Plenty of Winnipeg’s restaurants are now up and running again at 50 per cent capacity in their dining rooms and patios.
Instead of an exhaustive new list, we highly recommend these additional gems that opened in the past two weeks and started welcoming customers again (or simply opened for takeout); they are just too good not to miss.
On top of these, you can also find a list of Winnipeg’s most nationally acclaimed spots that are now open here along with all the spots in the city we know of that are now open here (and we tell you, we’ve been busy at Tourism Winnipeg keeping these websites up to date for your dining convenience).
Of course, all these spots are offering social distancing protocols and super clean amenities, so if you are feeling good to go back for some in-house dining (or just takeout!), please, dig in!
Khao House– We picked up takeout from Khao when it reopened on June 2 (see pic below) and it was the best lunch we’ve had during the pandemic. Seri Here, chefs/owners/culinary powerhouse couple Randy Khounnoraj and Korene McCaig have a tight menu that showcases spins on the Laotian dishes Khrounnoraji grew up eating, all of which are herbaceous and comforting.
Must-eats include the naem khao salad – which has so many textures and differentiating temperatures, with its smashed sour crispy pork rice balls, crisp cucumbers and creamy/spicy coconut dressing; the bahn mi, particularly the version that uses tocino pork, which is marinated in annatto oil giving the meat a deep red colour and toothy texture that pairs so well with the julienned vegetables and soft, crusty baguette. The fried chicken sandwich, whose crispy folds hold tobiko caviar, giving it extra crunchy salty bites (also noteworthy is the not-too-spicy gochujang sauce that turns into a creamy dressing with the kewpie mayo), and the pork kalapao with a umami-forward filling of wood ear mushrooms and hard-boiled egg.
*Take-out only right now. 625 Portage Ave, 12 p.m.- 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday 4 p.m.- 8 p.m. Saturday.
Yafa Café – This is such a beautiful room on Portage Avenue that specializes in Arabic street food, with all the dishes taking spins around the flavour and texture wheel (tangy, rich yogurt sauces, crunchy vegetables, pillowy fresh pita begging to be used to scoop up creamy, tahini-spiked sauces). The dining room and patio reopened last week with new protective glass panels installed, along with other social distance measures, while everything that comes out of that stone oven is so flavourful. If you are super hungry the koshary – essentially the national dish of Egypt – a carb extravaganza of rice, pasta, lentils and chickpeas is always a good choice, while on the opposite spectrum the restaurant also has so many dishes that are celiac-friendly too, with plenty of marinated grilled meats accompanied by salads that sing.
1785 Portage Avenue. Open daily noon to 9 p.m. offering takeout and delivery, too.
Jeepney – Taking advantage of their somewhat new location at 1833 Inkster Boulevard (the former home of Crème DeL’Essence), Jeepney – a staple on the city’s Filipino food scene – has been doing new things, like hosting a pop-up outdoor grill space (Thursdays to Saturdays, 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.) along with maintaining a patio that is serviced by a takeout window, where you can get hot dishes accompanied by cold drinks, like the halo halo smoothie. The dining room just reopened last week, while the restaurant also offers citywide delivery.
Monday to Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Capital Grill – Owners Greg Gunnarson and chef Wayne Martin are simply two of the nicest guys you’ll meet, plus the food at both Capital Grill locations always meets a high standard with excellent service to boot. We’ve been a big fan ever since they moved their Vancouver Crave concept to Winnipeg, and now we can go back to dine-in, be it on the patio or dining room at both locations. (And note: the Broadway dining room is great for people watching, while the patio at Charleswood location is tucked away from the street).
The wine list is always great and the menu brims with sophisticated updates on Americana classics, including great burgers, the best fries, big delicious salads, those chipotle BBQ ribs and specials that are always so elegant. Chef Wayne also cooks a fish to perfection, with a hard sear on one side followed by a soft turn to get it to just set in the middle, maintaining its moisture, which is hard to do when it comes to halibut (which the Charleswood location gets in whole usually once a week).
Hours are different at both locations so click here for the full listing.
The Beer Can – This rad new pop-up space on Main Street (right beside Times Change(d)) couples cold local beer – all slung from a shipping container either by draft or in cans – with a new food truck every day. The outdoor space features plenty of picnic table seating and is super fun and colourful. It’s also open all the time, Monday to Thursday, 4 p.m. - late, and Friday to Sunday, noon to, you guessed it, late!
The restaurants of Sparrow Hotels – Two of Sparrow’s restaurants are now open, with ERA at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights coming soon (including that gorgeous patio). SMITH at Inn at the Forks and The Wood Tavern at the Norwood Hotel are both back in action, providing you with excellent options (almost) all day long from brunch through dinner (most nights they both will close at 9 or 10 p.m.). SMITH now has an extended and socially distanced patio that has always been a peach, making it a great time for a craft cocktail to go with the legendary pounded cheese or a heaping pile of buttermilk fried chicken. At The Wood, it’s all about the flavours that come from the huge wood-fire grill, like charred broccolini, house-smoked ribs and sausage, and a fine selection of burgers. The room is devastatingly handsome too.
Hargrave Street Market – The tenants of Canada’s newest and sexiest food hall are now back up and running too, which includes Miss Browns (#sandwichlove), Saburo Kitchen, Good Fight Taco, Yard Burger, Gusto North and Fools and Horses coffee. Drinks are also in order too, including Lake of the Woods Brew Co. on the bottom floor and the handsome Rose Bar in the main hall. The Brew Co.’s sidewalk patio will also open in the next two weeks, which will be a welcome addition to our lengthy patio listings.
For all hours click here.
Pho Hoang – Now with three locations, including a gorgeous new space in The Village! We’d tell you more now, but we’ll have a brand-new video about it this week so stay tuned.
Sending love to St. James! Little Goat Food & Drink, a place that has been rocking out unique takeout items and family-style feasts all pandemic long, is opening its dining room on June 24. Chef Alex and the crew will be doing brunch service from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., while you can still order takeout and delivery right now, including Father’s Day gift baskets.
As well, Promenade Café and Wine, another excellent spot for French comfort food, will open its iconic St. Boniface dining room (with its Esplande Riel and city skyline views) on June 17. Lunch will be Wednesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dinner 5 to 9 p.m. (Saturday too), and weekend brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Their patio also has some of the best views in the city too.