Patio season is here – a time to take in the rays, feel the warm breeze tickle your bare shoulders and sling down a couple cold ones. But what is one to do when the weather is woesome? As Canadians, we’ve been conditioned to brave the elements, but there’s nothing enjoyable about a patio when a dark and stormy isn’t what you’re drinking.
Alas, thanks to the wonder of innovation and a couple of clever proprietors, here’s a list of some of the patios in Toronto that will offer-up that outdoor enjoyment, winter, spring, summer and fall.
Valdez has taken Latin street food off the streets and onto one of the most lively patios in the neighbourhood. The patio features an optional cover, so you can enjoy the authentic cuisine and sangria in rain or shine.
Drake Sky Yard
The Drake Hotel Sky Yard patio is as cool as it sounds. With a stunning decor and a decadent menu (we’re talking oysters and sashimi), this patio is perfect for rainy date nights with the boo or some friends.
With communal picnic tables, an extensive menu of sharable barbecue options and hollering wait staff, Big Crow sounds like a home away from home away from the rain.
Another all-weather wonder, the rooftop patio with retractable glass roof at Gusto is an idyllic spot so enjoy high-quality gourmet pizza and a great glass of vino. Don’t forget to order up a glass, or three, of their notorious $1/oz. house wine.
An Annex staple, known for their Cajun and Creole cooking, at Southern Accent the N’awlins flair comes complimentary. Their spacious covered patio is a little lighter on the kitschy décor than what they’ve got inside – an exemption that might suit your senses just fine.
By The Way Café
A low-key respite on the Annex strip, By The Way Café boots up its carrying capacity with the addition of their partially covered summer patio. A great place to people watch; their Middle Eastern munchies and cheap brunch are the ideal accompaniment to a glass of wine or a pint of blonde.
It’s four-season bliss on Utopia’s covered patio. You can stargaze and sunbathe through their glass roof, and adverse weather is nary a concern. Pair that with some of the most soul satisfying comfort food in the city and you’ve got the perfect patio recipe, no matter when the craving strikes.
Looking for a cozy patio, tucked away from the elements, with a little Spanish flair? Look no further than Patria. Nothing says romance like sharing food by candle light.
This family-owned bar has their own on-site Nano Brewery, which makes it the perfect local haunt. Check out the menu offering an array of meat and cheese boards and items from the grill. This patio cover can withstand a bit of drizzle but avoid in the case of a thunderstorm!
A favourite landing spot for Yorkville regulars and casual visitors alike. The large, rooftop patio at The Pilot, aptly dubbed “The Flight Deck” takes off year-round with its retractable awnings, full service bar and permanent heat lamps for those frigid nights.
Another Yorkville favourite for footie and Foster’s, Hemingway’s has mastered the art of the all-season patio. You can stare across the rail and holler at your Cumberland Street cronies at Dimmi Bar. A plastic chair and a fresh pint are never far away on this Yorkville patio.
Terroni’s Bar Centrale
Located in Rosedale, this member of the Terorni empire features an extensive Italian menu and a covered patio to boot. If the rain won’t go away, avoid being seated at the edge of the patio.
Food and Liquor
What’s in a name? With Food and Liquor, the answer is: a lot. This Parkdale bar has—you guessed it—snacks and booze, and a partially covered back patio for maximum back-and-forth depending how the weather shapes up.
Did we miss any of Toronto’s best covered patios? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.