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A perfect day to start the GREAT PATIOS thread

Inspired by this beautiful, sunny day and after an insanely long winter, I thought we could all start chatting about favourite spots to eat some great chow and drink some great coffee/beer on a patio. Here are a few of my favourites to get the ball rolling: Boulevard Cafe, Rebel House, Trattoria Giancarlo, Rosedale Diner, Bar Italia, Aroma Espresso Bar, Amuse Bouche, Spoke Club, Ultra and Terroni.

Has Tati kept the pretty patio that Kensington Kitchen had?


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  1. My lunch time favourite spot is Caffe Doria!!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: millygirl

      Thanks for the reminder - I believe we've both professed our love for Doria before. I will also add Brick Street Bakery, George, Noce and Lahore Tikka House.

    2. Caren's Wine Bar (back patio), the Roof at the Hyatt (great view), Wish, The Fifth (have had bad luck at the resto, but still insist on going back once a year for the fabulousness of the terrace), Proof Vodka Bar at the Intercontinental (very California interior courtyard), Sidecar is apparently opening a big space in the back too!

      Oh, and second Amuse-Bouche and Ultra

      2 Replies
      1. re: Rabbit

        I was under the impression the Roof patio at the Hyatt had closed down a few years ago - no?

        Oh, and I'll add in Allen's on the Danforth. I know, the food is nothing special but you gotta admit they have an excellent patio! Bonus for me, it's very close to home.

        1. re: millygirl

          Rooftop patio is still very much open. Attending a work function there later this month actually.

      2. How about the Waterside Bistro..food is pretty expensive for the quality (in my opinion), but it's great for a few beers and a burger! I used to love the rooftop patio at Epicure Cafe, but haven't been for some time (is it still there?), The Rectory Cafe on Ward's (?) Island has kind of a special patio, if you feel like heading to the Islands...after work, the patio at the Keg and Beer Bistro downtown are always hopping..The back patio at Utopia is nice when it's not too hot outside (and the food is always good)..I'm salivating just thinking about hitting a patio (though I currently have a hankering for nachos and margaritas and I am ALWAYS disappointed with this combination, especially on a patio)

        4 Replies
        1. re: redhead

          The Rectory Cafe is one scary place. Went once and that was enough for me. Honestly it was horrible. The food was total crap, the glasses were dirty, the service was poor. The place was disgusting. I was afraid to eat, drink or touch anything for fear of catching some horrible affliction.

          1. re: millygirl

            ...and that name just isn't appetizing!

            1. re: millygirl

              Wow, that's too bad...I didn't go last summer, but really enjoyed my meal the summer before. The location is really nice - a great place to be on a hot summer day..unfortunate that they fell apart (like so many Toronto restaurants seem to do..)

            2. re: redhead

              Once a year a group of us make our annual pilgramage to the Upper Deck on Centre Island. If you get off the Centre Ferry and take a left and follow around to the Toronto Island Marina Yacht Club you will find it in about 8 minutes. They is also a ferry from York Street.

              Fabulous views of the city, great staff, reasonable priced drinks, not alot of tourists and great fun. Oh, pretty bad food but the views, the patio and the drinks more than make up for it.

              Yeah for summer and patios !

            3. For a fancy dinner, the courtyard at George is incredible.

              1. Oh how I miss the patio at the Bamboo.........

                8 Replies
                1. re: Baelsette

                  Allen's. Except this one time, those godawful raccoons kept running around the place. Damn, I hate those things.

                  1. re: grandgourmand

                    I think I was there that night. They were literally hangin' off the trees directly above our head. John Maxwell (the owner) told us that people on the patio have been known to feed them which of course, only encourages them.

                    1. re: millygirl

                      I have also had a racoon experience at Allen's. My GF (who is terrified of them) and I were sitting on the back end of the patio. I said don't make a move. There was one sitting directly under her feet. I didn't tell her about it until we left the restaurant and we haven't been back on the patio since. Inside only for us now.

                  2. re: Baelsette

                    Me too. Yes, Ultra patio is gorgeous, but in a fake way. Bamboo was a great place just to hang with a margharita or two.

                    1. re: Baelsette

                      I still haven't found a more fun night out during the week than those Tuesday's on the upper patio at the 'Boo...I hear ya Baelsette...

                      1. re: Baelsette

                        You know the ULTRA patio ain't bad. I love it.

                        1. re: Suresh

                          Never been, I have been curious about what they did with the place...

                          1. re: Suresh

                            You mean the Ultra Supper club patio on Queen ? I was there last year, food is disgusting especially the seafood platter in which the calamari is like a piece of slushy jello. However, the atmosphere is quite nice.

                        2. I love the patio at Brassaii.

                          Totally second Boulevard Cafe for casual and romantic and George for a "fancier" evening.

                          I actually love the tiny little sidewalk patios along Yonge, north of Lawrence. Places like Sapori and Trio have about 3 or 4 tables outside and they're great to enjoy a glass of wine and watch the neighbourhood wander by.

                          1. Ooh, forgot Vertical... a very pretty space.

                            1. java house at queen/augusta .. moonbean and portuguese place and ronnies and la palette in kensington market .. black bull at queen/soho .. peter pan or something on queen/peter

                              1. I'd be interested in hearing about any smoke-free patios or patios that are configured in such a way that cigarette smoke is not an issue for diners, if anyone knows of any.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: JamieK

                                  Any patio with an awning is smoke-free if it's down. The City actually has inspectors who go around and check these things.

                                  1. re: Herb

                                    Re: Any patio with an awning is smoke-free if it's down.

                                    Maybe in theory, but not in practice. The inspectors usually only check for smoking if a complaint has been made. Many of the complaints end up being made by other businesses (the competition).

                                2. Here's a few more for the cause:

                                  Freshwood Grill in Roncesvalle
                                  Amadeus in Kensington (especially when the EURO tourney starts!!!)
                                  Caren's Wine Bar
                                  Beaconsfield has a little pleasant one
                                  Roxton on Harbord

                                  1. If the awning is down and people are smoking I always complain to the management. Then they can either bring the awning up, if that is possible, to comply with the law (which doesn't really take care of the problem) or they can tell the people to stop smoking. I hope everyone does that.

                                    1. Love the Boulevard.

                                      Barraida Churresqueria (sp?) on College between Dufferin and Dovercourt has a great patio. It's fun on Wednesdays when they roast a pig on a spit.

                                      1. Casa Mendoza on Lakeshore has a usually very quiet patio overlooking the lake and downtown.

                                        And, how about supporting the veterans by going for a drink on the patio at the Legion on Lakeshore just west of the Ex. Remember to remove your hat when you enter the building. It's a bit noisy from the traffic, but has a view of the lake. And the beer is cold and cheap.

                                          1. re: Julie McCoy

                                            Are there any nice patio's where they do some BBQ'ing outside as well?

                                            1. re: bjinyyz

                                              The outdoor courtyard restaurant at the Delta Chelsea hotel used to have a large bbq tent set up in the summers. It's been quite a few years since I've been there though. It was actually a very pretty patio/courtyard environment.

                                              1. re: bjinyyz

                                                Allen's bbq's right on the patio. But again, the food isn't all that great. They claim to serve Cumbrae's beef and they charge a pretty penny for it but it just isn't up to par. In fact we went last night, one in our group order the $42 striploin and I could tell she was really having a hard time cutting through it - with a steak knife at that. When we do steaks at home we don't even use steak knifes and it literally melts in your mouth. This looked really bad, very sinuouy (sp?)

                                            2. I like the vote for Rebel House.

                                              I will also add, much to some people chagrin I imagine, Gretzky's roof top patio. I don't know what it is but I just like the place. I've always had a great time up there.


                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                Actually, I'm thrilled to learn that there's a rooftop patio there. I've been wanting an order of pierogies from there for a while and now I have a good excuse to go!

                                                1. re: TorontoJo

                                                  Fat Cat Wine Bar on Roncesvalles Ave., very nice.

                                              2. Hey Hounds

                                                Well, it was so nice we decided to hit a patio. Ya it's a frikin' Firkin but beer outside is really nice


                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: Davwud

                                                  This post inspired me as well. We went to Boulevard Cafe for an early dinner (wanted to get as much sun time as possible!). Dinner was wonderful as usual.
                                                  A basket of warm Portuguese corn bread, then spicy crab croquettes (like creamy crab cakes), grilled mahi mahi and a pitcher of sangria. Entertainment was provided by a constant flow of bad drivers turning from Harbord down onto Borden, realizing it was one way and *backing* right back onto Harbord.

                                                  What's not to love?

                                                  1. re: TorontoJo

                                                    That sounds like a great time.

                                                    I will say, my nachos from the Frikin Firkin were pretty damned good. Cold beer and able to watch hockey through the windows. It was a good night for me too.


                                                    1. re: TorontoJo

                                                      The Firkin patio at Yonge & Heath also affords similar entertainment as drivers try to figure out that wonky intersection and pedestrians dodge errant motorists. Gets noisy sometimes!

                                                      I agree with Davwud -- the food is not great but the nachos and other similar pub munchies are good enough and nothing like a cold beer on a decent patio. This one on Heath is nice because you're set back from the traffic on Yonge and have a view of the church park across on Heath. There's also a rooftop patio.

                                                        1. re: Dimbulb

                                                          The Fox & Fiddle pub -
                                                          1535 Yonge St
                                                          east side of Yonge, about a block north of St Clair

                                                          1. re: JamieK

                                                            Are Fox & Fiddle and Firkin related?

                                                            1. re: Dimbulb

                                                              oops, sorry -- no I don't think they're related, I typed Firkin without thinking. Have edited the above to correct.

                                                  2. Remmy's yesterday.

                                                    Nice, simple and a great patio

                                                    1. My favourite patios are ones that aren't right on the street:

                                                      I agree with previous posters that the Rebel House has a great patio. The little terrace/patio with the fountain at the back of Grano is lovely. The patio at the back of what used to be the Summit is huge and quite nice -- my only caveat is that I have no idea what the food's like now that it's the Midtown (the food at the Summit was always decent but unremarkable).

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: torontofoodiegirl

                                                        We sat outside at 10 Feet Tall Yesterday & caught a little jazz. Not bad, either.

                                                        Then, we wandered over to Wise Guys to catch a little more Sun. Wise guys is now under new management, and one of the lone managers was having a hard time keeping up with everyone until a helper arrived.

                                                        For the time-being, it looks like they've taken away the loud music on their deck.

                                                        1. re: Jay98

                                                          Can you speak a little more about this place?

                                                          Pass by so many times, the patio looks like a good size, but what about the food, the selection of beers, and what about the patrons? I know on the north side of Danforth from Coxwell to Vic Park there are lots of places I can go to if I want a fistfight but Wise Guys does not on the surface strikes me as a dive bar.

                                                      2. The patio at Grano is very nice. Also, slightly closed in and can be heated.

                                                        For simply drinks, the Flight Deck at the Pilot tavern is a great venue. Good selection of beers, honest pub food, and fairly mixed crowd.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: Snarf

                                                          It's also nearly impossible to get onto the Pilot on a nice evening at a decent time. If you go late, it's easy but at prime time everytime me and my friends have tried lately, there's a lineup out the door.

                                                            1. re: torontofoodiegirl

                                                              lol, ya the best patios had lots of room last night

                                                        2. I don't think anyone mentioned Joy Bistro - the patio on the west side, facing the park. Food can be wonderful or bad. Ditto the service.

                                                          Allen's backyard. Go for the great burgers and better than average (not Buffalo style) capon wings, not for the expensive stuff.

                                                          Waterside Bistro - glorious setting, bearable food.

                                                          Lahore Tikka House, especially with kids (if they are adventurous eaters).

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: embee

                                                            How glorious is the patio at Waterside Bistro with the major construction going on right next door? Don't know how long that's going on for, but it was certainly going on last weekend when I passed by. Hopefully soon.

                                                            For a waterfront patio with bearable food I'd rather make the trip to (gasp) Scarborough and go to Bluffers.

                                                            1. re: Googs

                                                              I didn't know about that - it was lovely and serene on my last visit last year. Thanks for the warning.

                                                            2. re: embee

                                                              Today was my first Allen's experience and I was very very happy. Ordered the burger like I said I would in an another thread.
                                                              When my party of 3 arrived I looked at the front of the place and said to myself:
                                                              "Oh, oh, another roadhouse, here we go...."
                                                              Stepped inside and it was empty, at about 1:30PM. Then, as my eyes adjusted, I saw people milling about toward the back of the place. And then we were escorted to the patio. As soon as we stepped out into the patio, I realized that this was not a cheaply put together patio. The tables and seating area was well appointed, clean and reminded me of an oasis off the beaten path.
                                                              The huge willow trees provided a visual barrier beyond the confines of the patio.
                                                              We started off with the bruschetta that had mushrooms, shredded carrots and curry, yes curry. It was very tastey and a nice spin on a classic.
                                                              The beer selection was outstanding and the wine list, although only VQA had some nice selections.
                                                              I immediately had a smile on my face when I was asked how I wanted my burger cooked. No kidding eh? "Can I have mine medium rare?" No problem.
                                                              It arrived with a side of fries (extra) onions, tomato and pickle, dijon mustard and relish. I didn't load up the burger because I figure I want to taste the burger, not the condiments.
                                                              It was burger heaven for me!

                                                              I will most definitely be going back to Allen's backyard.
                                                              Oh... yes the willow tree lost a couple of leaves that made their way to the table, yes there was a pesky wasp that bothered me for all of about a minute and there was some other bug that dropped by for a visit that was quickly dispatched with paper towel.
                                                              All part of eating outdoors, no?

                                                            3. George - high end food & high end patio - great place to spend a summer evening!

                                                              Globe Bistro - opened a rooftop patio at end of season last year - enjoyed some relaxing evenings there

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: DRD

                                                                Checked out Globe Bistro's rooftop this weekend: it's gorgeous! Love their cocktail list and the cheeseplate. Will definitely return.

                                                              2. Which Terroni has the patio? Can anyone recommend a good patio at lunch in the Dundas and Dufferin area? We would go to the Boulevard Cafe, but the birthday girl is going there for dinner that same day. Has Foxley opened their patio and are they now open for lunch?

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: Davedigger

                                                                  Terroni on Adelaide has the huge new patio. Not too far from Dundas and Dufferin are the Drake and the Beaconsfield (both on Queen). Both have street-level patios (across the street from each other) and the Drake also has a swank rooftop patio. Both places are open for lunch, I believe.

                                                                  1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                    Thanks TOJo!

                                                                    Terroni on Adelaide is too far and I've been to the Drake twice for lunch and once for dinner and didn't enjoy at all. Food was meh and service was lackadaisical at best.

                                                                    However, I will check out the Beaconsfield. Hadn't noticed it before.

                                                                    Again, thanks for the suggestions. :)

                                                                2. Wow, I can't believe hungry abby hasn't already chimed in with this, but I have to say, I really like the patio at the House on Parliament. They have smoking on one side, and non-smoking on the other, but I'm not sure how effective that is at the avoiding smoke, but it does mean you won't be sitting *right* next to someone smoking. And, well, they have the best steak sandwich ever.

                                                                  mmmmm. Okay. Now I want to go to HOP and get a steak sandwich. darn you chowhoud! darn you to heck!

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: mainja

                                                                    haha the reason i havent is because I dont actually like HOPs patio that much.. I know that one side isnt smoking but its just tooo close to the smoking side and Im terribly allergic so I just stear clear of the patio.

                                                                    1. re: hungryabbey

                                                                      I'm not even remotely allergic, I avoid HoP because the high volume of smokers interferes with my ability to enjoy my food. It doesn't seem to matter if your in- or outdoors, the smoke gets to you.

                                                                  2. Dogfish Pub at Bluffers park (at the bottom of Brimley Rd. in Scarborough). Nothimg outstanding about the food (usual pub grub), but a decent selection of beer and a great patio surrounded by the bluffs and overlooking the marina and lake ontario. Worth a visit for a quiet drink and the great view


                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Finnegan

                                                                      But wear a disposeable hat. The seagulls are good shots, speaking as a former bullseye.