When traveling to any major city, you’re guaranteed to leave with a very different experience if you’ve ventured beyond the downtown core. When traveling for work this can be tricky, and I’m sure we’ve all visited cities for conferences and barely even left the host hotel (sorry Edmonton, I’m sure you’ve lots to offer really). However, take the time to explore a little and you can find unique boutiques, great restaurants, and truly get a feel for how locals live in a city. There are lots of great Winnipeg Neighbourhoods to explore, and here are three that you might want to check out on your next visit to the city.
Osborne Village offers a heady mix of artisanal foodie joints, dive bars, live music venues, and some absolutely superb restaurants. Come here to pick up new vinyl or pick up a few neat gifts to take home, or sample one of the 160 different whiskeys on offer at the Toad in the Hole Pub and Eatery. You’ll find lots of great sushi places in this ‘hood, and a really cute Japanese crepe restaurant called Kawaii Crepe that serves up sweet and savory treats. For more upmarket eats and cocktails, head to the Black Rabbit Bistro Lounge, which is fairly new and excellent.
St Boniface is Winnipeg’s French Quarter, and is home to the largest Francophone population west of the Great Lakes. The birthplace of Louis Reil, the Metis leader who helped create Manitoba, there are many significant historic sights in this ‘hood. (You can take a walking tour if you’d like to delve deeper into the history of the area). There are plenty of French restaurants, such as Mon Ami Louis where you can pick up poutine, crepes, and other French inspired dishes, and bakeries where you can grab delicious pastries. Head there after dark for live jazz and funk at Le Garage Café or a fabulous meal at Resto Gare.
The entire 20 blocks of the Exchange District is a National Historic Monument. Although the architecture alone is reason enough to visit, that’s just part of what makes this ‘hood so special; there are lots of festivals and cultural events that happen there throughout the year, and many bars, restaurants, boutiques, and other cool businesses. This is the city’s design district, so it has a definite cool factor, and it is where many of the Winnipeg’s startups have made their home. When there be sure to pick up a sweet treat at Bronuts, which has something of a cult following, and grab yourself a really excellent espresso at Parlour Coffee.
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Photo courtesy of Travel Manitoba.