Off the Beaten Path – The Best Restaurant Patios
As the sun begins to shine again, and we see spring breaking through the dreary winter, it inevitably turns my thoughts to the approaching Patio Season. I don’t think I’m alone in the opinion that Victoria is a summer town like no other.
Most of us residents are familiar with the well-known patios, like The Local, Canoe Brewpub or Cactus Club. But, sometimes it’s nice to visit a different place that may not be quite as well known – get off the beaten path for a cold beer with a great view or vibe.
With that in mind, here are 5 patios that I personally recommend (and yes, I consider myself to be a bit of a summer patio pro!):
Blues Bayou Café in Brentwood Bay
This place is a throwback to an older time in New Orleans. It has a distinct style and Cajun flare, paired with a killer patio literally over the ocean which gets every millimeter of the setting sun. I recommend having a plate or two of the Cajun-style crab cakes with a cold Kokanee in a chilled canning jar mug! Bring your shades and prepare to settle in; you can’t get much more relaxed than this!
Nourish Garden Bistro
If you are in the VI Tech park area (West Saanich) and feeling hungry, then head down Quayle Road to the end and hit the small but newly renovated Nourish for lunch or brunch on the weekend. They specialize in very healthy holistic food and it is VERY good! The have a great little patio out back that gets all-day sun and looks out over the Horticulture Center of the Pacifics gardens. This is a great afternoon lunch spot with an ever-changing menu; the perfect place to enjoy the sunshine and healthy delicious food. I recently had the “Benny’s Gone Nuts” and it was unreal!
The Stickleback West Coast Eatery
You cannot get a patio closer to the ocean! This fairly new pub/bistro style restaurant has a terrace patio that literally is a few feet off the shore. It is on a beautiful beach as you approach Sooke. If you are going out to the west coast for a day or on your way back from a Sooke/Renfrew fishing trip, this is a great spot to stop for a burger and beer!
This one is a bit of a cheat, because Zambri’s is basically an institution in Victoria at this point. Everyone knows about their amazing pasta and gorgeous room in the Atrium for business lunches and dinners. But I recommend taking an afternoon to sit on their patio on Yates Street to do some street-level Victoria people-watching on a sunny afternoon. A chilled glass of Italian white wine with their house salad and one of their amazing pizzas makes for a pretty good spot to kill a couple of hours.
Black Rock Oceanfront Resort (Ucluelet)
We all at one time or another like to head up to Tofino or Ucuelet, especially when the weather cheers up. Black Rock’s patio is well worth the trip on its own. The simply stunning patio is perched right on the rocks, over the crashing waves. Go for a pint or 3 (just make sure you book a room if you opt for 3) – it’s an unbelievable spot!