Best New Restaurants, What To Eat & Where To Eat It

Best New Restaurants 2020

Our top choices from the excellent, intrepid Winnipeg restaurants that opened in 2020.

Preservation Hall

Tristan Foucault is inarguably one of Winnipeg’s pre-eminent chefs. He’s helmed three Wow! Hospitality-owned restaurant kitchens, and has become nearly legendary for his nose to tail approach to cooking. His obsession with the science of curing and spicing meats has earned his charcuterie widespread recognition among Winnipeg’s culinary set. So it’s no surprise that the city’s gourmands were thrilled when Tristan and wife Melanie joined an elite segment of eateries where chef owners are in their kitchens cooking every day, following their passion. Preservation Hall Eatery and Wine Bar, opened this summer, combines superb culinary skills with charming and exuberant service, making it our choice for best new restaurant of 2020.

Read our full review here.

Alena Rustic Italian

Having a chance to repeat a revelatory restaurant experience always breeds a jolt of excitement when a much-loved chef or restaurateur returns with a new concept—and if the old band’s getting back together? Hold on to your hat. The iconic duo returning to Winnipeg’s stage this year is Doug Stephen, of WOW! Hospitality, and chef Michael Dacquisto, who reunited to launch Alena Rustic Italian. From the much-loved Pasta La Vista to Carne Italian Chophouse, Stephen and Dacquisto have created some of Winnipeg’s finest dining experiences, and Alena is no exception, serving up homestyle Italian cooking with a contemporary twist and giving suburban Charleswood’s culinary scene a major boost. Alena Rustic Italian’s down-home yet sophisticated style of Italian cooking combined with a roaring fire on a frosty Winnipeg night is an unbeatable pairing. 

Read our full review here.


Juneberry is a welcome addition to Old St.Vital, bringing an eminently Instagrammable style and whopping amount of flavor to the neighbourhood, while drawing a dining crowd from across the city. This brunch gem was finally able to open in July 2020, in time for diners to enjoy a beautiful patio situated across from the river. The interior is a warm, inviting space drenched with natural light. Delicate floating mobiles add a festive and whimsical tone, while patterned fabric divides tables with flair. If the gorgeous interior is enough to draw hungry brunchers in, the delicious menu, enticing cocktail list and expertly plated food will keep them coming back. Thoughtful twists on morning classics add flair, while creative new options with Asian and Middle Eastern flavours are sure to delight.

Read our full review here.

Little Nana’s Italian Kitchen

We are obsessed with Italian food. This culturally diverse city shows its affection, arguably favouritism, towards plates of pasta sauced in tomatoes, cream and cheese. Despite the fact we are spoiled for choice in this city, when Little Nana’s Italian Kitchen boldly opened in December 2019, we were elated. Classic southern Italian style dishes and Nana’s recipes from the old country may not be such a secret formula, but it’s a winning one. Chef Dann Ignacio brings some NYC pedigree to pair with the knowledge of tradition of the Calabrian owners. Premium ingredients are prevalent throughout the menu, and Parmigiano Reggiano, pecorino and buffalo mozzarella make their delightful statement on salads, pizza and pastas. Generosity is notable at Little Nana’s. The problem with Italian food is you are hungry again two days later, states the bill at the end of the meal.

Read our full review here.

Meal Set Bistro

The history of food is a series of adaptations; while some concepts prompt the term “fusion food,” in a sense, all cuisine is a fusion of culture, place, and a chef’s personal creativity. At Meal Set Bistro, the new entry into Academy Road’s dining scene that opened late last year, these elements converge in chef Ken Nguyen’s kitchen, and arrive at the table in the form of some of the most exciting food we’ve eaten this year. Find Korean spicy chili, cilantro sauce, chimichurri, ginger juice and fruit salsas layered into sushi and salad here. Chef Ken’s funhouse of flavours is a testament to the arbitrariness of culinary classification.

Read our full review here.