Best summer patio restaurants with waterfront views
Patio season is all about sharing a leisurely meal with family and friends outdoors … whether it be on a deck, a dock, a wharf or a patio in the traditional sense.
And with so many legendary lakes, heritage waterways and scenic rivers in Ontario, you’re never far from a gorgeous waterfront view.
Add in the soft light of sunset, a cold sundowner and voila! You’re ready for patio season. It’s worth the trip to these waterfront patios.
Arrive by boat, bike or on foot to The Duck’s lovely lakeside patio.
They offer four slips of courtesy docking, bicycle storage, free parking and serve up a great continental menu with a stunning view of Presqu’ile Bay on Lake Ontario from the back deck.
Location: 75 Harbour Street, Brighton
Inspired by the finest German beerhalls, the outdoor Biergärten patio at Steam Whistle Craft Brewing Co. is a summertime staple with amazing CN Tower and cityscape views as well as a glimpse into the Toronto’s rail heritage. The on-site brewery is located in a historic railway roundhouse.
Location: 255 Bremner Boulevard Stall 6, Toronto
The upscale Lake House has retained some of its original heritage home features, such as the woodwork, exposed brick and three fireplaces. And their spacious back deck overlooking Lake Ontario is an idyllic spot to sample gourmet thin-crust pizzas and their signature crème brûlée, and to take in a magnificent sunset.
Perched on the water’s edge of Lake Ontario in Prince Edward County, the intimate patio at this boutique hotel & dining room is the perfect place to park yourselves for their Happy Hour sips and snacks menu that includes both charcuterie and sea-cuterie board selections as well as a selection of this wine region’s finest reds and whites.
Location: 24 Wharf Street, Wellington
Head to Port Stanley’s surfside bar and grill for the ultimate beach vibe. The 400-seat patio overlooks the beach volleyball courts and offers expansive views of Lake Erie beyond. The menu includes a separate sundowner section with snacks great for sharing and specialty blender drinks.
Location: 350 Edith Cavell Boulevard, Port Stanley
Bring a healthy appetite (and your camera) to this sprawling Toronto island patio to enjoy succulent, home-smoked BBQ, ice cold beer and arguably the best waterfront view of the city over the Toronto Harbour.
Location: 120 Centre Island Dock, Toronto
Located in an old converted school house, this lakefront Greek and Mediterranean style eatery boasts a large patio that backs directly onto the Waterfront Trail and sandy beach of Lake Ontario. As the sun sets, the twinkling string lights create a magical ambiance.
Location: 380 Van Wagners Beach Road, Hamilton
Fat Les Waterfront Patio is located on Blockhouse Island, a short walk from the Aquatarium. Relax and take in excellent views of the St. Lawrence River. Enjoy pub favourites such as poutine, burgers and fries. Then wash it down with a cool brew. The area is perfect for strolling around the marina boardwalk.
Location: 30 Block House Island Road, Brockville
Central and Northern Ontario
It’s taco time in cottage country!
Tulo’s serves Mexican cantina-style favourites like ceviche, tacos, roasted corn and sangria in a heritage dockside boathouse overlooking The Indian River, connecting Lake Rosseau and Lake Muskoka in Port Carling.
Location: 2 James Bartleman Way, Port Carling
Satisfy your craving for Caribbean-infused cuisine and beach inspired beer and cocktails on an eclectic port side patio while you watch the boats and ferries sail into Tobermory Harbour from Georgian Bay.
Location: 53 Bay Street, Tobermory
Situated on the Muskoka Wharf on the shore of Lake Muskoka, this casual eatery takes full advantage of Insta-worthy sunsets from the gorgeous back deck. Dock steaks with seasonal veggies and signature sauces are calling. What are you waiting for?
Location: 1110 Bay Street, Gravenhurst
Located on Lake Simcoe at the ferry docks to Georgina Island, this family-owned and operated eatery specializes in family-friendly comfort food. Work up an appetite before settling into the lakefront patio by taking the short ferry ride to Georgina Island and walking the Nanabush Trails that follow in the footsteps of the island’s Chippewa Elders.
Location: 4-West, 7751 Black River Road, Sutton
The perfect 19th hole or a destination unto itself, Sweetwater’s views of pristine fairways and the deep blue waters of Georgian Bay are matched only by its innovative takes on classical cuisine and the rum raisin butter tart for dessert. Arrive for your reservation in style on a ‘fly and dine’ with Big Blue Air.
Location: 221 McLeese Drive, Kemble
Parry Sound’s newest waterfront restaurant welcomes guests arriving by land, water or air to relax dockside and enjoy fresh, locally inspired comfort food, including vegan, veg, gluten and dairy-free options.
Location: 11A Bay Street, Parry Sound
Housed in the original 1946 99-foot steel hulled passenger vessel, Chief Commanda, this lakeside bar and grill was voted one of Canada’s most unique restaurants by the Food Network. Feast on fresh pickerel and fries while watching the sun slide across Lake Nipissing.
Location: 225 Memorial Drive, North Bay
Last updated: August 22, 2023