Sipping outside in the sunshine while being served a meal has truly never felt this good.
Sure, you will have to get out of your sweats and back into your "hard pants", but at least you'll feel like you are back in the world, back where you belong, eating and drinking on a table outside, barely judging people as they walk past readjusting their jeans while yearning for their pandemic pj's.
Due to what was a most promising early start to spring, this piece was assembled on April 10, with all the early bird patios we've seen taking a slot. We've since continued to update it to today, April 20.
And all jokes aside: please stay up-to-date on all the dining restrictions currently in place.
Here are a few of the patios in Winnipeg where you can enjoy socially distant dining
Old Market Square in the Exchange District is literally surrounded by patios.
Perhaps the most iconic is the King’s Head Pub, which will serve you British classics and a mighty cold pint as you stay way past sundown. A few doors down is Peasant Cookery, where the patio faces Old Market Square and its Cube Stage. Here, happy hour brings buck-a-shuck oysters that can be accompanied by the always impressive drinks list. Across Bannatyne is the aptly named King+Bannatye, along with Chosabi, and Bronuts -- all of which share a large patio that spans most of that block of King Street.
On the opposite side of Old Market Square, you have Amsterdam Tea Room, whose Scottish owner, the affable Mark Tuner, has been advocating for early patios from the get-go. Its patio features plexiglass dividers to keep you cozy while you sip craft cocktails and do comforting Northern European dishes. Just across the street from it on Bannatyne is Cordova Tapas & Wine, a place with even more European flair courtesy of owners Gael Winandy (Belgium) and Grégoire Stevenard (France).
Elsewhere in the East Exchange is Corrientes' patio, which has been seating guests outside within the tree-lined sidewalks of Bannatyne since the beginning of April. Get your Argentinean-style pizza fix (this means all the cheese) under an umbrella with a jug of sangria along for the ride.
In Wolseley we're all for the cute courtyard patio at The Ruby West. Local artist Kal Barteski has some cool pieces up on the wall, while charming lights overhead create a dreamy ambiance to consume a menu of tacos and inventive pizzas (try the lamb donair). This patio is also dog-friendly (more on those below), as is the one at Preservation Hall near Polo Park, which has a great wine list to compliment the farm-to-table fare.
Another courtyard-style patio that's not far away in West Broadway can be found at Langside Grocery. As you can see here, it's a total hidden gem.
For a natural, more removed setting head north for walleye and chips from within the Peguis Pavilion in Kildonan Park. The Prairie’s Edge patio is now open providing picturesque views of the Park and pond below.
Downtown, a hot spot for Latin and Asian street-food-inspired dishes is The Merchant Kitchen, where the cozy patio alongside the Alt Hotel gets plenty of sun rays. It's by the owners of Academy Hospitality, whose other restaurants Pizzeria Gusto on Academy and Gusto North in Hargrave Street Market also offer glorious settings for dining outside. Hargrave Street Market also contains outdoor sets of bistro tables to accompany Mottola Grocery in the main square, while street side on Hargrave Lake of the Woods Brewing Co. has an al fresco setup that pays homage to dock days.
When it comes to keeping warm after the sun goes down, Fionn’s brings out the big guns. The Crossroads location will keep you cozy with numerous tall heaters, while Grant Park's mostly roofed space offers heat and frequent live music to keep you moving - meaning this patio can easily be enjoyed even when the temperature drops.
Another one on the chain scene is Tavern United, whose spacious Polo Park location is now open for patio resos (just look at all this space!). We can only assume this means Tavern's iconic rooftop patio at BellMTS Place should be opening soon too, while they also have patios now open at the Garden City and Transcona location, along with a brand new patio a Tavern United Windsor Park.
Over in Sage Creek, Block & Blade (new from 2020) also keep the flames going with gas fireplaces nearby tables to compliment a hot new spring/summer menu.
Another heated patio for breakfast and lunch is Juneberry, where pups are also welcome to the cozy, toasty space. Book your seat in advance and enjoy that eggs bennie all day long as you look out on the Red River.
More patios now open for pups (and pints) include One Great City Brewing Co., Little Brown Jug, Amsterdam Tea Room and Bar, Torque Brewing and Stone Angel Brewing Co., where you'll never walk alone.
Some small but mighty patios also worth noting include The Roost’s first-come-first-serve treetop tables with a great view of Corydon Ave., Close Co.’s outdoor space taking reservations for up to six people per table, and Forth’s rooftop bar serving up our favourite summer spritz.
The outdoor common area at The Forks is also back in action this year, with a walk-up bar, lounge chairs and picnic table seating.
Elsewhere downtown, Wasabi Broadway’s beautiful porch patio is a hidden gem offering space for distanced seating and colourful plates of sashimi on ice for cooling down on a hot day.
Another hidden gem is the courtyard-style patio at Resto Gare in St. Boniface, where you can enjoy contemporary French cuisine with Manitoba flair.
In the south end of the city, Nicolino’s sunny and spacious patio is a great place for hanging out and savouring rustic Italian dishes. For more Italian fare, check out mainstay Pasquale's in St. Boniface, where crispy calamari is mandatory amongst the trees on the second-floor patio.
For more Italian and tons of toppings, Tommy’s Pizzeria on Corydon is a quaint paradise made for enjoying a slice along the strip in comfy patio furniture.
For a full list of restaurant patios in the city, check out our patio page here. Please follow all Manitoba Health guidelines and call ahead for patio availability.