Fall in love with summer on Vancouver’s best patios

With its unparalleled views, nearby ocean and reflective glass skyscrapers, Vancouver really shines in summertime. When not on the beaches, much of the city sips a mojito or glass of the Okanagan’s finest on a patio. Here are some of the best summer staples and undiscovered spots for catching up on Vitamin D.


3106 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2W2

This idyllic patio on the rooftop of Vij’s relatively new location marries oasis bliss with metropolitan buzz. Contemporary pink iron sheeting surrounds the airy space, in which lush fronds and giant leaves envelop the sides of wooden benches. The cozy, shack-like bar adds to the feeling that you could be on holiday. So do the cocktails, which are as complex as they are delicious. This is a special spot whether for business meetings, romantic reconnections or friendly catch-ups.

The Ouisi Bistro

3014 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3J8

With its dark, atmospheric interior and rich food, this New Orleans-themed establishment feels more like a winter haunt to most except the initiated. Hidden at the back of the restaurant is a small courtyard patio covered in ivy, strewn with holiday lights, and with more than its fair share of friendly chickadees. A must-try accessory to the sun-drenched yellow walls is the bottle of sparkling wine for mimosas: one of the best bargains in the city at just $24.

Las Margaritas Mexican Restaurant

1999 4th Avenue W, Vancouver, BC V6J 1M7

Summer in Vancouver isn’t complete without a margarita and some guacamole on the patio of this favourite Kitsilano restaurant. Flower pots dot the already bright walls, while palm trees wrapped in fairy lights add a sense of the exotic to an otherwise bustling city corner. Get there early on weekends to find a parasol-shaded view of the street.

Dockside Restaurant

1253 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9

Fires burning in the middle of marble tables; luxury yachts in front of the Vancouver skyline: if you want to feel above your station in life, Dockside’s patio is the place to do it. Part of the Granville Island Hotel, which overlooks False Creek towards Science World, the restaurant offers light fare and fresh seafood to quell summertime hunger, and brews their own extensive selection of beer, too.

Mahony's & Sons Tavern

601 Stamp's Landng, Vancouver, BC V5Z 3Z1

On the inside it’s a cozy, traditional Irish pub. Outside, Mahoney & Sons is where to find one of the best views of the city’s polished glass and crisp steel. The vast patio juts out over False Creek. Get a table by the glass railings and you can watch the sea lap at the shoreline while sipping a cold one. An ideal spot to showcase Vancouver’s stunning skyline to visitors.

Cactus Club Cafe

1790 Beach Ave, Vancouver, BC V6E 1V3

Packed with tourists and locals alike, this patio is one that demands at least a few minutes of queuing, and on weekend evenings securing a spot is more luck than anything. No wonder, with the floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the Strait of Georgia, up to the mountains of Whistler and beyond. Put your name down for a table before taking a stroll on the beach nearby, before sampling chef Rob Feenie’s latest selection of dishes.

Sylvia Hotel

1154 Gilford St, Vancouver, BC V6G 2P6

In many ways the antithesis to Cactus Club’ modern, sleek aesthetic, The Sylvia Hotel is a staple of the West End and a go-to spot for locals to watch the waves coming ashore. Like a beloved family meal, the Sylvia is unfussy but heartwarming. Don’t expect fanfare cuisine; do expect casual dining staples, friendly service, beautiful views and the chance to experience a Vancouver tradition.

Falconetti's East Side Gril

1812 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5N 4A5

Commercial Drive bustles and jives even more during the summer months, but pavement space is at a premium and patios are often hard to come by. There are few better places to soak up the area’s unique atmosphere than Falconetti’s: a gritty rock bar with rooftop patio that overlooks the street below. For a rowdy evening of live music and even louder conversation, Falconetti’s is ideal.

If Vancouver’s bar scene is too social or slick for your night-out requirements, these cozy nooks offer a relaxing alternative, and they’re the closest you can come to a true European pub experience on this side of the Atlantic. Check out these laid-back locals for a solo pint or a low-key get-together with friends. [Photo credit: iStock.com/gpointstudio]
Wheel around the alleys of East Van and it won’t be long before you stumble upon one of the city’s craft breweries: on par with yoga studios for their popularity. During Vancouver Craft Beer Week, you can sample more than 300+ different brews (and ciders) from around the world. Check out some of the Vancity breweries that’ll be pulling pints at the festival at the PNE from May 26 to June 4. [Photo via Doan's Craft Brewing]
What better way to stay cool on a summer day than with a refreshing, crisp and refined cocktail from Great Britain? These Vancouver bars and restaurants offer the finest Pimm’s Cups in the city. Pinkies up ladies and gents! [Image courtesy of Cactus Club Cafe]
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