CAFES WITH OUTDOOR SEATING
For gourmet café-style food, Smart Mouth Café offers unique sandwiches along with great coffee and outdoor seating. The lemon pepper sandwich at Bambo Café has earned the Gastown favourite a popular lunch crowd. Find focacci sandwiches, pastas, and daily salad features (left) – then, grab the banana milkshake, a seat outside, and you’re good to go.
Sicilian culinary has found a home inside Brioche. Enjoy generous helpings of house-made gnocchi, cioppino, paninis, and classic breakfast mains. The Baker & The Chef is another great spot for home-style meals – daily hot specials range from beef bourguignon to rosemary sesame chicken. Soak in some sunrays at their wooden bench.
Tucked inside the 131 Courtyard, Cottage Deli has a stunning lookout of the North Shore Mountains. It’s a cozy spot that serves some of the most affordable sandwiches, soups and snacks in town.
DRINKS BY THE PATIO
Nothing says summer like beers on the patio. Six Acres is now open for lunch and serves up cheddar corn fritters and beef shortribs along with a solid beer list. Next door to Six Acres, Peckinpah also has a prime patio view of Maple Tree Square. Grab a seat outside and sink your teeth into their finger-licking Carolina-style barbecue.
Lamplighter’s patio (above) provides decent shade. Enjoy a burger or sandwich lunch special and release your stress at the pinball machine. The Flying Pig offers nouveau Canadian bistro and a quaint sidewalk patio. You can always count on Steamworks for a seat at their large patio area. Their full-range menu appeases to all kinds of appetites. Or, if you’re trying to book a table for a formal lunch meeting, Water Street Café delivers the quintessential classic dining experience with a delightful patio view of the Steam Clock.
And, we can’t forget about Chill Winston. Their grand sidewalk patio is perfectly shaded and gives one of the best vantage points for people watching. Styled like a modern lounge with red umbrellas and decorative pillows, the atmosphere is one where you can relax with a cocktail at hand. Chill’s seasonal menu is farm-to-table focused with healthy lunch options.
If you havn’t been to the Tacofino ‘Taco Bar’ flagship, you really must. Beneath the dangling white lights is an intimate 20-seat patio, ideal for lunch dates or casual meet-ups. Fish tacos, crispy chicken burritos and lime margaritas – need we say more?
Alternatively, you can grab a bite to go you and plan your own picnic. Newcomer, The Birds & The Beets has become a popular spot for Bow & Arrows coffee and homemade brioche sandwiches. Across the street on Powell, Bao Down offers kimchi fries, banh mi sandwiches and steamed rice buns wrapped taco-style with savoury fillings.
Craving grilled cheese? Stop by Hi-Five’s window on Cordova (beside La Fleur Hair Studio). The take-out sandwich shop serves affordable grilled cheese sandy’s and mac & cheese by Six Acres. For a quick sushi fix, Momo Sushi has well-priced take-out lunch boxes, sushi combos and karage don rice bowls.
We can’t leave out Tacofino’s take-counter. Find the Burrito Bar entrance on Cordova and choose from fish, crispy chicken, vegetarian or vegan burritos. For a taste of Mexi-Cali, Gringo runs the gamut with tasty bite-size tacos, shake ‘n’ dump cocktails, and stocks over 30 ‘haute’ hot sauces at the bar. Order it all to go or perch yourself on their neon stools at the mini patio.
For more on Gastown’s cafe & restaurant scene, check out our previous posts: