Vancouver's best patios

Can you smell it? Yep! That’s definitely the smell of patio season approaching! There’s nothing better than a long, lazy afternoon spent sipping a pint in the sun, watching Vancouver roll by underneath (or beside) you.

It takes a lot to make a great patio. It’s not just enough to be an outdoor space with seats, drinks, and eats. A lot of factors come into play. Is it comfortable? Spacious? Is there a good view? Is the food good and affordable? Is the staff great? What times does it get sun? Drink specials? And that’s just a start!

Of course, there’s no shortage of patios to hang out on in this lovely city, but it can be tough to decide just which one to plant your butt on. As a longtime Vancouverite, I feel I have a pretty good handle on the best patios this city has to offer. Here are my five favourites, all of which tested positive in the above list of questions. Ahem. In no particular order:

Chill Winston – Gastown

Gastown’s largest patio is also its best. Benefiting from a corner setting, the restaurant is able to offer a huge amount of outdoor seating. But, because it’s right in the middle of Gastown proper, that seating goes fast. This is the only downside, however, because Chill Winston’s menu is good, the drinks are great, and the staff is attentive. Plus, the people watching in this hood is second-to-none.

Bridges – Granville Island

While Bridges’ culinary offerings are nothing special, they do have tasty nachos. And its these I recommend you scarf down while sitting on Bridges’ vast and awesome patio, which overlooks the amazing views of False Creek. Why not quaff a tasty Granville Island beer, while you’re at it?

Local – Kitsilano

For Oceanside views, nothing beats the Local, which is right on Kits Beach. While you’re definitely going to be battling some meatheads on this patio, you’re also going to be taking in the sea air and watching the lazy world of Kits flow past. Ahhh…

Havana – Commercial Drive

If delicious food is your top patio priority, then you definitely need to go to Havana. Their Cuban menu is endlessly delicious, and you can’t go wrong with a pitcher of Sangria. They also have the best wait staff, and if you hang out outside long enough, you can step into the theatre in the back for a comedy show or play. Nothing wrong with that!

Gallery Café – Downtown

The Vancouver Art Gallery is one of the city’s greatest assets, and a lovely place to spend time. If sitting on the steps isn’t quenching your thirst/hunger, however, you probably need to head upstairs to the Gallery Café. Serving an a la carte style lunch menu with lots of choice, the highlight of this experience is definitely sitting up on a patio and watching Robson Street hustle by below. Not a patio you can hang on forever, but there’s so much else to see downtown, you’re just making a pit stop anyway.

What’s your favourite Vancouver patio? Let us know in the comments.

image via Loozrboy

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