Soak up the sun on these lesser-known patios.
It’s springtime in Vancouver, which means we’re playing hide-and-seek with the sun in seemingly endless hours. It also means that the influx of “patios to check out” stories is starting to fill your feeds. By now we all know the big players in this genre (look at you, Reflections) who every summer overflow with enthusiastic happy hour-goers trying to enjoy the sunbeams and tasty cocktails after work.
But after a huge increase in secret patios since the pandemic, there are some newcomers and hidden gems in Vancouver’s outdoor dining scene that are worth a visit.
We’ve rounded up 10 that we think you should check out.
Last summer, this speakeasy-esque patio in Gastown opened as a sibling to La Taqueria and is back again weather permitting.
Don’t let the alley and shipping container fool you, the food and cocktails will both surprise you. Each flavor is authentic and thoughtful, paying tribute to different states in Mexico.
After a brief fear of losing this ultra-cool cocktail and natural wine spot, Boxcar is back and so is its spacious and colorful patio.
The usual suspects are on the cocktail menu: margs, mules, and Caesars, but there are also a few creative twists in them. In the late afternoon, has sherry, brandy, spiced apricot jam, lemon and bitters for a sip that gives the husband-of-a-coastal grandmother vibes.
Pizza Farina is next door and can be ordered in advance and taken to the terrace which we highly recommend.
One of Vancouver’s best vegetarian restaurants of all time. This comfortable addition to the formal Acorn restaurant is worth a visit even without the patio. Coincidentally, however, the Arbor also has a nice, cozy patio in the back.
Open from 12:00 to 21:00. The patio is small and casual, and goes great with Arbor’s wicked happy hour, which serves beer, wine, and two signature cocktails for $5, with North Arm Farm potato hash and yellow curry or chilaquiles for snacks.
“It’s not every day you can find a hidden patio on the Drive away from the high street traffic,” said Doug Stephen, co-founder of DL Chicken, Downlow Burgers and The Drive Canteen of the Canteen’s new space. that they’ve been working on all winter and recently revealed.
The patio is hidden at the back, with an entrance through the convenience store, and can accommodate up to 24 people at three yellow picnic tables and three high tops. The team hopes to host barbecue events and pop-ups with the community this summer. But until then, people can expect all the snacks, hot dogs, and nachos the Canteen is known for, plus specialty soft drinks.
Minami in Yaletown doesn’t quite evoke the idea of a patio experience, but in fact the hidden backyard oasis of this high-end sushi restaurant is a real gem.
Nestled in greenery and hedges, this patio has a seating area and outdoor tables for parties of two to four. It’s also the perfect place to enjoy Minami’s happy hour, another seriously underrated offering – ebi fritters are only $9 and the aburi sampler is $7.
Sangria on tap, want to know more?
Then Como Taperia’s patio will soon reopen on the Main Street side of this Spanish snack and wine bar. The drinks menu is fantastic with an extensive imported and local wine list paired with ready meals that play with modern nostalgic items such as charred octopus with chickpeas, hazelnuts and paprika salsa.
Giardino’s patio will open on May 20. Umberto’s restaurant is an upscale Tuscan-style Italian spot located on Hornby Street between Davie Village and Yaletown.
The patio is designed like a garden in the Italian countryside for a small transport dinner in the heart of downtown Vancouver and although extremely romantic in the evenings it is worth a visit for an aperitif or lunch during the day to fully enjoy it green and butter yellow tones.
We wouldn’t call Sing Sing a relaxing patio, but it sure is entertaining and can be quite lively on warm summer evenings. The outdoor area overlooks Main Street and is great for sharing some pizza, dumplings or pho with friends while people watching and sipping craft beer or fun cocktails.
Sing Sing really comes alive late at night, as it’s open until 2am (which is one of the few bars in Vancouver), making the patio experience all the more enjoyable. And when it’s warm enough, the garage door stays open, making the inside feel like a patio too.
This neighborhood staple missed the boat on the Pandemic Terrace, but now they more than make up for it. Hero’s Welcome will open a back patio just in time to serve their revamped menu.
The casual pub that was once a former legion is introducing a sangria, Caesar and a Botanist gin cocktail and continues to give its loyal local fanbase more drink options and space this summer. The exact date is not yet known due to city destinations, but stay tuned.