Winnipeg Patio Primer: Let the Sun Shine
Squint your eyes really tight. Can you see it? Look harder.
There, in the future, lays patio season. It's coming. Be patient. We won't have to wait much longer.
To get you primed for Winnipeg's season of outdoor eating and drinking, here's a quick list of the city's prime patios and why locals love them.
Bar Italia and the Corydon Avenue scene: Find 20, 30 and 40-somethings tipping a mug or two at Bar Italia which officially opened its patio the second week of May 2014. It's typically one of the first patios to open every spring and one of the last to close in autumn. It's a vibrant and lively hub for good times. On the warmest days, you must be mercenary when trying to scoop a table. Bar Italia is just a starting point. A five-block stretch of Corydon Avenue is dotted with patios. If you don't find a seat at one, just take a short stroll and you're bound to find a space. Bar Italia Location: 737 Corydon Avenue
Pizzeria Gusto: It's truly amazing how intimate and cozy Pizzeria Gusto's patio seems considering it borders a bustling thoroughfare. Deep, comfortable patio club chairs and sofas invite diners to stay a while, share a few upscale pizzas and sip prosecco at this award-winning restaurant. Location: 404 Academy Road. Here's a link to a PCG post.
Beachcomber and Muddy Waters: These Forks favourites sit on prime real estate at Winnipeg's most popular tourist destination. Beachcomber's outdoor spaces include one adjacent to the restaurant and another a few steps down the embankment closer to the Assiniboine River. Muddy Waters's patio puts diners into the thick of the action beside the Forks's canopy, often centre stage for events, festivals and concerts. Location: Beachcomber, The Forks Market, south side; Muddy Waters, south east of the Johnston Terminal beside the central outdoor meeting place.
Prairie 360: If all goes to plan, Winnipeg's revolving restaurant will open two 28th-floor patios adjacent to the whiskey lounge and another beside the piano room. The patios won't revolve but they will offer unmatched views of the city's downtown core. Location: 83 Garry Street, floors 28 to 31. Here's a link to a PCG post.
InFerno's: It's hard to imagine that a restaurant located in a light-industrial/residential neighbourhood on a busy street could create a patio worth visiting. InFerno's has leaf-covered trellises, babbling water features, a tall privacy fence and massive lush bushes, one big shade tree and umbrella-covered tables. All in all, it's a great little getaway. Here's a link to a PCG post.
Stella's on Sherbrook: This long and narrow patio bridges the space between Stella's and Stella's Bakery. Somehow, despite being less than 10 steps from one of Winnipeg's main streets, Stella's patio is a little oasis of calm. Loads of greenery and an iron gate harken an English garden. A wall with graffiti adds a colourful edge to the space. Click here for a review.
Peasant Cookery and The King's Head: These Exchange District eateries fully embrace their urban location. The sidewalk patios put diners right in the thick of city life—pedestrians and traffic. These side-by-side patios are very popular spots with downtown denizens, professionals and creative types. On the warmest days of summer, the sidewalk transforms into a lively scene populated with 30, 40 and 50-somethings having a grand time on the town. Check out PCG's reviews of Peasant Cookery and the King's Head.
Chaise Café and Lounge: This St. Boniface eatery has a two-tiered patio that seats about 50. Hanging baskets with herbs and flowers and container vegetable gardens create a sense of privacy while surrounding guests with fragrant greenery. It's a charming spot to sip a glass of wine and settle in for a long summer's evening with friends. Click here for a profile of Chaise Café and Lounge's owner.
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