For a city that only sees summer weather three months a year, Fernie boasts an abundance of patios. In springtime, numerous restaurants and bars around town set up their deck spaces, dust off their picnic tables and put up umbrellas to welcome diners to enjoy their menus “al fresco.” There is something so satisfying about basking in the sun at your favourite restaurant, perhaps because we know there is only a limited time to take advantage of it. Following are a few of Fernie’s best patios and most delicious things to get there.
Nevados features what could be Fernie’s most aesthetically-pleasing patio. Among creeping vines enclosing an overhead pergola and strings of Edison fairy lights, you might think you’ve been transported to an Italian courtyard or the wedding reception of your dreams. Enjoy a habanero-cucumber margarita, which is the perfect combination of spicy kick and cool refreshment, alongside one of the best pescado tacos you’ll ever have and the tamarind ribs that are the talk of the town.
For a beautiful view of the ski hill and the tranquillity of water nearby, head to The Bridge Bistro, conveniently located on the highway beside the West Fernie bridge. A sea of umbrellas provides the option to savour the sun or relish the shade while enjoying great food and drinks. Braised elk potato skins or green mussels with capicola and white wine cream sauce are delicious for sharing. The warm ahi tuna poke bowl and heritage rotisserie chicken are a couple dinnertime favourites. Enjoy a crisp kombucha or a specialty cocktail on one of Fernie’s few riverside patios.
Island Lake Lodge is eight kilometres out of town nestled among the spire peaks of the Lizard Mountain Range. For lunch on the Bear Lodge Bistro patio, try the Lorraine pizza with six-onion cream and lodge-made fig-walnut sausage, or the ever-popular “Bolter” Burger that is made from a mix of pulled pork and beef from Bolter Farms, fewer than fifty kilometres away. The incredible mountain views from the patio will make you feel like you’re a thousand miles from civilization. A Lodge Caesar with house-infused bacon vodka is the icing on the cake.
Curry Bowl offers Fernie’s only rooftop patio and features an outstanding view of the iconic Three Sisters mountain peaks. Enjoy the creamy curried lentil dip or Thai lettuce wraps for a delicious shared appetizer. The Kara-age Donburi includes tender chicken fillets floured and served on rice with shredded cabbage, carrot and a sweet soy sauce. The Pad Thai with shrimp, egg, chicken and deep fried tofu is one of the best. For the brew aficionado, Curry Bowl also offers Fernie’s most eclectic and extensive menu of foreign beers.
For one of the area’s most sprawling views, head to the Cast Iron Grill at the Fernie Golf Club. Here, you’ll be treated to unobstructed vistas of Mount Hosmer, Proctor and the Three Sisters overtop flats of pristine greens. Enjoy a pitcher of cold Fernie Brewing Company Project 9 alongside a juicy steak sandwich or come any Sunday for the restaurant’s buffet brunch.
Downtown, numerous restaurants, cafes and bars set up their seasonal patios in time for summer weather. For a quick lunch bite and great coffee in the sun, try The Valley Social, Mugshots, Freshies or Lunchbox. You’ll find incredible thin-crust pizza at Loaf and a delicious array of burgers at The Brickhouse Bar and Grill. Blue Toque Diner offers an abundance of from-scratch menu items including many vegetarian and vegan-friendly options. Infinitea features incredible homemade fare including some of the best nachos in town and a rotating theme for their “BBQ and Beats” special every Sunday.
This summer, make your way around town and take advantage of your favourite bars’ and restaurants’ outdoor spaces. They’ll be gone before we know it. Hurray! It’s patio season!