Whether you’ve had a thought-provoking morning at the Canadian Human Rights Museum, have an evening planned at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, or you’re out exploring the shops at The Forks, sooner or later hunger will hit. With over 1,700 restaurants to choose from, finding the best places to eat in Winnipeg can be overwhelming. Here are our top 8 Winnipeg restaurants. They’re sure to please even the pickiest of travelers in your group.
Top 8 Best Winnipeg Restaurants
Best Latin Dining in Winnipeg
179 Bannatyne Avenue // +1 204-947-5434
Located in the Exchange District, Winnipeg’s thriving arts and theater hub, Los Hermanos offers a quality South American dining experience. Think Argentinian and Brazilian steakhouses.
Choose from their array of tapas on offer. The beef and black bean empanadas are a favorite. Vegetarian? Don’t despair; they also serve vegetable and cheese empanadas.
Another favorite is the classic Argentinian strip steak seasoned directly with coarse salt and served with a traditional chimichurri sauce.
If you’d rather avoid red meat, try the paella made with shrimp, sausage, chicken, seasonal fish, and mussels. If you prefer seafood, they serve the chef’s choice of ceviche on Friday and Saturday nights.
- To experience the high-energy atmosphere, stop by on a weekend to enjoy some live samba music or Chilean jazz.
- Pair that music with some sangria or pisco sour for an authentic South American experience. The wine selection is exclusively South American. Try the Malbec from Argentina’s equivalent to Napa Valley.
1390 Erin Street // +1 204-783-2813
Off the beaten path in a bungalow on the West End, Café Dario is a casual dining experience with food quality, presentation, and service comparable to any fine-dining restaurant. Colombian-born chef Dario Pineda-Gutierrez’s menu frequently features South American favorites.
The presentation of their six-ounce beef tenderloin with Argentinean caper chimichurri is a work of art. Roasted vegetables, pickled carrots, and threads of bright red beets make the plate pop with color.
For those who prefer fish, try the corn-crusted six-ounce salmon fillet. The dish comes with a vegetable and starch. The soup of the day and a bread basket accompany all lunches.
- Planning dinner with a vegan? If you call a few days ahead, they can customize a meal designed to delight.
- Café Dario only seats about 50 people, so be sure to make reservations.
Dining Rooms with a View in Winnipeg
50 Provencher Boulevard on the Esplanade Riel Bridge // +1 204-938-2226
Between the Forks historic district and the St. Boniface neighborhood, the Esplanade Riel Pedestrian Bridge spans Winnipeg’s Red River. In the middle, sitting above the water, is Mon Ami Louis Brasserie Restaurant. This restaurant is the only one in North America located on a bridge. Curved windows afford extraordinary views of river activities.
Crispy croissants stuffed with thinly shaved Black Forest ham, the Croque Croissant is a riff on a traditional French Croque Monsieur. Accented with Dijon mustard and a creamy béchamel sauce, the Swiss cheese gratin makes it a knife and fork sandwich.
Served in an eight-ounce jar, the potted lemon meringue dessert is just the right size for one. Starting with a graham cracker crust, then a tart lemon curd mixed with white chocolate pearls makes the next layer. Finally, a swirl of toasted meringue covers the lemon layer.
- Mon Ami Louis opens seasonally spring through fall; the exact timing is weather dependent.
- Due to the restaurant’s position, parking can prove a challenge. Park at either end of the bridge and walk to the middle to enter the restaurant. Paid parking is available at The Forks and on the other side of the river you’ll find a small unpaid parking lot.
83 Garry Street // +1 204-505-2681
Rotating 30 floors above the city in Fort Garry Place, Prairie 360 delivers a bird’s eye view of Winnipeg. Each rotation takes an hour and ten minutes, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy your meal and see the city from all sides.
Prairie 360 is an ultra-contemporary restaurant with a scratch-made kitchen. The chef is particularly proud of his 45-day-aged Manitoba beef. If you’re looking for something other beef, try their pan-seared duck over creamy polenta or the roasted rack of lamb.
One stand-out appetizer: the spicy roasted corn elote with diced pork belly.
Best Breakfast in Winnipeg
123 Princess Street // +1 204-942-9497
“Eat this – it’ll help” promises this restaurant’s white-neon sign. Indeed, it does! Whatever the dish, it helps.
This globally-influenced menu has a laser-sharp breakfast focus. Only nine entrees and nine sides are served. While some menu items are always there, others rotate seasonally. For instance, summer’s black-cherry semifreddo with dark chocolate turns to fall’s apple semifreddo with dulce de leche.
Although Clementine Café is in a basement, the environment feels bright and airy, with potted plants on the window ledges and a retro-industrial vibe.
A Brussels-style waffle, crispy on the outside, yet cake-like within, came covered with blueberry sauce. Then, the middle had a spoonful of lemon-infused whipped cream and a sprinkling of lemon zest. A shallow well held a handful of fresh blueberries. Finally, for added crunch, they sprinkled it with frosted pecans.
The house-made maple-glazed bacon cut from pork belly is a beautiful combination of salty and sweet.
- They don’t take reservations here; so, call ahead and ask about the wait time. You may have to decide to go another day.
- They close at 3:00 p.m. on weekdays and 4:00 p.m. on weekends. The rush usually ends around 1:30 p.m.
Best Date Night Spot in Winnipeg
75 Forks Market Road // +1 204-944-2445
SMITH offers an exceptional dining experience in a comfortable, rustic atmosphere. The restaurant’s name references blacksmiths, with an abundance of black metal in the décor.
SMITH’s menu focuses on Canada’s product diversity. Among the seasonal products obtained from local suppliers, you’ll find Canadian prime Alberta beef, Manitoba rabbit, and Arctic char. The chef’s locally procured pork makes great house-made bacon.
The restaurant’s interior sits at the intersection of hunter and hipster. Modern white antler chandeliers and banquets upholstered in Hudson Bay Company blankets nod to the hunter. Wood horizontal-planked walls and modern fixtures contribute to the hipster feel, as do the artisanal food and craft cocktails.
Our cheese board was a standout appetizer. It included Oka, Cambozola, and a Guinness cheddar. A crisp house-made cranberry almond cracker and buttered crostini accompanied the cheese. The fruit component included strawberry halves, a thinly sliced Granny Smith apple quarter, and Saskatoon berries. The honey and candied pecans provided sweetness.
- Saturday nights offer a variety of live entertainment from folk to jazz. Other evenings, The Forks’s river walk is the perfect place for an after-dinner stroll.
Best Comfort Food in Winnipeg
283 Bannatyne Ave. // +1 204-989-7700
Peasant Cookery’s menu features French-inspired home cooking with a twist. Their scratch-made dishes include house-made charcuterie and all sauces and stocks.
Menu highlights included French onion soup, Parisian-style gnocchi, and tourtière, a French-style meat pie. Their peasant cooking focused on accessible, inexpensive ingredients prepared and seasoned to create tasty dishes.
The butternut squash soup made with coconut milk was dairy-free, with curry lightly flavoring the soup. Typically garnished with crunchy granola, when I expressed concern about the nuts in the granola, the server suggested a substitution of toasted seeds, including sesame and sunflower seeds and puffed wild rice garnishes on the beet salad. This was a perfect way to accommodate those with nut allergies without eliminating the texture.
Deconstructed chevre cheesecake contained three separate components. First was a dish of house-made sour cherry sorbet. The tartness provided a nice foil to the ramekin of creamy chevre cheesecake. Two shortbread pig-shaped cookies replaced the typical cheesecake crust. The cutout cookies provided a touch of whimsy, while the bright red cherry sorbet gives the plate a pop of color.
Best Kept Dining Secret in Winnipeg
85 Israel Asper Way // +1 204-289-2190
After a day wandering the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the ERA Bistro is a perfect place to rest and reflect.
Era Bistro emphasizes Certified Fair Trade and sustainable products and features fresh, locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible. The menus international cuisine complements Manitoba-focused elements. The Manitoba jambalaya, hearty stew consisting of six-peppercorn Berkshire pork sausage and pickerel cheeks, a favorite Manitoba fish, serve as the plate’s protein foundation. Then, a variety of root vegetables including carrots and potatoes combine into a mahogany-roux sauce.
Enjoy your meal on the patio during the summer. On select evenings, you’ll find live music.
The Pickerel Po’boy sandwich has moist and flaky fingers of panko-crusted Manitoba pickerel served on a ciabatta roll. Shredded iceberg lettuce, slices of juicy tomato, pickled onions, and a mildly spicy jalapeño remoulade add freshness.
The carrot fries are coated in a beer batter. Fresh-herbed buttermilk sauce with bits of jalapeño serves as the perfect dip. These are a refreshing switch from standard fries.
Also, be sure to check out ERA’s brunch menu, served every Saturday and Sunday starting at 10 a.m.
- You don’t need to pay the museum entrance fee to eat at the bistro.
Which of these Winnipeg Restaurants do you most want to try? Let me know in the comments section below!
Amy Piper is a freelance travel writer, photographer, and blogger. A native of Michigan USA, she has traveled to 41 countries and 42 states, most recently adding New Mexico to the list. She aspires to go to Antarctica and finally visit all seven continents. She specializes in food and multi-generational travel, frequently traveling with her husband, daughter, and two granddaughters. Amy has had six-month-long expat assignments in South Korea and Argentina. She has been chased by bomb-sniffing dogs in the middle of the night in Bogotá (working late), refused boarding for a plane from Buenos Aires to Paraguay (wrong visa), and Federal Marshals once announced her seat number on a flight while looking for a murder suspect (traded seats.) It is always an adventure! She is a member of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA), Travel Massive, TravMedia, and the International Travel Writers and Photographers Alliance (ITWPA). Follow her on Twitter @amythepiper.