The pandemic has impacted many facets of our daily lives, but there is perhaps one silver lining that we can all agree evokes joy: the growth of Vancouver’s already thriving patio scene.
In a matter of months, we have become a patio city with an impressive 400 outdoor dining areas offering safe, fun environments where we can enjoy rare yet wonderful afternoons or evenings with the friends in our bubble.
It’s no secret that our local restaurants have suffered over the past 14 months, and to help support Vancouver’s best permanent and temporary al fresco dining spots, 15 Business Improvement Associations (BIAs) across the city have teamed up to launch PATIO.
All summer long, Vancouverites can make the most of the campaign by searching for a spot to visit — whether heated, all-weather, or pet-friendly — on the extensive patio map featuring destinations all the way from Kerrisdale to the East Village. Best of all, you can vote for your favourite patios to win weekly and daily prizes. How does free Phillips Brewing swag or a prize valued at up to $500 sound?
Brunch al fresco at our favourite neighbourhood gem is still our idea of a perfect way to start (or end) the weekend.
The cherry on top is the fact that we’re spoilt for choice with every kind of food and drink option available at Vancouver patios. When the craving for Italian food that transports you to Italy with each bite calls, there’s the quaint and beautifully unique Il Giardino in the heart of downtown, Yaletown’s La Terrazza, and Di Beppe in Gastown.
Brew enthusiasts can taste hop-forward and fruity craft creations ideal for summer sipping at beer destinations in a plethora of neighbourhoods. You’ve got Bells and Whistles in Dunbar Village, Parallel 49 in the East Village, Sing Sing over in Mount Pleasant, Strathcona Beer, and Bimini’s Beer Hall on West 4th Avenue.
You could even make an afternoon out of patio-hopping to try all the new seasonals on tap. Did we mention West Broadway’s Colony location? The patio and the lineup of local beers on the menu are exceptionally good.
Anyone looking for a reason to get dressed up (let’s face it, we all are) and taste their way around the world — without ever leaving Vancouver — can consider Vij’s rooftop in Cambie Village for mouth-watering Indian cuisine, the Chesire in Dunbar Village for British pub grub, and spectacular Greek food dished up at Minerva in Kerrisdale, Olympia Pizza in Kitsilano, and The Greek in Gastown.
For locally sourced dishes and wines to match, we’re fans of the Alibi Room at Hastings Crossing, Joe Fortes on Robson (hello, seafood tower), Hook in the West End right by English Bay, and The Stable House Bistro on South Granville. And if you can’t find a spot on one of the aforementioned patios complete with a view, there are literally tons of other fantastic options to choose from.
Remember when we said you could win prizes for voting for your patio of choice? It couldn’t be easier. Vancouver’s BIAs want to hear about your favourite patio for families, the best people-watching patio, the patio with a perfect view, or perhaps the one with the best margarita.
All you have to do is follow @patiovancouver on Instagram and keep an eye on their IG stories before clicking the link in bio to fill in a quick survey, which will automatically enter you into the weekly prize draw.
Each neighbourhood participating in the campaign will be offering up different weekly prizes worth anywhere between $100 to $500. And if you answer the questions found on Instagram posts and stories for @patiovancouver, you could get your hands on some sweet prizes from Phillips Brewing (think a beach towel, cooler, or very cool shirt).
Additionally, when you book a staycation via stayvancouverhotels.com from June 15 to July 31, you’ll get a complimentary $50 gift card — which can be turned into $70 when used on select patios. Can you think of a better start to summer?
To learn more about the PATIO campaign, start entering contests, and be in the know about all things patio-related this summer, check out the campaign page on Instagram.