Our visit to Winnipeg was hosted by Tourism Winnipeg. All opinions remain our own.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, is a wonderful Canadian city to visit at any time of the year. Offering all the variety of a big, global city, Winnipeg distinguishes itself with a fun, accessible, and eclectic dining scene loaded with personality. From quiet and intimate hideaways to big bustling food halls, Winnipeg offers plenty of flavorful discoveries.
We explored the city’s best ourselves, and we want to share with you how to eat and drink your way through Winnipeg.
Enjoy A Delicious Breakfast
First, fill up at one of the many delicious breakfast and brunch spots that call Winnipeg home. Here are some of our favorites.
If you like discovering local favorites, then head to Forth. This multifaceted spot in the Exchange District is one that locals really love. It’s a cafe, restaurant, art gallery, event venue, and cocktail bar at once.
Start your day with a delicious toast loaded with fresh local ingredients. Breakfast in the cafe is delightfully unique. The menu changes with the seasons and emphasizes fresh, globally inspired flavors. We enjoyed the loaded toasts, especially the roasted beets, labneh, walnuts, and pomegranate. There are also breakfast sandwiches, shakshuka, quiches, muesli, and more on offer.
Plenty of locals gather at Forth, and you’ll feel like you’re part of the neighborhood when you’re sitting at a patio table sipping a local favorite Dogwood Coffee.
Another great spot for morning eats is Clementine Cafe. Appreciated for its incredibly creative cuisine, this delicious hideaway offers a beautiful space in which to relax, unwind, and enjoy what is often called the best brunch in the city. When we looked at the menu, we wanted to order everything. Horchata porridge, Turkish eggs, braised bacon Benedict, roasted mushroom toast, and Brussels-style waffles are just a few of the thoughtful and creative dishes on Clementine’s roster.
You step down into this cozy nook and feel as though you’ve discovered a hidden gem. The service is warm and relaxed, well suited to the comfy surroundings that make you want to burrow in and stay for a while. Put on your stretchy pants, and don’t rush. You might have a bit of company, since the cafe can get quite busy, especially on weekends.
La Belle Baguette
Chef and owner Alix Loiselle looks too young to be a world-class baker. But his resume includes baking at the Chateau Lake Louise and working for Daniel Boulud at the Ritz Carlton, and he offers baked goods of the highest caliber.
If you love bakery treats with a hint of French butter, La Belle Baguette is just heavenly. One look at the goodies on display in this neighborhood bakery and cafe will make you wish you had more than one stomach. From French macarons and decadent eclairs to fruit and cream tarts and sticky buns, the baked goods are beautiful and inviting. Especially tempting are Loiselle’s unique soft pretzels and hand-rolled croissants. He adds unique fillings and toppings in combinations designed to feed your every fantasy. We loved the huge Everything Croissant, which we devoured with no regrets.
We admit to being total donut fiends. We love them and try to find the best donuts every destination has to offer. Clever and delicious, the incredible Oh Doughnuts would be our pick in Winnipeg.
But don’t expect this to be a typical sweet rings sort of shop. Oh Doughnuts offers a rotating selection of gourmet donuts in unique and surprising flavors. There are sweet as well as savory donuts, and new and experimental choices show up from time to time. With more than 100 flavors, there are plenty of surprises, including flavors like jalapeno cheddar, matcha glaze, taco dip, orange Creamsicle, and Almond Joy.
Oh Doughnuts also offers vegan and gluten-free options, so everyone’s taste buds can do a happy dance.
Eat Lunch At The ERA Bistro
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is an important highlight of Winnipeg’s cultural landscape as the first and only museum in the world focused on the broad spectrum of human rights education and awareness.
Whether you have time to explore the museum or not, you can enjoy a delicious lunch at ERA Bistro off the museum lobby. The vibe is warm and modern, with glass and wood punctuating an airy space that somehow brings the outside in. The menu highlights local, organic, free-trade, and sustainably sourced ingredients. The quality shines in the fresh and delicious flavors that burst forth from the creative dishes.
We enjoyed the black bean and lentil sloppy joe and satisfyingly crunchy carrot fries. The refreshing ice cream sandwich of homemade blackberry ice cream between two lemon cookies was one of our favorite treats.
Browse Winnipeg’s Best Markets
Located where the Red River and Assiniboine River diverge, The Forks is a popular tourist attraction that also houses some of the best eats in Winnipeg. A mixed-use marketplace enjoyed by locals and visitors alike, The Forks offers many opportunities for eating, drinking, shopping, and people-watching.
Start with a beverage at The Common from among 20 craft beers and 20 wines on tap. You can even get a flight if you want to try a few, and take your drinks with you as you wander through the huge outdoor patios with their shops and stalls. There are communal tables and Adirondack chairs where you can sit with others or relax on your own. In the winter, The Forks is popular with skaters, and you’ll see people in hockey gear grabbing a bite or a drink.
There are numerous dining options, including Caribbean delights, Asian flavors, pizza, burgers, breakfast all day, Greek food, and even Sri Lankan cuisine. For amazing Italian fare, try Passero, a sit-down spot by renowned local chef Scott Bagshaw.
Hargrave Street Market
The growing popularity of food-hall experiences has hit Winnipeg, too. In response, the new Hargrave Street Market in downtown Winnipeg opened at the end of 2019. This collection of globally inspired restaurants occupies a grand space in True North Square, central to Winnipeg’s sports and entertainment district.
Locally based, globally inspired cuisine abounds. Restaurants include Gusto North pizza, Yard Burger, The Good Fight Taco, Saburo Ramen & Donburi, and Miss Browns smoked meats. Fools & Horses Coffee, Rose Bar, and Lake of the Woods Brewing Company offer drinks for every taste. Springtime will bring the exciting addition of Mottola Grocery, the first epicurean, chef-driven grocery store of its kind in Winnipeg.
Downtown Winnipeg Farmers Market
Check out the Downtown Winnipeg Farmers Market, where locals love to shop. Vendors from all over Manitoba offer produce, baked goods, vinegars, jams, crafts, and more in a fun environment perfect for people-watching and getting that special gift to take home.
Go To Dinner At Deer + Almond
Winnipeg has a lot of really cool restaurants with eclectic decor and thoughtful menus. One of our favorites is Deer + Almond. The brainchild of Chef Mandel Hitzer, the restaurant has been named one of Canada’s 100 best restaurants twice. Its shareable dishes come in various sizes, and it’s fun to start with three choices for two people and order more if you’ve got room.
The dishes we tried were inventive, beautifully arranged, and absolutely mouthwatering. We began with roasted seasonal asparagus with prosciutto and Parmesan. Then we shared a beet salad with oranges, tahini, candied pecans, and creamy halal feta, which was elegant and delectable. Our final dish was a hearty risotto with portobello, Kewpie mayo (hailing from Japan and an obsession for many), raw macadamia nuts, and manchego cheese.
The creative cocktail menu, great music in the background, and quirky decor at Deer + Almond provided a unique and memorable dining experience.
Stop By The Amsterdam Tea Room For A Nightcap
Winnipeg boasts lots of great spots to grab a nightcap. But for something totally different, stop by the Amsterdam Tea Room. The huge collection of loose-leaf teas and tea-infused cocktails provides a memorable way to relax and unwind at the end of a long and enjoyable day of eating, drinking, and exploring.
Winnipeg offers a truly rich culinary scene where you can find local and global flavors prepared with care and served with gracious hospitality. These are our favorites, but we’re confident that you’ll also find some favorites of your own.