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Seven Vancouver Island eateries crack national outdoor dining top 100 list

Diner-voted restaurants on Island range from Mill Bay to Oak Bay, Saanich to downtown Victoria
Alpina Restaurant at Villa Eyrie Resort on the Malahat was among seven eateries on the Island that made the Top 100 best patios list. (OpenTable photo)

Some south Island eateries have earned high praise from fans of alfresco dining.

The inaugural 100 Best Restaurants for Outdoor Dining list by, a website that connects diners with more than 60,000 restaurants worldwide, features seven from the area.

Among them, in alphabetical order, are Alpina Restaurant at Villa Eyrie Resort on the Malahat; Bear and Joey cafe in downtown Victoria; the Butchart Gardens dining room in Central Saanich; Finn’s Seafood, Chops and Cocktails in Victoria; Faro in the Oak Bay Beach Hotel; Fireside Grill in Saanich and Unsworth Restaurant in Mill Bay.

Restaurant patios across the country are prepared to remain open as late into fall as possible to accommodate diners this year. With 45 per cent of British Columbians planning on dining outdoors as long as the weather allows, according to an OpenTable survey, restaurants are investing in outdoor heaters, fire tables, blankets and even chic fall fashion to keep diners comfortable.

“For the first time ever, we’re releasing a best outdoor dining list in the fall, so anyone who wants to make the most of this year’s extended patio season can choose from among the best-rated patios in the country,” said Matt Davis, district director of OpenTable Canada. “Diners are determined to enjoy every last moment of the season, and restaurants are going above and beyond to make it happen.”

OpenTable’s list is generated solely from diner reviews collected between June 1, 2020, and May 31, 2021. All restaurants with a minimum overall score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. The overall score is made up of unique data points such as overall diner rating, user clout, total number of reviews and regional overall rating. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the sum of tags for which “hot spot” was selected as a special feature. There were 21 B.C. restaurants selected to the list from across the Okanagan, Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. 

Since its introduction in 2008, the OpenTable Reviews program has generated more than 100 million reviews by verified diners, including more than one million reviews per month. OpenTable seats more than one billion diners each year.

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Black Press Media Staff

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