Originally Winnipeg’s Little Italy, the Corydon and Lilac strips have long been regarded one of the city’s top shopping destinations. Here’s how to make the most out of your visit to one of the city’s most charming neighbourhoods.
Begin your spree on Corydon Avenue between Hugo and Daly Streets at Tea Story (pictured). Sip a hot cup of top-notch tea while browsing colourful glassware and treats like Thomas Haas chocolates. One block west is Second Sensation Boutique, one of the city’s best consignment shops. It’s not unheard of to find Chanel and Gucci on the racks. Head over to Stoneware Gallery, a potter’s collective offering beautiful ceramic works, from urns to objets d’art made by local artists. Stroll west to trendy Lilac Street to score a sweet pair of Sam Edelman ankle booties at Soul Shoes, then pick up a buttery leather bag at neighbouring Cha Cha Palace to complete the look.
• Tea Story, 653 Corydon Ave., 204-477-1102, map and reviews
• Second Sensation Boutique, 10-725 Corydon Ave., 204-475-0457, map and reviews
• Stoneware Gallery, 778 Corydon Ave., 204-475-8088, map and reviews
• Soul Shoes, 167 Lilac St., 204-452-7685
• Cha Cha Palace, 173 Lilac St., 204-284-4128, map and reviews
New Corydon Avenue spot, Market Burger, takes the made-in-Manitoba mantra to the max. A rustic, upcycled barn board interior is punctuated with custom work by local artist Pat Lazo and quite possibly the most darling powder room styled by vintage vixens from Rhymes with Orange. The menu, created with input from Bistro 7 1/4 owner Alex Svenne, communicates how phenomenal burgers are made, with the best ingredients sourced from Manitoba producers. Almost a dozen signature burgers, including The Underground Cafe’s legendary sunburger (making its dinner debut), are on the menu, as well as build-your-own options that allow you to choose from more types of cheese than we can count on both hands. Don’t skip the sides; fried pickles dunked in creamy, tart pickle dip are something special. 645 Corydon Ave, 204-505-2510.
As the season changes tuck into broth-taking super bowls.
At authentic Mexican food mecca, La Bamba on Portage, sopa de tortilla combines tender shredded chicken, chewy housemade chips and bright cilantro in golden ancho chile-laced broth.
The incredible oceanic flavours present in Orlando’s Seafood Grill‘s famous lobster bisque make it ultra special. Each luxurious ladle swims with sumptuous, fleshy morsels.
Addictive West African peanut soup has been a menu mainstay at Prairie Ink Restaurant & Bakery for more than a decade, and for good reason. A smooth blend of warm spice, hearty sweet potato and roasted peanuts create a rich, satiating meal-in-a-bowl.
Laden with tender pink shrimp, broccoli, baby corn, asparagus, bamboo and peppery-sweet Thai basil, Sukhothai’s Kaeng Phet teases taste buds with piquant chile and calm coconut milk.
For a cure-all go to Thanh Huong for the satay beef soup (pictured) and order it spicy. A steaming bowl of this nourishing pho is laden with tender beef, rice noodles and beans sprouts and packs a spicy punch of lemongrass, sriracha and lime juice.
Winnipeg is a vibrant culture capital, so it should come as little surprise that the city is home to a burgeoning design scene. From home decor to fashion, here are five independent designers whose work inspires us.
Craftsman/designer Ben Borley proves that beautiful can be functional, and even comfortable. He transforms everyday material such as plywood into sleek, minimalist furniture, pictured below. Available at 84 1/2.
Silkscreen master Roy Liang‘s colourful mittens and wallets use repurposed materials and often nod to pop culture; a wallet crafted from red zippered leather and a Mickey Mouse T-shirt dubbed the Mickey and Michael clutch, for example. Available at Tara Davis Studio Boutique.
Goldsmith Matti Martin crafts elegant, modern pieces that feel timeless. While he specializes in custom pieces, pop by his eponymous showroom for stunning fashion pieces.
Rising fashion designer Lennard Taylor makes forward-thinking pieces for men and women from denim, leather and other natural materials. Select pieces available at Sew Dandee and Ordnry Clothing.
Deborah Hosaki is the brains behind Hoshii Designs, whose whimsical upcycled bags and clutches are influenced by her Japanese background. Her line is aptly named; ‘hoshii’ means ‘wanted,’ ‘wished for,’ ‘needed,’ ‘desired.’ Available at Tara Davis Studio Boutique.
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.
To the delight of local and visiting gourmands alike, not one but two fine oil and vinegar tasting concept stores recently opened in Winnipeg’s toniest shopping districts. Frescolio (pictured) joined the Corydon strip in June, offering more than 40 extra-virgin olive oils and vinegars in palate-pleasing flavours like honey ginger white balsamic and dark chocolate balsamic, sourced from regions as varied as Greece, Spain, Australia, Morocco, Chile and California. OliV Tasting Room, a noted Canadian chain with six locations across the country, set up shop on the Academy strip in July. Founded by Awie and Isabeau du Toit, OliV offers more than 80 premium oils, many of which come from the du Toit’s own olive farm in South Africa, and vinegars in flavours such as bergamot lemon and rosemary. Sampling is encouraged and is the edutainment at these tasting bars. Delight in the discovery of seemingly endless combinations. Frescolio, 9-929 Corydon Ave, 204-505-1455; OliV Tasting Room, 540 Academy Rd, 204-414-2019.
Frustrated when it came to finding suits that fit well and were affordable, Alex Ethans, Maciek Hunek and Andrew Parkes launched EPH Apparel (pronounced phonetically) online in 2012. Their vision: a web store that would make customizable made-to-measure suits, a luxury once reserved for Wall Street CEOs, accessible to any man of any size on any budget. The response was overwhelming and the trio realized they would need a brick-and-mortar HQ to accommodate both a growing business and the needs of their clients. In May, EPH Apparel celebrated the grand opening of its gleaming flagship in downtown Winnipeg. As online, clients are able to choose every last detail from cuffs and jacket liners to lapels and pockets in more than a thousand fabrics in an array of colours and weights. Another perk of a physical location? These sharp-dressed men are able to offer one-on-one consultations and exemplary customer service. Call to book a fitting. EPH Apparel, 1st floor, 291 Garry St, 1-888-388-4177.
In January the world lost a powerful creative force when influential and prolific pioneer of modern Inuit art Kenojuak Ashevak died at age 85. Ashevak’s distinctive, enchanting imagery has graced Canadian stamps and coins, earned honourary doctorates, a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, and the distinction of highest auction sale price of any Canadian print at $52,000 USD. Her final masterpiece,Tall Tundra Bird (pictured), is a stunning stonecut and stencil that fittingly features Ashevak’s favoured subject: a mythical and nearly supernatural bird. Nunavut Gallery is the place to see this very special artwork and many other resplendent Ashevak prints. 603 Corydon Ave, 204-478‑7233.
Flanked by charming character homes and stately elm trees, Academy Road is as distinguished as its namesake, St. Mary’s Academy for girls, which still anchors the east end of the strip today. Begin your sun-dappled stroll just before Beaverbrook Street at Sue’s Fashions, where you can snap up a coveted pair of curve-flaunting Not Your Daughter’s Jeans. Fashionistas will go mad for the colourful collection of dresses (pictured) just down the street at trendy Mad About Style. Rustic whimsy is what you’ll find at Lake Life, just a short walk east. Pick up a serene gel firepot for the deck before heading to cottage country. Treat your feet next door at European Shoe Shop. Everything from utilitarian Birkenstocks to sky-high Stuart Weitzman stilettos can be found in this well-edited store. Those in pursuit of one-of-a-kind fashion finds must check out Redeemed. This consignment boutique’s best kept secret is its quirky shoe collection.
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.
By BRITTANY HENDRY
Winnipeg Nightlife: Opera is a great place to party in the Exchange District (Photo: Facebook)
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.