There is one song that is the preeminent anthem for patio culture in Canada: Kim Mitchell’s “Patio Lanterns.” The chorus speaks to those perfect moments when we Northerners can sit outside without worrying about snow, rain and mosquitos; when we can sip beverages, eat good food, and laugh with our friends and family in a setting unencumbered by ceilings:
“Those patio lanterns
They were the stars in the sky
Those patio lanterns
Lighting up our lives”
Interestingly, Mitchell has said that song was one of the most difficult he’s ever recorded: he was stuck inside a dark recording studio for three days trying to perfect it! That’s a lot of patio time the singer-songwriter missed trying to record a tune about special outdoor moments.
Here in Castlegar, patio culture is alive and well and not just because the city boasts 292 days of sunshine a year. We’re a socially vibrant region with a storied history of gathering outdoors: from the Doukhobors to the mountain bikers, our population loves getting together outside to celebrate the great weather, which is why there are no less than 14 establishments in the city that boast an outdoor eating and drinking area and most offer some amazing views.
Above: A unique view you can enjoy from the back patio at the Lion’s Head Pub is watching rock climbers scaling the 60-metre high cliff.
Above: The patio at the Castlegar Golf Club is regularly honoured with “Best Patio” awards.
The two golf courses in Castlegar also offer fantastic patio experiences. In fact, the large patio at The Nineteenth restaurant at the Castlegar Golf Club is regularly awarded best patio in the city because of its large size, excellent fare and outstanding views of the pristine fairways, greens and most especially the surrounding mountains.
There’s also a beautiful patio at the Little Bear Golf Course where self-taught chef Kassie Morrison offers a menu that specializes in creativity and flare. She’s helped the golf course become one of the best fine-dining experiences in the city and the patio offers a scenic experience that includes a large pond with fountain, the greens, fairways and more.
Above: The Lion’s Head Smoke & Brew Pub not only offers excellent experiences on their two patios, it also delivers incredible food and the largest craft beer menu in the region.
You’ll also find excellent patios in Castlegar’s downtown area, three of which are all within the same block. A great way to spend a warm summer afternoon would be to visit all three in between seeing the sculptures on display as part of the annual Sculpture Walk. You could start at the Humble Bean on Fourth Street to get your caffeine fix before wandering over to the Wandering Greek Oven on Columbia Ave. There you’ll find owner and chef George Salivaras carrying on the legacy of running the restaurant that has been in his family for over two decades. After you’ve enjoyed some souvlaki or spanakopita you can then stroll down Columbia for a few metres and visit the patio at The Chameleon Restaurant and Hotel for cocktails and more tasty food.
If you’re salivating for suds made on site, check out the patio at the Tailout Brewing a short drive south on Columbia Ave. The brewery usually has about eight different craft brews on tap from chocolate stouts to blondes, and it practices a “Bring Your Own Food” policy meaning you can pack a picnic or pick up food on your way over and enjoy it on the patio with some of Tailout’s finest brews.
Below is a full list of the excellent patios you can find in Castlegar.
The 14 Best Dining Patios In Castlegar
Little Bear Golf Course & Restaurant
Located in sunny Ootishchenia, the Little Bear is a par three golf course with one of the fanciest restaurants in the city.
872 Waterloo Rd, Castlegar
Lion’s Head Smoke and Brew Pub
Established in 1986 and purchased by Troy Pyett and Carly Hadfield in 2009, the Lion’s Head is famous for its homey atmosphere and extensive craft beer menu.
2629 Broadwater Rd, Robson
Greek immigrant Gus Agioritis opened the first Boston Pizza in Edmonton, Alberta in 1964. Today there are 380 restaurants in Canada, which serve 40 million people annually.
114-1983 Columbia Ave, Castlegar
Black Rooster Bar & Grill
Whether it’s a game of pool, family dining or just relaxing in the lounge – the Black Rooster has what you’re looking for. They also play Canucks PPV and UFC PPV on the five big screen HD TV’s.
651 18 St, Castlegar
Common Grounds Coffee House
692 18 St.
Common Grounds Facebook Page