Alforno is part of the Teatro group so you know the food is on point. The menu includes pastas, salads, sandwiches and pizzas. And, there is a beautiful display of baked goods like cakes and tarts. The huge skylights already make the indoors light and bright, but the true outdoor experience is on the patio off to the side. It’s casual with bench seating and if you crane your neck you can see a view of the Peace Bridge. Go there on Fridays and get a pitcher of sangria for $25 or Tuesdays for $15 pasta and a glass of wine with $6 refills.
This patio is wheelchair accessible. Just come into the restaurant, speak with the staff and they’ll unlock an accessible ramp.
222 7 St. S.W., 403-454-0308, alforno.ca
It doesn’t get much better than eating pie fries and a meatloaf sandwich on a picnic table outside of this diner. Unless you are there on the weekend, in which case you’ll want to add the brunch punch to your order.
243 12 Ave. S.W., 587-955-1555, thebeltliner.ca
If it is really nice out, the huge glass garage door opens up at this Tex-Mex restaurant and you get the indoor/outdoor experience. It’s the kind of restaurant where you gather your friends, drink some Bull Dogs and eat some chili con queso. During “halfy hour” (3 p.m. to 5 p.m.) all tequila, rum, nachos and tacos are half price. And all margaritas and cervezas on tap on $5. This patio is wheelchair accessible through a side gate — just let the host know when you arrive.
723 17 Ave. S.W., 403-228-1854, blancocantina.ca
This south facing patio wraps around the building and puts you right in the heart of downtown. Try the tuna stack, raincoast greens or Feenie burger and wash them down with The Brazilian or sangria from the cocktail menu. The dining side of the patio is wheelchair accessible.
178, 317 7 Ave. S.W., 403-454-9399, cactusclubcafe.com
With a long bench on one side of the tables and blue chairs on the other, Home & Away’s sidewalk level patio is great for people watching. If you are there with a group, get a bucket of fried chicken. If not, go for a burger. This is a wheelchair accessible patio.
1331 17 Ave. S.W., 403-455-9789, homeandawayyyc.com
Klein/Harris joins the lineup of awesome Stephen Avenue patios. It’s in the location once occupied by Home Tasting Room. The menu is True North, which means its seafood, meats and salads all have a touch of Canadiana. The cocktail menu comes from partner Christina Mah and includes the classics like martinis and French 75s, as well as some that are a little extra special like the Tiki Horse and Scotch & Tea. Go for the One Punch Lunch and get the daily feature, choice of side, mini butter tart and a coffee or mocktail for $16. This patio is wheelchair accessible.
110 8 Ave. S.W., 403-262-8100, kleinharris.com
Paris is probably the queen of patio culture. Parc Brasserie brings a taste of that to Calgary. It has a sidewalk cafe, under an awning in Mount Royal Village. It’s the kind of place where you would order a second bottle of wine and dessert after enjoying steak frites on a warm summer night.
818 16 Ave. S.W., 403-454-2700, parccalgary.com
The outdoor extension of this board game cafe means you can set up Settlers of Catan or put on your HedBanz outside. Play games in the sun while enjoying chicken pot pie and flatbread. This is a wheelchair accessible patio.
2015 33 Ave. S.W., 587-349-0047, pipscafe.com
Pza Parlour [scheduled to open the weekend of June 11]
Where there was once a Red Robin and Ceili’s Modern Irish Pub, there is now Pza Parlour. This restaurant near Southland Drive and Macleod Trail S. comes from Tony Nicastro. He is the third generation of the Tudda family to open an Italian restaurant in Calgary. Pulcinella, Stromboli Inn and Ville Firenze are all in the family. At Pza Parlour there are dozens of pizzas that you can get in personal size or to share, as well as a selection of pastas and entrees. If you’ve been to Villa Firenze, you know you have to order the portobello appetizer, and if you can properly pace yourself, the Italian doughnuts are a worthy dessert.
297, 9737 Macleod Tr. S.W., 403-455-2033, pzaparlour.com
Charbar’s rooftop patio was open last patio season, but in 2016 it is back with its own menu and vibe. It’s adults only up there (sorry kids, you’ll have to wait to get some of the best patio views in the city). The menu on the rooftop is a little lighter and makes use of the rooftop grill. Small plates include red chimichurri riblets and charred corn. There is also a rooftop burger, build your own taco platter and fire grilled New York steak, all from the fire pit. There are plenty of cocktails, wine and beer to pass the time with as well. This patio is wheelchair accessible.
618 Confluence Way S.E., 403-452-3115, rtbsimmons.com
When in Seton, do what the locals do and go to this restaurant. The menu is all about made-from-scratch, homestyle food and includes items like farmer’s pie, leg of lamb and Cornish game hen. If you go for lunch, get the pastrami sandwich. If you go for brunch, the bacon pancakes are delicious. This is a wheelchair accessible patio.
220, 19489 Seton Cr. S.E., 403-570-0133, starbelly.ca