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Sun, Shade and Outside Eats: 9 Calgary Patios

Vin Room's secluded rooftop patio with a view. Photo: Jason Dziver

Vin Room’s secluded rooftop patio with a view. Photo: Jason Dziver

The appeal: eighteen North American craft beers on tap, inventive sandwiches and flatbreads, great people watching on downtown’s Stephen Avenue Walk.
Distinguishing features: two levels open to the avenue, breathing patio atmosphere throughout the entire restaurant.
The view: bustling Stephen Avenue Walk, the downtown’s central, historic sandstone promenade.
Sun and shade: generally sunny with a couple of shady spots.
Recommends: duck poppers appetizer with an ice-cold Village Ginger beer.
Hours: Mon – Sat, 11 am – 12 am

•The Libertine Public House, 223 – 8 Ave SW, 403-265-3665, www.thelibertine.ca
Maps and Reviews

The appeal: the city’s biggest outdoor patio is a favourite corporate Calgary haunt. Reservations available.
Distinguishing features: hugely popular rooftop dance floor with live DJ Friday and Saturday nights. Heaters.
The view: Eighth Avenue below, office towers all around.
Sun and shade: most of the patio gets full sun till 4 pm.
Recommends: West’s signature Vegas Water consists of blueberry vodka, infused with sparkling lemonade and blueberries. Pair with appetizers, burgers and salads.
Hours: Mon – Thu, 11 am – 9 pm; Fri, Sat, 11 am – 2 am

•West Restaurant and Bar, 225 – 7 Ave SW, 403-237-5556, www.westrestaurantandbar.com
•Maps and Reviews

The appeal: verandah seating in secluded Fish Creek Park.
Distinguishing features: set in rolling prairie grassland.
The view: flower gardens, prairie grasses and poplar bluffs with a side of grazing deer and songbirds.
Sun and shade: covered verandah provides protection from the elements.
Recommends: local Wildrose beers by the pint and seasonal cocktails with charcuterie boards for sharing.
Hours: Sunday brunch, 10:30 am – 2 pm, evening, 5 pm – 9:30 pm; Sat, 5 pm – 9:30 pm; Mon – Fri, 11:30 am – 2 pm, 5 pm – 8:30 pm; Sat, 5 pm – 9:30 pm

•The Ranche Restaurant, 15979 Bow Bottom Trail SE, 403-225-3939, www.crmr.com/theranche
•Maps and Reviews

The appeal:
locally sourced rotisserie meats by the sister restaurant of renowned River Café.
Distinguishing features: its charming Central Memorial Park setting.
The view: Fountains, statues and gardens. Decorative evening lighting creates a magical ambience.
Sun and shade: lots of sun, but umbrellas and trees provide shade.
Recommends: white or red house sangria, Brew Brothers beer by the pitcher or the Boxwood garden flower cocktail with house-made flower-petal syrup.
Hours: 11 am – 10 pm.

•Boxwood Cafe, 340 – 13 Ave SW  Calgary, 403-265-4006, www.boxwoodcafe.ca
Maps and Reviews

Street-side dining at Libertine's Stephen Ave patio. Photo: Jason Dziver

Street-side dining on Libertine’s Stephen Ave patio. Photo: Jason Dziver

The appeal:
critically acclaimed international fusion cuisine served amid lush greenery. Serene, eight-table setting with heat lamps.
Distinguishing features: fully enclosed, it’s intimate and out of the wind.
Sun and shade: wooden beams and trees overhead.
The view: flowers and glass wall revealing the restaurant’s interior.
Recommends: The Savoy, a cocktail of elderflower liquor, gin, lemon and prosecco with lemon twist. Also try a selection from sommelier Alex Good’s summer wine list.
Hours: Mon – Fri, 11:30 pm – 2 pm; evenings, full service, 5 pm – 10 pm, drinks till midnight

•Alloy, 220 – 42 Ave SE, 403-287-9255, www.alloydining.com
Maps and Reviews

The appeal:
a comfy, sprawling converted historic house close to Prince’s Island Park and the downtown.Great people watching and upbeat atmosphere.
Distinguishing features: lunch reservations on three patios.
Sun and shade: lots of sun.
The view: upstairs patio overlooks a hotel valet area and the main entrance to Prince’s Island Park.
Recommends: chili lime mussels, Guinness crab and asparagus soup and/or Black Angus steak sandwich with draught beer.
Hours: Mon  – Fri, 11 am – 12 am; Sat, 10 am – 1 am; Sun, 10 am – 11 pm

•The Bow River Barley Mill Pub Company, 201 Barclay Parade SW, 403-290-1500, www.barleymill.net
Maps and Reviews

The appeal:
fun and affordable Mexican food overlooking the Bow River. Recently upgraded seating and improved view.
Distinguishing features: youthful exuberance. Seats 80.
The view: overlooking a newly beautified stretch of Memorial Drive and the Bow River. The downtown skyline is visible beyond.
Recommends: nachos and tacos with sangria or a round of bulldogs—frozen margaritas in a glass big enough to hold an inverted bottle of beer.
Hours: Sun – Wed, 11:30 am – 11 pm; Thu – Sat, 11:30 am – 12:00 am Last call: midnight on weekends.

•Julio’s Barrio, 1110 Memorial Dr NW, 403-203-3066, www.juliosbarrio.com
Maps and Reviews

The appeal:
spacious rooftop patio overlooks hopping Fourth Street SW.
Distinguishing features: excellent tapas, intimate feel.
Sun and shade: lots of sun with shade under a large, central umbrella.
The view: bustling Fourth Street, greenery and decorative lights.
Recommends: Canadian charcuterie and international cheeses paired with wine or beer. Sangria!
Hours: Sun – Mon, 4 pm – 11 pm; Tue – Wed, 11:30 am – 11 pm; Thu – Sat, 11:30 am – 12 am

•Vin Room, 2310 – 4 St SW, 403-457-5522, www.vinroom.com
Maps and Reviews

The appeal:
four patio levels. Pop music and heat lamps keep the party going.
Distinguishing features: great people watching.
Sun and shade: a mix of both.
The view: the bottom is at street level, the middle is shaded by plants and the top level overlooks all.
Recommends: poutine with optional bacon or pulled pork and/or the Melrose burger. Pair with pint of the week.
Hours: Mon – Fri, 11 am – 2 am; Sat – Sun, 10 am – 2 am, with patio cleared of revellers by 1 am

•Melrose Cafe & Bar, 730 – 17 Ave SW, 403-228-3566, www.melrosecalgary.com
•Maps and Reviews

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