This summer, nature seems hellbent on keeping us indoors, throwing days of torrential downpours and thundershowers our way and putting a literal damper on our patio plans. But a few places are prepared for Mother Nature’s wrath, offering well-covered ways to continue eating al fresco. Here are some of the city’s best respites from the rain.
Wind up a few flights of stairs at this Yorkville staple and you’ll find The Flight Deck—the bar’s breezy rooftop rendezvous point. The majority of the tables are reserved for walk-ins, and once you’re settled, the move here is cold pints of beer, classic cocktails ( margaritas, mojitos, palomas) and pub snacks.
Previously uncovered, the patio at this west-end brewery recently got a new addition: a fancy-schmancy retractable roof. It’s like the SkyDome (yes, we said SkyDome) of bars. Go for the small-batch brews and bowls of beer-battered cheese curds—rain or shine.
Rain or shine, die-hard butter chicken fans can huddle over steaming plates of northern-style tandoori chicken and biryanis under the rainbow-hued tent in Little India.
Settle into this North York patio and dig into a kamayan feast, portioned for one, two, three or more people. Think spreads of banana leaf, piled high grilled tilapia, squid, milkfish, shrimps, mussels and veggies.
This fenced-in, curbside setup may be impromptu, but it serves a crucial purpose: keeping you safe from the elements while you slurp on steaming bowls of ramen, tuck into bento boxes, and snack on karaage and takoyaki. Did we mention the dirt cheap beers?
This scene-y stalwart spot near Millionaire’s Mile offers a year-round rooftop patio (plus several other levels with varying amounts of coverage from the elements), where the well-heeled can watch games, sip sangria, dig into nachos and other pub nosh. For New Zealand ex-pats, the spot is decked out with national pride (the restaurant is owned by a couple of Kiwis).
This St. Lawrence parking lot location accommodates a whole swath of beer drinkers under its new tents, with a well-stocked tap list (from Collective Arts sours to Revel ciders) that includes something for everyone.
Here’s a plan for the weekend: catch a flick and post up afterwards at Basilio Pesce’s upscale red sauce joint that shares space with the newly renovated Paradise Theatre. A pull-out patio roof keeps diners from being drenched as they dig into mortadella-topped gnoccho fritto, house-made pasta dishes and fresh seafood plates.
This Mississauga barbecue joint has a stunning canopy of fresh florals draped from a rain-proof awning, protecting guests from any wet weather. There’s Korean fried chicken and bulgogi noodles, but the star of the show is grill-it-yourself Korean BBQ. Throw a piece to your puppers if you’re so inclined—the patio is fido-friendly.
This verdant setup tucked away in the Bloorcourt wine bar’s backyard is well-protected from the elements, affording you the ability to sip bottles of natural wine through whatever storm the sky brews up.
Vermouth highballs, wine by the bag and pasta galore are served on Bar Vendetta’s petite back patio. Italian fare leans heavily into the season—expect tomatoes and peas to take a starring role right now, but dishes will ebb and flow based on what the province has got growing.
Glowing red lanterns mark your arrival at Tondou, an Okinawa-style ramen shop on College. Creamy tan tan and spicy miso ramen are always on offer, though the spot also is the only place in Toronto to serve Okinawan soba—thick, regional soba noodles with a bonito broth and sweet pork ribs.
On a shopping strip of Queen West, Bar’kada turns out brunch, lunch, dinner and late-night bites filled with Filipino flavours: lumpia, deep-fried chicken bites, chicken adobo and garlicky fried rice. Oysters are slung on the half shell and wines lean towards the funky side. There’s a streetside situation out front, but the back patio is where you want to be if the skies look threatening.