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A guide to Winnipeg Eats from A to Z - This place smells amazing

This place smells amazing

By: PegCity GrubSeptember 16, 2013 // Food Tours

Sharpen your knives: Cooking school is in session.
Sharpen your knives: Cooking school is in session.

Winnipeg's food scene is vibrant, evolving and exciting. Here are some of the hottest trends, best new restaurants, events and movers and shakers in the local industry—from A to Z.

Today's edition: A to H. Watch for the rest of the alphabet in upcoming posts at Peg City Grub.

A is for Apple. Red Apple aged Italian balsamic vinegar sold at Frescolio, one of Winnipeg's two new olive oil and balsamic tasting bars, is one of the best recent food finds in the city. Frescolio is located on Corydon Avenue while OLiv, the city's other olive oil tasting bar, has set up shop nearby on Academy Road.

B is for burgers. Winnipeggers have always loved their burgers. In September, they were asked to vote for the best in the city. CBC Information Radio sought the best classic burger while Burger Week challenged 30 local restaurants to come up with the best haute cheeseburger for $10 or less. Dairi-Wip Drive-In and Unburger came out on top.

C is for coffee. Winnipeg is in the midst of a coffee run. A bunch of new coffee shops cum design houses have been springing up across the city for the past 18 months. Parlour, Little Sister Coffee, MAKE Coffee and Stuff, Café Postal and Thom Bargen are all redefining what great coffee is all about. Pour overs, Chemex, precise pulls, water temperature and pressure all make for a great cup a joe in these joints. They're all locally owned and super stylish inside. Customers are encouraged to congregate, sip and stay awhile.

D is for Deer + Almond. Deer + Almond's chef and co-owner Mandel Hitzer is a firebrand in Winnipeg's food scene. In winter 2013, Hitzer, with architect Joe Kalturnyk, called on a handful of the city's top chefs to help create RAW/Almond, North America's first pop-up restaurant on a frozen river. For three weeks starting in mid-January, chefs took turns making five-course dinners inside a tent turned kitchen and dining room at The Forks. Guests wore parkas and Sorel boots and got friendly during three, nightly seatings. It sold out. A 2014 version has been promised.

F is for food trucks. Winnipeg was invaded by a fleet of new food trucks in 2013. Standout newcomers include Habanero Sombrero, Tot Wheels, Red Ember and Vilai's Spice Box. For a complete list click here. At Manyfest, a downtown Winnipeg festival held every September, Stuff-It Foods took top prize, the people's choice award. Other standouts included Pimp my Rice, Vilai's Spice Box and On a Roll.

E is for education. Cooking school is back in session in kitchens across the city. Students in commercial kitchens, markets and restaurants are sharpening their culinary skills in classes cum dinner parties where wine and food flow freely. Check out The Food Studio, De Luca's and Bistro 7 1/4 for some of the most popular classes. Learn how to make sausages, soufflés and sous vide. Take an ethnic food course, learn how to bake bread or simply bone up on knife skills.

F is for farmers. Winnipeg-area farmers' markets continue to do a brisk business as locals and visitors seek out the freshest ingredients for the kitchen. Here's a guide to Winnipeg's best markets. The markets begin to close for the season by mid-September and typically round up by the first week of October.

G is for greens. Winnipeg winters play heck on the fresh veggie selection and options in local dining rooms. A handful of local restaurateurs have taken matters into hand, building greenhouses, hydroponic gardens and indoor cultivators. Diversity Foods at the University of Winnipeg is building it's own, year-round greenhouse in 2013 to supply the handful of campus restaurants. In the basement at Chaise Café and Lounge, a small hydroponic garden grows herbs to spice up sauces and dress up plates served upstairs in the St. Boniface eatery. Saigon Jon's on Pembina Highway has its own urban cultivator in house, growing loads of cilantro and other herbs to build their banh mi subs and Vietnamese bowls.

H is for hops. The city is in the midst of a brewing beer battle. The Farmery, Canada's first estate brewery is moving forward with plans to build a brewhouse on a Neepawa-area farm. For now, the brew is available at the MLCC and at Luxalune restaurant on South Osborne. Two new brewpubs, the first in Winnipeg are also in the works. Barley Brothers and Portage Avenue BrewWorks & Kitchen are both set to open by the end of 2013.

Peg City Grub is your ultimate source for everything foodie in Winnipeg. From the hottest chefs to the best new restaurants to the most delicious events, we've got you covered. Follow us on Twitter @pegcitygrub and visit www.tourismwinnipeg.com for more on the city’s fabulous dining options.

Peg City Grub is a Tourism Winnipeg culinary initiative.

Coffee at MAKE Coffee & Stuff
Coffee at MAKE Coffee & Stuff

Deer + Almond's chef/owner Mandel Hitzer
Deer + Almond's chef/owner Mandel Hitzer

RAW/Almond, Winnipeg's restaurant on ice
RAW/Almond, Winnipeg's restaurant on ice

Greenhouse veggies
Greenhouse veggies

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