Winnipeg in the winter - all you can do is stay warm and eat good food, right? Diet starts in the spring.... Here are some of my favorite places in Winnipeg right now, including three at the bottom with lots of potential. I've also added one place that disappointed...
I'm lucky that my job allows me to work from the 'Peg from time to time, in a heritage building in the Exchange District.
My work lunch fav, and what I consider one of the hidden gems in Winnipeg, is Taste of Sri Lanka in the food court in Winnipeg Square - the perfect place to go for lunch in this underground maze of shops and restaurants under the famously cold and windy Portage and Main.
White Star Diner, again in the Exchange District.
The Crusty Bun is another hidden gem - this time in St. Vital. To begin with, it is an amazing European bakery - breads, pastries, the most amazing Christmas stollen, and of course, the crusty buns (my favorites are studded with pumpkin seeds and drizzled with cheese - they are truly crusty with a soft chewy interior). In addition, they serve simple European-style lunch (read - small but perfect portions) of soup and sandwiches - it is always full which speaks to the quality (and not to mention the tastiness of the dessert you know you have to have). Don't forget to take a number when you come in the door!Parlour - having spent a lot of time in Montreal going to Third Wave coffee shops, Parlour's coffee quality makes me smile. Yes it's trendy, minimalist, and full of lumbersexuals, but it's quaint and heartfelt. Love the location on Main Street in the Exchange District... gives you a feel for this historic city centre - worth the sprint out of the rabbit warren.
Vera Pizzeria E Bevande is a recently opened pizza joint on South Osborne - remember Woo's Cafe? The space is cozy and warmed by the open kitchen and (natch!) pizza oven.
Boon Burger - Who would have thought that a prairie town could support a vegan burger chain? Love their cruelty free and enviro groovy vibe. And did I mention the vegan burgers? "Boon" means bean, but also a blessing or something to be thankful for in Afrikaans. And I am thankful to be eating this healthily but also get some real flavour - you choose from the mushroom based Boon patty, the spicy chickpea Buddha patty, the tofu filled White patty, or the beany Black Bean patty. Then the hard part - so many toppings and condiments... including cheez and smokey bacun! I'm excited to try more of their combos on my next visit.
Had the opportunity to go to the recently opened Canadian Museum for Human Rights - I've watched it grow over the years. It was packed, and overwhelming, once you realize that we will probably always have human rights issues to deal with...Era Bistro, has a cozy vibe and an interesting menu, including lots of small plates and local treats (pickerel cheeks, arctic char, bannock, etc.). We only had time for a freshly baked apple tart and coffee.
The Tallest Poppy in its new home on Sherbrook, nestled in the front of the Sherbrook Inn.
Funky decor in a cold and dark space - we froze in the front window (okay, it was -20C!), and the long line of hipsters holding the inner doors open didn't help. Thinking back, neither did the icy, slightly flippant service.
Matzo ball and cabbage soup, pickerel po'boy (not a lot of fish)... in general the food was alright, but we were underwhelmed overall. This doesn't seem to affect their draw - the place was hopping!
Looking forward to my next trip this spring - to be continued....