One of the most sure-fire signs of summer’s impending arrival is the opening of patios across the city – and it also happens to be my favourite one. Well, that and the warmer temperatures! My desperation to enjoy the patio season as much as possible meant I wore my down-filled jacket to enjoy a beer on more than one occasion over the past several weeks. But now that the warmer weather has finally arrived, you can best your bottom dollar I’m on a patio somewhere at least once or twice a week.
For years, hitting the patios has been my favourite Friday lunch or after-work activity (or, OK, any time activity…) with my boyfriend and friends. There’s nothing better than unwinding in the sun with great food and better company – and fortunately, there’s no shortage of either in Halifax! But with so many options to choose from, narrowing down a patio to hit can be tough especially if you’re indecisive like me. Now that I’ve been around the blocks a few times, both literally and figuratively, I can safely say I’ve narrowed down my favourites!
For the ladies (or lads!) who lunch:
Two of my favourite pizza places in Downtown Halifax happen to be a hop, skip and a jump apart: Enter Piatto and Morris East. Ironically, I’m not the biggest pizza fan in the ‘hood, so it may surprise you to learn my two top pics are pizza joints but if I’m this obsessed, you will be too.
- Lunch reco: Peach pizza
- Bonus fun fact: $6 Prosecco all day on Saturday & they sell their amazing chilli oil!
- Gluten-free crust is delicious!
Morris East has long been a favourite for me, stemming from trips to the Bedford location with colleagues. In a bizarre twist, I’ve actually never eaten INSIDE the downtown location – probably because that precious little patio is irresistible. The service is always great and their menu is fantastic.
Need ideas? The Wood-Fired Mac and Cheese is incredible and their Daily Charcuterie Board is perfect for sharing!
- Lunch reco: Stephanie Pizza & Barbarietola Arrostita
- Bonus fun fact: Best. Cappuccino. Ever. & there’s a Vespa inside!
- Gluten-free crust is delicious!
Where do I begin? First, there’s the adorable patio, and the delicious lunch specials, plus their cocktail menu and win selection is fab. Then there’s the cool décor, and the fact you can watch your pizza from creation to plate. Did you know their pizza is only in the oven for 90 seconds? It’s true! Piatto is actually the first pizzeria in Atlantic Canada to receive the prestigious VPN-certification from the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN). Cool, right?
Need ideas? The Calzonis are extraordinary – but so is everything else, so good luck deciding.
Honourable mentions: Gahan House, Your Father’s Moustache.
The “I worked through lunch but can’t make it ’til dinner” spots to hit
Patios that get sun after work are kind of like magical unicorns and, if you’re always cold like me, they’re also absolutely necessary (unless some fantastic heaters are available to snuggle beside).
- Snack reco: Calamari or Carleton Frites (or both)
- Bonus Fun Fact: Best happy hour in the city
One of my newer favourites, with its convenient location and beautiful new patio (which, I’d like to add, smells like a sauna!), is the Carleton! We walked by and did a double-take before deciding to crawl into a wooden booth one sunny evening for a snack and a sip. Both the lunch and dinner menu are beautiful, with great options to meet almost any craving.
Y. U. M.
Orso Pub & Grill
- Snack reco: Wings (obvs)
- Bonus Fun Fact: Bogo Wing Wednesdays & everyday $10 pitchers *ALL DAY*
We first spotted Orso on our way out of a Halifax Mooseheads event and knew we’d need to hit the patio before summer was out. With all-day $10 pitchers every day, it’s the perfect spot to grab a quick snack and a drink – not to mention late afternoon sun.
Honourable mentions: East of Grafton Tavern, Stubborn Goat Gastropub (PS they have heaters), The Pint