Chef Sean McKay by David Lipnowski
In his heritage enclave in the city’s theatre district, The Mitchell Block chef/owner Sean McKay is creating incredible culinary concoctions. Beneath a gentle, warm demeanor, rock solid ambition drives this young chef. His considerable kitchen prowess asserts itself in scratch made components: charcuterie boards loaded with meats, mousses, pâtés, terrines and gastronomic touches like shaved preserved egg yolks that add depth to traditional dishes. 173 McDermot Ave, 204‑949‑9032
Photo courtesy The Forks
Winnipeg was built around the convergence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, and these waterways have provided everything from trade and industry to a place to canoe and kayak to the city’s residents over the years. Take in the city’s signature streams from these idyllic spots where beautiful food is matched with stunning river views.
Just outside the city, The Gates on Roblin shows off the prairies’ pastoral side. Lush riverbanks are visible from the atrium of this converted country estate, which serves local ingredients like bison, beets and pickerel. 6945 Roblin Blvd, 204‑224‑2837, thegatesonroblin.com
The Forks is the place to be on warm summer evenings when the breeze off the rivers hits The Beachcomber’s patio just right. Diners share seafood dishes like mussels swimming in smoky ancho chile sauce. 1 Forks Market Rd, 204‑948‑0020, thebeachcomber.ca
Ice cream parlour Sargent Sundae‘s proximity to the quiet footbridge that crosses the Assiniboine River into Assiniboine Park makes it a popular pick. 2053 Portage Ave, 204-832-5021
A scenic drive along the Red River leads to Half Moon Drive In in Lockport, where the menu of hot dogs, burgers and ice cream is the stuff of family traditions. 6860 Henderson Hwy, 1-204‑757‑2517, halfmoondrivein.com
Set right on the Red River, Cibo Waterfront Café provides one of the best views of the city’s skyline as backdrop for sumptuous arancini and bruschetta. 339 Waterfront Dr, 204‑594-0339, cibowaterfrontcafe.com
Sample global flavours during Ciao! Taste The World. This culinary event sees some of the city’s top dining establishments dishing up globally inspired specials for lunch throughout August. A $12 price tag makes it easy to transform lunch time into a world tour. Visit ciaowinnipeg.com for a full list of participating restaurants and menus.
Photo by Alexandra Johnson
The hotly anticipated Oh Doughnuts shop has opened its doors with 12-16 wild flavours that change daily. With flavours like torched lemon meringue, chai glaze, and vegan maple whiskey “bacon”, best to arrive early for a fully stocked case. 326 Broadway, 204‑615‑0802, ohdoughnuts.com
The team behind nationally recognized tapas spot Segovia has branched out into the brunch game. Breakfast and lunch locale Clementine Cafe is set to inject culinary adventure into morning routines, through items like fried chicken on toast with pimento cheese spread and bittersweet ribbons of squash (pictured). 123 Princess St, 204‑942‑9497, clementinewinnipeg.com
New downtown destination La Roca serves light, fresh Mexican fare in a sleek space. Stop by for a trio of tacos or an excellent margarita on the unique rooftop patio. 155 Smith St, 204‑615‑9605, laroca.ca
Owners Phil Salazar and Candy Lam. Photo by Ian McCausland
Entrepreneur Candy Lam first encountered Japanese-style crepes while making buying trips to Asia for her clothing store. With the help of her husband, Phil Salazar, Lam re-imagined the crispy, cone-shaped versions of the beloved French pancake for Winnipeg. With unique sweet and savoury fillings and names like “Pump Up the Yam” and “It’s-A-Smore”, Kawaii Crepe shows how fun and food go hand in hand. 201-99 Osborne St, 204‑415‑2833; Unit D-1220 St Mary’s Rd, 204‑691‑3700
Peg Beer Co. photo by David Wakeman
Peg Beer Co., the latest venture from Nicole Barry, former CEO of local Half Pints Brewing Company, has opened its doors in the Exchange District. A one-time warehouse turned skatepark is now home to this convivial brewpub, where craft beer is joined by family-style feasts. Chef Aron Epp’s menu takes inspiration from the earthy, farm staples of past generations with shareable spreads and ingredients pulled from Manitoba soil. 125 Pacific Ave, 204‑416‑2337.
Saperavi is the first Georgian restaurant to open on the prairies. The bright 2nd floor space serves Caucasus specialties like khinkali, a spiced meat filled dumpling, and shashlik, meat grilled on skewers. 709 Corydon Ave, 204‑416‑3996
Courtesy King + Bannatyne
Uncover a new side of Winnipeg at these historically significant spots that have been reborn as tourist destinations, foodie favourites, hip shopping locales, and learning centres.
Folio Cafe courtesy CMU
These little-known, out of the way, or surprising locales offer stellar eats for city explorers.
Chef Hu Guoguang, owner Tony Chow, and chef Pan Yewen. Photo by Ian McCausland.
Like many first and second generation immigrants, owner Tony Chow of North Garden Restaurant has incorporated Manitoba ingredients into traditional recipes. The result is serendipitous Canadian-Chinese fusion food. During pickerel season, the local lakefish is simmered in a light and fresh watercress soup, stir fried with gaai laan, and bathed in rich chile oil. For North Garden’s customers, each meal is both familiar comfort and culinary adventure, often within a single menu page. 6-33 University Cres, 204‑275‑2591
Indulge in everyone’s favourite craving during Ciao! magazine’s month-long Chocolatefest presented by The Forks Market. This cocoa powered celebration showcases signature sweets from bakeries, cafes, and restaurants around the city, all for a set price. Decadent highlights from last year’s event include chocolate bacon pancakes, chocolate cherry perogies, and bison chili spiced with mole. Visit ciaowinnipeg.com for more information.
Photo courtesy Marion Street Eatery
With gourmet renditions of homey dishes on trend, chefs are getting in touch with their inner child. These childhood favourites are all grown up.
Photo courtesy Za Pizza Bistro
Fast casual is the hottest trend in dining out, with even chef-driven spots cashing in on the popularity of healthy, good food to go. One such concept, sleek new Za Pizza Bistro, trades in DIY pies. Customize pizza (pictured above) from the crust up with scratch-made sauces and a plethora of cheeses, meats, and veggies. E-1220 St Mary’s Rd, 204‑615‑0808, Map 2: E-4.
Photo by Roger Wilkinson
Tucked into a small, industrial-chic space in the Exchange District, Chosabi (pictured above) offers fast versions of favourite Asian eats. Eat-on-the-go sushi burritos and bahn mi make this a perfect pit stop that doesn’t sacrifice on flavour. Snag a coveted seat and watch the downtown office crowd roll in. A-100 King St, 204‑615‑8338, Map 1: O-4