The Best Places to Eat Al Fresco in Victoria

With patio season at its peak, don’t miss your chance to enjoy some of the Victoria area’s prettiest porches and greenest gardens for noshing out of doors. Here are a few favourites among the many.

The upper deck at Spinnaker’s is a mint spot to sip a beer with your burger overlooking the harbour. A stroll along the waterfront is the perfect dessert to their hearty fare. Canoe Brewpub is also a first-rate beer swigging spot with its sprawling waterfront patio. Around dinnertime the sun hits their patio full on so you can soak up some sunshine after a day’s work.

The Superior Café has a lovely, leafy garden for intimate summer dinners. Set in quiet James Bay, it almost feels like you’ve left the city. If you are downtown, one of the most enchanting hidden gems is the backyard garden of Sally Bun’s on Fort Street. Order your pastry then walk straight through to the back where wild roses grow and a canopy of leaves creates a verdant oasis. In Oak Bay, Ottavio’s porch is perched up high enough for prime people watching and close enough to the beach for a whiff of salty air. Lucy’s in the Square at Fernwood has a few bistro tables set up in the square for a dining-in-the-piazza experience. Olive Olio’s in Cadboro Bay has a sun-basked patio in the hub of Cadboro Village that seems to be always a-buzz on bright summer afternoons.

If picnics are more your idea of eating al fresco, fill your basket with local produce at Pomodori’s in Oak Bay before heading to Willow’s Beach, or Ambrosio’s in Cook Street Village for a spread in Beacon Hill Park. Willow’s Galley, at 2559 Estavan Avenue, is an ace place to grab a finger-licking good cone of fish and chips on the way down to Cadboro Bay beach.

Just out of town, Merridale Cidery’s outdoor pizza oven, apple orchard, and sprawling porch are one of the best ways to soak up a lovely summer evening. Sea Cider’s porch has a spectacular view of the ocean as well as their sea of apple trees, and one of the most charming porches by far in the area is at Vigneti Zanatta’s old farmhouse. You can’t beat their view of rolling hills, vineyards, wildflowers, and farmers’ fields. Paired with a sublime meal, you may never want to leave the porch.


Photo by K.Zdybel. View from the Vigneti Zanatta porch.

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