A day spent wandering through Winnipeg’s French Quarter is effortlessly enjoyable — most of the eateries, patios, and attractions are within a walkable distance of each other.
The quaint, tree-lined streets of St. Boniface are also home to sites like the historical Saint-Boniface Cathedral, Le Musee de Saint-Boniface Museum, and bustling Provencher Boulevard with its artisan shops and cafes. The area’s close proximity to downtown Winnipeg makes it an attractive place to spend a day.
Let's get walkin'!
From brews to bites: Provencher Boulevard and beyond
Kickstart your morning in the heart of Saint-Boniface with a visit to Café Postal (202 Provencher Blvd), aptly named after the neighbouring Dominion post office building, an architectural gem from 1907. Owners Shaylyn Plett and Louis Lévesque Côté bring in a rotating selection of global roasters along with specialty coffees and season-driven delights like the sucre à la crème latte for Festival du Voyageur and refreshing blueberry lattes during summertime. If you can, find a spot on their bistro sets under the shade and sip your beverage leisurely.
As your caffeine cravings are satiated, turn your attention to the aromatic allure of Le Croissant (276 Tache Ave), the Alsatian family-owned bakery by Jerome and Fabienne Boulanger that just partnered up with chef Francesca Agatep. This long-serving boulangerie had been closed for most of 2023, but it just reopened in late-August with the whole interior and facade being completely remodelled to charming effect. Another delicious European bakery is La Belle Baguette (248 Av. de la Cathedrale), which like Le Croissant is renowned for buttery pastries and supplying many coffee shops and restaurants throughout the city. From tasty tarts — particularly La Belle Baguette's white chocolate ganache and raspberry masterpiece — to delicate eclairs and classic crème brûlées, these bakeries epitomize French patisserie excellence. Should a cookie craving strike, make your way to Sugar Mama Cookie Company (184 Provencher Blvd), a welcome (and colourful!) addition to the shops of Provencher since opening in 2022. Owner Vicki Melo delights patrons with her inventive gourmet cookie flavors including vegan coconut lemon, s'mores, Nanaimo, and cinnamon toast crunch. Pair these with the shop's selection of coffees, teas and hot chocolate for a sweetly satisfying experience.
Just a few steps away is Chocolatier Constance Popp (180 Provencher Blvd), a charming chocolate shop and Manitoba's first bean-to-bar maker. Whether you're hunting for signature Manitoba-themed chocolates (think decadent chocolates in the shape of the Golden Boy statue, bison, the province of Manitoba, and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights), or seeking that perfect gift — be it for festive occasions or 'just because' moments — this chocolate haven has you covered.
Ramen, comfort food, and other lunch spots we love
For a delightfully cozy lunch and dinner spot visit Dwarf no Cachette (157 Provencher Blvd). This whimsically named spot translates roughly to 'dwarf’s hiding place,’ and there are certainly a few dwarves amongst its eclectic decor. Here, indulge in some of the city’s best ramen, takoyaki, and soul-soothing Japanese comfort food. An array of themed drinks, elaborate desserts, and sake cocktails complements the menu and promises an experience that's truly unique from owners Yasuko and Takekuni Akimoto, who moved here from Tokyo.
A stone's throw away, step back in time at the Dairi-Wip Drive-In. This iconic family-owned Winnipeg burger joint first opened in 1958 and has remained at 383 Marion St. ever since. Delight in their famed fat boys dripping with chilli, classic hotdogs, burgers, and shakes, and be sure to bring cash (they don't take cards) and a big appetite.
Further down Marion, you'll stumble upon Marion Street Eatery (393 Marion St), serving up elevated comfort food for breakfast and lunch. Housed within the Marion Hotel, the eatery is run by a passionate female team who takes great pride in crafting dishes with locally sourced ingredients, including Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company sourdough, Nature's Farm eggs and Bothwell cheese.
Owned and operated by the Kirouac family (of InFerno’s Bistro), Dug & Betty's (309 Des Meurons St) is not shy when it comes to bold flavours in its small-batch ice cream, like the signature strawberry balsamic with honey and black pepper. On top of a vast cool treats menu, they also have nice sandwiches, mains like lobster mac & cheese and bison chilli, and even salads that step it up a notch, like a kale Caesar featuring avocado, radish and asiago with sumac croutons and creamy tahini-miso dressing. Named after Basset hounds, you better believe that they have fancy hot dogs and a fun lineup of treats for pups too.
Last but not least, Fusion Stop — which started as two popular food trucks, The Churro Stop and Island Fusion — is now a fixture in the St. Boniface Hotel (171 Dumoulin St). Here, a culinary mosaic awaits with Argentinian empanadas, Trinidadian doubles, island poutine (casava fries topped with curry chickpeas, aioli and tamarind), and filled churros in four flavours.
Wine bars and scenic skylines
Begin your evening at the illustrious Nola (300 Taché Ave unit 101), renowned as one of Winnipeg's best dining experiences and named one of Canada’s top new restaurants in 2022. Helmed by Top Chef Canada alumni chef Emily Butcher, who finished third at the Canadian Culinary Championships, Nola is part of Burnley Place Hospitality, which also includes the new Bar Accanto (300 Taché Ave unit 102) next door and King + Bannatyne sandwich shop in The Exchange District. Bar Accanto's curated wine selection spotlights minimal intervention wines and the food is a rotating roster of shareable plates, with current standouts being the refreshing kiwi cucumber salad and the beef tartar.
For elevated comfort food with an incredible view of Winnipeg's skyline, head to the recently opened Promenade Brasserie (130 Provencher Blvd). Under the watchful eye of owner Jay Lekopoy, the menu intertwines French finesse with his Métis heritage. It's a culinary celebration that supports locally sourced, sustainable ingredients, with stars like the tender bison short rib and beer-battered pickerel. The drink menu features fun twists on classic cocktails, including a rhubarb mule and a fuzzy peach old fashioned using orange bitters and Manitoba's own Crown Royal peach whiskey.
For a unique patio and railcar setting, look no further than Resto Gare. The kitchen and main dining room are located within the circa 1913 Saint-Boniface Train Station, while the patio is like a courtyard that is walled in via a train car that is also a second dining room. The menu is brimming with classic French dishes like escargot, savoury crêpes, ratatouille and duck confit, plus there's often live jazz out on the patio. It's a total trip that's never off the rails.
Journey to the heart of Italy at Pasquale’s Italian Ristorante (109 Marion St.). Since its relocation to Saint-Boniface from Osborne Village in 1996, Pasquale's has been a cherished neighbourhood gem, serving homemade traditional Italian fare like hearty lasagna el forno and plates of eggplant parmesan. With pizza dough kneaded fresh daily and an impressive vegan menu, there's something to satiate every palate. Imagine sipping Limoncello on the expansive rooftop patio during a balmy summer evening — it's so immersive, you'll believe you've been whisked away to a quaint Italian village.
On the same strip of Marion Street, there's The Wood Tavern and Pauline Bistro, both located within the Norwood Hotel. Pauline is a brunch spot with a chic 1920s aesthetic that pays homage to Winnipeg artist and illustrator Pauline Boutal (1894-1992), while The Wood is handsomely adorned with dark woods and brick, with a menu that mainly comes from the large wood-fired grill.
And finally, if you are looking for a pint of some of the best beers you've ever tasted, head to Kilter Brewing Co. (450 Rue Deschambault). This family run business excels at both fruit beers and hoppy IPAs with a fabulous wide open tap room that frequently hosts fun culinary and community events. It's a real peach.