Vancouver City Guide:
Vancouver’s Top 7 Patios
There’s no doubt about it – Vancouver has so many reasons to shine all year round but especially so in the summer. The city is surrounded by the mountains, valleys, ocean and beaches, an abundance of scenic inspiration to keep you mesmerized.
Are you surviving the surge in temperature right now? July is definitely making up for June’s gloomy start to summer and I’m not complaining! Vancouver is bursting with summer activities and attractions for all of the tourists and locals alike. Sure there are mountains to traverse, the Pacific ocean to explore, lakes and rivers to canoe, but let’s not forget that there is another ideal way of enjoying all of Vancouver’s scenery and sunshine without breaking a sweat, and that’s on one of Vancouver’s gorgeous patios! Okay, maybe there’s some sweat involved and that will be on the glass of your ice cold beverage but who doesn’t mind that, right?
Vancouverites know that when the sun is shining, it’s time to hit the beach, take a stroll around the seawall, head up to the mountains for a hike, or lounge on a beautiful outdoor patio – and it’s the latter that we’re pretty darn good at.
In this blog post, I’m going to share with you 7 of Vancouver’s top patios to enjoy on a gorgeous sunshine-filled day, as part three of my Vancouver city guide series. I have to admit, the competition is quite fierce amongst Vancouver’s plethora of restaurants, so I used the following guidelines as a guideline: view, ambiance, décor, menu and price point ($-$$$). I’ve included some casual settings as well as some of Vancouver’s more luxe patio options because there’s definitely something for everyone in Vancouver!
Reflections, Rosewood Hotel Georgia, $$$
Rosewood Hotel Georgia first opened in 1927 and underwent extensive renovations in 2011. Located right in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Rosewood Hotel Georgia has maintained its stature as a popular establishment for years. Located on the fourth floor of the hotel is Reflections, a casual yet sophisticated garden terrace lounge and bar. The terrace is seasonal and is enclosed so there isn’t a city view however the courtyard has a beautiful open and covered seating arrangement, with sleek water features, soft lighting and luscious greenery to envelop you and remove you from the hustle and bustle of the city below. The light tapas menu, extensive wine and cocktail list, and occasional live entertainment will keep you lounging in this oasis for some time. Seating is limited in the evening on weekends and on a first come, first serve basis so do keep that in mind. They even have a brunch and lunch menu if you’re looking to relax after a round of shopping at Pacific Centre and Robson Street. I’ve celebrated several birthdays and occasions here because the Rosewood Hotel Georgia is my favourite hotel in the city and the service is always outstanding. Oh, and don’t be surprised to lounge alongside some celebrities here, too!
Chill Winston, Gastown, $$
Beautifully central and opening onto Gassy Jack square in Gastown is Chill Winston, a hip and wildly popular “GastroLounge” that focuses on local, conscious, eco-friendly, and sustainable dining. Naturally, this urban-chic spot attracts urban-chic locals and visitors alike for brunch, lunch, dinner and evening drinks. You can bet that their patio is buzzing on the weekends and it doesn’t stop till they close! They have an array of food choices, from small plates to main courses and desserts. Try their staff-recommended cocktail, Spooning Jesus, or pick from their locally showcased draught beers or wine list. After a nice evening, overlooking Gassy Jack Square, head downstairs to Guilt & Co. for live music and good vibes.
Six Acres, Gastown, $
Just across from Chill Winston in Gassy Jack square, is Six Acres, a small but bustling gastrobar serving up select local brews, delightful cocktails and tasty snacks in one of Gastowns oldest brick building. Don’t be fooled by its rustic and vintage charm, the people over at Six Acres know how to keep their customers coming back for more with their rotating specials of their local beer on tap and small dishes to share with your friends or date. You will get more bang for your buck here with their friendly prices and, wait for it, extra long happy hour! Yes, happy hour starts 11:30am to 6:00pm daily, so what are you waiting for?
The Wine Bar, Yaletown, $$$
Located across from Quayside Marina, The Wine Bar boasts an impressive array of French champagne and wine classics as well as a selection of BC wines. I’ve frequented The Wine Bar for special occasions and for more relaxed affairs and every time, I am amazed by the French savoir-faire because the experiences have been delightful. Their food menu ranges from small bites to main courses so there’s something for everyone, at any time of the day. They have a great “tappy hour” which features glasses of wine and beer for $5! Enjoy the French vibes and Vancouver views of the marina, people watch and maybe spot a celebrity or two here as well!
Bridges Restaurant, Granville Island, $$
We’re moving across False Creek, over to Granville Island where you can enjoy an expansive and open patio at Bridges Restaurant. With prime waterfront views, fresh seafood, tasty desserts and refreshing drinks, Bridges has become a local institution. The menu varies, depending on whether you sit at the bar, on the patio deck, at the dessert bar, or upstairs for a more refined experience. Either way, you’re bound to enjoy a delicious meal in a relaxing and friendly atmosphere. On a gorgeous sunny day, do expect to find the restaurant bustling with locals and tourists but it is worth the visit, especially if you stay to watch the sun set over the city or enjoy the Celebration of Lights, a firework display that takes place in July and August.
Pier 7 Restaurant & Bar, North Vancouver, $$
Tucked away on the North Shore next to Lonsdale Quay is Pier 7, take in the 180-degree stunning views of downtown Vancouver’s skyline from a unique perspective at this upscale waterfront restaurant. I have enjoyed birthday celebrations here, the most recent being for my own birthday this year, and the evening was fantastic! We sat on the patio where we had an unobstructed view of downtown Vancouver, Lonsdale Quay and the historic Victory Shipyard. Pier 7 has an array of seafood and casual fine dining options, a seafood boil on Thursdays and a happy hour menu that is the perfect excuse to escape the office midday for. The views on the patio will have you mesmerized and make you forget you have to return to work!
Vancouver Art Gallery, Downtown Vancouver, $
You know I had to save the best for last! This is hands-down my special place and haven. The Vancouver Art Gallery is like a home away from home for me and not only that, their patio is gorgeous! When it is open in the spring and summer, it is a lush oasis and hidden gem that is tucked away, right in the heart of the city. The Vancouver Art Gallery cafe has a fresh selection of soups, sandwiches, quiches, salads and desserts, as well as alcoholic beverages like beer, wine and champagne. The next time you’re downtown, consider a wander through the art gallery and enjoying a light snack and drink amidst the flowers, architecture, classical music and stylish people of the city. This is how Vancouver does casual elegance!