Patio Primer: Summer 2013
Winnipeg's patio season can be short but it's always sweet. At the first sign of +10˚C temperatures or warmer in spring, hearty Winnipeggers hit the myriad patios throughout the city. Afterall, we've earned a fresh-air beer or cocktail after winter.
Just because we love our patios doesn't mean we'll settle for any old side-walk picnic table. Here are just a few of Winnipeg's prime patios and prime neighbourhoods for eating al fresco:
Address: 120 King Street
Phone Number: 204-957-7710
Neighbourhood: Exchange District
If Winnipeg's Exchange District is a hub for summer fun, King's Head Pub's patio is the head office. This sidewalk patio is a hot destination for local patio and beer lovers. (There are 28 beers on tap.) During Winnipeg's Fringe Festival in July, the patio is the busiest spot in the 'hood many afternoons. The patio attracts all sorts of diners—co-eds, professionals, the creative class and retirees. Every one fits in. It's an amiable neighbourhood pub which welcomes all kinds of neighbours. Traditional pub grub like fish and chips, bangers and mash are served alongside Indian curries and samosas.
Address: 842 Corydon Avenue
Phone Number: 204-284-7916
Neighbourhood: Corydon Avenue/Little Italy
Part Roman café, part English garden, Mise Restaurant's patio is an intimate affair lit with soft white lighting that sets the L-shaped space a glow. The ivy-covered iron gates and fence frame the space and offer a visual and auditory break from the bustling car traffic on nearby Corydon Avenue. It also helps that Mise husband and wife team chef Terry Gereta and pastry chef Sue Gereta serve some of Winnipeg's finest Manitoba regional cuisine, which they have dubbed "haute prairie cuisine."
Address: 312 Des Meurons Street
Phone Number: 204-262-7400
Neighbourhood: St. Boniface/ French Quarter
Located on a busy street in a mixed use (light industrial and residential) corner of St. Boniface, it's hard to imagine a patio with any kind of charm. But InFerno's side yard patio attached to the two-storey restaurant transports diners from the city's buzz and business. Water features, chimes, loads of greenery, an ivy-covered archway entrance and high fences add up to one fantastic outdoor eatery. A large tree growing in the middle of the space works as a canopy for bright sunny days. It also helps that the menu of modern French and Manitoba regional cuisine showcases the best of traditional and local cooking.
Best Patio Strip in Winnipeg: Corydon Avenue/ Little Italy
Every summer Winnipeg's Little Italy transforms into a veritable patio party all along Corydon Avenue. Bar Italia (737 Corydon), a restaurant and bar in the heart of the strip, is always buzzing with action. In early Spring, as soon as the temperatures rise even slightly above 5˚C, you can inevitably spot bundled up souls christening the patio for the season with a cold beer. This is the place to be seen. Meanwhile, Collosseo (670 Corydon) restaurant's side-street patio is a more intimate affair. Greenery shrouds the patio, offering a break from the bustle of nearby traffic.
Winnipeg's Newest Patios
Newcomers to the patio scene include Burrito del Rio (775 Corydon) and Local Burger (645 Corydon). The former boasts a large, street facing patio that promises to be a big hit with locals hankering for fantastic burritos. (It is expected to open late May). Local Burger's roof-top patio will also be a great addition to Winnipeg's patio culture. The new, locally owned burger bistro will open mid June. Menu consultant Chef Alex Svenne, owner of Bistro 7 1/4, hopes the rooftop patio trend will expand to other eateries on the avenue.