By Kristi Alexandra
Though many of us hope that COVID is nearly in the rearview, BCers should be fairly experienced patio diners by now because of former restrictions—and that’s not a bad thing! Many restaurants, bars and eateries have spruced up or expanded their existing patio spaces, and diners are reaping the benefits. Beat the heat and try out these new-and-improved patio spots in Vancouver this summer.
Innocent Ice Cream
Ice cream will certainly cool you down on a hot day! This gluten-free ice cream parlour boasts “the best ice cream sandwiches in Vancouver,” and you’ll know it’s true when you visit the Main Street Shop (4895 Main Street, Vancouver). Their cozy back patio (seats 8) also flaunts its solar-powered ice cream truck aptly named “Sunshine”, which is perfect for ‘gram-worthy snaps.
Snap up a scoop of ice cream (vegan options available) pressed between two of their signature gluten-free cookies, and hop to the back patio for a shady bite with a friend.
To get here: Take the Expo Line to Main Street Skytrain Station, and hop on the #3 Main bus heading south. Get off the bus at Main Street and 33rd Avenue. A dozen or so more steps will take you to the ice cream takeout window.
H Tasting Lounge
By the seaside but made in the shade is the patio at H Tasting Lounge (1601 Bayshore Dr., Vancouver). Shade-giving umbrellas and art deco-inspired outdoor furniture feature on this spacious waterfront patio, connected to the Westin Bayshore and with direct access to the famous Vancouver Seawall.
H Tasting Lounge offers a robust line-up of curated cocktails imagined by premium bartenders and complemented with local dishes crafted by Chef Shaun Maclean, but you won’t want to miss happy hour specials available 3 – 5 PM daily, which includes their refreshing Pandan Daiquri ($7), Sbagliato ($8), and their House Punch ($9) among many others.
To get here: Grab the #19 bus to Stanley Park from Main Street-Science World Skytrain Station at Bay 2. Ride 14 stops to Westbound W Georgia St at Cardero St, and walk 3 minutes to 1601 Bayshore Dr.
The Keefer Yard
Many Vancouverites and beyond may already know about Chinatown’s Keefer Bar (135 Keefer Street), an apothecary-style cocktail lounge that boasts ingredients sourced from local Chinatown markets and herbalists. What they may not know about, however, is the adjacent Keefer Yard: a patio tucked away behind the famous bar (it’s ranked in the top 100 cocktail bars in the world), that includes fireside seating and—get this—a mini-golf putting green. The covered space offers a mix of sun and shade, complete with street-art murals that adorn the sides of the buildings that enclose the space. You’ll want to come here for a round of mini-golf ($10), or their signature Sake Coladas ($13). Happy hour is from 2 – 4 PM, Monday to Friday.
To get here: Take the #3 Downtown bus from Main Street-Science World Station and ride two stops until you get to northbound Main St at E Georgia St. Walk north, and then turn left on Keefer Street. Voila!