Guides. You want ‘em, we got ‘em!
Our new series maps out the four corners of the city, while also taking a look throughout the downtown core, Saint-Boniface, and the culinary capitals of South Osborne and South Pembina.
We're starting with South Osborne, which is quite the culinary hotspot.
South Osborne has rapidly evolved over the last few years, positioning itself as one of Winnipeg's culinary and cultural hotspots. Located just south of Osborne Village, this central neighbourhood now bursts with an eclectic blend of restaurants, cafes, breweries and shops.
It's a testament to Winnipeg's thriving restaurant scene, with innovative chefs and restaurateurs weaving together both classic and new dining experiences.
From cozy, friendly coffee shops to some of the best tacos in the city and hoagie sandwiches piled high with fixings, South Osborne is every foodie's ultimate destination.
Coffee, all-day breakfasts and more
Start your day off right at the Oakwood Cafe (660 Osborne St), a well-known spot that serves breakfast all day long, as well as lunch, dinner and scrumptious homemade desserts like an all-butter crust pecan pie and a variety of baked cheesecakes. For years, locals have made this charming diner part of their morning ritual.
To add a caffeine kick to your morning, head over to Little Sister Coffee Maker (539 Osborne St), a specialty coffee roasterie with two shops in the city. Since its first shop opened in Osborne Village, Little Sister has cemented itself as a local coffee haven. The South Osborne location offers everything we love about the original shop and more, including creamy espresso soft serve.
Located nearby is Park Line Coffee, which is a much-loved spot for those who appreciate a great cup of coffee and locally made snacks and pastries. Customers love this place for its inviting atmosphere, charming little patio, and support of local artists with art available for purchase on their walls.
Don't forget to visit Friend Bakery and Pizzeria, the new kid on the South Osborne block. While its name hints at delicious pizza (and rightly so, as the 16" New York-ish-style dough base is the perfect combination of crisp and chewy) the bakery side ensures mornings here are just as delightful, with an array of freshly baked goods (including Challah on Fridays) and mouthwatering sandwiches beckoning as the perfect accompaniment to your cup of coffee.
Lunch & dinner delights
For those still hungry, Hoagie Boyz (513 Osborne St) has the solution with their bread roll sandwiches piled high with deli meats (made in-house), cheese, toppings and dressing. This new establishment is led by the same creative minds behind Kosmo's Space Cowboy Food Cantina, and it's safe to say that the quirky charm of Kosmos has been infused into this new venture too.
BMC Market (722 Osborne St) is the place to go for delicious and affordable tacos. It's run by Beatriz Marivel Calderón-Villaseñor (aka Betty) and her husband Rigoberto, both from Morelia, Mexico, and the menu is full of family recipes with fillings like pork and pineapple, green pepper and mushrooms, and braised beef on homemade tortillas.
While not a restaurant, we'd be remiss not to mention Black Market Provisions (BMP), the cherished culinary emporium by Alana Fiks and Angela Farkas. On top of carefully curated shelves containing the best condiments in North America, BMP also sells a wide array of house made delights including big salads, spreads, vegan ice creams, and other goodies that will have you quickly filling your basket. This site fawns over this store all the time, as you can read here in our 2023 ice cream guide.
Take a trip down memory lane and grab some ice cream at the famous Bridge Drive-In (766 Jubilee Ave). This summer favourite has been around since 1957 and serves a vast selection of frozen desserts, such as banana splits, flurries, shakes, and their flagship 'goog,' a blueberry shake topped with a hot fudge sundae, bananas, whipped cream and a cherry. Enjoy an ice cream cone while walking across the Elm Park Bridge over the Red River.
At Chaeban Ice Cream (390 Osborne St), you can indulge in sweet temptations with their award-winning hard ice cream in unique flavours including Abir Al Sham, a traditional Syrian recipe with rose and orange blossom water. The shop's charm is enhanced by the heartwarming story of owners Joseph and Zainab, who started it as a way to say thank you to the community that sponsored their extended family from Syria to Winnipeg. Today, they are cherished pillars of the South Osborne community.
From midday to midnight
As the sun sails higher and once again, begins its descent, South Osborne becomes a bustling hub of activity that lasts into late night. Beyond the aromatic allure of coffee shops and breakfast nooks, the area is filled with eateries and cocktail bars that keep the neighbourhood buzzing and the energy high.
Vera Pizzeria (670 Osborne St.) may be small, but it has made a big name for itself among pizza lovers. Here, you’ll find Neapolitan-style pizzas made from fresh dough and topped with traditional, local ingredients. Beyond pizzas, their meatballs have achieved somewhat of a legendary status among regulars, and if you visit during summer, the sunny patio is the ideal place to spend an evening.
The menu at Oxbow Natural Wine Bar and Restaurant (557 Osborne St.) features a fantastic mix of shareable plates and a long list of natural wines. Managed by the team behind The Roost and Parcel Pizza, Oxbow boasts a great new patio hidden behind the main building. When it opened in 2018 it made enRoute's Canada's Best New Restaurants long list.
Looking for some entertainment? Count on Park Alleys (730 Osborne St) to deliver. With four lanes for 5-pin bowling, pinball machines, local beers, a lively patio and regular live music, this vibrant venue assures a night of fun. The menu is compact, but they have a solid mix of drinks and bar snacks on offer.
Solera is located within Tabula Rasa (725 Osborne St.), a restaurant known for its Spanish and Mediterranean-inspired tapas, seafood and veg-centric dishes from the same owners as Sous Sol. This speakeasy-style cocktail bar, which opened in early 2023, serves a blend of classic and creative drinks, and its proximity to the Park Theatre and Park Alleys makes it an ideal pre-show or post-game stop.