JAMIE'S TOP 5 - patios to visit this Canada Day

Let’s talk food and ambiance shall we? It’s no secret that the best food experiences have just as much to do with our taste buds as they do with the atmosphere we are in.

Whether you are visiting, or a fellow citizen of our beautiful province of British Columbia, it is my pleasure to present you with some special dining spaces.

Finally, we are only days away from summer! For the underage population that means no homework, sleeping in on weekdays, and beach day is everyday. For most of us grown-ups on the other hand -- we’ll do our best to make a staycation happen whenever possible.

Even that sounds optimistic; however, the following five patios and rooftops are sure to offer quality leisure time. All you have to concern yourself with is who you’re taking with you.  

Every individual space will offer a unique experience. Bringing it back to design, they are all individually tailored to the cities in which they are located. So be choosy, are you wanting glam and sophistication? Or are you looking for a cozy, rustic energy?

Let me guide you through a foodie tour of sorts.

Reflections: The Garden Terrace | Rosewood Hotel Georgia | 801 West Georgia St. Vancouver, BC.

Reflections: The Garden Terrace | Rosewood Hotel Georgia | 801 West Georgia St. Vancouver, BC.

Let’s start the tour in the lively core of downtown Vancouver. One rooftop that should come to mind straight away to most Vancouverites is Reflections; a luxurious space offered at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. 

The Garden Terrace sits on the fourth floor amongst rich foliage and greenery from their inner courtyard. The bar and lounge atmosphere is vibrant yet intimate as you look around to the tall surrounding architecture. With cabana style seating, an abundance of tropical printed throw pillows and their tapas-inspired dishes, they’ve wonderfully executed that comfortable L.A. glam we’re looking for here in Canada. There are heaters, and blankets are provided to keep you warm during our cooler Vancouver evenings. 

Lift | 333 Menchions Mews, Vancouver BC.

Lift | 333 Menchions Mews, Vancouver BC.

How do marina and north shore mountain views sounds? Just south of Stanley Park, take a seat and take in the views from Lift. A bar and grill with both indoor and outdoor seating... but we are talking about patio season now. 

From weekend brunches to delicate evening deserts, you will be tasting authentically west coast flavours. Their lower and upper patios allow you to really immerse yourself in the natural beauty that B.C. has to offer. When such are your surroundings, it is important to maximize them and not distract with busy fabrics and bulky furniture. At Lift, comfortable lounge seating and light patio chairs and tables sit next to glass railings for unobstructed marina, Stanley Park, and Downtown Vancouver views. Heat lamps are also scattered around to keep you warm and relaxed as the cool evenings sink in. 

Smitty’s Oyster House | 643 School Road, Gibsons, BC.

Smitty’s Oyster House | 643 School Road, Gibsons, BC.

Alright seafood lovers; next, it’s time to get on a short ferry ride over to Gabriola Island. 

If you haven’t yet and are feeling bold, Smitty’s Oyster House is theplace to try oysters for the first time. They consider themselves “the hidden gem of the Sunshine Coast”, and it is my intention to spread the word on this great spot. 

Only feet away from the shoreline sits this converted old marine repair shop; now undoubtedly one of British Columbia’s tastiest seafood eateries. Smitty’s embodies this beautiful rugged west coast energy. The building’s rustic interior embraces its story and history, the walls encase tall industrial windows, and the atmosphere on the inside flows seamlessly to the outside. This outdoor patio holds a long wood slab dining table, with bench seating on both sides in order to comfortably accommodate you and all your friends. 

Feel free to walk down in your comfiest clothes and just watch the trawlers catch your local halibut and crab. 

Shelter Restaurant | 601 Campbell St. Tofino, BC | Open Daily 11am to Midnight

Shelter Restaurant | 601 Campbell St. Tofino, BC | Open Daily 11am to Midnight

The next ferry is Vancouver Island bound, and after a short road trip at last you will reach your final destination, Tofino.

The all-seasons patio to visit in Tofino is at Shelter Restaurant. They have an open patio area as well as a glass enclosed patio, both of which you can admire the inlet view from. Shelter is the perfect casual dining ambiance, although there is nothing casual about the fresh west coast ingredients you’ll taste. 

The restaurant embodies that Tofino energy so well with a rustic west coast interior. The enclosed patio is furnished with large fireside lounge chairs, wood high top tables and chairs and built-in booths wrapped in shiplap. It’s all about warm playful textures and having a variety of seating arrangements to best suit you and your company. The exposed patio has heat lamps and blankets intended to maximize your comfort and relaxation. As most do, this patio comes to life in the evening with string lights and fire-pits that set that intimate atmosphere we all enjoy. 

Whether you are joining them for a special occassion or dropping in after a surf, you can walk in certain that you will be enjoying a meal made with passion in an equally memorable space. 

The Law Courts Inn | 800 Smithe Street, 4th Floor | Vancouver, BC V6Z 2E1

The Law Courts Inn | 800 Smithe Street, 4th Floor | Vancouver, BC V6Z 2E1

Heading back to the mainland again, the final patio is back in downtown Vancouver, in the heart of Robson Square. The Law Courts Inn restaurant has a rooftop patio with breathtaking views of the beautiful cityscape. As you stand across the Vancouver Art Gallery, you’ll inevitably have to pause to look up and around at the tall buildings around you and feel the vibrant city energy. This venue also features a serenity pond and luscious gardens that you can walk through and appreciate with a glass of wine in hand. 

The historical Arthur Erickson architecture is contrasted beautifully with characteristics of modern design. This elegant space is the one to keep in mind for that next special occasion with your loved ones, or even for a fun night to spoil yourself. 

Regardless of where you choose to dine next, you are sure to make all sorts of delicious memories. Here in Raincouver, I mean Vancouver; it is important to take advantage of the hot weather, because we all know too well that it. Will. Not. Last. Go on now, please enjoy yourself with some wonderful company.

Leave a comment below. What is your favourite patio this season?

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