With the forecast calling for unbroken days of sunshine, it’s time to snag a table on one of the many patios in the city, order a few bites and drinks, and just relax in the glory of summer.
Coupled with Vancouver’s extraordinarily scenic surroundings, the city has a wide variety of different patios that offer both water and urban views. Here are 5 patios to visit to maximize your summer chilling.
1. Joe Fortes (777 Thurlow Street)
With its prime just-off-Robson-Street location, Joe Fortes is an unbeatable choice after a stroll and shopping expedition around Vancouver’s downtown core. This local favourite, nearly thirty-three years old, boasts a stunning roof garden patio, which is a veritable oasis in the heart of the city. Besides lush greenery, you get to enjoy urban views, an outdoor fireplace, and drinks from the horseshoe-shaped bar.
Freshly shucked oysters are always a good idea at Joe Fortes, along with other seafood options, such as the seafood tower on ice (chilled Atlantic lobster, local oysters, marinated clams and mussels, scallop ceviche, albacore tuna crudo, chilled jumbo prawns), the albacore tuna tartare, and the miso marinated sablefish with sesame quinoa, mushrooms, edamame, kale, and sweet soy.
2. H2 Rotisserie Bar (The Westin Bayshore, 1601 Bayshore Drive)
With views of the Coal Harbour seawall, Burrard Inlet, and the North Shore mountains, the large patio at H2 Rotisserie Bar is very much worth a visit. Their outdoor pool is also situated by the patio, so consider an all-day pool pass ($125 per person), which includes a reserved chaise lounge, changing cabanas, and a $25 voucher for the pool menu. Liquid Yoga classes are also on-going Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings, and on Thursday evenings ($25 for hotel guests, $30 for locals, $125 for 5 class pass).
Food-wise, make sure to order the Maple Hill Farms House rotisserie chicken, served with challah bread, pan gravy, and your choice of two sides (eg homestyle fries). Other great bites include the West Coast crab cake and the cobb salad. A “gin in the garden” with lavender and rose syrup is the perfect sipper.
3. Cardero’s Restaurant (1583 Coal Harbour Quay)
Nearby Cardero’s also boasts a stunning view of the Coal Harbour Marina, Stanley Park, Burrard Inlet, and the North Shore mountains. Their adjoining patio, which perches you right over the water, gets busy during hot summer days, so make sure to get there early or during non-peak times in order to score a seat. Their wok squid is always addictively good, as are their buttermilk fried oysters. For a lighter entrée during the heat, the Niçoise salad is a good pick, as is the cedar plank salmon served with wok fried rice and market veggies.
4. Cactus Club Café English Bay (1790 Beach Avenue)
Relaxing at English Bay during the summer is a quintessential Vancouver activity. The views are spectacular, the people watching always lively, and there are multiple restaurant patios for sipping and eating. Cactus Club Café draws the crowds with a patio that is pretty much right on the beach, making it one of the most sought after locations in the city during July and August. And the food is always consistently delicious, with new items like the vegan crispy tofu bowl with jasmine rice, mango, cucumber, avocado, edamame, and radish (non-vegetarians can opt for the ahi tuna option). Other favourites include the butternut squash ravioli with prawns and, of course, the Feenie burger. The frosé makes for a refreshing liquid option.
5. Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio (2-1600 Howe Street)
Ancora features a gorgeously elegant patio overlooking the False Creek seawall, with Granville Island just across the way. This is the place for a serene meal or light bites as you enjoy the picturesque view. The menu is an inventive play on Peruvian, Japanese, and West Coast cuisine, with a selection of sushi (eg spicy albacore tuna roll), ceviches (eg halibut), and mains, such as aji panca glazed sablefish with smoked potato puree, dashi braised daikon, kale gomae, and quinoa crackling.
Make sure to maximize your summer with these patios and more in the city!