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Perfect Patios: Where to Dine Outdoors in Calgary


The Living Room's patio is an excellent spot to people-watch on 17th Avenue SW. (Photo: courtesy The Living Room)

The Living Room’s patio is an excellent spot to people-watch on 17th Avenue SW. (Photo: courtesy The Living Room)

When summer arrives, the city’s outdoor restaurant patios bloom. Here is a sample of Calgary’s best places to eat, drink and socialize in the sun.

514 – 17 Ave SW, 403-228-9830, livingroomrestaurant.com
Hours: Mon – Fri, 11 am – 2 pm and 5 pm – 12 am; Sun, 5 pm – 12 am.
Venue and Vibe: Plush and contemporary, serving family-style dishes meant to be lingered over in good company.
Patio Appeal: Two outdoor fireplaces and light-wrapped trees cast a warm glow.
Sun and Shade: Mostly shade with dappled sunlight.
The View: Great street-level people watching on 17th Ave Retail & Entertainment District.
Recommends: Cheese fondue with aged white cheddar, black truffle and truffle oil, plus your choice of meat, seafood and veggies to dip. Pair with a light, dry white wine.

1016 – 8 St SW, 403-262-8480, www.bonterra.ca
Hours: Mon – Fri, 11:30 am – 2:30 pm; Mon – Sun, 5 pm to close.
Venue and Vibe: Italian down to the last detail, with charming, rustic flair and European sensibility.
Patio Appeal: A high-walled courtyard with climbing vines and lots of greenery; it’s a hidden urban oasis.
Sun and Shade: It depends on the time of day — lots of sun at noon, though a trellis excludes the harshest rays.
The View: Blue sky above and the mouthwatering sights coming out of the kitchen.
Recommends: Linguine carbonara with wild boar bacon, fresh egg, chilies and grana padano. Pair with a glass of vino bianco.

747 Lake Bonavista Dr SE, 403-225-3939, lakehousecalgary.com
Hours: Mon – Thu, 11:30 am – 10 pm; Fri, 11:30 am – 12 am; Sat, 5 pm – 12 am; Sun, 10 am – 10 pm.
Venue and Vibe: Canadian cuisine served in comfortable, refined surroundings. Inventive dishes made with regional ingredients.
Patio Appeal: Its two-storey patio overlooks pretty Lake Bonavista.
Sun and Shade: A mix throughout the day with plenty of sun in the late afternoon.
The View: Trees and greenery surround the lake, which is popular with swimmers and boaters.
Recommends: The entire Sunday brunch menu, from bison brisket and game meat chorizo hash to chocolate cream cheese filled brioche French toast in a blood orange reduction. Add a Prairie Berry Mojito, made with rum, muddled mint, Saskatoon berries, lime juice, demerara syrup and soda.

300, 412 Pinecreek Road, Dewinton, 403-254-6113, www.stockmansrestaurant.ca
Hours: Mon – Fri, 11 am – 11 pm; Sat – Sun, 10:30 am – 11 pm.
Venue and Vibe: Honest to goodness, down-home country cookin’ minutes from city limits.
Patio Appeal: Features a fire pit surrounded by comfy armchairs.
Sun and Shade: More sun than shade.
The View: Wide-open prairie, a few country homes.
Recommends: The wings. Fourteen varieties include sweet Thai and hot parmesan. Pair with the daily special, including Stockman’s Lager on Mondays and Caesars on Sundays.

114, 326 Aspen Glen Landing SW, 403-686-6731, aspenestates.redwatergrille.com
Hours: Mon – Sat, 11:30 am – 2:30 pm; Mon – Sun, 5 pm to close; Sunday brunch, 10:30 am – 2:30 pm.
Venue and Vibe: Canadian comfort food in a casual, upbeat pub setting.
Patio Appeal: The large, glass-fenced patio is a relaxing place to sit in the sun after wandering through the Aspen Estates shopping complex.
Sun and Shade: Mostly sunny with shade patches.
The View: Pleasantly overlooks a pond and waterfall.
Recommends: Sunrise Farms rotisserie chicken with maple ancho barbecue sauce and choice of sides. Pair with a glass of pinot noir.

200 – 808 1St SW, 403-269-7707, www.murrietas.ca
Hours: Mon – Wed, 11 am – 11 pm; Thu, 11 am – 12 am; Fri – Sat, 11 am – 1 am; Sun, 4 pm – 10 pm.
Venue and Vibe: Located in a restored 1890 hotel, the focus is West Coast cuisine with an extensive Pacific Rim wine list.
Patio Appeal: The bar-style seats face outward on the second-storey patio for a view of Stephen Avenue Walk.
Sun and Shade: Morning sun, afternoon shade.
The View: Situated above the city’s central pedestrian promenade, it’s perfect for people watching.
Recommends: The Brome Lake duck breast, accompanied by a braised thigh and new potato salad, basil coulis and orange salsa. Finish with the Alchemist Cocktail, made with Benedictine, Cointreau, dry vermouth, fresh lemon juice, cardamom bitters and lemon peel.

1147 Kensington Cres NW, 403-283-1166, www.pulcinella.ca
Hours: Mon – Thu, 11:30 am – 10 pm; Fri – Sat, 11:30 am – 12 am, Sun, 11:30 am – 10 pm.
Venue and Vibe: An authentic Napoletana pizzeria owned and operated by the Tudda family, who have been making pizza for 40-plus years.
Patio Appeal: The second-storey patio is the perfect place to sit and watch the world go by.
Sun and Shade: Shade trees on one side, direct sunlight on the other.
The View: An excellent view of the busy, bohemian Kensington neighbourhood.
Recommends: The prosciutto e rucola pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, arugula, prosciutto, parmigiano and basil. Finish with a cappuccino or espresso.

200, 208 Barclay Parade SW, 403-263-6336, www.joeyrestaurants.com
Hours: Mon – Sun, 11 am – 1 am.
Venue and Vibe: A casual, unpretentious eatery serving burgers, steak and sushi.
Patio Appeal: One of the city’s most popular patios, the street-side deck is spacious, featuring booth seating. Heat lamps on chilly evenings.
Sun and Shade: Sunny!
The View: Eau Claire Market and the downtown skyline.
Recommends: The steak and sushi entree is a Japanese-style surf ‘n’ turf featuring Canadian Angus Prime steak with ponzu sauce and a rainbow roll. Pair with Granville Island Pale Ale or Whistler Powder Mountain Lager on tap.

• 10 Best Breakfast Spots in Calgary
• Calgary’s Best Eats: Where to Dine Awards 2013
• 10 Calgary Restaurants for Gluten-Free Diners

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