Toronto’s Best Summer Patios

POSTED ON July 5, 2023 BY Justine Smith

Written by: Rebecca Felgate

If the sun is shining then you’ll find me outdoor dining! Here are five of our favourite ground-level (and accessible) patios in the Downtown Core.

Gusto 101 — 101 Portland Street

Gusto 101 Food

Southern Italian fare with wine on tap in an industrial setting; Gusto 101 is a cool spot on the increasingly trendy Portland Street. Diners looking for some sunshine can choose between the street patio and the greenhouse rooftop, each offering a well deserved side dish of Vitamin D; something we’re all too keen for after our long winters. Okay, I promise that is the last time I’ll mention the “W” word… eeep! Exposed brick and wooden tables suggest relaxed dining, although the menu offers slight elevation on classics. Order the arancini. Just do it. Yum.

Vela — 90 Portland Street

Vela Food

If the Vela Patio wasn’t so lovely it would almost be a shame to sit outside this beautifully designed Portland Street restaurant. The interior IS stunning (so do pop in and take a gander), however the patio is spacious and replete with greenery. Sustainably mindful, Vela Chef Kim Haugen has created an approachable but classy menu indoors and out, but if you’re not in the mood for a full meal, the snack menu is quite the ticket.  Labelling itself as a Spritz Garden, I highly encourage cocktails and bites outdoors to start or finish your night. Speaking of cocktails, the Vela drinks menu was curated by Toronto mixology royalty, Robin Goodfellow, so you can expect them to be top notch. Enjoy!

O & B Canteen — 350 King Street West

O&B Canteen Food

I am calling it now; O & B Canteen is absolutely the best spot for people watching during TIFF.  Right in the hub of the entertainment district, O & B kitchen is a casual spot to grab a tasty bite pre-movie, pre-theatre or pre-show. Think unpretentious dishes like nachos, calamari, poutine, pizza, tacos. What’s more, O & B Canteen has a cracking Happy Hour (that actually lasts 4 hours).

Steam Whistle Biergarten — 255 Bremner Boulevard

Steam Whistle Biergarten Pretzel

Be it a ball game or just general merriment that brings you down to Steam Whistle it is always a vibe. Styled on a German Biergarten, here are few places you can drink steins of beer in this city, so I always take the opportunity! It doesn’t get fresher than Pilsner straight from the source! The menu also includes a bunch of cocktails and beer cocktails, including a beerita that I really do actually rate as an excellent option for a hot day! Hungry? Cool, have a pretzel. Or some chicken wings. Or both! Backdropped by the Roger’s Centre, the CN Tower and a whole load of cool vintage trains, a trip to Steam Whistle always feels like an iconic Toronto day out in itself.

Oretta — 633 King Street West

Oretta Cocktail

Transforming King Street West into a floral heaven, the Oretta patio is well situated along one of the tastiest streets in town. The art-deco chic of the interior sits adjacent to the flourishing curbside stretch, where revellers can soak up the sun and enjoy traditional Italian fare with a spritz in hand. Pizza, pasta, insalate, antipasti; all the good stuff is here. Not in the mood for a full meal? No problem; Oretta is the perfect spot for a little patio cinq à sept.

Plenty more great options below or check out our Summer Guide: