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Best of Winnipeg

Top 5 ways to dine in nature

Get a dose of the wild or a picturesque view of outdoor scenery at these spots that blend sit down dining with outdoor fun.

Courtesy of Tundra Grill

Courtesy of Tundra Grill

The patio at Prairie’s Edge overlooks a serene pond surrounded by the greenery of Kildonan Park. Start the evening with crispy fried beet fritters before taking in a show at outdoor theatre Rainbow Stage. 2015 Main St, 204‑284‑7275

Hearty breakfast and lunch options make Buffalo Stone Cafe inside FortWhyte Alive nature preserve a go-to pick for a sweet nature setting inside city limits. The signature bison burger and a breeze off the shimmering lake are a perfect pair. 1961 McCreary Rd, 204‑989‑8355

Tundra Grill (pictured), inside the Assiniboine Park Zoo’s Journey to Churchill exhibit, boasts a 9 by 150 foot wall of windows looking out onto a polar bear habitat. Snack on kid-friendly foods like hamburgers and pizza while observing the animals roam and play. 2595 Roblin Blvd, 204‑927‑8060, Map 2: D-2

The elegant country cottage setting at Pineridge Hollow is the perfect backdrop to scratch-made fare that highlights prairie products. After sampling wild mushroom-stuffed perogies, wander the on-site garden and hand feed the goats outside. 67086 Heatherdale Rd 25E, Oakbank, MB

A century old country estate is the setting for fine dining at The Gates on Roblin. Seats in the Atrium deliver breathtaking views with your tender duck confit. Take a stroll around the grounds and visit horses grazing in the paddock. 6945 Roblin Blvd, 204‑224‑2837

A Sports Lover’s Guide To Winnipeg

As the birthplace of athletes from Terry Fox to Cindy Klassen, It should come as no surprise that Winnipeg is a major sports city. This year, as proud hosts of the 2017 Canada Games, there’s no better place To Find activities for every breed of sports fanatic. On your mark, get set, explore!

HEALTH START
Start a day of exploring right by fuelling up with these eats locals love. Grab a cold pressed juice from Green Carrot Juice Co (3 locations) to replenish electrolytes, or sip on a protein-packed smoothie. Manitoba-made GORP Energy Bars, found at most of the city’s health stores, will imbue your day with energy. Carbo-loading is the name of the game at The Original Pancake House, where stacks of buttermilk flapjacks rival Ryan Cochrane’s breakfasts.

 credit Joey Traa, Sport ManitobaCALLING ALL FANS
The Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame inside the Sport Manitoba building celebrates the Canada Games with an exhibit exploring the event’s 50 year run (pictured). Photos and artifacts from every province and territory in Canada—including medals and uniforms from the first Canada Games in 1967—are on display. For budding atheletes, the Children’s Museum exhibit Run! Jump! Fly! Adventures in Action provides a place to play. Get the little ones moving with activities like virtual surfing, a kung fu session, and a strength-building climbing wall.

WATER WATER EVERYWHERE
For a landlocked prairie province, we love our water—and Manitoba boasts more than 110,000 lakes. Diving, swimming, sailing, and rowing competitions are sure to whet your desire to make a splash yourself.

  • Get inspired by a day trip to Gimli. After taking a dip in the lake, head to the New Icelandic Heritage Museum to see an exhibit of stunning sailing photos (Jul 1-Aug 30)
  • Go swimming in the Pan Am Pool, or take a trip to Kildonan or St Vital Park to enjoy outdoor heated pools and splash pads for kiddos
  • Sit back on a guided tour of the Assiniboine river from Splash Dash Water Tours—or grab a paddle and explore the waterway by canoe
  • Get the blood pumping at Adrenaline Adventures with cable wakeboarding and beach volleyball
  • See a birch bark canoe used by this land’s first inhabitants at the Manitoba Museum
  • Prep for a day of sun and fun by picking up cute swimwear at The Hula Hut and Bra Bar
  • If you can’t make it to one of the province’s beautiful lakes, try local lakefish in one of the city’s regional themed restaurant. The Cornerstone serves pickerel in a French-influenced lemon butter sauce, while Fergie’s Fish and Chips at The Forks perfects the classic deep fry

GOLF GURUS
Think you picked up some pro tips from watching the competitors in action? Better hit the greens.

  • Practice on virtual golf simulators at Winnipeg’s only indoor Golf Dome
  • The mini golf course at Thunder Rapids is perfect for pint-sized putters
  • Lush 323 acre La Barriere Park boasts a 5700 foot long, 18-hole disc golf course
  • Golf balls emblazoned with the Winnipeg Jets’ logo from the Jets Gear Store display Winnipeg pride on the course

SUPER CYCLISTS
Between a thriving bike culture and slick city trails and paths, Winnipeg makes it easy to emulate your favourite mountain bikers, cyclists, and triathletes.

  • No bike, no problem—rent a ride from one of the city’s cycling shops. White Pine Bicycle Co at The Forks is centrally located, while Woodcock Cycle has the added perk of coffee from The Yellow Derny Cafe, inside
  • For a leisurely pedal, try out a bicycle built for two (or four) at Bee2Gether Bike Rentals at The Forks or Assiniboine Park
  • Take an art tour and see the city by bike at the same time. The Winnipeg Arts Council’s ArtRide (Jul 30) takes a scenic spin through St Boniface and St Vital. The Downtown BIZ’s A Moveable Feast tour (Aug 8) features stops at five different restaurants

PLAY BALL
Hundreds of ball players are fighting for gold during the Canada Games. Fans hit a home run of their own at these spots to dine, shop, and play.

  • Dine on Indian and Hakka cuisine while overlooking the diamond at Clay Oven at Shaw Park
  • Root for the home team by picking up swag at the Goldeyes Dugout Store
  • Batting cages at Grand Prix Amusements offer a chance to practice your swing
  • Hone your pitching skills on skee ball machines at hip sports bar Underdogs (pictured below)

    Credit Gary Barringer

    Credit: Gary Barringer

Best Improved Attraction for 2017: Meet the Market

By Joelle Kidd

With stunning design and a revamped food hall concept, Winnipeg’s most historic meeting place has become its freshest attraction. WHERE editors have named The Forks Market Winnipeg’s Best Improved Attraction for 2017.

26915911563_7c1cfe1a4a_oThe place where the Red and Assiniboine Rivers converge has been a gathering place for 6,000 years, as a a sacred site, a bustling trade centre, and a hub for transportation.

What better place to meet a friend for a locally brewed beer?

In the past year, The Forks—the city’s renowned tourist attraction—underwent an impressive renovation project. What resulted is more than a little facelift on Winnipeg’s favourite food court. The Forks Market is emblematic of Winnipeg and a point of local pride; a place where Winnipeggers bring their guests to say, this is my city.

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DRAMATIC DESIGN
The Forks site and its signature ‘Forks Market’ opened in 1989 as a tourist destination, combining fresh market sensibilities with vendors selling handicrafts and imported wares. Its creation was a massive undertaking, transforming a disused rail yard in the centre of the city into one of its top attractions.

In 2014, as The Forks celebrated its 25th anniversary, it became clear it was time to refresh the look. Brainstorming meetings led to an idea that would keep true to The Market’s spirit while giving it a mod makeover.

“Winnipeggers have a sense of ownership for this space,” says Chelsea Thomson, director of communications for The Forks. In order to preserve the aspects beloved by locals, they recruited designers at Winnipeg-based Number TEN Architecture Group, who began to think of the space as the city’s living room.

“The central atrium […] has a very high ceiling with a glass roof,” says architect Greg Hasiuk, who lead the project. “Our intent was to bring down the scale and change the entire look and feel to be more intimate.”

References to The Forks’ past are blended with warm, welcoming elements and twists of local flavour. Raw steel, blacksmith work, and natural wood meld with the historic building, while sleek charcoal accents and pendant lights pull the space into the future.

The centerpiece of this inviting environment is a line of reclaimed oak tables with collapsible leaves that transform into a 88-seat harvest table, fostering the feel of community dining. Like all materials used for the reno, tables were produced locally by custom fabrication shop Wood Anchor.

Other Manitoba-made items include drum-style light fixtures crafted by Metal-Tech industries, decorative blacksmith work by Cloverdale Forge, and drink flights served on Manitoba-shaped boards carved by Huron Woodwork.

In the glass walled atrium, filled with skate-lacers in the winter, three starburst shaped ornaments hang from the ceiling. Come closer and you’ll realize these impressive decorations (made by Wood Anchor) were created from donated hockey sticks. As Thomson notes, “there’s a little piece of many Winnipeggers in this space.”

It only seems right. Stop in for a bite or a pint at any time of day, and you’ll see families chattering over plates of food, couples holding hands over coffee, and girls nights celebrating over glasses of wine—a kitchen party for all to enjoy.

EATING PLACE
If ‘food court’ conjures up images of greasy fast food and chain restaurants, The Forks is the antidote. The former horse stables house a diverse range of local vendors slinging everything from gourmet burgers to Caribbean cuisine.

On any given day, a bustling crowd of diners peruses the stalls and halls. Laughter and chatter create the atmosphere of a party where the guests are constantly changing. Footlong hotdogs piled with sauerkraut share the table with Argentinean-style empanadas and sushi tacos stuffed with crab and avocado.

Plans are in the works for two new ‘microrestaurant’ concepts that will each have a separate seating area but allow for free movement between the restaurant space and main hall.

theforks

SIPS AND SUDS
While spaces that mix drink kiosks and food vendors are common in Europe and have begun to emerge in cities like New York and Portland, Oregon, the concept is new in Manitoba and rare in Canada. Visitors to The Forks can grab a drink at The Common and wander freely throughout the rest of the main floor, melding a family friendly atmosphere with the convivial vibe of a neighbourhood watering hole.

Local brews and outstanding imports are the focus, seleted to pair well with a meal. On tap, find Winnipeg breweries like Half Pints Brewing, Little Brown Jug, Peg Beer Co, and Barnhammer Brewing. A special wine pouring system ensures all bottles are available by the glass, and a curated selection complements the usual suspects with finds like biodynamic natural orange wine from Ontario and a lively pinot blanc from the Okanagan Valley.

5 Best ‘Peg Provisions

Applejacks from Gunn's Bakery

Applejacks from Gunn’s Bakery

While plenty of Winnipeggers are eager for the next new thing, certain odd local loves have complete staying power.

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Editor’s Pick: Top 5 Ways to Keep Warm

TNF Womens Shavana Parka Courtesy TNF

Photo courtesy of Wilderness Supply Co. (The North Face shavana parka)

Embrace the cold and look good doing it. These products will keep you toasty all winter long.

In the Exchange District, Bill Worb Furs Inc. boasts a collection of furs, leather and shearling. Fur hats range from aviator to New York style adding glamour and warmth. 312 Ross Ave, 204‑942‑6600

Proper winter footwear is a must for navigating the city’s shops and festivities. Canadian Footwear offers winterized-models of boots for the whole family, with brands like Rieker. 128 Adelaide St, 204-944‑7463, 1530 Regent Ave, 204-944-7466, 1504 St. Mary’s Road, 204-7474

Head to Wilderness Supply Co. for stylish, insulated winter jackets like The North Face shavana parka (pictured) that keep wind and snow at bay. Water‑resistant fabric cuts the cold and blocks winter winds. 623 Ferry Rd, 204-783-9555

Treat your tootsies to handmade moccasins and mukluks at Teeka’s Aboriginal Boutique in The Johnston Terminal at The Forks Market. Beautifully detailed designs made with leather, fur and beads adorn authentic Aboriginal footwear. The Forks Market, 1 Forks Market Rd, 204-946-0539 

A winter ensemble isn’t complete without a pair of soft sheepskin mittens from The Wonderful World of Sheepskin. These mitts combine fashion and function and keep hands warm. 250 Dufferin Ave, 204‑586‑8097

Hot Dining: Go Big or Go Home

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Chef Bill Georgakopoulos of Rae & Jerry’s. Photo by Ian McCausland.

At Rae & Jerry’s, the philosophy has always been “more is more.” With 330 seats in the dining room and lounge, the behemoth steakhouse serves up 200-300 pounds of beef daily, all butchered by chef Bill Georgakopoulos. The restaurant has been a perennial pick for stately steak dinners since 1957, famous for its generously loaded sandwiches, prime cuts of cow, and iconic red décor. This bastion of old school eating has proved the value of finding what works and sticking to it. 1405 Portage Ave, 204‑788‑6155, raeandjerrys.com

Editor’s Pick: Top 5 Wild Poutines In Winnipeg

loveys2Photo courtesy Lovey’s BBQ

In a city with as much Francophone influence as Winnipeg, it’s not hard to find that glorious mixture of french fries, gravy, and melty cheese curds. These spots branch out from the classic with irresistable toppings and tasty twists.

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Now Open: Anya Boutique

IMGP0870Discover treasures of minimalist design at new Exchange District shop Anya Boutique. The shop carries womenswear essentials including trousers, sweaters and t-shirts from Canadian and international brands like Product of Privilege and luxury knit brand LINE the Label. The shop specializes in products made by artists and designers who focus on local production. A collection of accessories like handcrafted Moyi Moyi leather bucket bags and one-of-a-kind hand-sculpted clay necklaces from Surface Handmade make up the product mix. 88 Albert St, 204‑416‑1323

Winnipeg’s Top 40 Patios

In-Fernos-Bistro-patio

In a city affectionately known as “Winterpeg”, it’s not surprising that locals look for any available chance to soak up some sun. Hit up these 40 prime patios for a side of vitamin D with your meal.

529 Wellington sets its tables on a manicured back lawn adjacent Assiniboine River. As if smart and beautiful food weren’t enough!

Cocktails with a view of the skyline are on the menu at The Allen Restaurant‘s rooftop patio at the Metropolitan Entertainment Centre.

The Beachcomber‘s expansive bar and patio offers people watching and a million dollar view of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers.

The beautiful, shady patio complete with a fountain makes Black Rabbit a prime spot for sun and sips in Osborne Village.

Feel miles away without leaving the city at Buffalo Stone Cafe at Fort Whyte Alive urban nature reserve. Dine on simple breakfast and lunch faves while overlooking one of Manitoba’s beautiful lakes.

Open wide for gargantuan sized taqueria fare at a rare front lawn table at Corydon’s Burrito del Rio.

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The 10 Top Restaurants in Winnipeg’s Exchange District

By BRITTANY HENDRY

Best Restaurants in Winnipeg's Exchange District

The Cajun seared salmon at Blüfish, one of our picks for best restaurants in Winnipeg’s Exchange District (Photo: Blüfish/Facebook)

The Exchange District has one of the densest concentrations of restaurants in all of Winnipeg. To to help you find the perfect spot to have a meal in the area, our local experts offer their picks for the top eateries. Whether you’re looking for authentic Brazilian cuisine, art-infused culinary masterpieces or just a relaxed environment to grab a bite, you’ll find something to your liking in the list below.

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Winnipeg Nightlife: Top 5 Hotspots in the Exchange District

When it comes to Winnipeg nightlife, the Exchange District is the city’s hub of fun. The area is predominantly occupied by young, single locals, and its central location just a block from Portage and Main make it one of the best places in the city for a night out. Choosing a destination from the countless options, though, can be a tough. To help you out, our Winnipeg experts have put together their recommendation for the best places experience Winnipeg’s nightlife in the Exchange District.

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Your 7 Best Bets for Entertnment in Winnipeg’s Exchange District

By BRITTANY HENDRY

Best Entertainment in Winnipeg's Exchange District

Best entertainment in Winnipeg’s Exchange District: The Weakerthens at Centennial Concert Hall (Photo: Alana Elliot)

Winnipeg is a city of endless activities and distractions, but if you’re looking to take in a show while you’re in town, the Exchange District offers some of the city’s best entertainment. Our local experts have been taking in the cultural presentations in this neighbourhood for years, and have compiled their picks for the best music, film and theatre venues. Here, in no particular order, are the best entertainment spots in Winnipeg’s Exchange District.

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