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Best Restaurants In Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Best Places to Eat in Winnipeg, Manitoba

It is said that Winnipeg has more restaurants per capita than any other major city in Canada (except perhaps Montreal, Quebec and Victoria, BC depending on your information source).

We know that some Winnipeg residents may find this article controversial, but please keep in mind that it is very subjective. This article is not meant to disrespect any restaurants not mentioned that are loved by their loyal clients.

For visitors to Winnipeg, we recommend you try our unique local restaurants and dishes. Please try to avoid the national chains and fast food restaurants to appreciate some restaurants and items you can only get in Winnipeg.

Here are our recommendations for the most iconic and best restaurants in Winnipeg.

Mrs. Mike’s Fat Boy Hamburger

Burgers and Comfort Food

Salisbury House’s 12 locations are famous for a “Nip” burger with grilled onions. The burger’s name is taken from the middle of the word WinNIPeg. “Sal’s” has served Winnipeg favourites such as creamy Wafer Pie (aka. Flapper Pie) as well as comfort food like Salisbury steak, meatloaf & pickerel fillets since 1931.

Many Greek restaurants and burger joints sell Winnipeg’s famous “Fat Boy” Hamburger. Some of the more popular places include Mrs. Mike’s, Dairy-Wip, Dairy Delight, Daly Burger, George’s Burger, Juniors, The Burger Place, and Super Boy’s. VJ’s Drive-Inn is probably the most famous and most convenient because it is downtown, but keep in mind that it doesn’t have a dining room. These sloppy burgers are frequently voted the best in the city and come over-loaded with toppings such as cinnamon-spiced chili, cheese, shredded lettuce, onions, pickles, tomato, and mayonnaise so you probably will get messy. This burger goes well with Chili Fries.

Blondie’s Restaurant has a reputation for perfectly prepared, delicious and HUGE hamburgers (ranging from 1/8 of a pound to 9 pounds), strange rules that customers must follow, and a colourful, energetic owner/cook. It is walking distance from Kildonan Park, which is a great place to burn off those calories.

Inferno’s Bistro

Ethnic Food

Winnipeg has the highest population of Indigenous people in Canada – numbering almost 100,000. There are a few restaurants that serve Indigenous-inspired dishes and recipes, but not as many as we would like. Try a bison dish like Slow-Roasted Bison or Bison Ribs with Bannock Bread if you can at a place like Feast Cafe that is not far from the University of Winnipeg. We watched a recent episode of Big Food Bucket List where they featured Feast’s butternut squash bannock pizza, shredded bison dip sandwich, BBQ bison burger, and pow wow taco.

Winnipeg has a large and proud Ukrainian population of 100,000 Ukrainians (the most in any Canadian city) and, as you would expect, several great Ukrainian restaurants. Our favourite is Alycia’s, which recently relocated to downtown Winnipeg in the Royal Albert Hotel in the Exchange district. Kevin once took the President of the Toronto Stock Exchange to Alycia’s old location in the North End for dinner because he said he wanted to go somewhere that was unique to Winnipeg and he loved it. Their portions of delicious Perogies, Potato Pancakes, Cabbage Rolls, Kielbasa, and Coleslaw are huge, so bring your appetite.

Winnipeg also has almost 80,000 Filipinos, which is the 3rd largest Filipino community in Canada. Not only did entrepreneurs bring 2 huge Filipino fast food chains, Jollibee and Max’s, to Winnipeg, but there are at 10 other locally-owned Filipino restaurants in Winnipeg, such as the well-reviewed Jenmuel’s Lechon Cebu and Grill.

Winnipeg has 50,000 French-speaking residents, representing the largest French-speaking population in Western Canada. St. Boniface has some great French restaurants. We strongly suggest you order Moules et Frites cooked in one of six delicious broths at Inferno’s BistroResto Gare is located in a 1913 St. Boniface train station, so you can even can have romantic drinks in a train car after a dinner of French dishes like Escargot, Foie Gras, Crepes, Coquilles St. Jacques, and Chateaubriand.

Another food specialty Winnipeg is surprisingly fairly well known for is Vietnamese Pho Soup. Pho soup has very flavourful broth, meats or seafood, and vegetables. There are a large number of nice Vietnamese restaurants in Winnipeg, but our favourites are Viva and Phuong Nam, which are both not too far from downtown.

Steak

We have some famous local steakhouses.

Rae and Jerry’s will satisfy your hunger and make you feel like you have travelled to Las Vegas in the 1950s.

529 Wellington has exquisite aged steak and fabulous a la carte side dishes that will lighten your wallet a bit.

For the Foodie

Peasant Cookery in the Exchange District has the best cheese boards and charcuterie boards in Winnipeg as well as outstanding moules et frites with a broth that changes periodically.

Two local gourmet restaurants we would recommend are Fusion Grill and Amsterdam Tea Room, where the plates look like they are in a cooking competition and the ingredients used are very unique. Kevin has been to the Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna, BC three times and the dishes served at these 2 restaurants would fit right in there.

Baked Expectations Shmoo Torte

Dessert

For a special Winnipeg-only dessert at a popular Winnipeg dating spot, I recommend you try the Lemon Pavlova Torte or Shmoo Torte at Baked Expectations on Osborne.

If you can get there before they sell out, you should try to get a fancy donut from Bronuts Donuts in the Exchange District.

If you like gourmet ice cream with flavours like honey, tea, orange blossom, orchid, or lavender, try Chaeban Ice Cream on South Osborne.  Tina is Italian and we used to frequently bring our children to one of the gelato shops for Italian Ice Cream and Sorbet on Corydon in Little Italy, like G. G. Gelati or Nucci’s Gelati.

A Winnipeg birthday tradition (and as local lore has it a favourite of Queen Elizabeth II) is to have a cake with a cookie bottom, layers of cake and buttercream icing and shaved chocolate all over from Jeanne’s Bakery as the birthday cake, so bring one home as a souvenir because they don’t have a dining room.

Winnipeggers also love to grab an ice cream cone or a Goog Special (a blueberry milkshake topped with bananas, hot fudge and whipped cream) from Bridge Drive-In and eat while crossing the Red River on a footbridge.

Specialty Grocery Items

Before you head to the airport, stop off at the following stores:

  • Gimli Fish Market to pick up some smoked Goldeye fish or, in season, fresh Pickerel,
  • Kub Bakery or City Bread to grab some rye bread,
  • any grocery store to buy some Pioneer Meat or Winkler’s Meats Mennonite farmer’s sausage, and
  • any grocery store to buy some Greetalia Honey Dill Sauce and Old Dutch Chips to bring home.

 

As always, we welcome your comments on this post. Please tell us your favourite restaurant in Winnipeg and why.

 

Happy Travels,

Kevin & Tina

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38 Comments

    • Kevin Strong

      We are the same. We sample local food as much as possible (except Breakfast). A good Winnipeg restaurant for healthier foods is called Stella’s and, although we love their Mexican breakfast and they are very good, they didn’t quite make it onto our list of the best restaurants in Winnipeg.

  • Samantha

    These are amazing Winnipeg Restaurants, I also love Marion Street Eatery, amazing comfort food owned by an amazing family with wonderful staff

    • Kevin Strong

      When you visit Winnipeg, try a Nip or Fat Boy or maybe some Shmoo Torte, but explore some of the other top restaurants in Winnipeg (perhaps some of the ethnic or gourmet suggestions).

  • Jodie | That Happy Reader

    Winnipeg certainly has diversity and I’m glad to see the restaurants reflect this. I definitely will try a Nip while I’m there and of course some Ukrainian food! Thanks for sharing this series!

    • Kevin Strong

      We are happy to hear you are enjoying the series of articles about things to do in Winnipeg and are getting some travel inspiration from this new post about the best restaurants in Winnipeg. There are also a lot of Mennonites in Manitoba and some of their cuisine is similar to Ukrainian food.

  • Matt Two Tickets To

    It sounds like you have a fantastic collection of restaurants over there in Winnipeg!

    I was hooked from the very first photo of the Fat Boy Hamburger…it looks absolutely amazing. Very jealous that you have a great Ukrainian restaurant too – Eastern European cuisine is quite hard to find where we are based!

    Will definitely need to check some of these out if we’re ever in the area – thanks for sharing!

    • Kevin Strong

      Yes, Winnipeg has more than their fair share of great restaurants.
      The fat boy is messy and really satisfying and you can get it at probably 30 restaurants around Winnipeg.
      There are fewer Ukrainian restaurants and many have very small dining rooms, so those focus more on catering and take-out. We are big fans of Ukrainian Food.
      We hope you can travel safely here soon to experience some of the best restaurants in Winnipeg.

  • Vinn

    Wow, you have lechon! i’m from Cebu, and of course, I will say it is one of the best local dishes. I’m keeping this in mind whenever I head to Winnipeg. By the way, I love that lemon dessert and donuts!

    • Kevin Strong

      We have tried several dishes at Winnipeg Filipino restaurants and always love them.
      Save room for dessert so you can get some dessert from one of the other places on our list of the best restaurants in Winnipeg.

  • Sharila

    Thank you for such a detailed food guide! That cake from Baked Expectations looks fantastic. I would love to try Ukrainian food as it is something I am unfamiliar with.

    • Kevin Strong

      You are welcome. It was fun to put together. Discussing all the great dining experiences we have had.
      The Shmoo torte is very creamy and decadent.
      You would love potato and cheddar perogies smothered with onions and cabbage rolls.
      We wish we could have included many more restaurants on this list of the best restaurants in Winnipeg, but we had to draw the line somewhere.

  • Sara James

    Well, your resutrant’s list is amazing and versitle, I hope the visiters will not miss any good local resutrant or bakery, and the delicious food Winnipeg has to offer, after reading your lovely description. I loved your way of having birthday cakes and ShmooTorte photo is mouth watering.

    • Kevin Strong

      That cake looks so delectable and tastes just as good. The list of the best restaurants in Winnipeg is a good starting point for some of the most iconic and memorable restaurants and unique dishes, but I’d be happy to give you more recommendations if you visit Winnipeg.

    • Kevin Strong

      These are the most iconic restaurants in Winnipeg and the food never disappoints. We get hungry just thinking about these places. I hope you can try one of these restaurants one day.

  • Scot

    Hey thank you for the mention, Kevin. Happy to know you enjoyed the Tasting Menu. Chef Lorna is doing very cool presentation in aluminum containers these days. Hopefully, we’ll be able to safely welcome guests in the dining room very soon.

    • Kevin Strong

      You are welcome, Scot. Our list of the best restaurants in Winnipeg is obviously subjective, but restaurants like yours with fresh, local ingredients and gourmet recipes and presentation are not common in any city. We can’t wait to dine in your restaurant once the restrictions are lifted. We’ll check out your takeout and delivery options too.

    • Kevin Strong

      Definitely decadent desserts. We can’t eat dessert as often as we used to, but we can’t say no to those desserts on our list of best restaurants in Winnipeg.

    • Kevin Strong

      The food at the best restaurants in Winnipeg is really delicious and tasty, so I’m sharing it with the world. We are glad you liked the article and pictures.

    • Kevin Strong

      It’s difficult to find a restaurant with Indigenous menu items, much less elevated and fusion dishes like Feast Cafe. They deserve all of the recognition they are getting and, in our opinion, belong on the list of the best restaurants in Winnipeg that tourists should try when they are in Winnipeg.

    • Kevin Strong

      The Fat Boy has unique flavours and textures and is very satisfying. We are glad you loved the post about the best restaurants in Winnipeg.

    • Kevin Strong

      Thanks. We tried to focus on the unique foods and foods that were popular with our diverse population. There are many other ethnic restaurants that other Winnipeggers would put on their own list of the best restaurants in Winnipeg.

    • Kevin Strong

      It is such a delectable treat. You would love it. It tastes fresh and the portions at Baked Expectations are so huge. That’s why their desserts get them on the list of the Best Restaurants in Winnipeg.

  • Baby Boomer Super Saver

    A nine-pound hamburger?! Wow, I could never eat that, haha. Maybe the idea is to share it with everyoe in your group! I look forward to visiting Winnipeg one day, haven’t been there yet. The smoked goldeye would make a nice souvenir to bring back home.

    • Kevin Strong

      I am not sure if it is still the case, but if one person could eat the 9 pound hamburger in one sitting, it was free. Apparently, only one person ever did it. Blondie’s has such a unique atmosphere and burger joint fare, it made the Best Restaurants in Winnipeg list.
      We hope you can visit Winnipeg one day to try some of these great restaurants.

  • Karen A Lanzetta

    As a Dutch person, I definitely will want to try the Amsterdam Tea room! Your post made me drool over my keyboard 🙂 We have never been to Winnipeg yet, but it is on our list of places to visit so that we can cross off their parliament building. And we simply will take any excuse to travel. After the plague, that is!

    Carpe Diem! | https://OurCarpeDiem.com

    • Kevin Strong

      Amsterdam Tea room was the best gourmet dining experience we had in Winnipeg, thus we feel it belongs on the list of best restaurants in Winnipeg. It was a fixed price menu we purchased through TravelZoo. The meal had 8 or 9 courses and each one was unique & exquisite.
      If that is Dutch food, then we want to go to the Netherlands someday.
      The Manitoba Legislative Building is a great work of architecture and art with hidden Masonic symbols throughout. You’ll get some great photos.

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