With more than a dozen food vendors all in one space, craft beers and wines curated by seasoned cicerones and sommeliers, ample indoor and outdoor seating and more than 6000 years of rich history, The Forks is an obvious choice to spend a summer day.
You can visit all year round (here's hoping for some stellar River Trail ice conditions this winter), but now is a particularly great time to visit the market at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. Read on to find out why!
Crisp, cold beers and worldly wines
Picture this: You, in an Adirondack chair with a chilled pint of Manitoba-made pineapple cider in your hand. Or maybe it's a crisp pilsner at one of the dozens of picnic tables on the shaded patio, a raspberry lager in a lounger with a view of the Assiniboine River or a chilled Chilean rosé at the indoor harvest table beneath beautiful chandeliers.
The Common indoor bar and patio are in full swing for the summer season, serving up 20 types of craft beer and cider curated by the talented cicerone team The Beer Sisters.
The summer beer menu heavily favours fruited sours, juicy radlers, light lagers, IPAs and a selection of rotating apple ciders, but with 20 on tap, there’s something for everyone.
The wine list, curated by sommelier Brad Royale, features a robust selection of 10 reds ranging from a light, juicy pinot noir to a full-bodied Grenache alongside an assortment of whites and rosés to enjoy by the glass. Ask the bartenders for a recommendation or try something new: how about a natural, unfiltered chardonnay or a Macedonian Vranac?
Le Burger Week returns
Le Burger Week is back and bigger than ever: this year's fest runs for two weeks (Sept. 1-14), giving you plenty of time to try your fair share of unique and unusual burger creations.
A handful of Forks' food tenants are slated to participate, including Simon's Steaks and Nuburger, making The Forks is a great spot to knock a few burgers off your list without having to visit more than one location. Bonus: you can even sip a beer while standing in line for your burgers!
Fresh foods of every flavour
We're overjoyed that one of our all-time favourite lunch spots is back: Passero's daytime sandwich counter, Corto. From Wednesday to Sunday, it serves up some of the sauciest sandwiches (the fried chicken parm, unstoppable meatball subnand beef melt made with short rib, in particular) and freshest sides (the tomato salad with grapefruit and pine nuts is the ultimate combination of complementary flavours) that put our packed lunches to shame. We're equally elated that Nuburger and Zorba's Greek & Italian are back open after recent renovations.
Starving? Try the island roti stuffed with jerk chicken and shrimp from Bindy's Caribbean Delight, Red Ember Common's Hot N' Honey pizza (which takes its name from serrano chillies drizzled with garlic honey), or the stuffed mushroom quesadilla from Habanero Sombrero.
More fresh flavours: an order of walleye from Fergie's Fish'n Chips, a hearty sushi bowl from Fusian Sushi and a warm cinnamon bun from Tall Grass Prairie, baked daily.
Sweet Treats From Scratch
It's no secret that we're big fans of Neon Cone. The family-owned ice cream shop has been a staple at The Forks for more than 30 years, and all its artisanal ice creams and gelatos are made in-house using fresh, local ingredients whenever possible.
Cool yourself down on a warm summer day with a scoop of birthday cake, in which an entire cake is baked and blended into the ice cream, or neon kid (Neon Cone's take on the classic, childhood flavour Super Kid) made with real banana and strawberries.
They also offer some of the creamiest soft serve in the city, a dozen flavours of real Belgian chocolate for dipping cones, a rotating selection of delicious vegan options, and ice cream flights if you can't pick just one.
You'll find more treats upstairs at Jenna Rae Cakes whose selection of macarons, snack cakes, cookie dough cups, cupcakes and cookie sandwiches are as delicious as they are decorative. Try the fuzzy peach and vanilla coke macarons or opt for a snack cake to share with friends.
The Forks is open 364 days a year (except Christmas Day). The building is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day but individual tenants may be open earlier or later than building hours. The Common bar and patio opens at 12:00 p.m. daily. Click here for a list of all the fabulous food vendors.