Who says that outdoor dining has to end once winter comes?
While many of Calgary’s summer patios close once the season ends, the city has plenty of restaurants and bars with heated patios where you can drink and dine al fresco year-round.
Several places keep their patios open even on cold days and nights, with heat lamps and fireplaces creating cosy atmospheres where you can sip and snack outside even in the most frigid months.
Whether it's the middle of winter or just a slightly chilly day, these heated patios in Calgary will keep you warm and toasty no matter what time of year it is.
Hayden Block Smoke & Whisky
Address: 1136 Kensington Rd NW, Calgary, AB
Why You Need To Go: It’s all about whisky and BBQ at Hayden Block Smoke & Whisky. This Kensington eatery specialises in succulent meat dishes like maple smoked pork belly and beef short ribs. They also have over 100 types of whisky behind the bar.
The Whisky Garden is located in the back and is a great spot to chill with friends over good food and drinks. It’s heated, enclosed, and open year-round. If you want to catch live bands, head to the music hall on the second floor.
Insider tip: If you swing by Hayden Block after 10pm, all meats are half off as long as supplies last. They also offer half-price whiskies during happy hour between 3pm and 6pm, Monday to Friday.
Rooftop Bar @ Simmons
Address: 618 Confluence Way SE, Simmons Building Rooftop, Calgary, AB
Why You Need To Go: For great views of the Bow River and Calgary skyline, make your way to the Rooftop Bar @ Simmons. Located on the top of the historic Simmons Building, the spot has often been listed as one of the best rooftop bars in Calgary.
The wooden patio at The Rooftop Bar is lined with built-in heat lamps that create a warm glow on cold nights. There is also a glass-enclosed fireplace for those who need a bit more heat.
The menu features cocktails, craft beers, and pizzas by Connie & John's Pizza. You can opt for a New York-style pizza with a chewy, foldable crust or a Detroit-style pan pizza. On feature nights you can chow down while listening to live bands.
National on 17th Avenue
Address: 550 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB
Why You Need To Go: There are several National locations around Calgary, but the one on 17th Avenue is the flagship restaurant and it has one of the best patios. Heat lamps are set up in the centre to provide warmth on chilly days, and there are plenty of tables that are perfect for people-watching.
Come by for lunch or dinner and dig into easy-going dishes like pizzas, sandwiches, and rice bowls. The late-night menu includes bar bites like sliders, tater tots, and chicken wings. They also have a wide selection of beers on tap and by the bottle.
National also does brunch from 11am to 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The patio is the perfect spot to get your hangover fix with some ricotta pancakes or a traditional eggs benny. Wash it down with a caesar or boozy strawberry lemonade.
Address: 813 1 Ave NE, Calgary, AB
Why You Need To Go: Don’t be thrown by the fact that Cannibale is part barbershop. It’s also a cool cocktail bar with a patio that’s open year-round. The patio is a Calgary hidden gem that has comfortable tables on a wooden deck and a fireplace you can cozy up to on cold nights.
Craft cocktail fans will love the drinks menu here. The bartenders whip up creative concoctions with interesting ingredients like jalapeño infused tequila, pink peppercorn syrup, and Meyer lemon bitters. If you’re not sure what to order, ask for the bartender’s featured cocktail of the day.
Cannibale also has enticing food menus with Mexican-influenced dishes. The weekend brunch menu features options like a beef brisket sandwich and chilaquiles. Come by for dinner and you can try the BBQ pork belly nachos and smoked turkey tacos.
Address: 1153 Kensington Crescent NW, Calgary, AB
Why You Need To Go: Free House is a hip and happening beer hall with a spacious rooftop patio heated by long overhead heat lamps. Grab a seat at one of the wooden tables and take your pick of 24 craft beers on tap.
You won’t find generic drinks here. Free House focuses only on local craft beers from some of Calgary’s best breweries. The taps are regularly rotating, so you can try new brews every time you visit. They also serve up comfort food like buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches and flatbreads.
There’s always something fun going on at Free House, from the Thursday night supper clubs to drag brunches. They can also accommodate private parties with groups of up to 120 people.
Address: 414 3 St SW, TD Canada Trust Building, Calgary, AB
Why You Need To Go: Step onto the massive patio at The Rooftop and you might forget that it’s cold outside. The space is filled with plants and has a clear roof and wall panels that let natural light flow in. Even better, it’s temperature-controlled to keep things comfortable all year round.
Settle in at one of the comfy booths, a four-top table, or one of the long communal benches. Bars and kitchens line the sides of the cavernous space and there is a stage up front for live bands and performances.
Start with a round of drinks for the table. If you’re feeling fancy, go for one of the martini trees that come with eight or four martinis. The shared plates like the ceviche and chicken parmesan sliders make for great starters. Large plates include the lobster pappardelle and Rooftop burger.
Address: 510 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB
Why You Need To Go: On a cold, grey day, Lulu Bar is a welcome escape. This colourful restaurant and bar has a bright, inviting dining room with huge windows and an enclosed patio that is heated in the colder months.
The menu is inspired by the Pacific Rim, so you’ll find enticing dishes like the salt and pepper pork belly, poke bowls, and steamed lobster dumplings. They also have fun cocktails like the Aloha with coconut vodka and house pineapple soda.
Lulu Bar is open for lunch at 11:30am every day and they stay open until 12am during the week and 1am on weekends. Swing by during Honolulu Hour from 2pm to 5pm daily and you can enjoy half-priced cocktails.
Address: 638 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB
Why You Need To Go: Bourbon and BBQ anyone? Comery Block is a West Tennessee-style BBQ joint that serves house-smoked meat and whisky cocktails. The main dining room is big and buzzing, but if you want a quieter spot to savour your brisket and ribs, head to the heated patio.
Try classic BBQ dishes like brisket or pork ribs with sides like collard greens, creamy slaw, or sticky baked beans. The hot chicken is a great choice if you can handle the heat. They also offer sandwiches and trays that allow you to add items like burnt ends and chicken tenders.
Comery Block’s drink list is substantial with tons of bourbons and whiskies on offer. The bartenders and servers are knowledgeable about the nuances between the different varieties, so they can steer you in the right direction.
Bottlescrew Bill's Pub
Address: 140 10 Ave SW, Calgary, AB
Why You Need To Go: The atmosphere at Bottlescrew Bill’s is laid-back and casual both inside and on the heated, covered patios. These spaces are also dog-friendly, so you can bring your furry friend along for a pint and some pub food.
This 10th Avenue haunt is not just an easy-going beer bar, but also a brewery. Take your pick of 12 craft beers made in-house and served on tap. The beers change regularly, but some favourites you might see include the Hazy IPA, Paradise Pale Ale, and Imperial Stout.
The kitchen is open until 1:30am every day and serves an eclectic mix of dishes. Options include the kale feta dip, Thai green curry, and braised lamb shank.