Photo 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.
The annual flood of food trucks onto summer streets shows no sign of slowing down.
Our favourite meals on wheels are packing out Broadway every weekday, and this year, a new ‘food truck alley’ along Israel Asper Way has everyone meeting at The Forks. Owning a food truck has proved to be a great way for creative types to try out their wildest culinary dreams with the freedom of a relatively low cost set-up. These mobile mavericks are churning out fresh, inventive fare.
Chef Darryl Crumb of Tot Wheels has proved high concept eats can have staying power if executed deliciously. Piles of fluffy, golden homemade tater tots are loaded with complex and unexpected flavours. Try tots topped with frogs’ legs, the dish that started all the buzz. @totwheelswpg
If there’s one thing more impressive than retrofitting a freightliner with a woodfired pizza oven, it’s The Red Ember’s end product. Gourmet toppings from figs to housemade sausage are piled on puffed and crispy, charcoal-edged crust and served through the window of this bright red behemoth. @theredember
The Poutine King offers tastes straight from the cobblestone world of Montreal, but these piles of fries loaded with gravy and stretchy cheese curds don’t cling too close to tradition. Find everything from red curry-spiked chicken to smoked salmon at the gourmand-friendly truck. @poutine_king
Having secured their place as a neighbourhood haunt, Sherbrook St Deli is taking to the streets with a mobile meat truck at once futuristic and retro. The shiny sandwich shop features a menu of housemade meaty favourites. @sherbrookdeli
The Bannock Factory serves traditional quickbread from a wood panel-printed trailer. Dense, chewy bannock makes up most of the menu, upgrading street food classics like sammies and hot dogs with local flair. Try it warm with butter or jam, or as a sandwich piled with juicy pulled pork. @BannockFactory
Chef Eric Lee at Pizzeria Gusto has a reputation for redefining Italian classics through a local lens. The energetic 35-year-old nurtures key relationships with a number of small-scale Manitoba growers and producers to ensure his kitchen is always has the freshest ingredients. This practice is apparent at first bite. Lee’s caprese salad is always juicy with plump tomatoes, dressed in verdant pesto that delivers a peppery hit of arugula and crowned with the silky tang of buffalo Mozzarella. With local greenhouse-grown tomatoes, herbs and greens arriving twice a week and year-round this clever chef has cracked the climate code, serving a real taste of summer to Winnipeggers in winter. 404 Academy Rd, 204-944-8786.
For Chef Adam Donnelly, owner of Segovia Tapas Bar and Restaurant a popular Spanish-style spot, less is more. Diners and critics share an insatiable appetite for his sophisticated plates and appreciation of the restaurant’s trendy-yet-comfy industrial-chic interior. The wonder of Donnelly’s food lies in its artful composition. Many dishes are made with as few as four ingredients. Try Mascarpone- and pistachio-stuffed Medjool dates drizzled with maple syrup that tease with textures and a salty-sweet hook. Be advised this spot has a strict no reservations policy, so pop in early to get your name on the list. In the meantime prep for your experience with a frosty beverage at a nearby watering hole.
By BRITTANY HENDRY
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.
The top 10 cocktail bars and lounges in Winnipeg (Photo: Dinner Series)
A night out doesn’t have to be a full-on affair of dinner, drinks and dancing. In Winnipeg, there is a large selection of excellent cocktail bars and lounges that are perfect for a low-key evening with friends or co-workers in a swanky setting. Here, in no particular order, are our picks for the top cocktail bars and lounges in Winnipeg.
Best Sandwiches in Winnipeg: the bánh mì at Viva Restaurant
Sandwich lore contends that the bread-bound dish was invented by John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, as a one-handed solution to sustenance while playing cards. While the historical accuracy of this is contested, the sandwich’s mobility and versatility are undeniably universal. After much lifting and chewing, we’ve selected the best five sandwich spots in Winnipeg, listed here.
Second generation restaurateur Beth Grubert is a Paris-trained baker with a hands-on management approach and exquisite attention to detail. Her Osborne Village eatery Baked Expectations been drawing locals to a fabulous display case of mile-high cakes, tortes and pies for three decades. Choices can be tough here, where decadent strawberry pecan torte covered in glistening chocolate ganache competes with rich peanut butter chocolate chip cheesecake for a coveted place on your plate. A menu of short-order favourites that stars a triple decker grilled cheese with bacon is equally grand. Let them eat cake!
161 Osborne St, 204-452-5176.
The name of Winnipeg’s hottest new dining destination is Jane’s (pictured), but it’s certainly not plain. Innovative and grand are more accurate descriptors of the 90-seat student-operated restaurant housed in a renovated heritage space. Today, the long-vacant Union Bank building is home to Red River College’s new Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, a cutting-edge training ground that is redefining culinary school in Canada. Here, students gain hands-on experience with real diners in two restaurant classrooms. The Culinary Exchange is a grab-and-go with short order favourites, while Jane’s offers upscale dining from a menu that changes monthly. At the latter, enjoy fine fare, like braised short ribs with tamarind sauce with truffle-scented grits, prepared by students in a sleek, open kitchen. 504 Main St, 204-632-2594.
The best Winnipeg sausage: an international sampling of recipes can be found throughout the city
Winnipeg is populated by people from many places, and that diversity is ours to taste at the city’s many old-school deli shops. Each butcher has cherished recipes for traditional homemade sausage. Winnipeg is proud to be home all of them, and our local experts have hunted down the some of the finest. From quintessential kielbasa to the best wurst, here are five banging bangers that are worth stinking up your suitcase for.
Winnipeg has joined the Churrascaria craze with the recent opening of Carnaval Brazilian BBQ. A breathtaking Waterfront Drive space is home to a sleek, street level lounge and an elegant, window-wrapped second floor dining room. Flip your meat card from red to green and commence a parade of gauchos eager to carve rotisserie barbeque for you table side. Highlights include top sirloin, bacon-wrapped chicken and piquant housemade pork sausage. 270 Waterfront Dr,
Thousands of miles from his birthplace, Chef Stéphane Wild has erected a culinary alter to Alsace at Bistro Chez Sophie. Since the French-bred traditionalist set up shop in Winnipeg’s French Quarter seven years ago, he has become locally renowned for his time-honoured family recipes and consistent, flawless execution. With an arsenal of butter, cream and cheese the sincere, proud chef treats diners to a taste of his heritage. Each indulgent béchamel-smothered smoked salmon crepe and fluffy, soufflé-like cheesecake is a masterful execution of practiced and proven ‘true cooking’. 284 ave de la Cathédrale Ave, 204-235-0353.