The City’s Best Patios
October 2, 2008
L'Autro Buca 1906 Haro St., West End, 604-683-6912. The Look A stylish garden courtyard terrace that wouldn’t be out of place in Montreal’s Latin Quarter The Menu Pasta's the thing, but the bistecca alla fiorentina (Tuscan style steak with arugula and Parmesan) is a summery delight. The wine list is extensive and affordable Get This Chef Andrey Durbach does many things well, but his green pea and mint agnolotti with braised lamb sauce is stellar.
The Gallery Café 750 Hornby St., Downtown, 604-688-2233. The Look Nestled in between high-rises, perched above Robson Square, the Vancouver Art Gallery's café is a tranquil oasis amid the hubbub of downtown. The Menu A sophisticated mix of panini and salad, soup and quiche. (We recommend the caprese panini-bocconcini with Roma tomatoes, roasted peppers, and sun-dried tomato oil, $7.95, or the rare ahi-tuna salad bowl, $9.25. Get This A Granville Island beer or a glass of well-priced wine, then settle in with a good book under a Japanese maple tree
Il Giardino 1382 Hornby St., Downtown, 604-669-2422. The Look Less a patio than an outdoor room where the Howe Street crowd comes to play. The pretty courtyard’s brick walls and draping vines muffle the Pacific Boulevard traffic drone The Menu The draw is Umberto Menghi’s Tuscan cooking, and choice items fired in the outdoor wood oven Get This Agnolotti stuffed with lobster and shiitake mushrooms in a light tomato sauce ($26.95), paired with a glass of North Coast Sterling Chardonnay.
Oasis Ultra Lounge 1240 Thurlow St., West End, 604-685-1724. The Look Rooftop patio with retractable awnings means you can max out the sun's rays The Menu Cheap as chips tapas menu with every item just $5 until 7 p.m. Get This Green bean frites (tempura battered) with sweet chili sauce ($8).
Nu 1661 Granville St., Downtown, 604-646-4668. The Look The wrap-around patio boasts killer views brought to life by the arc of the sun as it glides over False Creek The Menu Elegant small plates featuring local ingredients at unlikely prices Get This Fried local oysters with a Lighthouse Lager shooter ($3.90) and chèvre-stuffed chicken wings ($11.60) are introductory musts; the open-face lobster club sammy ($21) will sort out the unsated.
Chill Winston 3 Alexander St., Gastown, 604-288-9575. The Look Hip young boutique store owners and loft dwellers park their Vespas on the cobbled street beside the sprawling sidewalk patio The Menu Light snacks like tuna tartare ($12) and pan-seared calamari ($10) Get This Anything off the adventurous cocktail menu—or the inventive wine list.
The Galley Patio & Grill 1300 Discovery St., West Point Grey, 604-222-1331. The Look Glorious views of downtown and the North Shore. Not to be mistaken for the posh yacht club down the beach—plastic deck furniture and a high-school-caf interior remind you where you are The Menu A fresh version of the “beer and burger” standard: the Galley Patio Lager is made to order by R&B Brewing Co. and the premier burger is certified Angus beef ($9.09) Get This An 18-inch plate of classic nachos ($15) that requires the whole crew to pull their weight to finish.
The Sandbar 1535 Johnston St., False Creek, 604-669-9030. The Look Tucked under the Granville Bridge, it boasts unmatched views over False Creek to Yaletown’s glittering high-rises The Menu West Coast fare with a seafood emphasis Get This A glass of Carta Nevada ($5.75) and a Sandbar Benny ($13.95) for a dose of shrimp, crab, and bubbly before noon. For dinner try the cedar-planked salmon ($26.95).
Dockside 1253 Johnston St., False Creek, 604-685-7070. The Look Expansive patio overlooks False Creek and Yaletown The Menu Stick to the lounge’s burgers, quesadillas, and chicken wings Get This On-site brewery offers plenty of lagers, ales, and seasonal beers. All pints are $3.95 on Tuesdays; Wednesdays offer pitchers of the “brewmaster’s choice” for $9.95.
The Five Point 3124 Main St., 604-876-5810. The Look Sticky floors, long wooden benches, pleasingly gruff serving staff, calculatingly cool hipsters. The Menu Casual pub fare with decent weekday specials (50-cent wings on Tuesdays; burger ’n’ brew, $10, on Wednesdays). Get This Blackened ahi tuna bites ($10) and pints of Guinness for just $5.30.