Great Places to Eat During Patio Season
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.
You’ll Want to Clear Your Schedule to Visit These Eateries
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 water in Port Carling.
Location: Port Carling
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 from the back deck.
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.
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.
Location: Vineland Station
Perched on the water’s edge 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.
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.
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: Port Stanley
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: North Bay
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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: Parry Sound
Located in downtown Toronto’s Distillery Historic District, El Catrin is just a short stroll away from Sugar Beach, one of Toronto’s hidden gems, where you can lounge under whimsical pink umbrellas on a sandy beach and take in waterfront views of Lake Ontario.
Last updated: November 4, 2022