Staff Picks: Calgary Patios We Love

The next time you’re dining al fresco, we recommend grabbing a seat on one of these local patios.

Free House


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Being a good rooftop patio isn’t hard, but being a truly great one takes something special, and Free House has figured out the formula. With one of the best and most varied craft beer menus in Calgary (Free House has new ones every week), a great wine list and a fun and simple cocktail menu, Free House’s rooftop patio is a casual hang for anyone looking for an elevated beer hall experience. And while the rooftop patio does have a smaller menu compared to inside, the food here would be happy sitting on any contemporary restaurant’s menu. The onion dip is particularly delicious, the incredibly rich cheese toast is a must-eat and the smoked chicken croquettes are a perfect match for a sunny day on the patio with a cold beverage and a few friends. —Chris Landry, digital editorial assistant


Moonlight & Eli


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If, like Coco Chanel, you only drink champagne when you are in love and when you are not, you will definitely fall in love with Moonlight & Eli’s garden patio in Bridgeland. The lush and pretty urban oasis planted with flowers and herbs is lit at night with tiny string lights creating a beautiful and intimate setting. The fondue and champagne restaurant serves all of its regular menu on the patio, plus a summer menu of meat and cheese charcuterie alongside buckets of mini champagnes and sparkling wines. Perfect for a special date night, you can also reserve the whole garden for a private party. On Thursdays, Moonlight offers its “Throw Back Thursdays” where it opens a vintage bottle of champagne and serves it by the glass in three-ounce and five-ounce pours. It’s a great way to try some rare bubbles at a lower price point than a whole bottle. —Käthe Lemon, president


South Block

A patio that combines beer, barbecue and summer vibes — what could be better than that? When the weather gets warm, I find myself drawn to South Block’s lively patio in Mission, and once you see it, it’s not hard to understand why. The patio walls provide some shelter from the elements while still letting in plenty of sun from above. Additional features like ceiling heaters, strings of lights and flower-filled planters lining the walls help create an inviting and summery atmosphere. It’s a memorable spot to dig into a tray of apricot pork belly, brisket and pimento mac n’ cheese, pulled pork and some corn bread with a few friends. —Alana Willerton, senior digital editor




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One of my favourite patios in the city is Teatro. By day, it’s a delightful setting for a three-course prix fixe lunch or an afternoon glass of cold, crisp Italian white wine. By night, it’s all romance and sophistication, with oversized orbs casting diffuse light while beautiful guests dine on beautiful contemporary Italian and Mediterranean dishes. The bucolic setting, right in the heart of downtown, is adorned with greenery and bright, colourful flowers. With pizzas for $18 and all sparkling wine half-price on weekdays between 2 to 4:30 p.m., it’s a perfect place to play hooky for an afternoon of fine-dining fun in the sun. —Jennifer Hamilton, senior contributing editor

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Avenue’s writers and editors are occasionally invited to experience dining or adventure experiences as a guest, including some of the experiences in this story. Neither complimentary experiences nor advertising are required for coverage in Avenue. Neither companies that advertise nor those that provide other incentives are promised editorial coverage, nor do they have the opportunity to review or approve stories before publication.

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