Taste West Coast patio life

Four of Victoria’s favourite outdoor dining spots.

Patio dining is like picnicking, only better. Instead of warm lemonade, scratchy picnic blankets and the inevitable ants, Victoria’s best al fresco locations all have two things in common: excellent food and gorgeous ambience, served up in a Mediterranean climate of T-shirt days and sweater evenings.

Best for a crowd: Lure Restaurant & Bar

You’ll easily find seats for the whole crew on the 90-seat patio at Lure Restaurant & Bar, at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Hotel Resort and Spa, located across the harbour from British Columbia’s legislature. Snack on house-made purple potato chips or chef Dan Bain’s signature lamb meatballs. Refresh the team with pitchers of cocojitos (coconut mojitos) or wine on tap, brought to comfortable outdoor sofas beside a cozy fire pit, where you can watch the legislature’s famous lights at sunset.

Dinner for two: $80, excluding pitchers

100 Harbour Rd.


Best for romance: Café Brio

While busy Fort St. bustles during the day, by dinnertime, Café Brio’s Tuscan-style patio becomes a cozy hideaway from traffic. Chef Laurie Munn makes daily menu changes to take advantage of ever-changing fresh ingredients. Standard half and full entrées can help you stick to a diet (or a budget) and offer chances to share locally sourced treats such as cocoa-dusted venison strip loin or chicken with foie gras and hazelnuts.

Impress your date with wine from the list of approximately 300 selections, and house-made chocolates for dessert, all served beneath a tangle of ivy.

Dinner for two: $80-$90, excluding wine

944 Fort St.


Best for afternoon: CANOE Brewpub

Canoe Brewpub 

Certified as one of Vancouver Island’s greenest restaurants, CANOE Brewpub’s chef Gabe Milne prepares creative dishes such as prawn tostadas and flash-fried Humboldt squid and the tea is blended within blocks of your waterfront patio table. But CANOE Brewpub is best known for its handcrafted, unfiltered microbrews prepared on-site by brewmaster Daniel Murphy. Try the chocolaty dark ale with the seared chili-rubbed beef, or the crisp, citrusy India Pale Ale with the Cobb salad for a light lunch.

Lunch for two: $50, excluding house-made pints

450 Swift St.


Best for summer evenings: Glo Restaurant & Lounge

Glo Restaurant & Lounge 

It can be cool on the water, so snuggle up under Glo’s toasty heaters and colourful throws on its 150-seat patio while rowers and kayakers paddle the Selkirk Waterfront inlet just a few kayak-lengths away. Snack on truffle-parmesan frites or Korean-style sticky pork ribs with fresh Anjou pear slices or indulge in a chophouse steak topped with prawns. Sip sangria or a Lemon-Thyme Pimm’s Cooler for a juicy summer splash. Weekend evenings go late, complete with a live DJ.

Dinner for two: $70, excluding cocktails

104-2940 Jutland Rd.