Take a #YEGWinterPatios Crawl with Friends for a winter warmup
Pre-ski or apres-ski, a #YEGWinterPatios experience elevates winter adventure in Edmonton.
Edmonton, AB - As Emily Nakamura takes a mouthful of piping hot lobster mac and cheese under the transparent geodome on Tiramisu Bistro’s patio, her eyes light up with satisfaction. It may be a frosty -15C outside on a February winter day, but inside the heated dome, she and her friend Ellio McRae Polson are warming up inside and out after a day spent exploring Edmonton’s winter patios and urban scene. The day has been filled with good coffee, window shopping, cool art and sunny urban scenes and now, fine food.
Patio crawls in Edmonton don’t just have to be a summer thing any more, and why not experience the unique fun of a winter patio crawl, like Emily and Ellio? With fewer crowds and plenty of space, it makes a great way to get out with friends or family and reconnect during Edmonton’s traditionally long winter season.
In the latter half of the winter season, longer, sunnier days and milder temps make for a cozy experience too - and a great way to beat cabin fever.
Make your own YEGWinterPatios Crawl
With over 15 patios to choose from, you can go from one end of the city to the other. Tie in some activity into a packed day of patio hopping, to work up an appetite between stops and experience the invigorating effects of winter adventure.
Mix and match from the list of locations, pick a route and have a go!
Whyte Ave area winter patios
For Nakamura and McRae Polson, the takeout window at Overflow on Whyte got the day started. Coffee and a walk on Whyte isn’t just for summer. With murals, heritage buildings and marquees lining the main drag, with its local boutiques and cafes, there’s a reason it’s many Edmontonians’ favourite place to hang.
“It’s really nice to walk, big sidewalks so you’re not too crowded,” Nakamura comments.
For McRae Polson, who hails from Calgary, visiting Whyte is an eyeopener: “It’s beautiful, quite a throwback and really vintage looking. You see some fascinating stores and murals.”
In addition to Overflow, other winter patios in the Whyte Ave area include The Next Act and Cafe Bicyclette (just a little off Whyte in the French Quarter) with warming features like firepits and overhead heaters, and even custom-designed heated benches at the latter.
Downtown/124 St winter patios
From fancy heated gondola dining cars, to fine dining to local craft beer, downtown is full of great winter patio spots. After meandering 124 Street, the lunch menu at Tiramisu drew Nakamura’s and McRae Polson’s interest. Daily from Monday to Friday, 1 - 5 PM, the bistro features a special menu in their heated geodomes.
“Being able to be outside, I find it relaxing,” says Nakamura. “It’s nice to be outside and enjoy a nice hot meal.”
“As someone who’s more of a summer person, this whole experience brings out the element of summer but also being able to enjoy the winter elements as well,” says McRae Polson. “I like being outside, on a patio, getting fresh air, so being able to do that in this weather and these conditions is refreshing.”
In addition to Tiramisu, the list of downtown patios includes Cask & Barrel, Dalla Tavola Zenari, Rocky Mountain Icehouse, The Common and Odd Company Brewing.
River Valley winter patios
The list of activities and patios in the North Saskatchewan River Valley is impressive: downhill and cross-country skiing, segway tours, a visit to the zoo, plus unique food and outdoor patio experiences at a growing list that includes Little Brick, Urban Green Cafe at River Valley Adventure Co., Culina To Go Muttart, Edmonton Ski Club, The Greenhouse at Victoria Park, Snow Valley Ski Club and Sandwich & Sons at The Valley Zoo.
So many adventures, good for friends, or family too. A mild Sunday afternoon finds Emily and Ellio on the slopes at Snow Valley, taking their first ski lesson together. Not far off, Amy Stewart is reconnecting with her nephews and niece as they take a break in Snow Valley’s geodomes between adventures.
Their other stop for the day is The Valley Zoo. Seeing winter wildlife in action is always a hit - Red panda! Arctic fox! River otters! - and to replenish after the adventure, they grab some sandwiches and hot drinks at Sandwich & Sons to eat in the zoo's central welcome square. Something about the addition of some treats outside always tops off a winter adventure just right.
To those who are reluctant to brave the cold of winter, McRae Polson has some advice: “I know not everyone is keen to get outside when it’s cold - I know I wasn’t - but it was a great experience. Everyone should try it at least once.”
More #YEGWinterPatios adventures
Check out all the adventures you can have when you jump into a #YEGWinterPatios crawl.