Main squeeze: Little patios in Vancouver's Mount Pleasant

While Main Street south of 1st Avenue is essentially a six-lane thoroughfare, the traffic-heavy area hasn’t deterred residents or restaurateurs from transforming commercial spaces into desirable eating and drinking spots, many with outdoor spaces for the locals to enjoy amid the bustle of the neighbourhood. Check out these seven places with great patios.

The Whip Restaurant and Gallery

1
209 6th Ave E, Vancouver, BC V5T 1J7

On a warm spring or summer afternoon, The Whip is a great bet for a pint of cold beer and some healthy, pub-style food. Just off busy Main Street on 5th, the sun bathes this long, narrow patio in warmth and light till night falls. Nosh on an organic chicken Niçoise salad or one of the better veggie burgers in town and toast to the beginning of long summer evenings.

El Camino's

2
3250 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3M5

It may have minimal space but it’s got maximum curb appeal. This 11-seater on Main Street at 17th is the perfect little perch to indulge in a Monday night margarita and a couple of tacos as you relax after work with (only a couple) of friends. They’re strict on the capacity out there (City bylaws) but otherwise the vibe is totally chill and the Latin-flavoured food is fresh and tasty. And you can always put your name on the patio list and sip that first drink inside.

Lucky's Doughnuts

3
2902 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3G3

When 49th Parallel opened their Main Street location complete with an in-store Lucky’s Doughnuts and an ample side patio reminiscent of a friend’s backyard, it instantly became a meeting spot for friends looking to catch up, the perfect place for Saturday morning people-watching and a stand-in outdoor office for casual work meetings. With communal picnic tables along 13th Ave, you can enjoy your coffee, doughnut and conversation away from the bustle of Main.

The Five Point

4
3124 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3G7

If you’re looking to watch the Canucks game or are searching out a dark corner for an intimate evening, The Five Point’s interior is a good choice. But if a patio and the light of day is more what you’re after, snag a seat on their raised wooden deck overlooking Main Street at 16th and indulge in some cold drinks, a heaping platter of nachos and maybe some chicken wings, often a happy hour special.

Burgoo

5
3096 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3G5

One block north on Main is the Mount Pleasant location of Burgoo. An anomaly for Main Street, its roomy patio is set back from the street, providing a little oasis from the non-stop traffic. International flavours round out this eclectic menu with a focus on comfort food. Order some fondue for the table and a bottle of a crisp white wine and relax in comfortable chairs under wide umbrellas. This casually sophisticated spot is also family friendly.

Tapas 23

6
3941 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P3

Rare for Vancouver, Tapas 23 between 23rd and 24th Avenues boasts a lovely back patio where diners can enjoy their Spanish-inspired small plates and a glass of Sangria amid ivy-covered walls, hedgerows and potted plants. A hidden-gem of a place, it’s best visited in summer when this outdoor space essentially doubles their capacity. Take a break off Main and escape to a Mediterranean oasis.

The Reef Restaurant

7
4172 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P7

Hit this patio at the right time of day and not only will the mojitos and fried plantains have you feeling that Caribbean vibe, but the hot sun on your face will have you believing you’re living the island life. Basic but roomy wooden benches surround large tables while smaller tables for two line the front of this great post-work restaurant and bar. Choose from an impressive all-day menu and a huge selection of rums and you’ll be tapping that one-drop beat in no time.

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