When the sun shines in Vancouver, there’s no better place to grab a drink than a glorious patio. Whether you’re looking for a sidewalk cocktail, a rooftop glass of wine, or a brew with a view, we have some great options for an al fresco tipple.
Patios for Taking in the View
In Vancouver, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a patio that doesn’t take in a stunning vista. But some spots are especially recommended for the view, offering a backdrop of mountains, water and skylines. On Granville Island, a seat on the deck at Bridges Restaurant is especially sought after by those who want to enjoy a glass of wine while watching the waterside comings and goings up and down False Creek. Similarly, a little further east along the water, a spot on the patio at Mahony & Sons at Stamps Landing offers a view across to Yaletown, along with the action on the water. At Cactus Club Café at English Bay in the West End, the patio is so popular it has its own line-up, but there are few better places to catch the sunset. On the North Shore, Pier 7 Restaurant has a double-decker patio with stunning views back to the downtown skyline across the waters of Burrard Inlet. Even in winter, the downstairs, covered patio is open. Or head down to Richmond to The Flying Beaver, right by the airport to enjoy a beer on the patio while watching floatplanes take off and land in front of you.
Patios for People-Watching
Sometimes, watching the life on the street is more entertaining than a view. Whether you’re at street- level or sitting high above, there are Vancouver patios just crying out for an afternoon of cocktails and people watching. With one of the biggest patios in the city, Chill Winston in Gastown would automatically make a list of great al fresco drinking spots, but the people-watching here makes it even better. Take a seat at Provence Marinaside in Yaletown and you’ll enjoy an endless parade of folks strolling the seawall against a backdrop of False Creek. One of the city’s secret gems is the patio at the Gallery Café at Vancouver Art Gallery, which offers a civilized perch above Robson Street for taking in the downtown scene. Over at Kitsilano Beach, request a spot on the balcony at The Boathouse; not only does it offer a jaw-dropping view of the ocean and mountains, but also the strutting beachgoers right below you. Heading to a concert or a game at BC Place Stadium or Rogers Arena? Pull up a seat at Chambar's street-level patio for a cocktail while you watch the crowds pass you by.
There’s something special about a rooftop patio: it feels private and exclusive, while also exposing you to the sunny rays and, sometimes, sweeping views. Right on top of Robson Street is the beautiful garden patio above Joe Fortes, which is a fantastic post-shopping spot for a glass of wine and a dozen of the oysters for which they’re known. In a truly exclusive setting, Reflections at Rosewood Hotel Georgia offers a sunny terrace surrounded by gleaming office towers, along with a killer cocktail list. Close by, Black + Blue is known for their prime steaks, but the rooftop bar attracts a late night crowd looking for a glass of wine. Similarly, The Keg Steakhouse & Bar in Yaletown is famous for its menu, but the upstairs patio is one of the best in the city, and open for those just looking for a glass of something and a dose of fresh air.
❐ For a full listing of places in Vancouver to enjoy a meal on a patio, click here.