Buffalo Stone Cafe
A mere 30-minute drive from downtown, FortWhyte Alive’s 600-acre nature preserve and recreation centre offer a transportive patch of prairie wilderness, perfect for trail hikes, canoe rides and more. Kick off a day of communing with nature by sampling some of its bounty at on-site Buffalo Stone Cafe. A shimmering view of the lake is backdrop to hearty, globally inspired fare like Thai noodle bowls, jerk chicken wraps and chicken donair. Don’t skip the bison burger with its housemade patty.
Location: 1961 McCreary Rd, 204-989-8370
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights educates and inspires with multicultural stories from across the globe and at home. It’s the first national museum entirely dedicated to the history and evolution of human rights. On-site restaurant Era Bistro offers equally inspirational local and fair trade ingredients. What ends up on the plate, whether crispy fried Bearcat pickerel cheeks or a hearty jambalaya popping with rye berries, is always fresh and flavourful.
Location: 85 Israel Asper Way, 204-289-2190,
The slots are a toss-up, but the food at Loft 180 at McPhillips Station Casino is a sure bet. While a quality spot to grab a drink and take a break from gaming, this restaurant also draws diners with exciting, and somewhat twisted, takes on mutli-culti dishes. Shareable plates are thoughtfully prepared and generously sized. Internationally-inspired dishes include spicy Korean chicken wings and crispy pickerel cakes with pickled cucumber. Enjoy live performances every Thursday-Saturday in the modern loft-style space while sipping craft beer and cocktails.
Location: 484 McPhillips St, 204-957-2500
Sunny orange and blue decor washes South Beach Casino in tropical vibes. The 1920-style space includes 600 slot machines and six table games for those willing to try their luck. The attached hotel has luxury suites and a tropical pool (complete with waterfall) for weekend getaways. Equally attractive is the on-site restaurant, Mango’s, where chef Richard de Krijger produces elegant classics. Piled high with hand-cut Montreal style brisket, the Reuben here is a stand-out, accentuated by tangy sauerkraut, gooey Swiss and a smear of Russian dressing.
Location: 1 Ocean Dr, off Hwy 59, Scanterbury, MB, 1-877-775-8259
Spanning 153 hectares, Assiniboine Park is the city’s largest green space and houses some of the city’s favourite attractions, like the Assiniboine Park Zoo, English Gardens, Leo Mol Sculpture Garden, Lyric Theatre and Pavilion Gallery. Walk, bike or blade the trails before sitting down at Park Café. Take in the gorgeous views of the park’s duck pond and lush garden through the floor to ceiling windows while enjoying brunch favourites like eggs benny and pancakes.
Location: 330 Assiniboine Park Dr, 204-927-6080
A gathering place for 6,000 years, The Forks was the hub of the western fur trade as early settlement began. Today, it’s the city’s top tourist attraction, with more than four million people stopping in every year to take in the sights, shop and dine. When hunger begins to gnaw, people gather at The Common, a sleek dining hall lined with vendors and filled with a crowd happily sharing communal tables. Passero, a modern Italian restaurant touching distance to the food hall, melds heritage with contemporary in both decor and flavour. Small plates like melt-in-the mouth ricotta gnocchi, sweet and sour caprese salad and seared wild scallops leave a lasting impression.
Location: 147-1 Forks Market Rd, 204-219-7300
Known for its greenery, stone “Witch Hut” and Rainbow Stage—Canada’s longest-running open air theatre—Kildonan Park is an idyllic setting for a serene afternoon. Skip the sad picnic egg salad and head to Prairie’s Edge to dine in the park in style. The menu is rife with regional specialties, with dishes like pickerel cheek pops and beet fritters putting new-school spins on longtime prairie favourites. A wrap-around wall of windows (and patio, in the summer) overlooking the park makes it feel like dining al fresco—with silverware and a wine selection to boot. Reserve tables early on Rainbow Stage performance dates.
Location: 2015 Main St, 204-284-7275
Restö at Thermea
Nestled beside Crescent Drive golf course amongst mature, towering trees, urban getaway Thermëa is a haven for rejuvenation. Past saunas and steamy soaking tubs, Restö at Thermëa provides some much-needed gastronomic therapy. There’s no place else in the city where you can enjoy Scandinavian-inspired cuisine that uses Manitoba ingredients while wearing a plush bathrobe. Enhance your sauna stint with this healthful bistro’s smorrebrod, an open-faced sandwich topped with fish or meat on buttered dense rye bread.
Location: 775 Crescent Dr, 1-855-284-6868
Terrace at Assiniboia Downs
Dinner and a show are ever more thrilling in the summer, with live horse racing at Assiniboia Downs. The chic Terrace Dining Room overlooks the track, so you can enjoy a sumptuous banquet while watching the race from the best seats in the house. Stop in for brunch or dinner buffets on live race days (reservations required). Tableside wagering is also on offer, with complimentary racing programs and tip sheets.
Location: 3975 Portage Ave, 204-885-3330
Animals from across the globe live in the Assiniboine Park Zoo, and inside the impressive Journey to Churchill Exhibit, Manitoba’s own environment, creatures and terrain are celebrated. Spot northern species like muskoxen, seals, Arctic foxes and, of course, polar bears. After watching the bears swim overhead in the Sea Ice Passage underwater viewing tunnels, head to Tundra Grill. Snack on classic eats like hot dogs and burgers while getting up close with the polar bears roaming outside the viewing windows. Brown rice bowls spiked with Asian or South American flavours and fresh take-away salads and wraps offer some lighter, healthier options.
Location: 2595 Roblin Blvd, 204-927-8040
A massive West End warehouse is home to Uptown Alley, a veritable utopia of family fun. The sprawling 43,000 square foot space boasts 30 five-pin bowling lanes, an arcade, a ping-pong room, party rooms and a space-themed laser tag arena. Lest the phrase “bowling alley food” conjures up images of limp French fries, let us assure you: here, diners are more likely to be found nibbling on fish tacos or biting into a gourmet burger. Snacky share-ables like fried pickle spears, pretzel bites with beer cheese dip, and wings in a variety of salty, spicy and tangy flavours are also on offer.
Location: 1301 St. Matthews Ave, 204-488-0000