There are two things we value immensely during summer: fine weather and dining al fresco.
After cocooning at home for months on end, we’re ready to embrace the warmth of the sun against our skin, the chill of a cold (and beautifully garnished) drink in our hands, and the sensory experience of indulging in decadent dishes.
Recently, we pondered the most effective way to showcase a selection of the hottest summer patios in Metro Vancouver, which led us to a solution that would make any foodie or outdoor dining enthusiast proud: patio hopping.
We narrowed down our choices to three Instagrammable Earls Kitchen + Bar locations with stunning patio extensions and, following all health and safety protocols, set out to discover the most sippable and mouth-watering items on the menu at each spot.
Stop 1: Earls Fir Street
Address: 1601 West Broadway
Upon arriving at our first destination, we marvelled at the entrance: a lush green space oozing summer vibes. Yes, the covered patio we all know and love at Earls on Fir Street is now complemented by the Tanqueray Terrace — a pop-up garden oasis exclusive to this location.
Once seated, we perused the menu and ordered what we now know will be among our summer go-to choices. The bright and beautiful Mother Earth Bowl (which is also available vegan) and the Jumbo Lump Crab Cake. Although we ordered the crab cake as an appetizer (it comes in a larger entrée too), we discovered it’s satiating enough to enjoy alone if you’re not too peckish, filled with fresh crab meat, corn, and roasted red peppers, complete with a drizzle of lemon juice over top. Bliss.
Feeling thirsty under the afternoon sun, we gravitated towards the elegant and refreshing Californian Summer Water Rosé — one that happens to be exclusive to Canada for Earls restaurants — available during dine-in happy hour (2 to 5 pm and late night at most locations). Light and easy to drink, it also comes in a sparkling variation. And we can tell you that it tastes exactly like summer feels: sublime.
Stop 2: Earls Yaletown
Address: 1095 Mainland Street
Located in the heart of Yaletown and just around the corner from the Daily Hive office, this central Earls restaurant has a special place in our hearts. With ample seating outside on the contemporary patio and also on the street level, it was the perfect choice for our second stop of the day.
Curious to try something new, we set our sights on two newcomers to the menu: the plant-based Crispy Tofu Roll and the Chicken Karaage. One bite into the tofu roll wrapped in a delicate sesame seed soy paper over a spicy unagi sauce, and we were hooked — no exaggeration. Marinated in soy sauce, the crispy-on-the-outside, succulent-on-the-inside karaage was the ideal pairing. In case you’re wondering, the Japanese mayo on the side is seriously dip-worthy, to the point where you may need to ask for another helping of it.
Did we order a Spicy Watermelon Margarita to drink while we gushed at the exposed brick wall adjacent to our table? You bet we did. A game-changer for any margarita fans, this daring beverage packs a subtle spice thanks to one of its key ingredients: habanero pepper coin. Garnished with a slice of dehydrated watermelon, it’s a piece of mixology art that tastes heavenly.
Stop 3: Earls Station Square
Address: 6070 Silver Drive
For the final stop on our patio tour, we made our way to Burnaby to the Earls Station Square location. Tucked away from the bustle of Metrotown, the expansive outdoor area is a hidden gem — the kind you stumble upon while meandering through the streets of a new city for the first time.
Within minutes of sitting down at our table, which was topped with glistening white marble, may we add, we asked our server for some must-try recommendations. It was decided: we’d order the Wok-Fried Lettuce Wraps and our second watermelon dream of the day, the Watermelon Slush — both available at happy hour. Oh, and a side of French Fries with Truffle Garlic Mayo, of course.
Since it was our first time trying lettuce wraps, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. But, wow. These crunchy, Chinese-inspired eats filled with chicken (tofu is also an option) emerged as the summer snack we never knew we were missing.
In between dipping piping hot crispy fries into garlic truffle mayo, we admired and imbibed the ultimate frozen watermelon cocktail. A concoction of vodka, watermelon syrup, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and strawberries, garnished with a dehydrated watermelon slice, it was love at first sip for us.
At the end of what could only be described as a magical afternoon of sun-soaking, sipping, and savouring notable new eats, we realized we’d found our new favourite summer patio spots in Metro Vancouver.
Each Earls patio location we visited had its own unique ambiance and Instagrammable aesthetic to elevate the experience, so you could easily fill your summer days by checking them (and more) out.
To book a table at your nearest Earls, check out the new menu and item availability, or order food to go, visit earls.ca.