Where To Eat Outside In Vancouver

Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver, Canada | © MagnusL3D/WikiCommons
Catrina Pang

With a gorgeous waterfront, majestic mountains, and a beautiful city skyline, it seems a crime to spend any time in Vancouver and not stop to enjoy the incredible scenery — and what better way to do so than to take in the view while dining on a marvelous meal. If you’re looking for the best places in Vancouver to not only find amazing cuisine but also truly experience all that the magnificent city has to offer, you’ll definitely want to check out these spectacular restaurants.

1. Seasons in the Park

Restaurant, Seafood, Canadian

Seasons in the Park, Vancouver
© qasic/Flickr
Poised at the highest point in the city, Seasons in the Park offers a breathtaking, panoramic view of the Vancouver skyline and the North Shore Mountains, while nestled in the lush greenery of Queen Elizabeth Park, which has earned it the title of Most Romantic Restaurant for two years in a row. Perfect for any occasion, Seasons offers exceptional service and fresh West Coast cuisine, along with some of Vancouver’s freshest seafood. The partially covered outdoor patio is open all year long, and it is fully equipped with overhead heaters and fireplaces. There, guests can curl up with a blanket during the winter or soak in the sunshine in the summer while taking in one of Vancouver’s most spectacular views. Folks can also relax in the casual yet sophisticated Winebar, where they can enjoy a glass of wine, a bite to eat, and checking out the open kitchen featuring a pizza oven and wood-fired grill. Seasons is an extremely popular and esteemed location, even playing host to the Russian/American Summit dinner of Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin in 1993, and Bill Clinton’s personal Thank You card to owner Brent Davies is still framed and hung in the restaurant today.

2. Miku Waterfront

Restaurant, Bar, Sushi, Japanese

© Miku Restaurant
Situated along the Burrard Inlet next to the Vancouver landmark Canada Place, Miku Waterfront delivers gourmet Aburi cuisine inspired by the innovative idea of sear-flaming sushi, paired with its well known energetic ambience. Over the years, the city has become familiarized with the concept of light searing direct from a flame that enhances the natural flavor of the fish, and the restaurant’s creation of specialty sauces to go with each different Aburi-style sushi has introduced people to flavors beyond their expectations. Miku opened in a new location in 2013 that offers a full bar and lounge area, waterfront patio, private dining room, and full service sushi bar. At Miku, traditional Japanese flavors and techniques are combined with local West Coast elements to create a truly unique dining experience. Innovative desserts are made in house by the restaurant’s pastry team, creating the perfect ending to the culinary experience. There is really nothing like sitting out on Miku’s patio on a warm summer day while dining on delicious sushi and taking in gorgeous views of the ocean harbor, the surrounding mountains and Canada Place.

3. LIFT Restaurant

Bar, Restaurant, American

For a quintessential Vancouver experience, LIFT Restaurant sets the stage with its sweeping harbour, Stanley Park, and coastal mountain views and the city’s only oceanfront rooftop deck. A sexy, sophisticated restaurant and lounge, LIFT is located on the tranquil seawall in picturesque Coal Harbour just minutes away from Vancouver’s financial district, major hotels, and the Vancouver Convention Centre. Combining the eclectic ambiance of a New York restaurant with the authenticity of West Coast hospitality, LIFT is a showcase of stunning architectural design. Here, guests can enjoy a fresh perspective on regionally sourced specialties and the bounty of the Pacific Ocean, while the award winning wine list spotlights a unique focus on wines from the Pacific Northwest as well as classical Old World regions. From floor-to-ceiling windows vanish in the summer to an illuminated honey onyx bar and inviting outdoor fireplaces, LIFT offers its patrons the opportunity to soak in the relaxed yet elegant setting. One of the best places to go in Vancouver for an incredible brunch, lunch, dinner, dessert, or happy hour sitting right on the water, LIFT impresses its patrons with not only the delectable cuisine including amazing sea bass, excellent short ribs, and shrimp and prawn risotto, but also the service, which is known for being exceptionally friendly, professional, and helpful.

4. Cactus Club Cafe - Coal Harbour

Restaurant, Canadian

Part of a chain of well known upscale restaurants offering quality food at great prices, the Coal Harbour location of Cactus Club Cafe blows all others out of the water because of its incredible interior decor and view. With exposed wood, huge ceilings, large glass windows, and gorgeous native art inside, as well as a stunning outside view of the harbor, Cactus Club Cafe at Coal Harbour has become known as the place to go to enjoy the sights of Vancouver without breaking the bank. A large craft beer selection, great happy hour specials, and everything from burgers to steaks to seafood makes up Cactus Club Cafe’s menu. Visitors especially love the crispy yam fries and the creamy ravioli and prawn trio. On sunny days, there’s really nothing quite like enjoying a relaxing meal on the restaurant’s expansive wraparound outdoor patio or upper level outdoor deck, where guests can gaze upon the beautiful ocean and see ships and seaplanes enter the harbor. In the evening bask in the warmth of the heat lamps and watch the sun setting behind the mountains. In spite of its 600-person capacity, the restaurant is often crowded due to its popularity, so it can be tough to get one of the seats that affords a better view of the ocean. Still, patrons love the hip and trendy atmosphere of the place, as well as the fact that the staff are always friendly, accommodating, and attentive to everyone’s dining needs.

5. Gallery Café

Bistro, Cafe, European

Gallery Café serves healthy, delicious bistro-style cuisine that’s both local and organic. Located in the renowned Vancouver Art Gallery, the café’s location is both stunning and serene. Gallery Café offers one of the most beautiful outdoor patios in the city, where guests can enjoy award winning interior design and classical music in the stunning garden setting, the perfect backdrop for the amazing West Coast and European-inspired dishes. Because of the focus on local ingredients, the menu is seasonal and features new entrees, soups, and salads everyday. During colder months, guests can enjoy the amazing cuisine in the beautiful ambiance of the 60-seat indoor café, and during warmer months, the expansive 165-seat terrace opens up. Elevated high above the Vancouver Art Gallery, the patio offers sweeping views of Robson Square and the downtown towers. Flowers and plants transform the space into a lush urban retreat where visitors can spend hours relaxing with friends or a good book. Even if you’re on a tight schedule and can’t stay long, Gallery Café is the perfect unique destination for a quick and tasty lunch.
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