How To Enjoy Winnipeg's Favorite Market
A version of this story originally appeared on the Manitoba Hot blog.
The Forks Market in Winnipeg has undergone a recent renaissance, transforming the always popular destination into the place to be come Saturday night.. and afternoon.. and Sunday.. and really any day of the week.
The market boasts a nostalgic feel, with live buskers and shops carrying locally-made art, crafts, clothing, jewellery, and more. The gorgeous dining hall is licensed several upscale fast food joints have opened up. Go for the food, stay for the beer, and enjoy these four ways to wine and dine at The Forks Market.
1. Share and be merry
For those who like a little of everything, sharing plates and tapas are the way to go. Mix and match amongst the numerous vendors by enjoying an appetizer, a main course, and a dessert from three different spots. The main challenge will be choosing which three. While you’re in the spirit of sharing, check out the harvest tables. Made with reclaimed wood by Wood Anchor, they make it easy to pass dishes amongst your dining companions.
2. Take a trip around the world
Where else in the city can you choose between Canadian, Japanese, or Caribbean for lunch? The Forks is a reflection of Manitoba’s vibrant cultural mosaic and offers visitors an opportunity for worldly culinary adventures.
Fusian Sushi brings a tasty twist to Japanese flavors at The Forks. Spicy tofu fries are a can’t-miss with their crunchy outside and gooey center. Lettuce wraps are a great introduction for the sushi neophyte, while the fresh and firm tuna sashimi is perfect for the sushi devotee. Hawaiian shrimp nachos combine layers of pineapple, avocado, and salmon in a treat too good to pass up.
If you’re looking for authentic Argentinean fare (and really, who isn’t?) then look no further than Empanada’s and Company. Snack on Provenzal Fries doused with garlic, parsley, and olive oil, or opt for the specialty — empanadas with a variety of filling options, from spicy beef to spinach ricotta to blue cheese. For heartier fare, try a traditional Milanesa sandwich featuring a breaded cutlet on thick white bread with all the fixings. Don’t forget the traditional chimichurri sauce to go with everything on the menu.
3. Eat Manitoba Style
If local fare is what you seek, then The Forks is the perfect place to eat like a Manitoban.
Tall Grass Prairie Bakery (TPG) is a local institution. Their cinnamon buns could easily be called the official provincial dessert of Manitoba. TGP respects the age-old tradition of milling organic flour with its onsite mill, and from-scratch baking. Their cheese croissants are not to be missed, while ciabatta sandwiches made with smoked cheese are a perfect lunch staple.
Nothing says Manitoba like perogies and kubasa for lunch. Head to Baba’s Tall Grass Pantry for these and other Manitoba favorites, like beet borscht. Local ingredients also make an appearance with meatballs made from local, grass-fed meats, and bison stew — a hearty concoction that will leave you full and smiling.
4. Enjoy your flight
The Common is a central hangout for after-work drinks, and morphs into a popular nighttime hot spot. Get a flight of beer or wine to get a sense of what you like, or to just enjoy the variety. Flights come served inside a custom Manitoba shaped wooden block with marked washers indicating which beer or wine you’re trying. Once you’ve decided on your favorite, you’re welcome to grab a full-sized glass and wander the entire market to sip while you shop.
Want to discover more food and drink in Winnipeg? Visit the Travel Manitoba website.