Why escape winter when you can embrace cool Canadian vibes at one of these local-fave heated patios?
Don’t limit alfresco dining to summer! Fact is, Canada gets snow. We get fresh, crisp air and beautifully sparkling winter nights. It’s time to celebrate the season in bold Toronto style—with stellar patio dining, all winter long.
Here are 10 hot spots where you can chase the chill with soul-warming food and drinks.
Skip the main dining room and head to the 4th-floor rooftop patio at Baro. Fully enclosed and heated, this glassy jewel box is the perfect place to sip sangria or cocktails like the Aztec Old Fashioned (Don Julio reposado and Sombra mezcal punched up with mole bitters and habanero shrub). Savour Latin fusion fare like Grande Mac Empanadas and duck chaufa (confit).
A Little Italy staple much loved for its Catalonian-style tapas and pinxtos, creative cocktails and Gaudi-esque design (check out that eyepopping carved-mahogany interior!), Bar Raval has a heated patio that’s open late ’til 1 a.m. so you can sate your grilled octopus a la plancha fix into the wee hours of the night.
An Ossington Village mainstay, Bellwoods Brewery offers hearty gastropub fare like seared duck breast or house-made smoked bratwurst alongside craft beers like Donkey Venom dark sour and hoppy Cat Lady IPA. Layer up if you want to chill on the patio as it is covered and heated, but not actually enclosed.
With its twinkle lights, wood panelling and heaters, this St. Clair West Italian restaurant offers a cozy and intimate patio experience. Sure bets on the seafood-focused menu include caviar-spiked crostini al salmone and grilled marinated octopus with crispy potatoes. With its heated patio and carb-y menu, Cano is the perfect winter warm-up after strolling Midtown’s parks and ravines.
Chula Taberna Mexicana
Chula Taberna Mexicana brings tropical Mexican vibes to the eclectic Leslieville neighbourhood on the Eastside. Its covered patio keeps the cold at bay with heaters aplenty, as well as beachy tiki bars and 70 craft tequilas to sip and savour. Order up a plate of tacos; choices include mojo-marinated bison, roasted butternut squash and crispy zucchini, alongside standards like carnitas and barbacoa beef.
Dzô Viet Eatery
Sticklers may say Dzô Viet Eatery’s atrium isn’t a true patio, but they’d be missing the point. With its expansive skylights, spilling vines and floating silk lanterns that cast a magical glow at night, this contempo bar-resto channels a verdant southeast Asian vibe in the heart of winter. Sip inventive cocktails and dig into shareable Vietnamese street food and noods across the street from the Art Gallery of Ontario.
El Catrin Destileria spices up the Victorian-era Distillery Historic District with a menu of shareable botanas, antojitos and—of course—tacos. Say “salud” with margaritas, cocteles and cerveza on one of the city’s most popular patios, complete with heaters, firepits and blankets to keep the good vibes flowing.
Fresh on Crawford
Toronto’s OG vegan restaurant chain, Fresh is a local success story with locations across town. Its Crawford Street outpost on trendy Queen Street West is a family fave for its wholesome bowls, burgers, big salads and proximity to Trinity Bellwoods Park. Their cheerful streetside patio is fully enclosed, heated and oh-so-cozy.
Hemingway’s Restaurant & Bar
A Yorkville icon for four decades, Hemingway’s boasts a heated rooftop patio serving up New Zealand-inflected dishes like lamb shank with mint jelly, plus standard pub fare like wings, poutine and nachos. Between trivia nights and 20 TVs screening sports matches from rugby to cricket, locals are drawn to its casual, unpretentious energy.
Lavelle offers 360-degree views of the downtown skyline from its perch 16 stories above the King Street West scene. This see-and-be-seen lounge/dining room/patio serves up a contemporary Brazilian-Japanese menu with dishes like steak sashimi tacos and plantain tempura rolls. Pack a swimsuit if you want to take a dip in their heated rooftop patio pools (yes, all winter long!).