Wining & Dining
To put it simply, if you like really good food, you are going to like Winnipeg
Winnipeg’s highest-ranked restaurant on the Canada’s 100 Best list for 2018 is Segovia, which has consistently been wowing dinners since 2009. Chef Adam Donnelly’s food is nothing short of spectacular, ensuring the 40-seat room fills up fast. They don't take resos, but you can leave your name at the door then explore the many bars and lounges of Osborne Village while you wait for your table.
The other Winnipeg restaurant on this year’s Canada’s 100 Best list is deer+almond, chef Mandel Hitzer’s whimsical Exchange District restaurant where the fun menu (take for instance: “wiener schnitzel art /fennelkraut, horseradish, brown butter salty sauce”) evolves on a seasonal basis. Hitzer is also half of the team (the second member being architect Joe Kalturnyk) behind RAW:almond, the city’s annual pop-up multi-course dining experience on the frozen Assiniboine River at The Forks. The three-week restaurant brings in renowned chefs from across North America and has been featured in the New York Times, LA Times, and countless European architecture and design publications. There’s absolutely nothing like it anywhere else in the world.
Another chef who has received his fair share of acclaim – including five-star reviews in the Winnipeg Free Press – is Scott Bagshaw, whose restaurants include Enoteca (listed as one of the ten best new restaurants in Canada by enRoute in 2015), Máquè (which made enRoute’s long list of best new restaurants in 2016), and Passero and Corto in The Forks Market. You can always expect elegant plating and knowledgeable staff – particularly when it comes to wine pairings at all of Bagshaw’s restaurants.
For a big night out, you can’t beat 529 Wellington’s mansion setting, where the steaks are of a very high standard. One of the biggest hits in the past two years in St. Vital has been Harth, whose menu is built around fresh pasta and all manner of Italian fare cooked in a forno oven (the restaurant, designed by local firm Fireside Design is terribly handsome too). If you're looking for upscale Italian - along with perhaps the chance to spot a Winnipeg Jet - the newly renovated Pizzeria Gusto on Academy Road remains a favourite with locals and visiting celebs.
Charleswood’s best restaurant for upscale comfort food, Capital Grill, has recently opened up a second location on Broadway, while Sous Sol is celebrated for its kitschy dining room and speakeasy vibe which belies an outstanding cocktail program and French menu.
Finally, for a taste of Japan, Yujiro, Fusian Experience, Izakay Edokko and the Wasabi restaurants all offer some sublime cuisine, a particular note being Yujiro’s omakase nights, when chef Ed Lam’s creative really shines. The majority of these spots also serve up some great ramen – which is so apropos during a Winnipeg winter – as does the super cute Dwarf No Cachette (whose owners Yasuko and Takekuni Akimoto moved here from Tokyo), and the new strictly ramen bar Cho Ichi Ramen.
Check out these breweries, bars and great lounges to unwind after a conference. If you are looking for a cozy spot to unwind one that immediately comes to mind is SMITH at Inn at the Forks, where Canadiana décor (check out the Hudson Bay blanket banquets and antler chandeliers) complements an excellent drink program (the smoked negroni and Manitoban Fashion featuring local Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye, are top notch). It’s a great spot to hit up after a skate for a farm-to-table dinner, or to enjoy the finest selection of local beer on tap.
Speaking of local beer, Winnipeg’s brewery scene is now one to boast about, with quite a number of tap rooms and brew pubs on offer. For strictly beer, you really can’t beat Little Brown Jug and Barn Hammer – both of which have stylish tap rooms, Half Pints –Winnipeg’s original microbrewery, Torque – which has won numerous awards, and Nonsuch – the city’s newest brewery, located right behind the Centennial Concert Hall. Brazen Hall always packs in the crowds and has a pretty sweet food menu too, while right across from all the big box stores on Kenaston Boulevard you’ll find Trans Canada, where up to 24 varieties are brewed onsite, along with really good pizza.
For cool cocktail bars look no further than Langside Grocery – a hip haunt in a heritage building in Winnipeg’s West Broadway neighbourhood; Forth – arguably the city’s best cocktail bar, which is also a super chic café during the day; The Roost – which is #adorbs; while side-by-side in the Exchange District by Old Market Square you’ll find European flavour courtesy of Amsterdam Tea Room – whose Scottish co-owner Mark Turner is incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to tea and tea cocktails, and Cordova Tapas & Wine – whose young European owners Gael Winandy (Belgium) and Grégoire Stevenard (France) have created one gem of a room that harkens back to traditional tapas bars you’d find in Spain.
This guide pairs well with our official culinary website – pegcitygrub.com – where you’ll find complete stories and reviews on most of the restaurants above, along with chef profiles, food news, and more to help you navigate Winnipeg’s excellent restaurant scene .