The Patios We're Most Excited About This Summer

The best food and wine under the sun.

Photo: Cresta

Photo: Cresta

Gone are the summer days of beer and pub food on plastic chairs.  These newly opened restaurants have some of the best food in the city in any season.  The fact that they serve it up in a beautiful outdoor space is icing on the cake.

Cresta's charming marketside patio.  Photo: St. Lawrence BIA

Cresta's charming marketside patio. Photo: St. Lawrence BIA

The best of Italy and California come together in this newly reopened restaurant in Old Town Toronto. Cresta is the namesake of the Californian Winery that furnishes the choice wine list here.  The food at Cresta is Italian inspired with simple wood-fired pizzas served alongside more complex dishes like beet risotto, rabbit pasta and grilled octopus.

The patio at Cresta is a hidden gem.  Anchoring the cobblestoned Market Street, this patio is shaded and adorned with flowers and an outdoor bar.  Wrapping around The Esplanade it's perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon or eat under the stars.  The interior is just as striking with a centrepiece wine tower spanning the double height ceilings.  Cresta hosts private events and has seen it's share of weddings, birthdays and anniversaries since opening.

Cresta's Wine Tower & warm   mushroom salad with grilled shitake,    mixed greens, truffle vinaigrette.     Photo (top) Chew Street (bottom) Cresta.

Cresta's Wine Tower & warm mushroom salad with grilled shitake,  mixed greens, truffle vinaigrette.  Photo (top) Chew Street (bottom) Cresta.

118 The Esplanade

Photo: Maple Leaf Tavern

Photo: Maple Leaf Tavern

Maple Leaf Tavern
This newly revitalized east end space is a labour of love and sure to become and neighbourhood favourite. The space, originally built in 1910,has gone through an extensive renovation and is now warm space with exposed brick, cozy booths and stained glass. The cigarette machine (remember those?), now empty, is a reminder of the from the building's 106 year old history past an greets you at the front door.  Everything is made in house and there is a good selection of well made comfort food on offer.   The highlight of the open kitchen is the wood burning grill where you can watch your meat and veggies sizzle.  

Maple Leaf Tavern's 48 seat patio is opening in June, just in time for summer. 

Photo: Maple Leaf Tavern -Pineapple-lime ginger crumble with coconut ice cream 

Photo: Maple Leaf Tavern -Pineapple-lime ginger crumble with coconut ice cream 

955 Gerard Street East

Photo: Chabrol Restaurant

Photo: Chabrol Restaurant


The sister restaurant to Cava, another Chew Street favourite, opened this winter.  Their small, intimate patio has yet to see the summer sun.  Cava has been putting out delicious Spanish fare for 10 years now so their French sister arrived on the restaurant scene with a great expectations and the food did not disappoint.  The French bistro menu features sustainably caught seafood, rich cheeses, hand made desserts and small but satisfying wine list.  

The space, tucked far back from the street on Yorkville Avenue is narrow and flanked by white brick walls, making it an oasis in the otherwise busy shopping district.  The word Charbrol is the french term for adding wine to an almost finished dish to get a few more bites out of it.  You'll want to linger on this charming patio and enjoy just one more glass.

Photo: @chabrolto.  Riesling-Poached Foie Gras with Black Currant and Salsify

Photo: @chabrolto. Riesling-Poached Foie Gras with Black Currant and Salsify

90 Yorkville Avenue

Where will you be enjoying some outdoor dining this summer?