The glass-enclosed sidewalk patio at the downtown Cactus Club puts patrons in the heart of the action. It faces one of the busiest stretches of Stephen Avenue and is ideal for sunny day business lunches or after-work drinks. Or drop in during evenings and weekends when the Avenue also has lots of foot traffic for people watching. The patio is equipped with both umbrellas and heaters and the walls retract so that even when you are inside you get great views of the outside
178, 317 7 Ave. S.W., 403-454-9399, cactusclubcafe.com
The enormous Craft location at Southcentre Mall faces the mall’s parking lot, giving beer lovers a superb suburban people watching opportunity. The patio offers the restaurant’s core food and beer menu, including many local craft brews.
100 Anderson Rd. S.E., 403-216-2337, craftbeermarket.ca
Situated on sidewalk level right beside the downtown Bay store, The Guild’s huge patio offers some primo Stephen Avenue people-watching while you sip a signature cocktail or dig into a plate of truffled deep-fried mac and cheese. The patio is dog-friendly and takes reservations.
200 8 Ave. S.W., 403-770-2313, theguildrestaurant.com
You don’t need to be a hotel guest (or even a swimmer) to enjoy lounging around Hotel Arts’ ultra-chic pool. The pool is in the the hotel’s centre courtyard and the licensed patio has a special poolside menu from the Yellow Door Bistro kitchen. If you do want to swim, there is a $20 fee.
119 12 Ave. S.W., 403-266-4611, hotelarts.ca
Thanks to the removal of a bank of escalators in The Core, Hy’s was able to expand its patio in the middle of the downtown hustle and bustle. Hy’s full menu (including that iconic cheese toast) is available outside as well.
8th Avenue and 3rd Street S.W., 403-663-3363, hyssteakhouse.com
Big, busy and bustling, the patio at the Joey location in Eau Claire is a favourite on a particularly gorgeous summer day. There are all manner of drinks on the cocktail menu, though there’s nothing quite like the signature Super Sonic Gin and Tonic or Super Nova Vodka Soda slushies to keep you cool.
20, 208 Barclay Parade S.W., 403-263-6336, joeyrestaurants.com
Grab a seat on National’s patio, where you’ll see people of all walks of life going down 17th Avenue S.W. It’s more than enough to keep you entertained while sipping on a pint from National’s extensive beer menu or snacking on a plate of Frank’s red-hot wings or a pie from the pizza bar menu.
550 17 Ave. S.W., 403-229-0226, ntnl.ca