Outdoor Patios That Are Worth the Drive

by Lori Straus

Once Ontario allowed restaurants to operate their patios during this year of COVID-19, you could feel summer finally arriving. The restaurants we’re highlighting below are perfect for an outdoor experience, especially if you’re in the mood for a little drive to somewhere.

On the Docks Pub in Huntsville

The name is literally the establishment’s location: on the docks in Huntsville. Whereas most restaurants are only accessible by wheels or your own two legs, patrons arrive at On the Docks by boat, too. Their website says that even the occasional plane pulls into the town docks.

The waterfront pub offers what they call a “no fry” menu: flatbreads, salads, burgers (sides include salad, chips, nacho chips, and soup), sandwiches & wraps, and a select range of entrees. Enjoy a Muskoka Cream Ale or Craft Lager on draught while enjoying the spectacular view from their outdoor patio, and you’ll have a dining experience at one of the best patios in Ontario.

The Harvest Kitchen in Toronto

As you might suspect from the name, this restaurant focuses on local food where possible. They offer a full range of meals, from meat-focused to vegan, but they source as much as they can from a 100-mile radius. Their meat is ethically raised, many ingredients are organic, and they even harvest many of their veggies from their own farm.

The Harvest Kitchen has two outdoor patios: a street-level one that seats about eight people, and a roof-top one that seats about 35 and is the focus of many online rave reviews. The older trees around the building provide a gorgeous canopy that is hard to find anywhere else. Because the patio isn’t sheltered or heated, you can only eat there during patio season. So don’t delay any longer!

Harbour House Grill in Lefroy, Near Innisfil

This one feels like a combination of On the Docks and The Harvest Kitchen. Harbour House Grill has a large patio that overlooks the water and focuses on local food. They offer all the usual crowd-pleasers: appetizers, steaks, burgers, ribs, fish, stone-baked pizza, and a kids’ menu.

In addition, Harbour House offers live entertainment, daily specials, and a fun and friendly atmosphere.

Belmont Village, Kitchener

Belmont Village is a little shopping strip in Kitchener with quaint stores, a nice selection of small restaurants, and unique bakeries. Because of COVID-19, they removed parking spots and added picnic tables for patio season.

You can enjoy gluten-free treats, gourmet doughnuts, Indian cuisine, and more. Arabella Park Beer Bar, one of the restaurants, is especially loved for its selection of craft beers. If you’re looking for a little shopping and eating but want to get away from the crowded malls, especially at a time like this, Belmont Village might be the place you’re looking for.

Take Advantage of the Weather

Whether you’re looking for somewhere to visit during this COVID-19 season, or you’re on your way home from camping, a scrumptious meal at any of the above outdoor patios can help make this summer memorable for the right reasons. Add an ice cream cone afterwards for the metaphorical cherry on top.