Cornwall patios are a great way to enjoy summer days or evenings with friends, business partners, or lovers. A good patio will combine a great atmosphere with even better service and food. Luckily, Cornwall is home to a few places that walk this line with ease. Whether you want to have a fun night with friends, a great outdoor dining experience, or watch the game with friends over pints, here are the best spots to go for a great patio experience in Cornwall, Ontario.
Schnitzels European Restaurant
This restaurant in downtown Cornwall is a great combination of good eats and atmosphere. It’s a popular spot, which keeps the restaurant’s mood lively, but has plenty of space for quiet talks. In the summer, this is one of the best patio’s in Cornwall.
The menu at Schnitzel’s is great for dinner dates: it packs a ton of variety, including daily, seasonally inspired specials with local inspirations, and their classics that included Schnitzel (of course) wood-fired pizza, pastas, steaks, and everything in between.
While the atmosphere is relaxing and casual, the food is 5-star. It’s an awesome spot to sit in the heart of Cornwall’s downtown and catch the action in the middle of the summer in this lively location. The only recommendation here is to make a reservation, and plan parking: you’ll have to park in Cornwall’s downtown lot, which is about two blocks away.
Hops & Barley Restaurant
If you’re looking for a great restaurant that has direct parking and isn’t right downtown, Hops & Barley is a top choice. This restaurant is attached to the Best Western Parkway Inn, one of the nicest hotels in Cornwall. The patio is charming yet casual in the summer. Their menu is seasonally-inspired as well, and they are passionate about craft beer (with a great and rotating selection on tap). Hops & Barley’s executive Chef, Fabien Clément-Lynch, is a young and prominent local culinary star with a passion for good food.
Though parking is plentiful at this restaurant, it’s a good idea to call for a reservation.
If your looking for a lively spot to watch sports on a patio with great eats, Shoeless Joes is the perfect spot in Cornwall. Located on one of Cornwall’s main drags among other popular restaurants, this spot has great service, a patio with a large TV, and an awesome happy hour menu with $4 drinks and $5 bites. It’s a fun, casual, and lively spot that is a great way to spend an evening in Cornwall, Ontario.
Patio Etiquette: Tips & Tricks
Here’s how to make your Cornwall Patio experience the best it can be.
Call For Reservations
A lot of patios don’t take reservations, but it doesn’t hurt to call. Even if they don’t do reservations, the hostess may be able to give you insight into the length of the line/ wait times, or when the best time to come to max out your chances of getting a seat.
Always Wait To Be Seated
Patio tables need to be bussed, cleaned, and noted by the hostess. You should always wait to be seated, and not just to make your hostess’ life easier: but because it will actually help you, too. Hostesses seat people according to server sections, so if you seat yourself in a section with no server, or with a server whose section is full, you may find yourself waiting a long time for service.
Don’t Take The Available Seat
If their is a line for the patio, you may notice some spots are free despite the wait. The are most often sun spots: tables with no shade and a gruelling amount of sun, which makes the whole experience unenjoyable due to the extreme heat. Don’t take the free table.
It’s also a good idea to note the sun exposure at the table you do get seated at. If for any reason you feel you won’t be comfortable at the table, ask to switch before your server gets started.
Operate A Two Tiered Clothing System
Because weather can be extremely unpredictable, it’s always a good idea to have a removable sweater with you. If you only have a t-shirt or only have a sweater, you may end up being too hot or too cold, with no way to reconcile.
Always bring sunglasses and a hat, too, because you may not always be in the shade.
Avoid Sugary Drinks
Summer drink menus are usually loaded with sugary drinks, like Margaritas, Bellinis, and Lemonades… be wary of choosing these. Sitting in the sun will already dehydrate you, and sugary drinks (with alcohol) will fast track that process. Keep to your normal favourites, and make sure your staying hydrated. Being dehydrated can make you irritable, give you a headache, and even make you feel sick, all not what you want while your trying to enjoy your day on the patio.
Avoid Sugar Altogether
Another reason to avoid having too much sugary stuff on your table is because it attracts bees, wasps, ants, and all other types of insects. This includes those sugary drinks. Keep your level of insect-attraction as low as possible by avoiding sugary drinks, desserts, and plates.
Ask The Server For Their Recommendations
Summer menus are constantly changing, so when in doubt, always ask the server for their recommendations. They’ll have the drink specials and food specials top of mind, and can guide your decision for the best meals, drinks, sharables, and deals to make your patio experience that much better.
We almost forgot to mention…make sure to cover up! Apply some sunscreen, even if you plan on sitting in the shade. The last thing you want is to have to cut your patio time short because your getting a burn. It’s also a good idea to bring a light shirt or sweater to cover up, even on hot days, to protect your shoulders.
Another already mentioned idea, but we want to double back. Hot weather will make you thirsty, but people have a tendency to overconsume alchohol while on patios because their reaching for a beer when they should be reaching for water. Combine that with the heat, and its all too common for people to suffer from sun stroke, dehydration, or alc. poisoning whilst spending time on the patio. So make sure to pace yourself and always have water while drinking.