Best List, What To Eat & Where To Eat It

Winnipeg’s Best River View Restaurants

In Winnipeg, the most coveted summer dining spots are those offering stellar views of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers. The options for eating riverside range from the swankiest of patios to picnic tables on prime real estate.

529 Wellington Steakhouse

This turn-of-the-century mansion features a beautiful backyard terrace decked out with stylish (and comfy) furniture that sprawls out over a manicured back lawn next to Assiniboine River. This creates the perfect backdrop to 529 Wellington Steakhouse’s masterful meat dishes, making this tony steakhouse the utmost in alfresco fine dining. Here, beef carpaccio is paper-thin, topped with whisper-light shavings of Parm, and as divine as the view.

Location: 529 Wellington Cres, 204-487‑8325

Cibo Waterfront Café

Virtually hanging over the Red River at the edge of the Exchange District sits Cibo Waterfront Café. Housed in a former water pumping station and steps away from Waterfront Drive and Stephen Juba Park, it’s poised to view key landmarks of downtown. Take in the lush greenery and sparkling waters while nibbling on a choice of creative bruschetta combinations, like balsamic-drizzled brie and apple or herby mushroom and goat cheese.

Location: 339Waterfront Dr, 204‑594‑0339

The Common

Patio lovers have good reason to head to The Forks this summer (if there weren’t enough already)! A new outdoor bar and licensed patio operated by The Forks Market has opened, creating a primo spot for sipping local and Canadian brews and wines. Enjoy a bevvie or two while soaking up the sunshine, then explore the Assiniboine Riverwalk, historic attractions like the Oodena Circle and The Forks’ terrific selection of restaurants and shops.

Location: The Forks Market, 1 Forks Market Road, 204-947-9236

Half Moon Drive In

A scenic drive up Henderson Highway leads hungry travelers to Half Moon Drive In, a 50s style diner planted on the banks of the Red River. Expect lines as this is a premium summer hotspot. For those who won’t be deterred from their quest for classic eats, big burgers slathered with chili, hand-cut fries and ice cream are tasty rewards. Claim an outdoor picnic table and enjoy a front row seat to the water. Classic cars built for cruisin’ are often gathered in the lot.

Location: 6860 Henderson Hwy, Lockport, 204-757-2517

Mon Ami Louis

Set at the midpoint of the Esplanade Riel bridge, Mon Ami Louis’s spacious dining room gives a panoramic view of the Red River. Snag a window seat to watch waterfowl and water buses alike skimming over the surface of the water, while enjoying well-executed French specialities. Pizza-like tartes flambés recreate a peasant dish from the lesser-known Alsace region of France. Airy, crisp crusts sport a bounty of toppings, like bittersweet artichoke hearts, tomatoes and goat cheese on the Mediterranean option.

Location: 50 Provencher Blvd, 204-938-2226

Pier 7 Pony Corral

Pier 7 Pony Corral has wide appeal, with margaritas and no-fuss appies delivered to guests lounging under tiki huts, and a view of lush St. Vital Park across the Red River. Live bands take center stage, and DJs bring the dance party Friday and Saturday nights. Fire pit seating takes care of cool nights. Half-price wing nights run Sunday to Tuesday and are a weekly crowd pleaser.

Location: 1700 Pembina Hwy, 204‑275‑3687

Prairie 360

An extraordinary glass elevator ride brings diners to one of the most picturesque spots in the city. While not situated next to a river, Prairie 360’s prime sky-high real estate and table-to-ceiling windows present a bird’s eye angle on Winnipeg landmarks, flowing rivers and expansive prairie sky. Lightly charred steaks with peppery crusts and well-marbled interiors bring this restaurant up to gold standard.

Location: 83 Garry St, 204-505-2681

Promenade Café and Wine

Located in the heart of the city’s French Quarter, St. Boniface, Promenade Café and Wine boasts breathtaking views of the Red River, bustling Esplanade Riel and Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Zesty sautéed crevettes served with garlic crostini and crispy sweet potato chips tease the taste buds, and pair perfectly with a glass of wine and glowing sunset.

Location: 130-C Provencher Blvd, 204-233‑7030

Skinner's River Road

Located twenty minutes north of Winnipeg, Lockport mainstay Skinner’s draws locals and tourists alike to its two diners, with its spot on River Road touting the best river views. Sit out on the expansive wooden porch and watch the fishermen dotting the shores. This classic diner started back in 1929 with a single stand serving up 10 cent hot dogs. Since then, prices have gone up and buildings have been established, but the kitchen continues to whip up its signature foot-longs, crispy fries and thick shakes.

Location:  608 River Rd, Lockport, 204-757-2951