Vancouver Eats: Best Places to Dine with a View

Vancouver Eats: Best Places to Dine with a View

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Lovely views make great food taste even better, and here in Vancouver we have plenty of both. With the expansive Pacific, the bucolic North Shore, and immense urban parks almost always in sight, you can savour any meal with a side of beach or snow-capped mountains. Here are some of Vancouver’s best dining options with camera-ready views:

Cactus Club on English Bay

Interior of Cactus Club's restaurant on English Bay, Vancouver

Cactus Club on English Bay. Photo: Cactus Club

The patio is so close to the beach you could toss an ice cube and watch it melt in the sand. Set on English Bay, this Cactus Club location has a modern, minimalist design that prioritizes the view — huge expanses of glass ensure that sand and waves are visible from every table. The menu, too, has a beachy feel, with sustainably sourced dishes such as ceviche, albacore sesame tuna stacks, and Baja fish tacos. Snag a seat on the patio and enjoy the sun, or grab takeout from the seasonal concession and spread a blanket on the beach.

The Galley on Jericho Beach

The Galley's patio, Jericho Beach, Vancouver

The Galley on Jericho Beach. Photo: The Galley

If you’re looking for pint after a day on the water, head to the Jericho Sailing Centre, across English Bay from Stanley Park. Here, The Galley restaurant, atop the rental shop, offers one of the most scenic patios in the city. With the Jericho pier to your left, you can nibble on fish and chips or a vegan pulled-pork-style BBQ jackfruit sandwich while watching paddleboarders, windsurfers, kayakers and sailors out at sea. Be warned: you may be tempted to sign up for sailing lessons as you dine.

Seasons in the Park in Queen Elizabeth Park

The patio at Seasons in the Park, with a view of Vancouver

Seasons in the Park in Queen Elizabeth Park. Photo: Sequoia Company

Atop a small cliff, in a garden that showcases expansive, pastoral views of the city, you’ll find Seasons in the Park. It serves classic West Coast menus in a bright, refined space embraced by the towering trees of Queen Elizabeth Park. Take in the views over eggs Benedict and corned beef hash weekend brunches, or drink in the sunset during prime rib Sunday nights. A stroll through the lovely garden caps any meal.

Top of Vancouver at Harbour Centre

The view from the Top of Vancouver restaurant

The Top of Vancouver revolving restaurant. Photo: The Top of Vancouver

It’s hard to compete with this vista. Why? Because it changes (albeit, slowly) as you enjoy dinner. Top of Vancouver is a circular, revolving restaurant at — you guessed it — the top of downtown’s Harbour Centre. As you dine, you’re treated to an ever-evolving bird’s-eye view of the city and mountains, some 169 metres (553 feet) in the air. Bonus: More expansive views can be seen from the centre’s observation deck.

The Observatory at Grouse Mountain

The view from Grouse Mountain, Vancouver

The Observatory restaurant on Grouse Mountain. Photo: Grouse Mountain

At The Peak of Vancouver, The Observatory on Grouse Mountain serves up local fare at what feels like the top of the world. Make advance reservations and you’ll receive an Alpine Experience admission ticket for Grouse (translation:  head up early on the Skyride for a mountaintop adventure).  You can, for example, work up an appetite along twisting trails — an outing best sated by dishes like Sakura pork terrine with compressed apple and Grouse Mountain mustard, and Pacific albacore tuna topped with spring mushrooms and seaweed.

Pajo’s in Steveston

Pajo's restaurant in Richmond

Pajo’s floating restaurant on the Steveston Harbour. Photo: Tourism Richmond

The down-to-earth Pajo’s, and nearby Crab King, offer less elevated views of the same local action. Both restaurants float on the water in Steveston’s boat-filled harbour, rising and falling with the tide. Whether you nibble on Pajo’s famed fish and chips or enjoy Crab King’s steamed, locally caught Dungeness crab, it’s fun to watch the fishing boats come and go.