A guide to Winnipeg's nationally celebrated and award-winning restaurants -
A selection of dishes from Clementine, Canada's top brunch spot (photo by Alex Johnson)

A guide to Winnipeg's nationally celebrated and award-winning restaurants

Winnipeg’s culinary scene continues to garner national attention, while there are always new and much-loved hidden gems that should be on every gourmand’s radar.  
Here’s some sure bets for 2024 for your Winnipeg stay, as certified recently by national critics and publications.   

As found on the Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants list (and Canada’s 50 Best Bars

Since 2015, a massive panel that now features 150 food writers, chefs, restauranteurs, media personalities and sommeliers have come together to vote on Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants. Overseen by editor-in-chief and former food critic with the National Post, Jacob Richler, the list is compiled after these experts who “vote for restaurants based on the complete dining experience: service, décor, the depth of the cellar — and, above all else, food quality.”  

For the 2024 guide, deer + almond (#39), Clementine (#74), and Yujiro (#92) all made the list, while the publication's Canada's 50 Best Bars was also released at the same time with The Roost perched at #39.  

Chef Mandel Hitzer's deer + almond (85 Princess St.) has made the list several times since the inception of Canada's 100 Best in 2015, most recently moving up 20 spots from #59 in 2023 to land at 39th. During the most recent Canada's 100 voting period, the Exchange District restaurant was run by both Hitzer and his cousin, chef Kris Kurus, who also won the Winnipeg leg of the Canadian Culinary Championships and had a great showing at the national competition.  

Along with frequently appearing on the list, chef Hitzer also does an incredible job putting the city on the international culinary map with  RAW:almond. This temporary winter restaurant on the frozen Assiniboine River (created annually with architect Joe Kaltrunyk) brings in chefs from all over the world (including many on this current Canada's 100 Best list) to serve tasting menus in January and February. Hitzer is also a judge on the Food Network show, Wall of Chefs.  

For brunch spot Clementine (123 Princess St.), it was the first time it made the Canada’s 100 List. The restaurant — helmed by chef/co-owner Chris Gama, co-owner Raya Conrad and chef du cuisine Paul Eccles — has received much love and acclaim since opening in spring 2016, with lineups for brunch a regular occurrence.  

In a 2018 rave review, food critic  Dan Clapson, wrote of Clementine in The Globe and Mail, “Can a brunch restaurant also be considered one of the country's best restaurants?” Given that the majority of the Canada's 100 Best Restaurants spots fall under the fine dining/tasting menu genre, we now have an answer. Celebrities often gladly wait for a table here (they don’t take reservations) and NHL star Jonathan Tavares singled it out to ESPN as his favourite place to eat when he’s on the road. Other Clementine accolades include being longlisted by enRoute (more on them below) in 2017 as one of Canada’s best new restaurants.  

Yujiro Japanese Restaurant (1822 Grant Ave.) is by award-winning chef Ed Lam and co-owner Esther Lo, who also have Saburo Kitchen in Hargrave Street Market. River Height's Yujiro is equally known for its excellent ramen service at lunch, along with its selection of sushi and izakaya-style dishes at dinner and its omakase events. During the voting period last year, the restaurant's dining room also received a stylish makeover, now providing a fitting setting for its beautifully plated Japanese cuisine. Chef Lam is also a past Winnipeg-leg champion (2022) at the Canadian Culinary Championships.  

This isn't the first time The Roost (651 Corydon Ave.) has made the Canada's 50 Best Bars list, having placed as high as  #27 in 2019. Located on a second floor above the Corydon strip (which includes a lovely patio) this charming, tiny, small plates bar is guided by Winnipeg's cocktail queen Elsa Taylor, who also illustrates the room's whimsical menus by hand. Taylor and her partners also own and operate Oxbow Natural Wine Bar –– which was longlisted by enRoute as one of Canada’s best new restaurants in 2018, and Parcel Pizza.   

A few other spots that have been featured on the Canada’s 50 Best Bars lists include Patent 5 Distillery – where the gin, vodka, rum and whisky that’s distilled onsite in its heritage setting are made into incredible cocktails, and Langside Grocery –– a hip snack bar located in a heritage building in West Broadway, which were #34 and #49 in 2020.  

Chef and restauranteur Scott Bagshaw has also had several restaurants make the Canada’s 100 Best Restaurant list in the past. This includes his flagship wine bar Enoteca in 2020 (which also was enRoute’s #9 best new restaurant in Canada in 2015), and Máquè in 2023– his now-closed Asian small plates restaurant that he closed to focus on the new location of Passero (774 Corydon Ave). Known for its beautifully executed Italian small plates, Passero has also received a glowing review in The Globe and Mail.  

More spots that are The Globe and Mail approved and/or featured in enRoute’s guide to Canada’s best new restaurants  

It’s official, Winnipeg is home to several of Canada’s best new restaurants. 

Landing at No. 5 on Air Canada/ enRoute’s current Canada’s Best New Restaurants list is Petit Socco, an intimate two-person operation by chef Adam Donnelly and Courtney Molaro. This tiny restaurant seats just 10 (plus an additional eight on the patio), presenting a new four-course menu every week where reservations – weeks in advance – are now even more of a must. Chef Donnelly also won Dish of the Year for his pork belly and nectarine panzanella, which had enRoute’s head judge Amy Rosen stating she’ll “remember… for another decade."    

Petit Socco was joined by Saint-Boniface’s  Bar Accanto on the Best New Restaurants longlist, which sees this charming wine bar following in the footsteps of its flagship restaurant Nola, which made the list in 2022. Both restaurants are part of Burnley Place Hospitality and connected via a hallway.  

At Nola, the dishes come courtesy of  Top Chef Canada alum Emily Butcher, who finished an impressive third at the Canadian Culinary Championships in 2020 when she was the chef du cuisine at deer + almond. After earning an excellent review from The Globe and Mail in May 2022, that same year in December the publication went even further citing Nola as the #1 new culinary concept on the prairies, with Winnipeg’s Hoagie Boyz and Low Life Barrel House also coming in at #9 and #10 respectively. 

Bar Accanto features a menu by Nola alum Colin Naylor, and it shines just as bright with elegant plates focused and a joyfully curated selection of natural wines.

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Winnipeg, Manitoba
Canada R3C 4T7
1 855 PEG CITY (734-2489)

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