At Habit, we believe every conversation is better when there’s food in the middle. There's no better place to enjoy both than at one of Edmonton's many places to eat, and this rainy summer is making us dream of warmer days out on the patio. In no particular order, here’s a list of our team’s go-to patios around the city.This list is entirely unofficial. Nobody nominated us to rate anything in Edmonton, so these opinions are purely based on personal preferences and don’t actually matter at all.
Just down the road from our office at Ritchie Market is Biera, a great local brewery that pairs delicious eats with their carefully crafted drinks. Their patio is definitely one of the nicest in the city. It’s hard not to wander over there every day after work; we can never resist a good craft beer. And the kitchen is always coming up with new snacks using interesting tastes. Get a couple of shared plates and a beer flight to get a good sense of the different flavours.
2. Café Bicyclette
Edmonton’s own corner of French goodness is so close to our office that Cafe Bicyclette is one of our most frequented patios. Classic French food and delicious drinks make it a must-do stop when the weather is great. But it’s more than just a summer hotspot. During the Flying Canoe Festival in February, Café Bicyclette opens up their patio for patrons to enjoy during the snowy season, too.
3. El Cortez
We love a good Taco Tuesday, especially when it’s accompanied by a fantastic cocktail. It’s no wonder that El Cortez is one of Edmonton’s top spots for getting together with friends and co-workers after hours. Relaxing on their patio with some next-level food and an agave flight (you can choose from over 140 different tequilas and mezcals!) is definitely one of our favourite ways to spend a summer afternoon.
Leva serves some of Edmonton’s best locally roasted coffee and probably the best take on an iced cappuccino. They also have gelato, donuts, and plenty of other drool-worthy desserts. The cafe front opens up to a good-sized patio in a quiet part of the Garneau area. Or, if you’re on the go, you can grab yourself something and jet off to work or class.
The restaurant is called Dorinku Tokyo Street Food, so it only makes sense to eat on their sidewalk patio. Everything here is beyond incredible, but the pressed salmon sushi and ramen salad are a good place to start. Try pairing your meal with any cocktail that uses their homemade ginger ale. You’ll thank us, we promise.
6. Little Brick
What used to be a house in the heart of Edmonton is now a great spot to grab some food and a latte while relaxing outside. At Little Brick, you’re guaranteed to see lots of dogs as an adorable bonus to an already amazing space. You can catch live music during your meal, and there’s even a general store with everything from kitchen equipment to apparel. What’s not to love?
7. Next Act
Next Act has a sidewalk-style patio with picnic tables for casual summer hangouts. They serve more typical pub fare. If you’re here for a meal, we recommend the tequila lime chicken sandwich (it’s our personal favourite). There’s also a solid selection of beers, both bottled and on tap. Just make sure to plan your visit ahead of time: it’s close to Whyte Ave and very accessible, which means you might not get a patio seat without a wait.
Brunch is always best when it’s served outside—more specifically, on the patio at the Sugarbowl. Some of our Habiteers have spent a Sunday morning or two here soaking up the sun while eating a fresh cinnamon bun and catching up with friends and family. We’ve even been known to stop by for brunch during the workday once or twice. They also have an excellent beer selection with lots of rotating taps and a top-notch happy hour every day from 2:00 to 7:00pm.
9. Black Dog Freehouse
Grab a drink and people watch from the eagle-eyed vantage point of Black Dog Freehouse’s patio. Just thinking about it is making us miss the hot summer days of lounging on the rooftop with a cold drink in hand. It’s definitely one of the most unique patio spaces in Edmonton, and it has some of the best views to boot.
10. Three Boars
Three Boars has some of the best cocktails in town, and you can't go wrong with any of them. If you’re feeling adventurous, their skilled bartenders can also make you something creative and off-menu. And don’t forget to pair it with a snack! We especially like the devils on horseback and the smoked olives. The patio isn’t huge; however, the ground-floor windows open wide to make the whole bar area into an extension of the patio.