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Fabulous Finds: Four Outstanding Restaurants in Winnipeg

Until my most recent visit to Winnipeg, I hadn’t thought of the city as having much in the way of a food scene. Once again my preconceptions were dashed. I should have known better. Winnipeg’s restaurant scene is creative, eclectic and delicious. There’s a big focus on regional foods. You’ll find wild rice, pickerel, Arctic char and bison on menus.

What a treat it was to experience these four outstanding Winnipeg restaurants. They offered everything from a casual to an upscale dining experience.

Fusion Grill

Fusion Grill on Academy Road in Winnipeg

Fusion Grill on Academy Road

I walked into this restaurant and fell in love – and I hadn’t even eaten. The art work – big, bold canvases of land and sky by artist Kirsten Britt Hanson spoke to me. I felt like I was in a gallery and would very happily have any of these pieces in my home.

Admiring the art work in the Fusion Grill

Admiring the art work in the Fusion Grill

And then we got to the food. 

I was part of a group so a four course tasting menu had been prepared. We started with a delicious Arctic char tartare on crostini, followed by chicken fried cauliflower with a spicy sweet and sour rhubarb dip; then a Braman tomato salad with tempura avocado, honey and a basil vinaigrette. We finished with the piece of pike shown below.

From start to finish this was an outstanding meal. Everyone had their favourites – and I’d say mine was the cauliflower.

I found the menu interesting with a big focus on organic and regional cuisine. Meals are on the pricier side but from my experience they delivered big time on both presentation and taste.

Pan seared Lake Kisseynew pike with panko crust, pickled beet slaw, organic wild rice potato latke, rhubarb relish - from Fusion Grill

Pan seared Lake Kisseynew pike with panko crust, pickled beet slaw, organic wild rice potato latke with rhubarb relish

Miss Browns

A great spot for breakfast and lunch in Winnipeg’s Exchange District, you’ll find Miss Brown’s to have a warm and cheerful atmosphere and comforting food to go along with that – items like brisket hash, French toast, and mushrooms on toast. As a nod to Miss Brown’s (named after the daughter of the owners) Australian father, you’ll find long black and flat white coffees – known to North American’s as Americanos and Lattes.

Excellent grilled sandwiches

Excellent grilled sandwiches

Shakshuka - a spicy tomato sauce with poached eggs at Miss Brown's in Winnipeg

Shakshuka – an Israeli dish of spicy tomato sauce with roasted red pepper and poached eggs

Merchant Kitchen

Guests of the Alt Hotel are lucky. Immediately adjacent to the hotel is the Merchant Kitchen – a happening spot with loads of energy (read high noise levels) and delicious Korean themed food. With a big group we were once again able to sample lots of dishes. Don’t miss the heavenly grilled corn with mayo, sour cream, cotija cheese, chile powder, lime and cilantro. The 3 pound Korean fried chicken – a great choice with a big group – comes pre-cut into 10 pieces that have been brined & fried and then covered with a garlic chile sauce – soy syrup combo. It’s a mouthful of bliss. I also loved the dry fried green beans with chile, mustard stems and ginger – a dish that makes eating your veges easy.

Promenade Café and Wine

Located just across the Red River from the Forks District in the French part of town, this charming bistro offers French food at prices that won’t scare you. Although we didn’t have a full meal here, what little we had was delicious  – and beautifully presented. Look for French favourites like duck confit, tourtière and beef bourguignon along with a decent wine list.

Beautiful presentation - Fish on cucumber at the Promenade Cafe in Winnipeg

Beautiful presentation

Special Mention

Stella’s is a local institution. It’s a bakery cafe with a number of locations including the airport. The original cafe open on Osborne Street in 1999 and is still there today. It’s a great place for a coffee and a baked good or breakfast on the weekend. Don’t forget to pick up a jar of jam where one of the ingredients is love.

Stella's jams - made with fruit, sugar and love

Stella’s jams – made with fruit, sugar and love

What is your favourite restaurant in Winnipeg?

Thank you to Tourism Winnipeg and Travel Manitoba for hosting my stay. I wouldn’t be writing about these restaurants if I didn’t personally think they were great.

Leigh McAdam

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
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Author Leigh

Avid world traveler. Craves adventure - & the odd wildly epic day. Gardener. Reader. Wine lover. Next big project - a book on 100 Canadian outdoor adventures.

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