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This hidden gem is West End's best kept patio secret.
Dogs allowed: No
Afternoon sun: No
Patio reservations: Yes
Despite its home in the heart of this city’s densest neighbourhood, the lovely, lights-and-trellis-covered patio that is Robba Da Matti manages to feel like a hidden gem—and that’s in large part due to its residential location. This is no Denman-and-Davie see-and-be-seen beachgoer’s delight, but instead a quiet spot tucked right into the ’hood, dropped slightly from street level like a ’60s living room, and oozing with Italian hospitality. It starts from the moment the server welcomes you in—order the warm olives ($12), which clearly should be paired with a glass of the Santa Margherita prosecco ($12) or a when-in-almost-Italy Aperol spritz ($13.50), because summer.
The restaurant brings in fresh burrata from Italy weekly and pairs it with prosciutto ($25), so go all-in with sharesies, and do gild the lily with the Ligurian dish of pasta el pesto and burrata: homemade pesto topped with pecorino romano, burrata cream and toasted pistachios ($26). Or, if your Italian interest falls to Rome, then spaghetti carbonara—fresh pasta beautifully coated in free-range egg yolk with salty guanciale and cracked pepper—is your bowl of comfort for the night ($28). And with the lights twinkling overhead, a warm summer breeze and the chatter of those strolling the pedestrians-only strip of Gilford Street nearby, you’ll be reaching for another bottle of prosecco and planning your next European vacation. robbadamatti.com
This story was originally published in the July/August 2023 print issue of Vancouver Magazine—find the digital issue here.