Restaurant patio

Ten road trip-worthy restaurants opening their patios this weekend

The best restaurants with outdoor dining near Toronto reopening on Friday

This story has been updated as of 4 p.m., June 11

Much of Ontario will be entering stage two of reopening this Friday, which means restaurants and bars are allowed to restart sit-down service on their outdoor patios.

The Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) remain in stage one, for now, we’ll need to wait a little longer to dine-out again locally.

With restaurants suffering throughout the province, it might be an opportunity for local residents to stretch culinary boundaries a little further while also doing some economic good. But, doing so safely is paramount.

We checked in with Ontario’s Office of the Premier, following Doug Ford’s comment about residents being able to visit out-of-town areas such as wineries in Prince Edward County.

The official response urged caution when visiting “especially from higher transmission areas (regions in Stage 1) to lower transmission areas (regions in Stage 2).”

“If individuals/households do travel, they should apply consistently the same public health measures that they would at home, and follow public health advice,” read the statement, in part.

But what do local municipalities think?

The city of Waterloo’s director of communications, Tony Iavarone, said, “If people choose to come that’s fine, our expectation is that they follow physical distancing measures that are in place, so that they and residents of the City of Waterloo remain safe and healthy.”

If visiting, please follow all the required health and safety protocols, which the Province outlined to us for this article:

  • Individuals who are ill should stay at home.
  • Secondary residences, short-term rentals, etc. should only be used by one household unit, and members should not be sick or in self-isolation.
  • Individuals and households should follow provincial emergency orders, municipal by-laws, and public health advice such as physical distancing (staying two metres from individuals not in your immediate household), regular and thorough handwashing, etc.
  • Individuals at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should remain at home.

Here is a list of 10 fine restaurants within a two-hour drive of Toronto that are opening up their patios this weekend.

Braai House, Stratford

This innovative Stratford restaurant specializing in South African-influenced cuisine will be doing lunch and dinner service on three patio spaces starting on Friday. According to Braai’s Instagram post, they won’t be taking reservations so you’ll have to try your luck showing up and hoping you can snag a table.


Fabbrica, Thornbury

The Thornbury outpost of chef Mark McEwan’s Italian restaurant is opening its inviting patio on Friday. Head to Fabbrica to get your fix of wood-fired pizzas, hearty pastas, and other approachable classics.


Miijidaa, Guelph

Miijidaa is opening its leafy patio space starting from 4-8pm this Friday. Tables are likely to book up fast at this much-loved restaurant known for its Canadian comfort food, so they’re recommending making reservations in advance.


555 Brewing, Picton

Picton’s 555 Brewing will be opening their patio starting at noon on Friday. Drive here to dine on wood-fired pizza and small-batch beers with a view of Picton’s cheerful downtown strip.


The Common, Stratford


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A post shared by The Common Stratford (@commonstratford) on Jun 9, 2020 at 11:12am PDT

This relaxed restaurant specializing in eclectic comfort food is opening its patio starting at 11:30 a.m. on Friday. Coconut curry mussels and pan-roasted chicken with fingerlings are among the dishes on the Common’s menu for this weekend.


The Bauer Kitchen, Waterloo

The Bauer Kitchen in Waterloo is opening its patio this Friday, where it will be serving bistro-style eats paired with a lengthy list of wines by the glass. Reservations can be made through the restaurant’s site.


Revival House, Stratford

Stratford’s beautiful restaurant set in a restored church will be opening its pretty patio for lunch and dinner starting at noon on Friday. The Revival House is known for its seasonal, French-influenced cuisine and craft brews.


Judy’s, Bloomfield


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12 noon cutoff for order pickups tonight⏰⏰ . PICKUP 4-6 . order online: . @judys_barbecue . #ribs #hotlinks #pickles #smokehouse #bloomfield

A post shared by JUDYS (@judys_barbecue) on Jun 6, 2020 at 5:32am PDT

A sister concept to the acclaimed Bloomfield Public House, Judy’s has been serving up fried chicken and smokehouse-style dishes for takeout since mid-May. On Friday, they’ll be launching a casual, stand-up patio space.


Mercer Kitchen, Stratford

Mercer Kitchen will open its street-facing patio starting Friday at 4:30 p.m. on a first come, first served basis. Head here for easy-going bistro fare and a solid selection of beers.


Borealis Grille & Bar, Kitchener

Borealis Grille will be serving its locally-sourced fare and cool cocktails starting at noon on Friday. Diners are encouraged to call ahead or book a reservation through the restaurant’s site.

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