It’s patio season in Vancouver, and what better way to enjoy the sunshine than with a platter of freshly shucked oysters or grilled salmon? To help your visualization become a reality, we’ve rounded up several dining spots around the city that specialize in seafood and also have unbeatable summertime settings. Slather on the sunscreen and get ready to sup.
Sunset on False Creek
In a city of lovely waterside patios, the terrace at Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio is one of the loveliest, overlooking the bobbing boats along False Creek and supplying views to Granville Island.
The restaurant’s raw bar offers all sorts of seafood pleasure, too, blending Japanese, Peruvian and west coast flavors into the ceviches, tartares, sushi and sashimi.
Other tempting dishes on the summer menu include seared Haida Gwaii halibut paired with forbidden rice paella, baby squid and shrimp; and grilled bigeye tuna with soba noodles, braised daikon and yu choy. Complement the meal with a pisco sour or a glass of Japanese whiskey, as you watch the sun go down over the water.
On the patio in Yaletown
The vista from the patio at casual WildTale Coastal Grill is of the surrounding Yaletown street scene, and on a sunny day or balmy evening, it’s an alluring location for watching the world go by.
Look for fresh oysters and a selection of straightforward grilled fish on the lunch and dinner menus. At brunch, seafood lovers can sip a Caesar (Canada’s version of a bloody mary, made with clamato juice) or a fresh juice blend, while sampling the signature crab cake benny (poached eggs served on a crisp crab cake) or the smoked salmon Benedict, with poached eggs and cold-smoked salmon layered atop a generously sized potato rosti.
North Shore views at a Four-Star hotel
The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver recently updated its water-facing restaurant, now called Oceans 999, as well as its adjacent Coal Harbour Bar. In both venues, tables look out through the double-height windows across Burrard Inlet with expansive views of the North Shore mountains.
Sunday brunch is a long-standing tradition here, with fresh seafood, roasts, salads and more. At other meals, look for classics such as fish and chips, seafood chowder or a Cobb salad perked up with Dungeness crab. Tip: For a drink and a light bite on a fine day, head for the Patio Terrace.
Seafood on a downtown rooftop
Named for the sailor who became Vancouver’s first official lifeguard, Joe Fortes Seafood and Chop House has been serving up seafood and steaks to Vancouverites and visitors since 1985. The eatery is known for its extensive selection of fresh oysters and for a show-stopping seafood tower made of multiple tiers of jumbo prawns, lobster, scallop ceviche, oysters and more.
The best spot to tuck into this bounty from the sea is up on the rooftop patio, an umbrella-lined oasis in Vancouver’s downtown shopping district. Like a gin and tonic, a shrimp cocktail or a simple filet of salmon (all of which you can enjoy at Joe Fortes), some summertime classics never go out of style.
A ferry trip for a seafood boil
Start your evening with a ride on the SeaBus ferry; it’s a scenic 12-minute boat trip from downtown’s Waterfront Station across Burrard Inlet. When your ferry docks at Lonsdale Quay, take a short stroll over to Pier 7 Restaurant. Nab a table in the window-lined dining room or out on the water-view terrace to take in sunset panoramas of the downtown Vancouver skyline from across the water.
Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Pier 7 offers The Boil, a traditional seafood feast for two (or more) that features family-style platters of Dungeness crab, prawns, snow crab, mussels, clams and calamari, along with chorizo sausage, potatoes, okra and grilled corn. Is there a more delicious way to celebrate summer?