On January 14th, Governor Inslee issued new open air dining guidelines for the State of Washington, allowing for outdoor dining and open air indoor dining. These rules require sufficient airflow to stem the spread of the coronavirus as people masklessly eat and drink.
Dining outdoors in Vancouver feels like dining outdoors. Propane heaters help, but their ability to heat a space is counteracted by the necessary ventilation. Breaking out ski or camping gear, bundling up, bringing a blanket, and being mindful of outdoor weather conditions can mean the difference between an enjoyable apres ski-like experience or a evening spent shivering and miserable.
Many structures in downtown Vancouver look alike because they were built with financial and technical assistance through the Parklet Program. Despite structural similarity, local business owners have put their own spin on these sidewalk spaces trying to bring their unique indoor experience outdoors. Tacos and mezcal spot Little Conejo added whimsical decorative windows, driftwood collected from the Columbia River lines the parklet outside seasonally inspired Elements Restaurant, and Georgian-focused Dediko added horizontal slates of wood and potted greenery for a modern European feel.
The places on this list were picked based on overall experience — a combination of unique design, great food and drink, ease of getting a spot (i.e. reservations), and good airflow. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, seating is limited. Planning ahead by making reservations or showing up at less popular times helps to snag one of these coveted spaces. Map entries that don’t include information about reservations, don’t take reservations. For takeout in Vancouver, peruse this map.
A number of Vancouver restaurants have resumed onsite service. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the Washington State Department of Health’s COVID update page. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.Read More