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Patio Guide '12 

Everything you need to find your place in the sun, whether you’re in the deck heaven that is downtown or looking for an oasis around town.

click to enlarge Seeing straight into the sun at The Foggy Goggle. - SCOTT BLACKBURN

Baton Rouge
We certainly don't advocate washing that delicious rib sauce off your sticky mitts with water from the Halifax Harbour (they have moist towelettes for that), but Baton Rouge's close proximity to that great port we call ours is certainly tantalizing. Should ribs seem a tad heavy in the summer sun, check out seafood appetizers like Mississippi Delta calamari, and hydrate with a flotilla of beverages, beer-based and beyond. 1877 Hollis Street, 407-0007

The Bicycle Thief
"Water, water everywhere, so let's all have a drink!"

--Homer Simpson

Such is the case at The Bicycle Thief. Fountains to the front of you, the harbour to the left of you, and if you aren't some kind of nut, a cold glass of something to your right. It's first come, first seated on the patio at this popular joint from lunch to late night so get hopping. The cocktail menu is astonishing; muddled fruits, homemade syrups, hand-pressed citrus juices and their accompaniments add up to a shimmery summer night by the water. 1475 Lower Water Street, 425-7993

Bistro Le Coq
Located on what is arguably downtown's most bustling street, that haven of the high-heeled, Argyle Street, the folks on Bistro Le Coq's patio care not if you forgot your hair glitter, but they might care if you forgot your appetite. Bistro Le Coq's late night menu (available Friday to Saturday 11pm-1am) has the goods to keep you powered up until the wee hours, with tasty treats like moules a la Normande et frites (mussels steamed with white wine, leek cream and applewood-smoked bacon with duck fat fries), charcuterie or cheese plates, or a big ol' eight ounce striploin. Sit back, loosen the belt and take comfort in the fact that the French never get fat or something. 1584 Argyle Street, 407-4564

Brooklyn Warehouse
This recently created enclosed patio---take that, sun!---features garage-door-style windows so you can lean out onto Windsor Street and flirt with cars stopped at the light. Order from the Best of Food award-winning menu. It feels like you're in the restaurant, but you're not. Did we mention you're out of the sun, also? 2795 Windsor Street, 446-8181

Brussels Restaurant and Brasserie
Daily specials (mussel Mondays, tapas Tuesdays, wine Wednesdays, Thursday beer club, Finally Friday, acoustic Saturday afternoons and European Sundays), live music, an enviable selection of beer (50 beers under $5---you would expect nothing less from a Belgian-inspired joint, right?) plus the added exotic flair of a pedestrian-only street make Brussels an ideal place to relax under an umbrella, content with the fact that you've saved at least $1,000 (low estimate) by forgoing your European vacation so you might as well order a couple more rounds for the table. Cheers! 1873 Granville Street, 446-4700

The Carleton
Argyle, round two. Now we're jumping to the other end of the giant patio, er, I mean street, here at The Carleton. Martinis and cocktails and wines, oh my! A casual patio with an upscale feel, come feel classy at The Carleton as you sip back your classic martini---gin or vodka, a splash of vermouth and a garnish to top it off---or dabble in the wine list while you wait for the live music of the night to start. 1685 Argyle Street, 422-6335

CUT Steakhouse & Urban Grill
Grilling and the great outdoors go together like peanut butter and jelly, chips and dip, peas and carrots, bone marrow and fig and cipollini jam---that last one goes together particularly well with CUT's patio, especially if it arrives before a Kobe burger. Sip a 57 Chevy with Hawaiian Plates (a cocktail featuring Bacardi Coconut, vanilla vodka, cassis, pineapple and cranberry juice) with your meal, take in the night air and thank me later. 5120 Salter Street, 429-5120

click to enlarge Day drinking at Bistro Le Coq. - SCOTT BLACKBURN

Darrell's Restaurant
Home of the beloved Peanut Butter Burger (voted Best Burger in The Coast's Best of Food readers' poll for a whopping nine years), Darrell's popular patio is awash in pretty flowers and platters of attractive food to keep the passing public's eyes distracted from your chin---which is covered in condiments, by the way. 5576 Fenwick Street, 492-2344

Durty Nelly's
Get down and dirty at Durty Nelly's. If the traditional Irish tunes don't draw you in, then the cold bevvies surely will. With eight tables available on the Argyle side, on June 27 they opened a 14-table terrace on Sackville Street as well. With some Irish luck on our side, we'll be getting plenty of sunshine in the coming months...and everyone knows the best way to cool off is with a cold pint of Guinness.5221 Sackville Street, 406-7640

Fife and Drum Pub
Local bands on Friday and Saturday keep the tunes steady rollin', the adjoining hotel brings in new faces and a cry of "Sociable!" is never ignored on the patio. Catch the harbour breeze (it's clean now), and forget about your work troubles.Halifax Marriott Harbourfront, 1919 Upper Water Street, 428-7805

The Five Fishermen Restaurant and Grill
Slurp oysters and sip wine or tuck into The Five Fishermen's monthly prix fixe menu (featuring versions of what was served to first class passengers on the Titanic) and take comfort that you're on solid ground. I'll take this time to remind you that if you aren't sitting outside every single temperate day in Nova Scotia you're not doing your civic duty. The Five Fishermen patio allows you to do that while simultaneously indulging in some seafood, thereby sending you into the ultimate of Nova Scotian territory. 1740 Argyle Street, 422-4421

Freeman's Little New York
A multitude of flowers grow around the bright green patio of Freeman's on Quinpool Road, shading you and your ice-cold pints. Not so far removed from street level that you can't easily shout at a friend and pull them in for a hug, the busy corner is a people-watcher's dream. 6092 Quinpool Road, 429-0241

The Foggy Goggle
You might be a little foggy-minded or feel like you're wearing beer goggles (...I'm so sorry for this one) when you leave this joint. Another Argyle Street hot spot, The Foggy Goggle boasts an 18-table patio. Their kitchen is also open almost as long as they are (until midnight) so when you get the late-night munchies, you can continue enjoying the cool summer air---and more importantly, keep drinking---while you mange.1667 Argyle Street, 444-1414

Hamachi House
This venerable sushi joint has a couple dozen tables in front of its Morris Street location, with an eye on the harbour, just far enough off Barrington Street for a quiet meal. Your best bet is probably a Bento box at lunch (11am-3pm), when the sun's all the way up, with the ocean breeze blowing up the hill for a perfect weather bubble. 5190 Morris Street, 425-7711

The Hart and Thistle Gastropub & Brewery
The Hart and Thistle has certainly stolen the hart of Haligonians. Located at the hart of the Halifax waterfront, it has lots of hart. Get it? HART. THAT'S THE JOKE PORTION OF THIS. But for real, this place is prime real estate when it comes to patios. Right on the Halifax Harbour, with a patio that seats over 200 people, the Hart and Thistle provides the grand slam patio experience. With upscale pub grub (thanks to it being a gastropub) and plenty of local brews, it's the perfect place to sit back, relax and watch the ships cruise by.1869 Upper Water Street, 407-4278

La Perla Dining Room
Across from Alderney Landing above Portland Street, there are 20 seats available for an awesome view of the harbour. So be smart and make a reservation, then settle in for some lovely Italian food and wine. If you're extra lucky some tunes may drift over from the neighbouring Celtic Corner. 73 Alderney Drive, 469-3241

Little Europe Bistro
Nothing like the Hydrostone to make you feel classy and otherworldly, and Little Europe's salads, pastas and seafood are a great way to spend the afternoon, especially if you nab one of the six seats on the sidewalk. If you can beat the brunch crowd, that means you can enjoy a Spanish tortilla or lobster eggs Benedict in the sun. 5543 Young Street, 407-7700

The Maxwell's Plum
If you have trouble making decisions then Maxwell's might not be the best choice for you. With 60 different beers on tap, you won't be short of choice. While their patio isn't exceptionally large, their ridiculously extensive beer list is. A Brewtender on a Thursday evening? Yes, please. 1600 Grafton Street, 423-5090

McKelvie's Restaurant
Across the street from the Maritime Museum and down the block from the brewery, McKelvie's boasts a great harbour view and three decades' worth of seafood-makin' knowledge. 1680 Lower Water Street, 421-6161

click to enlarge Hey baby! Join for a tipple at The Carleton. - COURTNEY KELSEY

Murphy's Cable Wharf Restaurant
A hot waterfront spot, you can see everything from here: Tall Ships, Theodore Tugboat, Buskers and alFresco in the distance. With a huge patio stretching out into the harbour, Murphy's provides a breeze and salt air to go along with your seafood. And you can wave at seafaring passers-by. 1751 Lower Water Street, 420-1015

With the Euros coming to a close, Niche's outdoor patio is the perfect spot to catch the fateful match. With a big screen TV tucked into a tented area, Niche has more to offer than your average 26-table patio. With plans to show the Olympics, Niche combines the best a bar has to offer---a patio AND a TV---for all you sport-loving fanatics. 1505 Barrington Street, 423-6632

Obladee, A Wine Bar
Yeah, life does go on. But who cares when you're sippin' a merlot on the terrace at Obladee. Whether it's date night, ladies' night or I've-had-a-really-long-day-and-need-a-big-glass-of-wine night, Obladee will take care of you. While it might be a small patio, it's a cosy one. Nothing beats some fine wine in the summertime, especially when you pair it with some cheese and charcuterie. NOM. 1600 Barrington Street, 405-4505

Old Port Pub & Grill
This Burnside Business of the Year boasts a fenced-in umbrella oasis, transporting you from your workday and into a lovely local pub. Grab your mates and order up a party platter---dudes, there are deep-fried pickles on that thing---and forget about your commute for awhile. Have a cold something and chill.900 Windmill Road, 404-7678

The Old Triangle Irish Ale House
There once was a really great pub.
It served lots of fine Irish grub.
With a patio to boot,
It was always a hoot.
The Old Triangle Ale

So perhaps this original limerick doesn't quite do the Old Triangle's knockout patios justice, but seating about 75 people in total, the pub's patios are the perfect proximity to the waterfront: close enough to smell the tangy sea air, but far enough away to avoid the inevitable chaos of summer tourist season. 5136 Prince Street, 492-4900

These Brazilian/Portuguese specialists have awesome $10 lunch specials and a great patio on Argyle Street. Grab a chair and discuss your best plan for how you would fill in the convention centre pit---a favourite activity up the street and down---while loading up on black bean salad and wine. Lots of wine.1685 Argyle Street, 407-7472

Ristorante a Mano
This sunken sidewalk patio at Bishop's Landing is really great for the shade-lovers among us (cough)---get the table under the arch!---and a nice way to wait out the day's end traffic. Or start your night. It's all good. Eat some beautiful Italian food paired with wine from all over---Italy, New Zealand, California---and watch tourists go by (or look confused and struggle to find their way). 1477 Lower Water Street, 423-6266

Split Crow
Located down on the Granville Mall, people often set up camp early for Split Crow's infamous Power Hours. Serving cheap draught, it's often a fave for the students. Now you can enjoy the great outdoors while you wait for those cheap brews. With about 14 tables outside and many students gone for the summer, snagging a table shouldn't be such a struggle. 1855 Granville Street, 422-4366

Step off the north end mainline, Agricola Street, pull into this Charles Street patio and note the difference: Ahhhhhhhhhh, quiet. There are some places you go to whoop it up looky-loo style; Tess is for enjoyment of a more refined sort. Though the resto is moving away from its signature crepes, there's plenty of other options on the menu to keep you content on a warm summer's eve. Like, a baked Atlantic salmon or a tasty Louisiana Grill. 5687 Charles Street, 406-3133

Tom's Little Havana Cafe
While Tom's dark corners are the perfect spot for long conversations with close friends, the outdoor patio carries that quintessential Tom's vibe outside with it. With only eight tables to choose from, it's just as cozy as the inside. You can happily top off your night with a smooth glass of scotch here.5428 Doyle Street, 423-8667

The Wooden Monkey
Nicely located on the downtown gradient, this sidewalk patio seats 23 and has views of Citadel Hill and a slice of the harbour (just try to ignore the empty lot across the street). It puts you squarely downtown but on the fringes of the busy bar paths, making it great for a quiet meal while still watching all the shenanigans from afar. 1707 Grafton Street, 444-38444

Victory Arms Pub
With a pleasant view of the Public Gardens, this hotel bar is a great spot to pull up a chair and enjoy the outdoors. (Guest or no guest, be sure to leave those hotel restaurant stigmas behind.) From the Victory Arms patio you can enjoy clean hands (and an allergy-free moment) while watching the gardeners at work. And if flowers aren't your thing (what's wrong with you---flower hater?), there's certainly enough going on in the street to keep you entertained. 1515 South Park Street, 420-9781

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