5 Zen Patios for an Urban Escape

Secluded patios that offer a quiet respite from city life (because we're not always down with bustling crowds).

May 16, 2018

By David Kitai / Photo: Lululemon

Patio season doesn’t have to mean jam-packed outdoor seating and noisy crowds. For those of you that want to enjoy a quiet read or no-stress bite to eat, here are a few of our favourite spots to soak up a little summertime zen.


1. The Gallery Café

The Vancouver Art Gallery’s garden patio feels like it was purpose-built for an afternoon of reading and people-watching. Sit among the flowers as tourists come and go on their busy sightseeing days. If you visit between June and August, expect to be tempted by a killer happy hour deal: three beers for $15! 750 Hornby St. (Second Floor)


2. Brix and Mortar

It’s chill, but it’s not informal. Brix and Mortar’s ivy-lined patio puts white tablecloth service under a glass roof and glowing chandeliers. Nibble on some beef tartare in the 106-year-old heritage space as you marvel at the exposed pipes and while away the evening hours feeling ensconced from your cares—and the rest of the city. 1138 Homer St.


3. Adesso Bistro

Adesso has the sort of that patio you stumble onto—and then you stay to luxuriate in the feeling of al-fresco bliss you didn’t know you needed. Hidden away on a residential stretch in the West End, the restaurant specializes in easygoing Italian fare ideal for an aimless early supper. It’s getting to be negroni season, too—who are we kidding? It’s always negroni season—and there’s no better place to enjoy one (or five). 1906 Haro St.


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(Photo: Courtesy Cafe Il Nido.)

4. Café Il Nido

Café Il Nido’s patio, and its menu, feel stuck in time—and we mean that in the best way possible. Walled by vine-covered trellises in the courtyard of the historic Manhattan Court Apartments, the space feels like an old-school outdoor bistro. Its red-sauce dishes, straight out of an ’80s Italian standby, are enough to make you nostalgic for an era you never actually lived in. 780 Thurlow St.


5. Lululemon Kitsilano

When Lululemon revamped their Kitsilano store last summer, they decked out their rooftop patio with couches, planters and a barbecue. Accessed through the back lane (that’s right…you don’t even have to go through the store to get there), the patio is open to all as a “community gathering space” and is their special way of saying thank you to the neighbourhood they grew up in. Take a break after your morning run and bask in a little corporate generosity. 2101 West 4th Ave.

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