown eatery and now this buzzy, brand-new River District spot. The wraparound, yellow-umbrella’d patio seats 90: sip on a spicy guava margarita and judge this emerging dining destination for yourself. localpubliceatery.com
505 Clark Dr.
Permanent patio opened May 2023
Thanks to a new bylaw allowing permanent patios at breweries, East Van’s Superflux now has a covered, year-round 67-seat patio—the no-frills picnic benches and ambient string lights beckon large groups of IPA aficionados. superfluxbeer.com
This story was originally published in the July/August 2023 print issue of Vancouver Magazine—find the digital issue here.