Vancouverites love patios. Whenever the sun is shining, the city’s outdoor cafés and bars are packed with patrons sipping chilled cocktails and enjoying the mild weather. Now that alfresco-dining season has officially arrived, pull up a lounge chair at one of Vancouver’s top patio hangouts. Here’s the scoop on where to unwind and what to sip this spring and summer.
Reflections Outdoor Lounge
Hidden on the fourth floor of the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Rosewood Hotel Georgia, this stylish patio channels Santa Monica or South Beach, drawing well-dressed downtown denizens, who relax on teak couches around the fire pit with creative cocktails. The signature drink is the Hotel Georgia, a blend of gin, orgeat syrup, lemon juice, egg white, nutmeg and orange blossom water, although fun beverages such as the peachy-keen Bellini and the rum- and honey-mixed Airmail have become popular options, too. If you’d prefer a non-alcoholic refreshment, try the thirst-quenching raspberry iced tea, made with vanilla rooibos and fresh raspberry syrup.
Market by Jean-Georges
The terrace at Market by Jean-Georges, the signature restaurant on the third floor of the Four-Star Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver, offers both drinks and dining alfresco. The cocktails, like the cuisine, draw inspiration from Asia; in the ginger margarita, a ginger infusion perks up the classic, while the Cherry Blossom combines gin, cherry yuzu, Thai basil and soda. Also smart for summer sipping are the jasmine lemonade and the assortment of fresh fruit juices. And the perfect cocktail companion? The seared tuna with a rice cracker crust and a citrus-Sriracha emulsion.
Tap and Barrel
You can’t beat the views at these laid-back pubs, with two waterside locations. The prime patio perches at the downtown branch (next to the Vancouver Convention Centre) overlook Burrard Inlet and Stanley Park as floatplanes zip past. In the Olympic Village outpost, watch kayakers and dragon boaters cruise along placid False Creek, with the downtown skyline and North Shore mountains beyond. Both locations have a long list of beer on tap, including local brews such as Red Racer IPA, 33 Acres of Life and Whistler’s Bear Paw Honey Lager. Wine is on tap, too, with by-the-glass options from British Columbia’s Okanagan Falls, Vancouver Island and the Fraser Valley just outside town. Can’t decide? Try a beer or wine flight, with three taster-sized servings. And don’t forget to say cheers to the sun.
Photo Courtesy of Rosewood Hotel Georgia