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Vancouver's Top 5 Spots for Eating Outdoors

Vancouver's Top 5 Spots for Eating Outdoors

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It would be a shame to dine indoors in this beautiful city

Pajo’s serves delicious fish and chips on their barge patio.

Vancouver is in no short supply of patios, but could you blame them? With mountains, ocean, trees, and a beautiful city skyline, the view is impeccable no matter where you are in the city. Vancouver may be known for its Rainy City status, but that doesn't stop locals from enjoying a pint on the patio. In fact, many Vancouver patios are able to be covered and heated.

Click here for Vancouver's Top 5 Spots for Eating Outdoors Slideshow!

On warm, sunny days patios can get packed, so it's best to make reservations where you can. Like we've previously mentioned, you can find a fantastic patio in any neighborhood. So whether you're shopping on Robson, going for a run around Kits, or checking out the culture down Commercial Drive, you'll be sure to encounter several patios on your trek.

It was tough to narrow down, but we've rounded up our Top 5 Places for Outdoor Eating in Vancouver. They represent great eats, fantastic views, and a mix of Vancouver's world-renowned culture.

Have we missed your favorite patio? Let us know below!

Dee de los Santos moonlights as a PR lady by day and writes about her love of food on Gastrofork by night. She blogs about her experiences in Vancouver, around the world, and braving her kitchen as she learns how to cook. To connect with her, follow her on Twitter @gastrofork.

Anthony Bourdain’s Top 5 Holiday Travel Tips

Anthony Bourdain, host of No Reservations and The Layover, has traveled around the world and back, including during the busy holiday season. On a recent interview with Good Morning America, Tony provided 5 things that every traveler should know -- whether it's for the holidays or any other time of the year

Eat Like a Local
"Wherever you are, eat what the locals are good at or famous for, and eat where those locals like to eat it. Do not rely on your concierge for dining tips. He's in the business of making tourists happy. You want the places that make locals happy. Seek out places crowded with locals. Avoid places where others of your kind are present."

Show Appreciation
"People everywhere like it when you are appreciative of their food. I cannot stress enough how important your initial reactions to offerings of local specialties are to any possible relationships you might make abroad. Smile and try to look happy, even if you don’t like it. If you do like it, let them know through word or gesture of appreciation."

Visit Local Markets
"Get up early and check out the central food market. It's a fast way into a culture, where you'll see the basics of the cuisine. You'll often find local prepared foods at stands or stalls serving markets' workers."

Travel Prepared
"Be prepared to be stuck in an airport for indeterminate periods of time. Load your mobile device with as many games, songs, apps and e-books as possible to keep busy during long waits. Also, make sure to pack a battery charger to power up."

Get Comfortable
"Remember to bring something scrunchy and long-sleeved, like a sweatshirt. You might need it as a pillow."

Vancouver's Top 5 Spots for Eating Outdoors - Recipes

National Geographic Traveler’s
City Guide: Vancouver

Vancouver Sun and The Province
Best of International Wine Festival

Vancouver is Awesome and Business Insider Vancouver
15 Ways for Food Lovers to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Vancouver

2019 Accolades

OpenTable’s Diner’s Choice Awards:
Japanese (Vancouver & British Columbia)
Most Booked
Best Overall
Best Food
Most Booked

Best Sushi
2019 Populist Award Winner

Star of Vancouver
Best Japanese

Top 100 Places to Eat in Canada

Open Table
Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants for a Big Night Out

2018 Press

2018 Accolades

Open Table Diner’s Choice
Most Booked in Vancouver
Best Overall
Best Service
Scenic View

Where Magazine Reader’s Choice

2017 Press

2017 Accolades

Vancouver Magazine
17 Best Restaurants in Downtown Vancouver

Open Table
100 Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants in Canada

Where to Dine
Critic’s Choice in Sustainable Seafood

Georgia Straight’s Golden Plates
Best Japanese
Best Sushi

2016 Accolades

Gayot’s Selection
Top 10 Vancouver View Restaurants
Best Vancouver Outdoor Dining Restaurants
Best of Vancouver Heart Healthy Restaurants

19th Annual Golden Plates
Best Japanese
Best Sushi

Where to Dine
Reader’s Choice Japanese

Best of City Dining
Best Restaurants to Take Visitors
Best View
Best Work Lunch

Open Table
Top 100 Restaurants in Canada

2. Okanogan Fruit

Colleen has a passion for cooking and photography, and loves living in the Okanagan valley with its wealth of fresh seasonal produce. The Food Blog is where she shares her passion for fresh, local, seasonal food from scratch.

“When I think of Okanagan food, of course, I think about the fruit. The fruit that grows here in this valley has always been what the Okanagan is about. British Columbia grows more fruit than any other province in Canada, according to Statistics Canada. And the Okanagan Valley is where most of that fruit is grown.

I’ve lived here in the Okanagan for 25 years, but even before that, I remember making family treks to the Okanagan to buy cherries, peaches and apples.

Having a back-yard orchard really solidified my fruit experience here. The first home that I bought on my own had five fruit trees in the back yard. We had a peach, nectarine, apricot, cherry, and a plum tree. This kept me busy canning and jam making every summer.

The orchards have now started to give way here, to vineyards, as the wine industry here has blossomed in the last couple of decades. The Okanagan is now home to 120 wineries (and counting), many of them award winning. And vineyards are a big part of our landscape now. And with the wine, comes the cuisine.

The Okanagan Valley has a thriving food culture, built around the wineries, as great chefs come here to cook and prepare the abundance of fresh, local ingredients to pair with the wines. Some of the best restaurants here are winery restaurants. If you come to the Okanagan, check out Old Vines at Quail’s Gate, The Terrace at Mission Hill, and Grey Monk Estate, among so many others, for locally inspired food cooked by outstanding chefs.

But the fruit. To me, fruit will always be the essence of the Okanagan. And this simple recipe for Spiced Rum Grilled Peaches, using tree ripened Okanagan peaches, showcases that perfectly, I think.”

Did You Know? British Columbia is full of wild and cultivated berries, from survival foods like bearberries (kinnikinnick) to the largest production of high bush blueberries in Canada. Blackberries grow in abundance, as well as their cousins and hybrids: salmonberries, boysenberries, thimbleberries and loganberies. Others are salal, strawberries, huckleberries and Oregon grapes.

Dine at an Elegant Restaurant

Dinner out is another date cliché, but Vancouver has no shortage of charming restaurants that pack on the romantic charm. Enjoy a candlelit Italian meal at Lupo in Yaletown, cozy up to a velvet banquet at Bacchus Restaurant & Lounge, or dine by the waterfront at Five Sails with spectacular views of the North Shore mountains.

Eat the World: 9 Best Food Tours

No wonder there are so many innovative, sophisticated food crawls cropping up—often led by chefs, journalists and cookbook authors. (Disclosure, a couple of them have fed me for free.) From Vancouver to Venice to Vietnam, by foot, private car or motorbike, and from hawker stalls to jacket-required temples, these moveable feasts are worth a long journey.

This outfit runs several tours of a city that’s rich in seafood, creativity and immigrant cuisines. Most fun is the crawl through downtown with stops at food trucks selling everything from Japanese hot dogs to hoisin chicken wraps to authentic tandoori naan. The best part: Guests get to skip all the lines.

Slow, immersive travel is the style for this company. Along with tours that don’t involve eating (including some in Turkey and France), they offer insight into one of the most fascinating cuisines in Italy, thanks to the enormous spice trade in past centuries. The walk runs from the Rialto Fish Market to a few bars for cicchetti and heartier dishes, all paired with Veneto wines and prosecco on tap.

Club Tengo Hambre, at a tasting of local mezcals

A “roving supper club,” CTH also organizes daytime food walks. The sidewalk dining is famously delicious—20 million people a day eat something on the street (impressive for a metro area of about 21 million). The company, which also operates in Tijuana, emphasizes out-there foods you can’t get at home: huitlacoche quesadillas, green chorizo flavored with spinach and almonds, and the city’s best tacos al pastor.

Culinary Backstreets in Lisbon, home to the country's only remaining wood-fired coffee roaster.

Taking a scholarly approach to pedestrian gourmandizing, Culinary Backstreets was founded by long-term American expats. They’ve grown to offer dozens of walks in 13 cities, from Tbilisi to Tokyo. One standout example is the Song of the Sea tour in two founders’ current home of Lisbon, which takes guests away from the touristy city center and into the working-class port zones and feeds them the city’s best seafood.

Quite possibly the most fun food tours around (even if there’s minimalwalking), XO’s trips introduce guests to street food from throughout Vietnam—served from stalls that cater to locals—and take them zipping around many of the city's districts, not just the touristy ones, on the back of a female-driven motorbike.

Hummus with Eager Tourist

Along with an exploration of the city’s booming craft beer scene and a cooking workshop with an esteemed local chef, this outfit organizes insider tours of Tel Aviv’s three most vibrant outdoor food markets—crossroads of all the countries in the region, including many that Americans can’t easilyvisit these days—led by chefs, food stylists, recipe developers and other experts.

The Culinary Adventure Company

Most citizens of Toronto are non-Canadians, and this company’s tour of Chinatown and Kensington Market shows off the city’s ethnic mix. In Chinatown, the walk stops for bites of Asian comfort food and Toronto’s best dim sum. And in the market, designated a National Historical Site, the offerings are farther-ranging, such as Jamaican meat patties and Mexican tortas.

Street food in Los Angeles with Urban Adventures by Intrepid Travel

A division of an adventure tour operator that does multi-day trips, this one focuses on packing maximum experience in minimal time. There are full- and half-day culinary (and other) tours all over the world, but one highlight is the Ethnic Neighborhoods Food & Culture excursion in L.A., which aims to give travelers a chance to meet and eat with locals while taking in the city’s diverse food culture.

Run by a Bari boy who traveled the world as a professional athlete, Southern Visions organizes all kinds of experiences in Puglia, home to some of Italy's best food. Among the culinary tours is one of the labyrinth alleys of the old center of Bari with stops for the city’s famously light focaccia, raw seafood and the region’s beloved oricchete (“little ear” pasta, handmade by ladies outside their homes) with broccoli rabe.

Clandestine in New Orleans

Clandestine caters to our urge to indulge, with gourmet tours that include a progressive breakfast in the French Quarter, followed by black-car transfers to two top restaurants (the famous Galatoire’s and Brennan’s, or newer spots like Emiril Lagasse’s Meril) for a dine-around lunch, and finally a three-hour cooking class with one of the city’s admired chefs (from restaurants like Coquette, Patois and Boucherie).

I've been an award-winning travel writer and editor for 19 years – including several as a senior editor at ForbesLife – and I've written about more than 600 luxury

I've been an award-winning travel writer and editor for 19 years – including several as a senior editor at ForbesLife – and I've written about more than 600 luxury destinations and hotels in 97 countries (and counting). I know the difference between what’s merely expensive and what deserves its high price tag. I’m discerning but not jaded, and I appreciate the hard work that goes into crafting experiences as well as crafting luxury goods. (I’ve written about those, too.) I’ve shared that wisdom with readers of Forbes, Departures, Conde Nast Traveler, Robb Report, Afar, National Geographic Traveler, Islands, Hemispheres, Brides, Modern Bride, Luxury SpaFinder, Well + Good, and other publications. In the name of lifestyle journalism, I’ve gotten a tattoo in Bora Bora, been bitten by a massage therapist, and flown small aircraft above three continents.


What to Look For: 6- to 10-inch, purplish green shoots

Where to Find: Fields and open, well-lit areas throughout Canada

When to Look: Mid-spring to early summer

Eating Tips: Rinse and boil, steam or sauté

Goes Well With: Smoked salmon

Salam Bombay, Downtown

Located in the heart of Vancouver's downtown shopping district at 755 Burrard Street, the cosmopolitan Salam Bombay makes this list both for its authentic Indian cuisine and its commitment to gluten-free and other allergy issues—the Salam kitchen uses separate pots for gluten-free bread and separate pots and pans for preparing peanuts and other allergens.

Owned and operated by a native Indian from the southern Indian state of Kerala, Salam Bombay's food is traditional, including lovely curries, Biriyanis, and a special in-house gluten-free naan as well as a fantastic wine list.

The 21 best things to do in Vancouver

August 2019: Vancouver really does have it all, in a beautiful setting to boot. Visitors come from around the world to experience the best things to do in Vancouver they're lured by pristine parks, vibrant diversity, endless culture, and awesome things to eat and drink. No visit to Vancouver is complete without getting a dose of nature though. Whether it&rsquos a strenuous hike up Grouse Grind (#4), a quiet stroll through a Chinese garden (#9), or communing with whales (#8), the city has the great outdoors covered. Be sure to make time for checking out local artists at the Pacific Arts Market (#15) and local foods at the Granville Island Public Market (#2). After a long day exploring the city, relax with a stroll along the water (#11) or catch some sunset views at English Bay (#13).

Welcome to the Time Out DO List, our curated list of the best things to do in Vancouver, from outdoor adventures to culinary surprises. The beauty of Vancouver's mountains and sea means getting outside is a must, but there are plenty of indoor activities to explore as well. Don&rsquot forget to check out our guides to the best restaurants in Vancouver and bars in Vancouver.

Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. You can also learn more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world, or take a look at our list of the 50 best things to do in the world right now.

Top Outdoor Dining Restaurants Near You

Click on each city to see the full list.

Atlanta (Inside the Perimeter)Montréal, Canada
Atlanta (Outside the Perimeter)Napa, CA
Atlantic CityNashville
AustinNew Orleans
BaltimoreNew York
Berkeley, CANorthern New Jersey
Beverly Hills, CAOakland, CA
BostonOrange County, CA
California’s Central CoastOrlando
Cape CodPalm Springs, CA
Carmel, CAParis, France
ChicagoPasadena, CA
Denver, COPittsburgh
DetroitPortland, OR
Flagstaff, AZProvidence, RI
Fort WorthSacramento, CA
Glendale, CASalt Lake City
Green Bay, WISan Antonio
Greenwich, CTSan Diego (see cities below)
Hartford, CTDel Mar, CA
Hawaii (see Islands below)La Jolla, CA
Honolulu, HINorth County
KauaiSan Diego
Maui & Big IslandSan Francisco / Bay Area (see cities below)
Hong KongMarin County
Jersey ShorePeninsula
Kansas CitySan Francisco
La Jolla, CASan Jose, CA
Las Vegas StripSanta Barbara, CA
Las Vegas (Off-Strip)Santa Fe, NM
London, U.K.Santa Monica, CA
Long Beach, CAScottsdale
Long Island, NYSeattle
Los Angeles Area (see cities below)Sedona, AZ
Top 10 Across LA CountySingapore
Beverly Hills & West LASonoma County, CA
Downtown LASouth Florida
Hollywood & Mid-CitySt. Louis
Long Beach & South BaySt. Paul, MN
Pasadena & GlendaleSydney, Australia
San Fernando ValleyTampa Bay
Santa Monica & MalibuToronto, Canada
West HollywoodTucson, AZ
Malibu, CAVancouver, Canada
Maryland Suburbs (D.C.)Ventura, CA
Mexico CityVirginia Suburbs (D.C.)
Miami / South FloridaWashington, D.C.
MinneapolisWest Hollywood, CA
Monterey, CAWestchester, NY


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