Sitting on the patio of Hart House Restaurant (6664 Deer Lake Avenue) in Burnaby is an idyllic experience. The serene waters of Deer Lake shimmer in the distance, and right before you is the lawn where you can play croquet or bocce if the mood strikes. This outdoor dining area is just one of the many gorgeous Burnaby patios that warrant a visit.
Over the phone, Hart House’s general manager, Edwyn Kumar, suggests enjoying their weekly three-course chef’s menu ($38) on the patio, with items like roasted sunchoke soup and sous-vide sockeye salmon that showcase executive chef Mike Genest’s adept use of local, seasonal ingredients. This month, the restaurant will also be offering Champagne de Venoge by the glass ($18). As well, Hart House hosts stylish alfresco events on its grounds, like a Mediterranean Garden Party on July 22 ($68 per person), which includes winetastings, a Mediterranean-inspired buffet, and live music.
Nongolfers may not be in the know about two of Burnaby’s most scenic patios, at the Riverway (9001 Bill Fox Way) and Burnaby Mountain (7600 Halifax Street) clubhouses, both run by the City of Burnaby. Of the two, Riverway’s is particularly spectacular, with its modern wood-beam design and sweeping views of the golf greens and water.
The Burnaby Mountain patio was completely renovated this year, with elegant lounge and table seating and views of the golf course. During a phone chat, Hugh Izumi, general manager of both clubhouses, is particularly excited about their new “feast for two” platters. The barbecue one features half a roasted lemon-and-mustard chicken, a rack of barbecued baby back ribs, fries, coleslaw, market veggies, grilled corn, and caesar salad or organic greens. The surf ’n’ turf platter includes a grilled 10-ounce Angus rib-eye, a pesto prawn kebab, crispy calamari, and Salt Spring Island mussels. Get to both patios early to snag seats.
The patio at Personas (4331 Dominion Street) at the Grand Villa Casino is an impressively lavish new space, perfect for chic sun- and food-worshipping. This under-the-radar spot seats 100, and includes a circular bar area, lounge and table seating, and a communal table, as well as fire pits and water features. Live music throughout the summer adds to the ambiance.
Personas’ menu includes accessible options like California sushi tacos, tomato and bocconcini salad, and a chicken and Belgian waffle sandwich. Their Express Lunch items, such as a Mediterranean grilled vegetable wrap, will have you in and out in 45 minutes, aided by free valet parking from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
High atop Burnaby Mountain you’ll find the patio at Simon Fraser University’s Highland Pub (8888 University Drive), run by SFU’s student society and serviced by friendly student employees. Leaning back on comfy lounge seating, you can appreciate the clean lines of the campus architecture as envisioned by Arthur Erickson and Geoffrey Massey. Expect pub favourites like a flame-grilled sirloin burger, rustic vegetable chili, and of course the well-known nachos grande—as well as draft beers like Big Rock Grasshopper Wheat Ale and Honey Brown Lager.
Also on Burnaby Mountain is Horizons Restaurant (100 Centennial Way), with a highly-sought-after patio that’s set to open for the season in the last week of June (weather permitting). “It has one of the best views anywhere, honestly. It looks downtown, it looks into Burrard Inlet. You can see the North Shore,” says Diane Summers, senior manager, during a phone interview. After taking in the surrounding landscape, she suggests ordering the seared albacore tuna with a citrus-y quinoa, cucumber, and fennel salad, or the curry-spiced cornmeal-crusted rockfish with sea scallops and saffron basmati rice. The dessert sampler—with blueberry bread pudding, chocolate pâté, and crème brûlée—makes the view that much better.
The recently opened Burnaby location of Glowbal Group’s successful Trattoria (4501 Kingsway) will be launching its patio in the next week or so. “It’s a Tuscan Italian garden on Kingsway, with a lot of hanging flower baskets, flowerpots, and nice banquettes,” says owner Emad Yacoub over the phone. He explains that they’ll be expanding the about-to-open patio into an even larger, splashier year-round one by the fall. Start with the bruschetta sampler trio before choosing from pastas, like the must-have truffle cream spaghetti and meatballs, and pizzas, such as one with prosciutto, arugula, and burrata.
And with this summer promising to be a hot one, you’ll have plenty of cloudless days for relaxing on one of these patios.