Sitting on one of Edmonton’s latest and greatest patios is good for the mind and body
When the hot summer sun eventually arrives in Edmonton, like flower bulbs awakening from a deep blanket of snow, Edmontonians put on their finest summer lounge wear and flock to the first bar that is willing to serve them outside.
Patio season in Edmonton is a short but glorious event. Sipping on the latest cocktail while nibbling on the best tapas ever, all under the warmth of a hot summer sun, is healing in both mind and body.
Following changes by the City of Edmonton to speed up the approval process and remove some of the red tape to receive a patio licence, more and more Edmonton businesses are opening their doors and cashing in on a favourite pastime for winter-weary indoor patrons.
Patrons in Edmonton will notice a boom in boardwalk-style patios thanks to this expedited City policy.
Sitting on a patio is not only good for the mind, but also good for the body. Lack of sun in winter leaves northern populations with a lack of vitamin D, which is vital for strong bones and more. A lack of Vitamin D can put people at risk for diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular disease and even cancer.
So, leave the guilt behind when packing on calories on a patio and just enjoy the regenerative nature of our short-lived, but expanding patio establishments. All in moderation though and don’t forget your sunscreen!
Here’s a highlight of some of the newest and best patios in Edmonton. Enjoy!
CRAFT BEER MARKET
10013 – 101A Avenue
Craft is already well-known for having the largest selection of draft beer in Canada and for its commitment to using fresh, local ingredients on the food menu, but now you have an even better reason to swing on by this trendy bar. Craft Beer Market – Edmonton just unveiled the latest and greatest part of its establishment with its brand new rooftop patio right in the heart of downtown. With seating for many guests, cocktail bar, fireplace and the latest in trendy decorations, Craft is taking patios to the next level – literally. People watching has never been better from such an elevated vantage point.
10012 – 101A Avenue
Right across the street from Craft, this well-known patio is still very much a staple in the downtown core and for good reason. Edmontonians and visitors alike have been hitting this watering hole for almost 30 years and it has been known to be a frequent visiting spot for local and international celebrities. Styled after authentic British pubs, it offers a laid-back vibe with friendly staff and wood, wood and more wood. Outside is the opposite of its much darker interior. Its south facing patio is seemingly always packed and offers seating for about 200, but those spots fill up fast. With its traditional and delicious pub fare, real pints and a long history behind it, Sherlock’s has stood the test of time in Edmonton.
8101 Gateway Blvd
Located in the heart of the Whyte Ave entertainment district in the historic Strathcona Rail Station, MKT has made its mark quickly in this bustling district as a go-to destination for patio lovers. With its fresh food and large spirit and beer collection, this new establishment from the Century Hospitality Group is a welcome addition to the chain. Food is locally sourced and has a great selection of appies, sandwiches mains and more. And for those looking for a deal, MKT offers daily food and beverage specials. With outside capacity for many guests, and live entertainment on occasion, the atmosphere is vibrant and casual yet upscale. The best part of the patio is its location though – Whyte Ave is always busy and eclectic, and even more so in the summer, so people-watching from this great location is always entertaining!
O2’S TAP HOUSE AND GRILL – WHYTE AVE
8217 – 104th Street
Another huge draw for sun seekers is the spectacular rooftop patio at 02’s Whyte Ave location. This patio has been voted best patio many times in Edmonton so you can imagine what the crowds are like on a hot day – bustling, animated and definitely packed. Even though there are several 02’s in Edmonton, the rooftop patio is the main draw here, but people stay for the great food, great service and fantastic atmosphere both inside and out. The food menu offers tasty bites such as prawn tacos and Buffalo Chicken Bombs and a great selection of beer, cocktails and martinis, so wetting your lips here can be an adventure.
THE FAIRMONT HOTEL MACDONALD
10065 – 100 Street
Boasting two patios overlooking the spectacular river valley, the “Mac” is in a league of its own when it comes to the views, service, food and beverages. This Four-Diamond hotel is well-known for its luxury, however that prestige does come with a heftier, but worthy price for customers. With its live BBQ and delicious menu and revamped beverage list, the Confederation Lounge offers a comfortable library-style interior but if you can get a seat outside, take it! Not to be outdone by its sister patio, the Harvest Room offers a splendid breakfast buffet or a la carte menu for early risers as well as lunch and dinner. But who can beat breakfast while watching the sunrise! Reservations for the patio are not accepted, so try off-peak times to guarantee yourself a prime spot on either patio.