Corydon Avenue is Winnipeg’s place to be seen. It is the spot to be during summer evenings as crowds of people gather to dine al fresco and savour some of the best food and gelati in the city. Once known as Winnipeg’s “Little Italy,” Corydon Avenue now features a wide array of cuisine―there are more than 30 restaurants, all with their own unique flavours and ambiance. Many boutiques populate the area too, offering imported jewelry, fine art, books, shoes, antiques, clothing and even candy. Whether stopping for a quick espresso or out for a night on the town, Corydon Avenue is sure to delight all of your senses.
Location: Corydon cuts through the centre of River Heights. The “Little Italy” district runs from Confusion Corner west to Harrow Street, and includes some shopping and dining on Lilac Street. Located 4.4 km from downtown and 9.6 km from the airport.
How to get there: From the airport, turn onto Wellington Avenue and turn right onto King Edward Street (Route 90). Keep to the left and continue south over the bridge. Turn left at Corydon Avenue and head east to Stafford Street.
Bus routes: 18, 29, 36
Top Places to Eat
• SPIN Restaurant and Martini Bar’s recent face-lift translates to leather booths, hanging lights and a mood-setting atmosphere. The Asian inspired menu and drink list is perfect for those who love to sample and sip. 720 Corydon Avenue, 204-415-4023.
• If you’re looking for charm, look no further than Colosseo Ristorante Italiano, which specializes in classic Italian recipes and memorable experiences. Located in the heart of Corydon’s Little Italy, pasta lovers enjoy hearty helpings of their homemade lasagna and pizza stacked high with plentiful toppings. 670 Corydon Avenue, 204-284-4977.
• Peking’s Chinese food dishes have been a favourite of locals and visitors to the Corydon strip since 1970. The portions are heaping and the service is fast and friendly. 840 Corydon Avenue (at Lilac Street), 204-453-2439.
• For food with authentic French flair, French Way Restaurant & Lounge delivers all the classics, including tuna niçoise salad and steak tartare. Fresh-baked breads and desserts at the bakery counter are a highlight, especially rich chocolate éclairs and crusty baguettes. 238 Lilac Street (just off of Corydon), 204-487-1997.
• The kitchen expertly fuses California and Italian cuisines at casual bistro Cafe Carlo. Its signature “real cooking” means your meals are made from scratch, in-house and from quality ingredients. Be sure to order one of the pastas (gluten-free options available) tossed in bold, flavourful house-made sauces. 243 Lilac Street, 204-477-5544.
• Burger with attitude is Daly Burgers’ slogan and a family chili recipe is the secret behind the attitude at this Winnipeg landmark. Dine on thick milkshakes and house-made onion rings in the cool, 50s-inspired dining room. 619 Corydon Avenue, 204-269-3259.
• A stroll down Corydon Avenue isn’t complete without a scoop (or three) of cold dessert. Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt is one of many great shops that serve chilled treats. Flavours range from butterscotch pudding to bubble gum, mango to marshmallow, and also include a wide variety of soy options. 753 Corydon Ave, 204-505-3575.
• Sushi lovers unite on Corydon Avenue. There are numerous options, each with their own special menu. Free edamane beans at Sushi Ya are a favourite with patrons, as is their fried tofu and spicy salmon rolls. 659 Corydon Avenue, 204-452-3916.
• Regional ingredients like wild rice, pickerel and bison are given a fun twist at Mise, an upscale bistro and lounge. The appetizers demonstrate Chef Terry Gereta’s creativity and menu items such as wild rice latke fries and venison cashew spring rolls are just two reasons why one Urban Spoon reviewer says Chef Gereta is “ridiculously talented.” 842 Corydon Avenue, 204-284-7916.
• Orlando’s Seafood Grill specializes in traditional Portuguese seafood dishes, like caldierada (stew with fish and shellfish), that seduce the senses. This elegant eatery is located just steps below street level and expands to include a bustling patio in summer. 709 Corydon Avenue, 204-477-5899.
Top Places to Shop
• Frescolio features a huge selection of gourmet-quality extra-virgin olive oils and vinegar in a tasting-bar setting. You are encouraged to sample as many as you want before making your purchases. 2-929 Corydon Avenue, 204-505-1455.
• There’s something for every shopaholic at Second Sensation Boutique, a consignment store that specializes in high quality designer clothing. Items are never more than two years old and must be in like new condition. 10-725 Corydon Avenue, 204-475-0457.
• Whether you’re shopping for yourself or for a lucky lady in your life, Boutique Unique is sure to please. Not only does this shop specialize in handmade jewelry, women’s clothing and accessories, and home décor and gifts, it also hosts onsite beading classes and allows you to special order one-of-a-kind pieces from resident artist, Brenda Weiss. 653 Corydon Avenue, 204-489-3646.
• Nunavut Gallery’s 2,500 sq. ft. showroom displays fine Inuit sculpture, drawings, prints and wall hangings from Nunavut, and regularly hosts exhibitions. World-renowned artists carried include Kenojuak Ashevak, Sheojuk Etidlooie, Luke Anguhadluq and Jessie Oonark. 603 Corydon Avenue, 204-478-7233.
• Many of the intriguing products at Radiance Gifts & Books fall within the metaphysical realm, from crystals to pendulums to fantasy-themed figurines. CDs, books, jewelery and candles fill this Corydon Avenue jewel. 7-875 Corydon Avenue, 204-284-4231.
• One of the old guards on Corydon Avenue, Selim’s Antiques has been at its location since 1977. Treasure hunters frequent this shop for its constantly changing stock of clocks, lamps, furniture, tableware and more. 801 Corydon Avenue, 204-284-9886.
• Established in 1978, Stoneware Gallery is one of Canada’s longest-running artist co-operatives. Meet the talented artists behind the colourful, award-winning ceramics on display as they take turns working at the store. 778 Corydon Avenue, 204-475-8088.
• Indulge your sweet tooth and choose from more than 500 bulk items and wrapped confections at funky retro shop Sugar Mountain. They have everything a candy lover could ever crave. 657 Corydon Avenue, 204-772-2639. www.sugarmountain.ca
Top Things to See and Do
• For a taste of local nightlife, Bar Italia and The Loft Gastropub are are two lounges on the strip that regularly bring in DJs on weekends to get the crowd moving. Bar Italia is located at 737 Corydon Avenue, 204-452-1929. The Loft Gastropub is located at 774 Corydon Avenue, 204-452-5006.
• There are over 15 hair care, nail design and day spas located on Corydon Avenue; perfect places to primp before a night of dancing, and relaxing places to rest after a night of dancing! Tonic Spa & Hair is just one of many trendy salons in the area. They offer beauty treatments like peels and facials, hair care of every kind, and all the services needed to achieve pretty fingers and toes.
• Step up to the mike and belt out your favourite tune at Muz Karaoke, which has five private rooms and thousands of songs in eight languages. 6-709 Corydon Avenue, 204-474-5002.
• From late June to late August each year, put on your dancing shoes and enjoy free music on Friday and Saturday evenings at Dancing on the Avenue. Local bands entertain, and every concert features face painters, magicians, balloon makers and clowns. Check out the schedule for locations and time.
• People-watching from the comfort of a buzzing patio is one of the favourite summer pastimes for many Corydon regulars. Many restaurants along Corydon offer prime street-side patios that are packed at lunch, dinner and into the wee hours of morning.
• Corydon Avenue is also well known for its artistic murals. Take a stroll and discover new and old pieces of art that are featured on buildings up and down the strip. Self guided walking tour information, which includes stops at interesting historical and architectural buildings.