Perogies, Donuts, and Beers that will have you coming back for more
The “Peg” as it is commonly referred to is smack dab in the middle of Canada. With Saskatchewan to the west and Ontario to the east, it often gets overlooked by travellers heading to our more famous destinations. Once you visit you will quickly become an Ambassador for the city, especially once you discover the Winnipeg restaurant scene. A mix of homey comfort food and on-trend dining establishments perfect for a night out with friends. It is also the place to go if you are craving authentic Ukrainian dishes like perogies, cabbage rolls and borscht. I hope you brought your stretchy pants, I did. Let’s eat!
Let’s start with the Winnipeg Ukrainian restaurants and deli’s that I visited. By no means did I visit them all but these are some of the most well known and I guarantee a tummy-rubbing great meal at each of them.
Alycia’s – Opened in 1971 this iconic Winnipeg restaurant has been serving up the same great food to hundreds of thousands of locals and visitors alike. The North End Special is classic. It comes with eight potato & cheese perogies, 2 cabbage rolls, charbroiled Kielbasa sausage, coleslaw, sour cream and mushroom gravy. It is a feast but sooooooo good.
Luda’s Deli – Another absolute must visit if you are doing a perogie crawl in Winnipeg is Luda’s Deli. It is only open 6 days a week for breakfast and lunch from 7:30 am till 1:30 pm (closed on Sunday). You must have a cup of Borscht and the perogie and kielbasa plate. smothered in fried onions it is the best!
Karpaty’s Meat & Deli – If you are looking for authentic Ukrainian foods including but not limited to freshly made sausage and other meats (BACON) you have to make a pilgrimage to Karpaty’s. When I stopped by to stock up on a ring of Kielbasa the store was packed to the point I couldn’t take any photos. They also serve up freshly baked bread that will make your mouth water. It’s not shopping here, it is a pilgrimage to an old school Eastern European deli.
Cordova Tapas & Wine Bar – The first Winnipeg restaurant I visited was Cordova. I love tapas and wine bars. This is my happy place. Located in the trendy Exchange District this is the perfect place to come with a group or to dine solo at the bar as I did. A glass of fine wine paired with Potatoes sautéed with Chorizo and a plate of Albondigas (Spanish meatballs). OMG so good.
The Forks food hall and market – this isn’t just one restaurant it is many that can take you from breakfast all the way to late night beers with the gang. So in order of breakfast to nighttime here are the spots within the Fork I visited. Best of all you can grab a seat anywhere and mix and match your food.
- Tall Grass Prairie Bread Co. for their world famous cinnamon rolls. I bought a bunch to take with me the morning I left town.
- KYU Grill home of the HEROSHIMA, an original grilled-skewer sandwich served on a sweet bun with Japanese inspired sauces and toppings.
- Red Ember Common for fabulous wood oven fired pizzas
- Passero when you are craving some fine Italian dining
- The Common for when nothing but a craft beer or a glass of wine will quench your thirst
Mon Amis Louis – located on the Esplanade Riel bridge Mon Amis Louis has some of the best views of the city and serves up fine French bistro style food including a delicious selection of flatbreads. The Meditteranean got lots of yum mutterings from around the table.
Clementine Cafe – A locals favourite for weekend brunch in the Exchange District is the Clementine Cafe. Wicked espresso drinks and fun breakfast cocktails set the mood for an absolute brunch feast. Thank god I had help with all the dishes I ordered. The burger was one of the specials and it was lip-smacking delish! This could become my regular brunch spot easily.
Feast Cafe Bistro – when your meal makes a social impact it’s a double win. Feast Cafe Bistro is an anchor of Winnipeg’s westside community. A fusion of modern fare with local and indigenous ingredients showcases the passion for chef/owner Christa Bruneau-Guenther. The Eggs Banny with Manitoba grass-fed bison sausage on a toasted bannock bun won me over and will bring me back again for seconds.
Era Bistro – at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights – if you crave something decadent after or before your tour of the museum you can’t go wrong at the Era Cafe. The Banana French Toast is simply to die for.
Bronuts Coffee + Donuts – two of my favourite things, coffee and donuts in one place! Bronuts serves up some of the most creative donuts in the city. I may have ordered a few to enjoy in the privacy of my own hotel room. The Amaretto Cheesecake donut is kinda hard to resist after all.
V.J.’s Drive Inn – the place to go for old school authentic burgers is VJ’s Drive Inn. It is so tiny there is no inside seating but for those that want to eat on site, there are a couple of picnic tables for you to sit at family-style. Made to order you pick your burger and toppings and then your sides. I heard their shakes are also off the chain delicious. Classic Winnipeg!!
Here for the Beer! Craft beer has taken off in Winnipeg and aside from sampling over 20 taps at The Common (see The Forks), there are a couple of microbreweries I think you should visit in person.
Little Brown Jug – from grain to glass you can watch the beer you are drinking being made. At Little Brown Jug they make one beer, 1919 is an everyday Belgian Pale Ale made from Brewers Gold, Manitoba’s original heirloom Hop that was developed in 1919. When you only make one beer you can bet it tastes great!
Stone Angel Brewing – stopping in at the Stone Angel Brewing tasting room is lots of fun because not only can you taste the seasonal beers and old standard from Stone Angel but you can also sample beers made onsite by Devil May Care Brewing. It’s two breweries in one location. Stone Angel began brewing in 2017 and DMC started in 2018. No matter what your beer style you are bound to find something here you like. The taps rotate frequently so plenty of reason to go back for a second and third visit.
Phew, that is a lot of amazing places to check out in Winnipeg. I was only there for a couple of days and this is what I uncovered. My next trip you can be sure I’m bringing pants two sizes bigger than I’m wearing now. Bring on the perogies!