Downtown Winnipeg Eats: Let's Do Lunch - This plate, begs to be ordered twice. A beautiful fork push will send you into shivers as this meal melts on your plate.

This plate, begs to be ordered twice. A beautiful fork push will send you into shivers as this meal melts on your plate.

By: PegCity GrubJuly 20, 2012 // Winnipeg in the News


Lobby on York is one of 15 downtown Winnipeg restaurants participating in Let's Do Lunch, a July-long dining event. Lobby's beef dip is a sophisticated and updated version of the classic sandwich.

Fifteen participating downtown Winnipeg restaurants serve July lunch specials

Summer is typically a slow season in Winnipeg's restaurant industry. The city slows a beat as Winnipeggers head to the beach and take summer holidays near and farther afield.

The intense heat of July also isn't exactly an appetite stimulant. Margaritas or cold beers on patios are often the draw over multi-course meals.

Local restaurateurs are trying to buck that slowing trend with deals and specials to entice diners throughout summer. Let's Do Lunch is a month-long downtown dining event organized and promoted by Downtown Winnipeg BIZ.

Until July Friday 27, 15 participating restaurants in Winnipeg's downtown core are serving up an eclectic menu of lunches from sandwiches, pizza slices and salads to prime rib ciabatta, local lake trout, spaghetti bolognese and Manitoba sirloin elk tip.

The downtown lunch event includes pubs and sports bars, cafés, bistros, hotel restaurants and upscale dining rooms.

Lunch prices during Let's Do Lunch range from $7.75 to $17. (The average lunch price is about $12.)

Lobby on York, one of the city's slickest dining rooms, is serving its signature beef dip sandwich. "Beef Dip" doesn't do this modern version of the classic sandwich justice. Thinly sliced house-smoked beef tenderloin is piled high and served open face on lightly toasted focaccia, ladled with robust pan jus. Sweet onions, sharp horseradish aoili, grilled mushrooms and dots of Guiness mustard complete the creation. Crispy, house-cut fries seal the deal.

Meanwhile, of the city's newest restaurants Arkadash—located at 268 Portage Avenue in the former home of Winnipeg's oldest restaurant The Chocolate Shop—a mix of Mediterranean eats with contemporary touches are also in the lunch mix. Grilled chicken thighs with Turkish Baharat spice and tahini sauce are definitely not same-old lunch fare. (Baharat is a blend of spices including cumin, cinnamon, paprika, corriander and others, which is often used to flavour meat, rice and vegetables in the Middle East. Blends vary from region to region.)

Some of the other participating Winnipeg Let's Do Lunch restaurants include Tavern United, 4Play Sports Bar, The Keg, The Current at the Inn at the Forks, Hermanos and The Paddlewheel restaurant inside The Bay.

Also of note: Winnipeg's Ciao! magazine also launched Eat Winnipeg, their new July dining event to entice diners with amazing meals at reasonable prices.

Food News

Winnipeg's restaurant scene is nothing if not exciting. Two recent Peg City Grub posts proclaimed the opening of at least 11 new restaurants in the last six months. The list wasn't complete. The West End's La Rica Vicky and Purple Hibiscus in St. Vital have also opened in the last few months.

On the flip side, the future of The Lo Pub, an amazing vegetarian restaurant located in the Hosteling International accommodation downtown, is up in the air. The hostel has been losing money and owners are considering how to stem their losses. Ellice Cafe and Theatre, a longtime stalwart on the Winnipeg restaurant scene, is also up for sale.