Though the south end of Winnipeg may be known for its booming suburbs, large parks and ample retail shops… over the years it has become a culinary hotbed with diverse and endless options for upscale dining, small diners, and sweet summertime snacking.
From Korean, to Italian, German, Japanese, Chinese, and wine and cheese... you'll always eat well in St. Vital.
Café Lemon Tree's cozy, eclectic dining space is enough of a reason to visit, but you'll also find sizzling Korean BBQ skillets alongside a selection of blooming teas and delicious dishes including stir-fried noodles, bibim-bap and okonomiyaki.
In the same strip is Santa Ana Pizzeria & Bistro, a small Italian eatery consistently voted some of the city's best pizza. Reservations are always needed at this bustling bistro, but meals here are just as good when ordered as takeout.
Speaking of Italian, Harth Mozza and Wine Bar celebrates the Old World traditions of Italy with hand-rolled pasta, paired perfectly with local Manitoban ingredients. These plates are perfect for sharing, but there’s also nothing wrong with keeping a whole plate of agnolotti to yourself.
Another neighbourhood staple is George’s Burgers and Subs, with this location owned by the original George Ifandis, serving up the classic Winnipeg Fatboy and a Greek salad like no other.
Though the tables may be limited at Sushi Ai, the unique rolls are endless. Enjoy large portions of tempura, wonderfully presented platters, and an overall relaxing atmosphere.
For sweet treats be sure to visit Double D's Cheesecake, whose made-from-scratch cheesecakes are available in more than 40 flavours and are featured in restaurants across Winnipeg. Other homemade desserts include caramel cinnamon buns, muffins, cookies and coffee cake with DeLuca's coffee.
In the summer, seasonal Licks Ice Cream Patio is a neighbourhood staple, or try the new Banana Boat location on Meadowood Drive (again, only open seasonally).
Sweet or savoury, Kawaii Crepe serves up folded snacks in cute wraps. Japanese crepes are traditionally thinner-yet-crispier versions of the traditional French crepes. These ones are also available with gluten-free batter and dairy-free toppings, with a crepe combination out there for almost everyone.
The Crusty Bun Bakery & Café specializes in slow-baked artisan breads and European-style baking. Owners Andi and Frieda were born in Germany and have lived and worked in Switzerland, Great Britain, and Japan. Now, they offer a selection of treats including German tea cake, hazelnut twirls, croissants, cream busters and its famed bee-sting cake--a pastry filled with cream and topped with honey glazed almonds. There are daily soups and made-to-order deli sandwiches too.
Down the street is one of the city's most celebrated wine shops, Jones and Company. An incredibly knowledgeable staff of sommeliers and wine enthusiasts are happy to chat about all things wine, from food pairings to gift ideas and new and noteworthy bottles.
For Chinese, Tang Dynasty recently made our list of top dim sum restaurants in the city; the food at New China Kitchen is delicious and the staff is super friendly; while Chef Song's Chinese Restaurant is the newest spot in the neighbourhood to garner rave reviews.
For Latin American cuisine, La Fiesta Cafecito prepares El Salvadoran food from scratch including pupusas, enchiladas, tamales and more; La Pampa, by the Argentinian owners of Corrientes, is the spot for gourmet empanadas in more than 20 flavours; and Burrito Splendido uses local meats and other locally sourced ingredients in its signature tacos and burritos.
Diana’s Cucina and Lounge serves up award-winning pizza, and has even been featured on Food Network Canada’s You Gotta Eat Here. If you want to try your hand at cooking just like Diana, get her DIY pizza kit to spice up your weeknight dinners.
Neighbourhood favourite Maxime's Restaurant and Lounge has been open for more than 30 years with a wood-panelled interior and an extensive menu that comes replete with elegant tablecloth service. It's a great place for large groups and family dinners.
Bellamy's Restaurant and Bar serves up Mediterranean dishes (fun fact: the eatery is owned by the brother-in-law of Nia Vardalos of My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame) while Siam Authentic Thai Cuisine makes a wide range of Thai curries, noodles and stir-fries.
For quick and casual dining, visit Dairy Delight for burgers, fresh-cut fries and soft-serve ice cream, Lamar Donair & Burger for a selection of donair, shawarma and falafel, and Pasta di Casa Italian for build-your-own pastas and take-home pasta dinners.
Treat your tastebuds to traditional Indian spices and flavours with neighbourhood favourite, Sizzling Dhaba. This family-owned restaurant features amazing samosas, hearty buttered chicken, and delicious Dhaba dishes.
Though somewhat new to the neighbourhood, Aroma Bistro (which opened in November 2019), quickly developed a reputation for serving up the best wontons in Winnipeg. This small kitchen on St. Mary’s Rd. cooks up more than 1000 irresistible wontons every day, combing flavours from their Chinese home cities to techniques learned here at Red River College's Culinary Arts Program.