10 Best Patios in Downtown London to Sip Sangria This Summer

With the school year coming to a close, and the summer weather finally becoming more of a reality, Western students are undoubtedly gearing up for the return of another patio season. Thankfully, downtown London gives students a variety of options for all of their patio needs. Whether you’re looking for a quiet space to enjoy a good book, or somewhere more geared towards students, this list of the 10 best patios is a great place to start!

10 . The Bull & Barrel, 359 Talbot Street

Situated in the south end of the downtown area, The Bull & Barrel is London’s most laid-back and comfortable country restaurant/bar—and its patio situated on the second level is no different! With cheap drinks, good music, and an abundance of events that occur at the venue, it’s evidently not a bad place to claim an entire pitcher of sangria for yourself.

9. Fellini Koolini’s, 155 Albert Street

Just a few minutes walk off Richmond Row is a small Italian restaurant called Fellini Koolini’s. While the food is more on the sophisticated side, the patio is a great place to sit and enjoy the shade.The quiet atmosphere makes for a relaxing environment and is definitely the place to go if you feel the need to get away from the rowdy student crowd.

8. The Runt Club, 153 Albert Street

Located right next door to Fellini Koolini’s is this hidden little gem. Famously named in parody of The Hunt Club (a prestigious country club in London), The Runt Club is the kind of place you can sit and enjoy a few drinks out on the patio without worrying about getting one spilled on you. Due to it being geared towards older students and adults, it is a nice place to escape to when you get tired of whiskey sours.

7. Symposium Cafe, 620 Richmond Street

Symposium is undoubtedly one of my favourite patio go-tos as the restaurant has a) the best hangover brunch; b) ridiculous drink specials such as $5 mimosa’s every day from 11am–3pm and $17.95 pitchers of sangria on Saturdays; and c) a super laid back patio that faces Victoria Park. There’s nothing better than day drinking on a budget, in addition to enjoying a nice view.

6. El Furniture Warehouse, 645 Richmond Street

Since opening in late 2017, Warehouse has evidently become a hit with university students as they boast cheap food (everything on the food menu is $5.95) and a consistently exciting environment. Since taking over the corner across from popular bar The Barking Frog after previously loved restaurant Mongolian Grill closed, El Furniture Warehouse has definitely become a go-to favourite for the student crowd. While the patio has yet to truly experience the rush of students thus far, it’s clear that it will be one of the hotspots to be at this upcoming summer!

5. Molly Bloom’s, 700 Richmond Street

A long time favourite of London locals is the patio at Molly Bloom’s. While Molly’s consistently provides a laid-back, welcoming environment inside the bar all year round, its ground level patio is just as enjoyable during the summer. It also has daily drink and food specials and makes for the perfect spot to stop in for a drink (or ten).

4. Jack Astor’s, 660 Richmond Street

Since Jack Astor's is situated almost perfectly between all of the main attractions on Richmond Row, its rooftop patio is constantly packed with diversity. Oftentimes there is everything from large families to business partners to groups of students enjoying their day amidst one another. Essentially, you could not only bring your grandma here for lunch, but you could also spend your Saturday night with the boys here as well. A win-win if you ask me.

3. Toboggan, 585 Richmond Street

Whether you’re looking for a new kind of cold brew or want to show a guest in town that you have great taste, Toboggan is the place to go. The brewing company/restaurant sells their own brews while also somehow making phenomenal food. While the raised patio boasts a laid back and chill atmosphere, the food will make you feel as though you’re in a five-star restaurant.

2. Joe Kool’s, 595 Richmond Street

Just two doors down from Toboggan, Joe Kool’s shaded patio features similar cool vibes, but is paired with food that’s more in the style of comfort food. Full disclosure: due to being related to someone who works here, I am a Kool’s regular. Nonetheless, I can wholeheartedly say that I don’t go to the restaurant solely to hang out with my father (sorry dad!). Instead, I go for the nachos, or the mac ‘n’ cheese, or the sweet potato fries, or at least one of everything else on the menu. If you’re looking for a place to get out of the sun but still enjoy the nice weather, Kool’s is definitely a good go-to.

1. Barney’s, 671 Richmond Street

Is it even summer time if you don’t spend your entire paycheque at Barney’s? Being the largest ground-level patio in downtown London, Barney’s is *the* patio for Western students. Even before the weather is comfortably warm, students will line up in their Western hoodies to capture their first Instagram picture of the season. Whether it be of them sipping sangria out of a pitcher or eating a massive plate of nachos, your feed will soon be filled with the caption “patio szn”. If you’re lucky enough to get a seat on their busy patio, expect the typical Western student behaviour and, obviously, a good time.

As campus gets quieter and the weather gets hotter, finding an outdoor oasis to get day drunk in downtown London is easily attainable. Whether you’re spending your morning eating eggs benedict and sipping on a mimosa at Symposium or hanging with your best friends at Barney’s, the only place to be this summer is obviously on a patio!

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Full time Student at The University of Western Ontario studying English Language and Literature, Part Time Foodie and Dog Enthusiast, Cat Mom to Cheeto and Charlie. Writing Interests: Feminism, Sex, Controversy. Social Media: Personal Instagram - @therealmelaniee, Poetry Instagram - @driveinlovers

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