After the spring we’ve had, it might be safe to say that any patio is the best patio now that we’ve made it to June. But as Canadians, we really do need to be discerning about where we spend our precious warm and daylight hours during patio season. Barring verbally abusive panhandlers, crazy wind tunnels, or that bee that just won’t quit, finding the perfect mixture of shade, sun, and good service is a true summer highlight. Here are my recommended top ten patios for Summer 2018.

01. Gallagher’s

There are many great patio options on Augusta Street, but often everyone congregates at Gallagher’s and most pub crawls end up there. The patio is larger than others and it’s great for people watching, especially if you got there early enough to bypass the line. Plus, they’ll let you bring in a birthday cake!

02. Aberdeen Tavern

This small and sheltered patio is one of my favourite spots in Hamilton and feels as elegant as the restaurant inside. It’s tucked away and has that feeling of relaxing in your best friends backyard. Enjoying a sunny brunch in this hidden haven is one of the best ways to spend a summer Sunday.

03. The Beverly

Not only is Bev’s Backyard stunning with its pops of colour and gorgeous landscape, it also provides the perfect mix of sun and shade. Get cozy under its huge trees and enjoy some of the best brunch and bubbly in the city. It’s Instagram central back there and the perfect venue to host your summer event.

04. Mulberry

James Street North is one of my favourite bustling areas in the city and the Mulberry side patio is smack dab in the middle. A super spot during Art Crawl and most Fridays in the summer, you can enjoy the tunes of the Mulberry Street Porchin’ Band next door.

05. Bumpin’ Out

Tis the season for the street patio’s installed by Pop-Up Patio’s Hamilton and it’s a joyous time. You can find them on Ottawa, King William, James, in Westdale, among others. They allow your favourite small place where you can rarely get a seat to double in seating capacity. This is good news for everyone wanting some Crab Dip Rangoon at Fsh & Chp.

06. Ancaster Main Drag

The hidden courtyard patio at Coach & Lantern and the large and historic patio at Rousseau House on Wilson Street in Ancaster offer different, yet uniquely perfect, outdoor experiences. Featuring live music, trivia and exceptional food, these spots are great for doing a mini patio crawl – hit up Cavallo Nero nearby and taste the best that Ancaster has to offer.

07. La Cantina

As you can tell, I enjoy secluded patios with lots of umbrellas and greenery – in the height of summer, La Cantina on Walnut Street is a pretty little refuge from the downtown hustle and bustle. It even has a tree growing in the middle – foliage bonus!

08. The French

The French is probably the most stunning and beautiful patio in the city complete with striped awnings, hedge boxes and those perfect Parisian-style chairs. The look is always on point and the location is primo as well. Enjoy a French 75 and watch the world go by. Santé!

09. Garage Doors

Restaurants that don’t have the real estate for a patio but have installed a front opening garage-style door provide the next best thing. Bar on Locke, Cima, and Berkeley North are great examples – they give many of the benefits of a patio and can easily extend the summer into those unseasonably warm days in October.

10. Jack and Lois

An adorable fenced in patio at the back of the restaurant is a great spot for a summer afternoon. Their grilled cheese in place of the toast on a breakfast platter is still one of the most ingenious menu items. On Thursday nights in the summer, they show movies on the back patio – come pull up a chair!

Coming Soon:

A special mention to Black Forrest Inn that is set to launch an incredible patio filled with the same great eats and that warm feeling you can find indoors. Modelled after a patio you would discover walking through the streets of Europe. Check out the front cover of urbanicity to get a sneak peek!