Winnipeg’s East End offers a rich tapestry of cuisines, flavours and histories. This vibrant area, home to the neighbourhoods of Transcona, East Kildonan and Elmwood, boasts plenty of long-standing establishments serving classic, time-honoured dishes.
But, it's not just about tradition here: Winnipeg's East also welcomes a fresh wave of culinary innovation with newer establishments making their mark in recent years. Whether you're looking for a taste of nostalgia or eager to explore new flavours and trendy spots, the East End provides a unique gastronomic adventure within its streets.
Delicious diner breakfasts, Japanese small plates and Syrian food
Step into L'Arche Tova Cafe, a sunny space on Regent Ave for some of the best (and most affordable) diner breakfasts and lunches in the city. L'Arche Tova Cafe is a social enterprise run by L'Arche Winnipeg Inc. to provide meaningful employment to people with disabilities and help build a more compassionate society. Don’t skip the homemade potato dill bread, classic Ukrainian breakfast plate or the coffee — a strong, delicious dark roast with refills aplenty.
Just around the corner is Maggi's Syrian Food (102 Victoria Ave E), a seasonal, family-run takeout spot for kebabs, shawarma platters, saucy pitas, sandwiches and scrumptious Syrian desserts like baklava and date cinnamon rolls.
Head west on Regent to Ramallah Cafe (1111 Munroe Ave #108), a Middle Eastern eatery with an expansive menu of traditional and Mediterranean-influenced dishes. Try the smoky baba ghanoush and shrak bread, or order from the mashawi menu for tender, barbecued meats marinated in traditional Middle Eastern spices.
This stretch of Regent Ave is also home to Gaijin Izakaya (1575 Regent Ave W #2), by chef Ed Lam of Yujiro fame. Here, Japanese small plates are served alongside robatayaki, onigirazu (Japanese rice balls filled with traditional sushi toppings) and all-day ramen.
At nearby Yuu Izakaya (1599 Regent Ave W), must-try menu items include the energy roll (the pumpkin tempura is perfectly creamy) and the tan tan ramen with a tonkotsu broth, spicy ground pork and aromatic chili tare topped with crushed peanuts.
Diverse tastes of Jamaica, India and the Caribbean
Visit D&M Caribbean Flava (885 Molson St Unit 5) for island dishes with a unique, delicious play of spices and fresh herbs. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this colourful diner dishes out callaloo (a nutrient-rich leafy green) served with saltfish, coco bread and the sweet touch of plantain for breakfast. For dinner, try tender cow foot or spicy Jamaican-style pepper shrimp served with festival (deep-fried bread made with flour and cornmeal) or bammy (a traditional Jamaican cassava flatbread). End your meal with a scoop of orange-pineapple or rum and raisin ice cream.
Cilantro's (725 Gateway Rd) offers a large selection of classic Indian dishes on its Mumbai-inspired menu, including fragrant biryanis, buttery naan and savoury vindaloos. Some menu items offer a modern twist on tradition like the honey garlic potatoes tossed in a homemade chilli sauce, and an entire Hakka menu featuring Indian-style Chinese dishes. Co-owners Kapil Gusain and Ritesh Patel met as students studying hospitality in Mumbai and have since opened two Cilantro's locations in the city, the other on Portage Avenue.