Patio season is back!
We obviously can't list every single al fresco opportunity to be had in the city (Corydon Avenue and Old Market Square alone could constitute a full guide), so for this puppy we've gone thematic -- with some places perched up high, some hidden gems, some river-hugging numbers and yes, plenty of places for your pups too.
Views from the top
The Roost on Corydon
Stained wood beams, glass railings and a charming aesthetic make for a memorable dining experience overlooking Corydon. While taking in the views, you can enjoy craft cocktails from Winnipeg's cocktail queen Elsa Taylor (who also draws the adorable menus) and shareable plates with multiple vegan and gluten-free friendly options from chef Zac Chizda.
Tavern United Downtown
This spacious rooftop spot in Downtown Winnipeg is known for its skyline views, rooftop bar, deals and overall good vibes. Here, you’ll find all the bar classics like wings, burgers, nachos aplenty and even all-day brekky. With over a dozen premium beers (with plenty of local options) and fun martinis, the Tavern United Downtown rooftop is great spot to spend an afternoon, and an even better spot at night to end a tourism commercial as it twinkles under the lights of True North Square.
Another rooftop patio that has been featured in several of our tourism videos (even the mayor and Obby love it) is Forth Bar, which has both a sidewalk patio at 171 McDermot Avenue and a sublime rooftop. The drinks menu here too is designed by Elsa Taylor and it pairs with a finger food menu of pintxos, stuffed dates and veggie dumplings. The views from the rooftop, which include the JH Ashdown Hardware Building to the north, and Portage and Main to the south, make you feel like you are in the coolest spot in the city.
Downtown's premium Mexican lounge has a pretty sweet courtyard and rooftop patio that is perfect for crushing margaritas and tacos while looking out on Winnipeg’s skyline. They have DJs spinning every Thursday to Saturday, while the overhead strings of lights make this a dreamy setting once the sun goes down.
Confusion Corner Bar and Grill
This summer, Confusion Corner has you covered from above and below with patio options. Its rooftop features an overhead screen that lets in the right amount of sun, along with a menu of craft cocktails and an extensive range of dishes from lumpia to burgers and plenty of bowls. Underneath it, you'll now also find this new cargo bar that services a patio that extends out into the parking lot (where pups are welcome!).
Gusto North/Mottola Grocery
This spot is the first outpost of Pizzeria Gusto, serving a new menu inspired by the flavours and feelings of Italy with various appetizers, pizzas and antipasto options. You'll feel bougie eating at this unique upper deck patio with its cream-coloured couches, wood tables and a skyline view of downtown Winnipeg. The original location on Academy is also excellent with its west-facing patio, while Academy Hospitality also has a patio right on the ground floor of True North Square that services Mottola Grocery. This space is already being used for special events like the screening of the Euro Cup Finals, where they had both an Aperol Spritz bar for Italian fans and a Pimm's one for the English. We tell you, Mottola seriously thinks of it all.
Next to the water’s edge
529 Wellington Steakhouse
529 continually sets the standard for a fine-dining experience in Winnipeg. Its scenic terrace situated next to the Assiniboine River is buttressed by beautiful foliage, allowing you to indulge in top cuts of Canadian beef and sip from a renowned wine list in a garden setting.
Cibo Waterfront Café
On the bank of the Red River, this repurposed industrial building makes for a hip and stylish spot to dine and sip. A glass fence surrounds the east-facing patio with burgundy umbrellas, creating the perfect place to eat in the sunshine or a shaded area. The Italian-focused menu features plenty of pizzas, pastas, sandwiches and fancy cocktails like cucumber lemonade, elderflower gin martini, or a peach bourbon Arnold Palmer.
Promenade Cafe and Wine
With stunning views across the Esplanade Riel of the downtown skyline, The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and The Forks, Promenade's extended parking lot patio on Provencher Boulevard is just a gem. When you combine this setting with a menu of French comfort food, you are sure to have an excellent al fresco experience.
Buffalo Stone Café
Connect with nature and dine lakeside right here in Winnipeg. The Buffalo Stone Café has a wood deck patio overlooking FortWhyte Alive's Lake Devonian, where your meal can be accompanied by little sailboats and canoes gliding past. Fresh, local and ethically sourced ingredients go into all the dishes -- a number of which are grown right on site at FortWhyte Farms -- which is executed by the same team behind SMITH at Inn at the Forks.
There's nothing common about The Common, which seats 470 and is one of Western Canada's largest outdoor patios. The whole scene is covered by trees to provide shade (the good kind) and the 20 wines and 20 beers on tap have all been carefully curated to provide you with a sipping experience you won't find anywhere else. The whole scene looks out onto The Forks Harbour at the junction of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers and is serviced by some mighty fine dining options from within The Forks Market.
New spots on the block
Oxbow Natural Wine Bar
Focused on locally grown ingredients and natural wines, you’ll feel good about diving into dishes like Manitoba walleye wings, handmade pastas, or cast-iron cooked chicken Diavolo. The brand new patio is located behind the building and gives you a courtyard-like feel with a handsome fence, South Osborne, with twinkly lights wrapped around the trees overhead. Charming, charming stuff.
Hy’s Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar
Hy’s is Canada’s premier steakhouse since 1955, and their new patio behind Portage and Main will make history too. You can now enjoy all the top-quality tastes of Hy’s seated on their striped-cushioned furniture surrounded by fine decor in the sun on Lombard Avenue. Now when you see it set up at Winnipeg's iconic intersection, you'll think "now why wasn't this always here?"
There’s not one but two patios this summer at SMITH. Its iconic Forks-facing patio is extended again for summer, and you'll find a new patio east of the hotel's entrance with views of the Oodena Celebration Circle and Children's Museum. In addition, SMITH is featuring a new dinner menu with dishes like smoked goldeye and skillet-fried walleye with a cocktail program ready to serve. Live entertainment will feature on one of the two patios every Saturday and Sunday afternoon throughout the summer.
The Sunset Terrace + Bar at The Fort Garry Hotel
"Al fresco dining at The Castle" is the name of the game now at downtown's iconic hotel. The brand new west-facing Sunset Terrace + Bar features a swank 96-seat patio (currently booking at 50 per cent capacity) under a canopy of white umbrellas surrounded by flower arrangements. The new menu by chef Joseph Wojakowski spans breakfast through dinner (the côte de boeuf for two is so juicy, and you have to get the super crispy truffle fries to accompany it along with Village Bay oysters to start), while front of the house veterans Jim Armstrong and sommelier Christopher Sprague have been brought in to ensure the service is top-notch. Great spot for a big salad too, as the menu features several numbers that will grab your attention with frisee and seasonal ingredients piled high, with add-ons like rice flour calamari to provide protein and plenty of crunch.
Hidden and street-straddling gems
This St. James favourite serves all the Greek staples like gyros with creamy tzatziki, several types of souvlaki and saganaki lit tableside. The patio is hidden behind the building on a wood deck with an overhead pergola and string lights.
Perhaps the coolest hidden patio in the city, Langside's outdoor area is located behind its heritage building facade. The scene is enclosed with red brick while several trees (which provide the shade) are growing right out of the dining area. The small plates and boards are always pitch-perfect here, along with the craft cocktails. It's simply a great spot to impress a friend.
Corrientes Argentine Pizzeria
Corrientes is a must-visit Argentinian pizzeria in the Exchange District with big orange and blue umbrellas, string lights overhead, and a relaxing atmosphere. You'll find a stacked menu full of flaky, super juicy empanadas (served with gorgeous, subtle chimichurri), pizzas with a crazy amount of cheese (as is the Argentinian way) Cuban melts, salads and bruschetta. As a bonus, you can invite your dog or cat for this patio session. Could you imagine? A cat on the patio! Smoky would have been clawing us before the sangria even arrived.
Capital Bar and Grill
Located just down the street from the Assiniboine Park Zoo, this upscale casual restaurant offers a contemporary take on comfort food prepared by Chef Wayne Martin and his talented team. Capital's Broadway location has a large patio right on the bustle of Broadway, while the original Roblin location boasts a west-facing patio entirely made from rich brown wood that is hidden from the street. Popcorn shrimp and a crisp B.C. white from Greg Gunnarson's wine list is a must here on a sunny day.
Nestled off Roblin Boulevard in Charleswood, the string lights over this patio always stay on at this traditional Greek eatery. Enjoy authentic, fresh-cooked Greek dishes like gyros, salads, and Greek-style ribs with lemon potatoes. A black chain link fence and large trees also surround this patio with its red umbrellas, ensuring plenty of protection from the sun.
This hip, West Broadway spot continues to kill it with a menu that mixes Jewish and Southern comfort food by owner/chef Talia Syrie. The fried chicken is always a winner, as are all the sandwiches served on that celebrated cheese break. The patio itself, located right on Sherbrook Street, wins for best urban design with a stunning mural by Gibril Bangura (shout-out to Synonym Art Consultation) and blue pipe fence.
Rock up to a pop-up
Nestled in Assiniboine Park next to the Riley Family Duck Pond, the Cargo Bar serves craft beer, cocktails and mocktails with a full menu from their partner, Park Café. Soak up the scenery at Cargo Bar under giant umbrellas and strings of lights in the pine trees overhead, listen to live music, and enjoy the chill vibe.
The Garden is the new kid on the pop-up block who everyone wants to meet. Located on Portage on the West End/Wolseley border, it boasts plants on the wall, strings of lights overhead, pops of colour in every direction and plenty of space. This family-friendly food and beverage garden serves featured food from rotating vendors, local beer, wine and cocktails with a side of live entertainment every week.
The Blue Note Park
Located right downtown on Main Street, this colourful, festive pop-up combines two of our favourites - Times Change(d) High and Lonesome Club and Modern Electric Lunch - to great effect. There are live shows scheduled on its stage all summer long, Vessel Beer has brewed and canned a special beer for the space, while Electric Snacks is providing the menu.
The Beer Can
With a new central pop-up location right off Osborne, the Beer Can will never cease to amaze. Despite the name, this popular bar serves more than local beers. You’ll find a stacked drink menu with cider, wine and cocktails too. How does a pop-up within a pop-up sound to you? While you’re there, The Beer Cantina serves a rotating taco menu with house-made salsa and so much more. Live entertainment bumps all summer long with WURLDJAMS every Wednesday, a Thursday Night Concert Series and Sunday Summer Sessions.
In the Exchange District, next to the cube, Bijou Patio makes a big statement with local beer, wine, cider and more. Order food from nearby restaurants and the Bijou staff will bring it right to your table. The patio features horizontal wood beams, string lights and many trees in setting just off the main bustle of Portage and Main.
Shoutout to Old Market Square and our breweries
Between King + Bann, Chosabi, Bronuts, Peasant Cookery, Amsterdam Tea Room and Cordova Tapas and Wine, you really can't beat the options at Old Market Square, where each patio is just steps away.
As well, the majority of Winnipeg's breweries have patios too. At a glance, Torque has just built a huge new patio in its parking lot; Lake of the Woods Brewing Company has a peachy location facing west at True North Square; Little Brown Jug has the OG faux grass patio in The Exchange District; Barn Hammer has a nice west-facing number on Wall Street (with great pizza super close by courtesy of Wall Street Slice); Brazen Hall's Otra Beer Garden is huge and features live music every Wednesday; and Stone Angel has a huge deck on South Pembina that you and your pups will love, along with excellent Iranian dishes next door at Tehran Cafe. In fact, pups are welcome on almost all of our brewery patios.
Downtown Winnipeg Biz's Patio Fest
From July 16-18 Downtown Winnipeg Biz is hosting Patio Fest, offering 20 different patios to hit up in the downtown area. There will be live entertainment on each patio throughout the weekend, along with incredible deals on food and drink from all 20 participating patios.