Vancouver restaurant patios: 40 recommendations for outside dining


Dining is moving outside this season, and you should, too, especially if you want to support our local independent restaurants

Article content

Bundle up, folks. Patio season has come early this year.

When Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced on March 29 that indoor restaurant dining would be put on hold for at least three weeks, restaurants across the province pivoted (once again) to takeout and patio dining.

Truth is, many patios never closed all through this pandemic winter, but only the hardy huddled beneath the heating lamps. Now that spring is here, hungry Vancouverites are piling on the layers and heading to the great outdoors to dine.

Luckily, we have a better selection of patios than ever before. Loosened regulations have allowed pop-up patios to be built on sidewalks, side streets, parking spaces and empty lots, and we can expect more to come over the next few weeks and months.

Some, like the Keefer Yard with its outdoor games and cocktail slushie machine, are quite elaborate; others, like the curbside Lucky Taco patio that was installed within three hours of the closure notice, not so much.


This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

But fancy or simple, patios are where we’ll be socializing over the next few weeks, right through summer and maybe even into fall.

After all, the coronavirus that has upended our lives over the past year is most likely to be spread in what the World Health Organizations calls the three Cs: crowded places, close-contact settings and confined spaces with poor ventilation. Outdoors is as safe as it gets, and even when the current restrictions are lifted, many of us might just feel safer dining al fresco.

So grab your sweater and come join us on these patios this spring. If your favourite independent restaurant isn’t among those listed below, call to see if they have a patio, plan to open one later this season or offer takeout instead.

READ MORE: COVID-19: How safe is it to dine on a patio given the rise in variants?

The patio at Caffe Artigiano’s North Vancouver Shipyards location.
The patio at Caffe Artigiano’s North Vancouver Shipyards location. Photo by Christian Tisdale /jpg

For coffee, tea and sweets

Need something to wake you up? Enjoy your cuppa in the sunshine at these java joints.

Caffe Artigiano (multiple locations): Each of these family-owned cafes offers patio seating where you can enjoy coffee and bites like truffle mushroom wraps.

Giovane Café (near Canada Place): Look for the signature yellow Vespa outside the Fairmont Pacific Rim to find a sip of Italian coffee culture.

Honolulu Coffee (downtown and Kerrisdale): Hawaiian Kona coffees and acai bowls.

Kafka’s Coffee (False Creek Flats): Single-origin coffees and terrific pastries on a sun-soaked patio.

Laduree (Robson Street): Mmmmmmacarons, fancy tea and patisserie, just like Paris.


This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Temper Chocolate and Pastry (West Vancouver): Elevated sweets in charming Dundarave.

The patio at Nuba in Yaletown.
The patio at Nuba in Yaletown. jpg

Perfect for lunch

Even if you’re WFH, you need a break sometimes. Fuel up for your afternoon Zooms right here.

Nuba (Yaletown, Mount Pleasant): Signature Lebanese dishes and excellent people watching.

The Sandbar (Granville Island): Where to refuel after shopping at the market next door.

Tractor Everyday Healthy Foods (multiple locations): Fast food so good you may not notice that it’s also good for you.

The patio at Di Beppe Ristorante in Gastown.
The patio at Di Beppe Ristorante in Gastown. Photo by Mark Yammine /jpg

When it hasta be pasta

It’s not quite a piazza in Rome, but these restaurants will transport you to Italy for at least a little while.

Di Beppe Ristorante (Gastown): Enjoy the annual Festa della Polenta menu throughout April.

Farina a Legna (North Vancouver): Wood-fired pizzas, handmade pastas and Italian spritzes in Lower Lonsdale.

Italian Kitchen (Burrard Street): Classic dishes and “piatto blu” specials on a hidden garden patio.

The patio at B House on Commercial Drive.
The patio at B House on Commercial Drive. Photo by Marquardt Photography /jpg

Sushi and friends

Unfortunately for hungry Vancouverites, few of our fantastic Asian restaurants have patios. Here are some that do.

B House (Commercial Drive): Asian fusion and local ingredients with a West Coast vibe on the Drive.

Kinton Ramen (UBC): Noodle bowls, savoury bites and beer on campus.

Miku (waterfront): Aburi sushi and an incredible view overlooking the sails at Canada Place.

Minami (Yaletown): Elegant sushi served on one of the city’s sweetest hidden patios.

Yuwa Japanese Cuisine (West 16th Avenue): Elegant and creative dishes paired with an exceptional sake selection, served on a cosy and intimate patio.


This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

The patio at Cardero’s Restaurant in Coal Harbour.
The patio at Cardero’s Restaurant in Coal Harbour. Photo by Natasha Dion /jpg

Va-va-voom views

Where the scenery is as spectacular as the dining.

Bridges (Granville Island): Burgers, fish ’n’ chips and more on the legendary patio outside the big yellow building.

Cardero’s Restaurant (Coal Harbour): Enjoy a vast international menu on an epic patio with views across the marina and Stanley Park.

Popina (Granville Island): “Fast food done better” from a colourful shipping container on the dock.

Provence Marinaside (Yaletown): French fare with a spectacular wine-by-the-glass selection overlooking False Creek.

Seasons in the Park (Queen Elizabeth Park): West Coast cuisine in one of Vancouver’s prettiest settings.

The rooftop patio at Black + Blue in downtown Vancouver.
The rooftop patio at Black + Blue in downtown Vancouver. Photo by Trevor Cook /jpg

Downtown deluxe

For a taste of the city, slide into these elegant rooms.

Black and Blue — The Roof (downtown): Swish steak house with a stylish, vine-covered rooftop patio.

Blue Water Cafe (Yaletown): Come for the swish seafood and wine to match; stay for the glamorous people watching on a graceful garden patio.

Coast (downtown): Seafood focused restaurant with extensive raw bar and trendy sidewalk seating.

Glowbal Restaurant (downtown): The caged banquettes in the shadow of the Telus building offer some of the city’s most striking outdoor seating.

Gotham Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar (downtown): Elevated steak house in a heritage art deco building with hidden city patio. Opening soon.

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House (downtown): Exceptional raw bar, happy hour favourites and seafood classics on a popular rooftop patio. Weather dependent.


This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Tableau Bar Bistro (downtown): Modern French bistro fare, excellent cocktails and easygoing wine list on a chic — and newly expanded — patio.

The patio at Dachi in East Vancouver.
The patio at Dachi in East Vancouver. Photo by Miki Ellis /jpg

And more to whet your appetite …

Hungry for tacos? Fried chicken? Burgers? Someone’s sure to be serving whatever you’re craving on a patio somewhere. Perhaps one of these ones.

Dachi (East Vancouver): Farm-to-table dining with an extensive natural wine list.

Homer Street Café and Bar (Yaletown): Rotisserie chicken, burgers, cocktails and happy hour on a cosy private patio.

Hook Seabar (English Bay): Seafood menu just steps from the beach.

Juke Fried Chicken/The Chickadee Room (Chinatown): Irresistible fried chicken (don’t forget the waffles) and craft cocktails in a historic neighbourhood.

Jules Bistro (Gastown): Authentic French fare on a romantic patio.

Lucky Taco (Kitsilano): Funky curbside seating for tacos and Margaritas.

Main Street Brewing (East Van): Bring your dog, order from one of the food trucks and settle in with a pint.

Ophelia Restaurant (Olympic Village): Authentic, elevated Mexican, with margarita Mondays and a zippy brunch.

Pourhouse (Gastown): Best burgers in town, and great cocktails, too. Now with patio.

The Flying Pig (Olympic Village, Yaletown, Gastown): Wide-ranging menu of well-executed comfort favourites.

The Keefer Yard (Chinatown): Craft cocktails, outdoor games and a menu featuring house dim sum and takeout from neighbouring restaurants. Outstanding happy hour.


This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Reader recommendations: Best Metro Vancouver restaurant patios

We asked Vancouver Sun and Province Facebook followers for their favourite restaurant patios around Metro Vancouver. Here are their recommendations:

The patio at The White Hart Public House! Great food! Great service!
— Trena Bennett

The Clayton Public House.
— Maria La Roque

Earls at Lansdowne; Milltown in Vancouver — great water view on one side — yacht views on the side; Kove Kitchen Steveston — water view; Sockeye City Grill and Shady Island Bar and Grill (Steveston) – both have awesome water and boat views – happy hour specials; Blue Canoe Steveston – water view, great happy hour specials, too.
— Louise Yeoh

There’s a beautiful patio at Granville Island Hotel that is award-winning last three years and has a view of False Creek all the way to Science World. Absolutely beautiful.
— Sean Collings

Bridges on Granville island has one of the best patios … or Sandbar, also on Granville Island.
— Craig Sabasch

Koerner’s Pub and the Loafe Cafe on UBC campus, El Camino on Main, so many more!
— Dorna Rahimi

— Kathryn McMullen

Sylvia’s Restaurant and Lounge, has one of nice patios with view of English Bay on Beach Ave.
— Barry Barton

Jules Bistro on Abbott in Gastown has a cute little patio and they’ve just set up heat lamps.
— Gale Liebert

The Rise Eatery in South Granville has a hidden back patio with heater. The sunset vibe, the food and the fun cocktails are why people go.
— Wanda Lai


This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Ember in Steveston — great food and the view is spectacular.
— Marcia May Westermark

Britannia in Steveston.
— Frank Costanzo

Did we miss your favourite? Share your restaurant patio recommendation with other readers by leaving a comment below.

Rules for dining out during COVID-19

The patio at Tractor’s downtown location.
The patio at Tractor’s downtown location. Photo by Marquardt Photography /jpg

• If you can, make a reservation.

• If you can’t, leave your name and phone number so staff can reach you for contact tracing.

• If you don’t feel well, stay home.

• If you have to cancel, let the restaurant know right away — no-shows are devastating when a restaurant is operating at a fraction of its capacity.

• Remember that groups are limited to six people, of the same household.

• Arrive on time so you don’t end up milling around the entrance.

• If hand sanitizer is offered, use it.

• If directional arrows are posted, follow them.

• Observe social distancing of two metres from others.

• Wear a mask at all times except when seated at your table.

• Stay seated unless you have to visit the restroom. Do not change seats, table hop, order from the bar or wander around chatting with other guests.

• Be prepared to use a QR code to read the menu.

• Pay with a card; few places are accepting cash right now.

• Remember that alcohol service must end by 10 p.m., so last call is often at 9:30 p.m. Plan accordingly.

• Do not take your frustrations out on staff. They are doing the best they can under trying circumstances. Yelling at them is not going to change anything.

• Above all, be kind, be patient, and tip well.

Get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.