Out in the open: Chill Calgary patios for casual drinks

Calgarians are known to do three things once temperatures soar above zero: don their best flip-flops, dig their summer shorts out of storage and head to the nearest outdoor patio. Here are some of our favourite patios that are ideal for grabbing a casual drink. Photo by Michael Trudeau courtesy of Blanco Cantina.

Broken City Social Club

613 11 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0E1

Between the graffiti-laden walls, the eclectic soundtrack and the ATM housed in a wooden replica of Doctor Who’s time- and space-traveling TARDIS, the rooftop patio at Broken City is the epitome of laidback summer cool. To avoid the scorching heat and a potential sunburn, pop by for a spot of boozy weekend brunch between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. before other patrons awaken from their hibernation. Or, if drinks later in the day are more your speed, any of the beers on tap work beautifully with the mainstays of their regular menu.

Ricardos Hideaway

Once you set foot in Ricardo’s Hideaway, it’s hard to walk away. With its extensive rum and cocktail menu and its luscious Caribbean aesthetic that extends to the staff’s cabana wear, Ricardo’s has a nearly palpable resort-like feel that makes even the shortest of pit stops feel like a laidback day at the beach. Sip on a Mai Tai, kick your feet up and feel your worries slip away.

National On 8th

335-225 7th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2P 2W3

Standing in stark contrast to the dark and moody atmosphere of the bar’s interior just one floor below, the rooftop patio at the Stephen Avenue location of National is a hedonistic delight packed with beautiful people, outdoor games and a wide variety of drinks and delectable pub grub. Blow off some steam and catch up with loved ones over happy hour drinks from 3 to 6 p.m., when all draft drinks are $0.25 per ounce.

Ship & Anchor Pub

534 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0B1

What this bare-bones open-air patio lacks in ambiance it makes up for in notoriety. On any given warm day in Calgary, the Ship’s patio fills up with locals and regular patrons in the blink of an eye. We recommend claiming a spot early in the day to get the most of this pub’s vegan- and celiac-friendly eats and the spectacular people-watching that’s made possible by its 17 Avenue location.

Blanco Cantina

723 17th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0B6

With lush greenery on the walls and brightly coloured patio furniture decorating its 30-seat patio, this 17 Avenue hot-spot’s outdoor space screams fun and vibrancy, which makes sense when you consider that Blanco Cantina specializes in Tex-Mex tacos and inventive margaritas. Few things complement patio weather better than margaritas and tacos, and here you can experience them all in perfect harmony while taking a break from shopping the area’s boutiques.

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