Five charming patios to try
While the sun is out and the temperature is high, make a point of heading to one of the city's top patios this weekend.
220 42 Ave. S.E.
Approaching its 10 th anniversary, Alloy has always been a charming culinary oasis given its unorthodox location in an industrial area off Macleod Trail. Its patio, then, could be considered an oasis within an oasis. Stroll through the airy pink-and-white dining room to discover a sheltered patio peppered with tall planters filled with edible garnishes and herbs, stone fountains and a decades-old tree stretching its branches over top everything below. Since the restaurant is so wonderfully refined, you might assume that cocktails here would be an afterthought, but that's not the case. The skilled bar team is waiting to stir up fresh, summery drinks such as the pleasantly tart rhubarb mojito.
340 13 Ave. S.W.
On a warm, sunny day, you would be hard pressed to find a patio more quintessentially summer than this one. Surrounded by lush, green grass, pebbled pathways and the lively water fountains of Central Memorial Park, a table outside at Provision is the perfect setting to enjoy Alberta produce at its peak. The Gull Valley cucumbers and bell peppers placed on top of a wonderfully smooth and rich Romesco with fried shallots, cilantro and a drizzle of chili oil encapsulates the season perfectly. Order a glass of rosé to go along with it and you're off to the al fresco races.
Rooftop Bar at Simmons
618 Confluence Way S.E.
The third level of the celebrity chef-owned restaurant, Charbar, this rooftop patio offers a significantly different menu than its downstairs counterpart and boasts a sizable bar where you can enjoy simple cocktails and boozy fruit-punch slushies. What makes this upper-level patio more unique compared to others around town is the view. Looking west, you get a beautiful perspective of Calgary's skyline – especially as the sun sets – that you can't get anywhere else. Be warned that the rooftop does not take reservations and is used frequently for weddings, so reference Twitter (@RTBSimmons) for availability.
1240 8 Ave. S.E.
There are few places as magical as Rouge's backyard patio. With the restaurant's heartfelt focus on local ingredients and growing their own, most of the green space surrounding the back courtyard is meant to be eaten. Bountiful and leafy green stalks offer up summer squash such as zucchini and patty pans in all shapes and sizes. There are all sorts of herbs, nasturtiums and edible flora as far as the eye can see. In the distance, you can see the restaurant's honey bees happily buzzing in and out of their hives. This backyard is truly a labour of love and well worth dining in.
The Ship and Anchor
534 17 Ave. S.W.
From rockabilly band-mates to tightly suited lawyers and everything in between, you are guaranteed to find all walks of life co-habitating one of Calgary's most iconic patios. For 27 years, this pub in the heart of 17th Avenue has been a destination for casual drinks in the sun. Why? It's hard to say, but in times where the topic of acceptance and equality is constantly in the headlines, there is something to be said about a place that has always been rooted in those values. Its all-season, hardy plank tables – the pub opens its patio even in winter every time a Chinook hits – have stood the test of time. If these tables could talk, the stories they would surely tell.