Ah, waterfront patios – does it get any more West Coast? False Creek provides a host of options for soaking in the sun on its south shore. With great views of the city, three bridges to frame the scene and plenty of sail-bys from beautiful people on beautiful boats, an afternoon on one of these Vancouver patios is sure to come with a healthy side of photo ops.
Tucked away at the back of the Granville Island Hotel, the patio at Dockside Lounge looks like it was plucked right out of Miami Beach. A large pergola decked out with black-and-white floor-length curtains provides shade for the dining area, while those sipping cocktails – or beers from the in-house brewery – relax on modern white rattan couches and chairs in the sun. At dusk, the outdoor fireplaces are lit and the pergola’s heaters come on, keeping the patio vibe going well into the evening.
You could easily eat at The Sandbar and not even notice the patio – but that would be a huge mistake. Keep climbing the stairs until you emerge on the glassed-in rooftop just under the arch of the Granville Street Bridge. The view is spectacular, and there may be no better place in Vancouver to watch the sunset. Add plenty of dishes meant for sharing and an impressive assortment of OceanWise seafood and you may not want to leave.
This large, modern two-storey taphouse is located in the former athletes’ village from the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, with patios on the ground and second levels offering views of Science World, BC Place and Yaletown. The menu features pub classics like pizza and burgers done up with local and organic ingredients – and with 24 beers and 14 wines on tap, there’s plenty of liquid refreshment to choose from, too. Even with two huge patios, this space fills up quickly, so plan to leave your name with the hostess and wander the seawall until your seat is ready.
Run by five members of the Mahony family, the Mahony and Sons mini-chain brings the classic Irish pub atmosphere to Vancouver. The newest addition, at Stamps Landing, features a bar handmade in Ireland that was shipped to Vancouver for assembly onsite. The two levels of patio seating offer up 300 seats perched over the waters of False Creek. A solid collection of Scotch and Irish whisk(e)ys complements the menu of classic pub fare and lighter dishes.
Sitting next to the Public Market on Granville Island for more than 30 years, Bridges is a staple stop for tourists and locals alike. The patio serves a bistro menu featuring share plates, burgers, pizza and plenty of Ocean Wise seafood. Show a ticket for any theatre in Vancouver and you’ll get 20 percent off your lunch or dinner food bill on the day of the performance.
Nestled in the marina at the southern entry point to Granville Island, the patio at Vancouver Fish Company gives you the feeling you’re eating your meal on the deck of a ship. With the kitchen helmed by the former executive and sous chefs from The Fish House in Stanley Park (Steve Duyzer and Chef John McManus), the menu showcases Ocean Wise seafood and other local ingredients.
Attached to the Arts Club Theatre, the Backstage Lounge is a staple on the Vancouver music scene and hosts live bands almost every night. The patio overlooks the Granville Island Aquabus dock and the Public Market, offering plenty of great people watching. The menu features all the pub-grub classics, and the drink list highlights local brews on tap.