Marda Loop, which stretches from Crowchild Tr. to 19 St. S.W along 33 and 34 Ave. S.W., has long been one of the city’s most vibrant districts. Today, this former turnaround point for the “Marda” streetcar line is a trendy and walkable hub with more than 130 shops and restaurants – many of which offer al fresco dining.
Tucked around the corner on Garrison Gate, this new fine-dining restaurant has no la carte menu, instead serving a fixed price five-course or three-course menu with optional wine pairings. Dishes change daily depending on what ingredients are available, from duck and barley to quince and carrots, and there’s a little sidewalk patio that evokes France – just like the menu.
The Avenue Deli patio consists of a collection of picnic tables with umbrellas under the “Meat to Please You” sign. It’s a great place to dig into the Boss Cut, 10 oz of Montreal smoked meat on rye. Choose from a selection of seven different mustards and wash it all down with an ApplePie milkshake.
Avenue Deli, 3, 2008 33 Ave. S.W., 403-242-6783, avenuedeli.ca
This recent venture from Jody Barned and Margie Hope has transformed a 33 Ave. S.W. heritage home (formerly the Kaffa House) into a cosy eatery offering casual fare like waffles and flatbreads. Here, you can share a cheeseboard with housemade chutneys on the restaurant’s pretty front porch, in the shade of large trees.
Opened in 2011, this restaurant and beer market quickly became a local favourite with its selection of craft beer and upscale (not to mention sharable) pub food. It also has a ground level south-facing patio perfect for lounging and people watching. If you’re there on a Tuesday, bottles of wine are half price.
A newcomer to Marda Loop, Merchants serves classic pub fare, including a prime rib sandwich and a selection of hand-rolled pizzas, alongside local and regional craft beers. Its lively south-facing patio seats up to 80 people and is set back from busy 33 Ave. S.W. by a parking lot, which keeps it relatively private.
This casual restaurant with its American-inspired menu has a west-facing patio at the always-watchable junction of 20 St. and 34 Ave. S.W. It’s a great place to soak up the afternoon sun with friends and nachos, or enjoy the last rays of the day with a tall glass of sangria.
Not so much a patio as a small clutch of tables placed on the sidewalk, Phil & Sebastian’s outdoor area is casual and pleasant. It’s on the shaded north side of 33 Ave. S.W. with pedestrian traffic to watch, dogs to pat and a limitless supply of excellent espresso.
Formerly the Tropicana, this friendly, busy pub on the corner of 14 St. and 34 Ave. S.W. is a little off-piste for Marda Loop, but well worth the stroll. It has a small, laid-back patio where you can order waffle poutine or a thin-crust pizza along with local or imported beer.