When it comes to dining after the witching hour, Winnipeg has some spellbinding options that aren’t just pizza.
If it’s midnight and you’re out partying with friends and you all need something tasty to soak up that booze ahem, fun, some quality options include sizzling Chinese with plenty of chilli oil, Greek platters piled high, bright Middle Eastern fare in the Village, steaming bowls of authentic Philippine cuisine, and yes, pizza with that legendary garlic butter crust and chicken fingers with honey garlic too.
Night owl? Shift worker? Partier? These late night eats in Winnipeg will get you sorted before you hit the hay.
Johnny G's - 177 McDermot Ave and 172 Main Street, both open daily util 1 a.m.
When I was in university my part-time job was working in nightclubs as a bus boy and bar back in the Exchange District. After our shift ended, it had to be Johnny G's. It was and still is famously known as the spot after the bars closed at their original location on McDermot, while today the second location on Main Street is also much loved by the late-night crowd. Johnny G's menu is namely Greek, but they also have the best chicken fingers and poutine you can get piled high on one plate. There's something about the breading and the honey dill sauce that's so Manitoban, and the house-cut fries are audibly crisp. Another hit that keeps the calories coming is the steak with peppercorn sauce and fettuccine Alfredo (again, all on one plate). It’s a staple on the zany menu, and a dish that is about as delicious as damage control gets. If you want to double up on dairy, don’t forget a vanilla milkshake to-go, while the classic grilled chicken souvlaki with Greek salad will suit you if you need something with less carbs and cream sauce. Here's the website.
Ken's Restaurant - 333 Ellice Ave, until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
So many memories here at Ken's from birthdays, Chinese New Year, and wedding celebrations. It is an iconic Winnipeg Chinese restaurant located at Ellice and Hargrave, right behind the Alt Hotel. They stopped late night hours for a couple of years but now it's back, with the largest late night menu in the city. Ownership changed about five years ago but the food quality has remained when it comes to authentic Chinese cuisine. My go-to order to start off with is the deep fried five-spice squid, it's so crispy and salty and the wok hei makes the supporting vegetables nice and charred. You must order the Shanghai fried noodles, they're so thick and saucy, and pair it with sizzling beef with black bean and garlic sauce (which is quite the show when it's brought out with all that sizzle and steam). I also recommend the deep-fried fish with tofu hot pot. You can find Ken's on Facebook.
A Little Pizza Heaven - For locations, with the Osborne Village location open until 3 a.m.
Osborne Village will forever be known in Winnipeg for good times, and the easiest choice for late night eats is A Little Pizza Heaven. Friday and Saturday nights outside its 120 Osborne St. Location you are bound to see a lineup, and the main reason is that garlic butter crust. I rarely eat pizza crust but I make an exception for A Little Pizza Heaven’s as they brush on that butter like they’re staining a deck. On my last visit, I went with the OG Classic Deluxe Pizza (green peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni, onions, mozzarella) which has the pepperoni riding on top so those disks get nice and crispy. A Little Pizza Heaven also has locations on St Anne's Road and Ness Ave, but the Osborne location (120 Osborne St.) is the one that's open late. Plus, who hasn’t had a memorable conversation or two while you’re lined up after the bar waiting for za? Needless to say, a great spot to meet some locals before heading off into the night. Here's the website.
Late Night Go-To - 806 Sargent Ave (within Crspy Bnch), Thursday to Saturday until 2 a.m.
New to the Winnipeg late-night eats game is Late Night Go-To in the West End. It’s a creation by the fried chicken specialists at Crspy Bnch/Sea Level 100, and it just opened on April 14 within the same space. This place is Filipino comfort food to the max. I started off with authentic Filipino snacks like crispy Isaw, siopao, and lumpiang toge. They even had a Filipino variation of my favourite dim sum item, siu mai (pork dumplings), along with beef pares loaded up with rice, brisket, tripe and lechon. The real star dish here is the goto langit – a dish of rice porridge accompanied with roasted bone barrow, beef shank, lechon and chilli oil. The kitchen staff here put a lot of time and love into these dishes that are family recipes from the Philippines. It’s truly a unique dining experience and obviously an easy one to remember given the name. No website, so here's the Instagram.
Zaytoon - 99 Osborne St #203 (until 2 a.m., 7-days a week)
What a gorgeous space a trio of Jordanians have created in this former clothing store in Osborne Village. Translating to “Olive Tree,” Zaytoon’s bright white room has plenty of greenery–from real tropical plants to artificial vines hanging from the ceiling – which makes for an unexpectedly tranquil atmosphere when you are dining on lamb ribs after midnight. The menu mixes traditional dishes like musakhan rolls and fatteh with fusion dishes like “Arabic twist tacos” and kale tabbouleh too. There's also plenty of gluten-free and vegan dishes available. The Turkish coffee and iced drinks program is impressive as well, while it’s open to 2 a.m. seven days a week! Here's the website.