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.

Perhaps the most interesting views are offered at the Lions Head Pub, located a five-minute drive from downtown Castlegar. The back patio is 30 metres away from Canada’s only rock climbing cliff that’s situated in the backyard of a pub. You can enjoy home-made burgers, smoked meats, local brews and other delicious fare while watching rock climbers scale the 60-metre-high cliff.

The Lion’s Head also has a large front patio with a fire pit, heat lamps and views of the Columbia River flowing past on the other side of Broadwater Road. This is definitely one of the most popular patios in the city and it can accommodate many people.


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. [Note: Little Bear is closed for renovations in 2024.)

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 Maggie’s Mug on Fourth Street to get your caffeine fix (the restaurant has a few small tables outside) before wandering over to the The Grateful Table 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

Grateful Table

A family-owned Greek restaurant that has been serving Castlegar delicious food since 1998.

400 Columbia Ave, Castlegar
The Grateful Table


The Grand Buddha Bistro

Enjoy Vietnamese, Thai and Korean cuisine all under one roof at this Castlegar establishment.

1810 8th Ave, Castlegar
The Grand Buddha Bistro Facebook


The Nineteenth at the Castlegar Golf Club

Social Bar. Restaurant. Fresh and inspired food served in a rustic mountain setting with an excellent patio view.

1602 Aaron Rd, Castlegar


Little Bear Golf Course & Restaurant (Closed for renovations during the 2024 season.)

Located in sunny Ootishchenia, the Little Bear is a par three golf course with one of the fanciest restaurants in the city. It opens in June every year.

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


Cuisine of India

Enjoy the authentic taste of India in the heart of Kootenays at this family-run restaurant.

908 Columbia Ave, Castlegar


Tacos el Gringos

The owners love to cook food, and they love to cook food for people who love traditional Mexican food.

1249 3rd St, Castlegar
Tacos el Gringos Facebook


Cartwright’s Pub

Good food. Fun atmosphere. Great for parties. Friendly bartenders. A late-night menu. And great value

1432 Columbia Ave, Castlegar
Cartwright’s Pub Facebook


Boston Pizza

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


Tailout Brewing

A local brew pub with about eight different beers on tap. A “Bring Your Own Food” practice is in place.

Unit A, 1810 8th Avenue
Tailout Brewing Website


Common Grounds Coffee House

Fuel up for your next big adventure or enjoy a quiet tea at this cosy, casual café conveniently located on Columbia near the highway turn-off.

692 18 St.
Common Grounds Facebook Page


Maple Merch

The best part about the patio at this unique restaurant is it’s covered so you can stay out of the rain while you enjoy your meal.

4370 Minto Rd.
Maple Merch Website