There’s nothing like going for a sunny bike ride/skate/walk/jog with friends through Stanley Park on a summer day in Vancouver. A great way to polish off that experience is by stopping for a cold one and a nosh at one of the nearby sun-drenched patios. Here are some of the best patios in Coal Harbour.
My top neighbourhood picks, moving from West to East:
Patio capacity: rooftop–50, horseshoe–40
Best thing about it: the view–the Marina, Stanley Park, boats, seaplanes.
Top recommended eats: grilled octopus or the Modern Prawn Cocktail.
Recommended Drinks: The Elder (alcholic) or The Nine Iron (non-alcholic).
Dog-friendly: Yes, their valet will watch your dog for you, and they have a water-bowl for them, too!
Bike-friendly: Yes, you can valet your bike, or lock it up to the Seawall railing outside.
Best for: A romantic, sunset-watching date with your significant other.
Patio capacity: 100
Best thing about it: Casual, laid-back atmosphere, the feeling of being in the middle of the water. The restaurant itself was designed and built by owner Brent Davies, who wanted to create a unique and interesting building with a casual marine theme. The the nautical themed decor and finishings inside the restaurant make you feel almost as if you are on a boat!
Top recommended eats: Wok Squid, fresh oysters, the Oyster Burger, or for you meat-lovers out there, the Cardero Burger (they make their patties fresh, in-house every day).
Recommended Drinks: a glass of the Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc (crisp–goes perfectly with oysters!), or the Victoria Pink (Grey Goose vodka, lychee purée, pink grapefruit juice, Sprite). Non-alcoholic: the Garden of Eden (fresh watermelon, lychee purée, splash of lime).
Kid-friendly: Yes! They have a kids menu that doubles as a colouring sheet for the little ones. Boosters and highchairs are available.
Dog-friendly: Service dogs only.
Bike-friendly: Yes, you can lock your bike up to the railings outside.
Best for: a larger-group of mixed friends after a day at the beach.
Patio capacity: almost 300 seats – the largest patio in downtown Vancouver.
Best thing about it: The uninterrupted and spectacular views of Stanley Park, the north shore, Burrard inlet, seaplanes flying by… the dog friendly aspect, the seawall directly in front, and the private aspect of being in Harbour Green Park in Coal Harbour.
Top recommended eats: Local Albacore Tuna Appy, Pulled Pork Sandwich, and the Wild Local Salmon Board.
Top recommended drinks: Anything of the Sangria Pitchers list. Signature Ceasars are to die for and are hugely popular and they have local craft beers and local premium wines on tap. Non alcoholic…. Lemonade!
Kid-friendly: Yes, absolutely – and there’s even a kids water park / fountains directly in front of us. Your kids can play there on a sunny day while you have a beer.
Dog-friendly: Yes – and they serve dog treats, too!
Bike-friendly: They have bike racks, too!
Best for: a casual mid-afternoon beer, families, or sharing a plate of nachos and a pitcher of beer with your bestie.
Cactus Club Coal Harbour
Patio Capacity: 200
Best thing about it: The wrap-around patio creates an unparalleled experience for guests to enjoy views of Coal Harbour and the Olympic Cauldron. There’s a lounge area with a fire pit, as well.
Top recommended eats: Ceviche and Tuna Sushi Cones (made with soy paper, not nori–they’re pastel, and have a tempura crunch), fish tacos.
Top recommended drinks: Belinins, of course!
Dog-friendly: Service Dogs only.
Bike-friendly: There are bike racks on Jack Poole Plaza.
Best for: girl’s night or a casual date.
Patio capacity: 60 seats on the East Patio. 100 seats on the North Patio.
Best thing about it: Beautiful views of Cruise ships, Burrard Inlet, Stanley Park, North Shore mountains. Also great people watching space as well as lots of walk by traffic.
Top recommended eats: Mahi Mahi Tacos, Italian Club Salad, Fish & Chips.
Top recommended drinks: Guinness (obviously) or a cold pint of Strongbow Cider. They have an extensive selection of blended cocktails as well.
Kid-Friendly: No–they are a liquor primary location so adults only 19 years of age.
Dog-friendly: Service Dogs only. All other pets must be kept on the outside of our patios.
Bike-friendly? There are plenty of bike racks just outside the club 16 gym right next door.
Best for: burgers and beers with the boys.
Rebecca Coleman is a blogger, teacher and social media marketing strategist. She runs a recipe blog, Cooking by Laptop, and loves to experiment in the kitchen. She blogs at Vancity Buzz about restrictive diets. Connect with Rebecca on Twitter @rebeccacoleman, or look for her sipping a cold one and hanging out on one of these patios with her friends, as she’s a Coal Harbour resident.