Where: 93 Osborne St.
Type of food: Classic comfort foods with international twists, like a KFC (killer fried chicken) Banh Mi and the Papa Gorgeous burger, served with tzatziki and feta
Type of price: Appetizers $6.50 to $15; entrees $12.50 to $18
Why you should go: "Ceviche with scallops and pickled shallots and citrus — they're all fresh and fantastic. Chef Norm Pastorin is one of those under-the-radar chefs that deserves more attention," says Summerfield.
Where: Inn at the Forks, 75 Forks Market Rd.
Type of food: Local, with a focus on Canadian ingredients
Type of price: Snacks $5 to $9; appetizers $8 to $12; entrees $22 to $31
Why you should go: "They make unbelievable salami chips and dip to die for (on the appetizers menu)," food writer Robin Summerfield. "Buttermilk fried half-chicken is luscious, crispy and divine, and there are loads of other standouts on menu, plus a wicked cocktail menu with in-house bitters and syrups."
The Tallest Poppy
Where: 103 Sherbrook St.
Type of food: No-nonsense staples that make the most of Manitoba's bison (but with veggie options too)
Type of price: Appetizers $5.25 to $8.50; entrees $8.95 to $16.95
Why you should go: "This is the rebirth and relocation of original Main Street location to the much more accessible Sherbrook Street. There's a great vibe, a bright space and they are really into supporting artists — they actually have an artist in residence program," Summerfield notes.
Marion Street Eatery
Where: Marion Hotel, 393 Marion St.
Type of food: Upscale comfort food
Type of price: Appetizers and salads $5.95 to $14.75; entrees $11.25 to $16.75
Why you should go: "It's not brand new, but it's one of my favourite places in Winnipeg," says Summerfield. "This food is smart and sophisticated, but still really food for all. I actually ate there last week and had a divine carrot soup with cranberry and apple chutney. It was so flavourful. The room is bright and cheery, staff totally on the ball and owners (and chef) Melissa Hryb and Laneil Smith are always present, always greeting guests and really invested in making the food and experience fantastic. Not an ounce of pretension from them at all."
The Merchant Kitchen
Where: 314 Donald St.
Type of food: A bit of all kinds of street food, including Cuban, Chinese, Vietnamese, Mexican Korean, Thai food — and more
Type of price: Dishes from $8 to $17, plus sharing plates from $44 to $75
Why you should go: "Executive chef Eric Lee is a super talented fella who in 2012 put Pizzeria Gusto on Maclean's mag's top 50 restaurants in Canada list," notes Summerfield. "They have little bites loaded with flavour and really intelligent ingredient pairings. It's a great menu for sharing with friends, all enclosed in a super chill room with friendly and knowledgeable staff who aren't trying to be your best friend and aren't food snobs."
Where: 1670 Corydon Ave.
Type of food: Modern French American
Type of price: Shared plates from approximately $5 to $22
Why you should go: "This new restaurant is by Scott Bagshaw, considered one of the best chefs in the city. Daily specials impress, but so does the regular menu, because Bagshaw is really strutting his stuff. Last time I was there, I had a green salad — yes, a green salad — that blew my socks off. It had edamame, celery, jicama, romaine hearts, pistachios, wasabi peas in a lime vinaigrette. Make sure to make reservations," advises Summerfield. (It also looks like he's opening up a new, Japanese restaurant called Maque in August.)
King and Bannatyne
Where: Southwest corner of King St. and Bannatyne Ave.
Type of food: "Hand-carved, slow-roasted meat sandwiches"
Type of price: $8.50 to $9.50 (though menu changes frequently)
Why you should go: "They also do a daily veggie sandwich, and often a gourmet grilled cheese."
Sherbrook Street Delicatessen
Where: 102 Sherbrook St.
Type of food: Deli sandwiches and other Jewish staples like lox, latkes and herring
Type of price: Snacks $2.85 to $9.75; sandwiches $8.85 to $10.45
Why you should go: "Winnipegger Jon Hochman's inspiration for his menu was his Jewish grandparents on both sides," explains Summerfield. "His schmaltz and gribenes are a decadent heart stopper, and all meats are roasted in-house — the brisket, salami and roast turkey all get kudos. Customers also make special trips for house-made potato chips."
Nick's on Broadway
Where: 287 Broadway
Type of food: Sandwiches of all kinds, changing monthly "according to season, availability, and the Chefs’ creativity."
Type of price: Sides $2 to $3; sandwiches $8 to $16 (for the lobster option, of course)
Why you should go: "The portabello mushroom sandwich at Nick's is worth becoming a vegetarian for," says Summerfield.
The Mitchell Block
Where: 173 McDermot Ave.
Type of food: "Creative contemporary cuisine"
Type of price: Appetizers $5 to $15; entrees $20 to $29
Why you should go: "Chef Sean McKay is a 'graduate' of Bonfire Bistro, one of Winnipeg's treasured neighbourhood pizza, seafood and pasta spots. His menu at MBlock takes risks here and there without going overboard. His bison carpaccio with beef crackers is crazy delicious and innovative. At lunch, the Waygu beef burger, loaded with thick-cut bacon, pickles, etc and onion rings on top is truly one of the best out there," recommends Summerfield.
Where: 670 Osborne St.
Type of food: Pizza
Type of price: $11 to $16
Why you should go: "This humble but stylish room has a simple menu that concentrates on quality, not quantity. Good, solid pizza. Reliable, consistent and hits the spot every time," says Summerfield.
Where: Canadian Museum for Human Rights, 85 Israel Asper Way
Type of food: Primarily high-end lunch, with Wednesday night dinners, and a focus on traditional, continental offerings with Canadian ingredients
Type of price: Appetizers $7 to $14; entrees $13.50 to $17.50
Why you should go: "I actually think this restaurant is a great addition to the city. It's a gorgeous, modern dining room with communal tables and a very open kitchen. The food is an ode to multiculturalism and Manitoba," says Summerfield.
Where: 484 Stradbrook Ave.
Type of food: Modern Spanish
Menu highlight: Fried Brussel sprouts, Feta mousse, baba ganoush and pomegranate dressing
Where: 1433 Corydon Ave.
Type of food: Wood-fired creations, including pizza, paella and fish
Menu highlight: Paella with chicken, chorizo, clams, prawns, mussels, sea scallops, green onions, tomatoes and peas baked with saffron rice
Where: 696 Osborne Street
Type of food: Comfort food elevated to gourmet levels. "His quality is really there," says journalist and food blogger Robin Summerfield.
Menu highlight: Lobster-stuffed, serrano-wrapped half young chicken with Brussels, pancetta, truffles and pan jus
Wasabi on Broadway
Where: 588 Broadway Ave.
Type of food: Sushi and Japanese dishes
Menu highlight: Tongarashi calamari — grilled whole Japanese squid marinated with ginger soy and Asian pineapple salsa
In Ferno's Bistro
Where: 414 Academy Rd. and 312 Rue Des Meurons Street
Type of food: Continental cuisine with a focus on French preparations
Menu highlight: Arctic char stuffed with a lobster gruyère, potato mousseline over a lemon verbena sauce
Where: 171 Dumoulin St.
Type of food: Caribbean-style fusion dishes
Menu highlight: Bacchanal shrimp served with a choice of guava coconut glaze, curry, honey jerk, or roasted pepper rum sauce
Where: 532 Waterloo St.
Type of food: Local, Canadian food — though as they put it, "not exclusively, truffles and octopus are too good to pass up and don't grow here"
Menu highlight: Stinging nettle ravioli with braised rabbit and ricotta salata
Where: 529 Wellington Cr.
Type of food: Steakhouse
Menu highlight: 22-oz. peppered ribsteak with cognac peppercorn cream sauce
V.J.'s Drive Inn
Where: 170 Main St.
Type of food: Burgers
Menu highlight: V.J.'s special burger with cheese, mustard, chili sauce, onions, pickles, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato
Boon Burger Cafe
Where: 141 Bannatyne Ave. and 79 Sherbrook St.
Type of food: Vegan burgers
Menu highlight: Grilled Buddha patty with chickpeas, brown rice, curry, onion, fresh ginger, garlic, fresh cilantro, and lemon juice
Deer and Almond
Where: 85 Princess St.
Type of food: Small innovative plates, the chef is also behind many of the exciting food events in Winnipeg (pop-up river meals, food festivals, etc.)
Menu highlight: #humblepie with bison and bone marrow
Where: 513-B St. Mary’s Rd.
Type of food: Argentinian
Menu highlight: Breaded beef topped with tomato sauce, ham, mozzarella cheese, roasted red bell peppers and fried eggs
The Velvet Glove
Where: 2 Lombard Pl. (in the Fairmont)
Type of food: Upscale, classic hotel food with local elements
Menu highlight: Veal cheek boubourguignon with truffle pommes puree, Harbourside bacon lardons, "mini" king oyster mushrooms, braised cipollini onions, natural jus
Where: Seven locations across the city
Type of food: Home-cooked food "if your mom had a serious spice rack," explains Summerfield
Menu highlight: Thai yellow curry made with fresh pineapple, grapes and red pepper in a sweet yellow curry and coconut sauce, served with rice noodles and Stella’s peach chutney
Kum Koon Garden
Where: 257 King St.
Type of food: Dim sum
Menu highlight: Shrimp dumplings
Where: 179 Bannatyne Ave.
Type of food: South American with a local slant
Menu highlight: House-breaded Manitoba pickerel topped with tartar and served with house chips
Where: 1390 Erin St.
Type of food: Latin American prix fixe menu
Menu highlight: Corn flour crusted frog legs, fried crispy and placed on a warm bed of Colombian hogao sauce
Where: 404 Academy Rd.
Type of food: Italian
Menu highlight: The Lucia, with caramelized onions, fig jam, calabrese salami, cambozola, citrus tossed arugula and pecorino
Where: Three locations
Type of food: East Indian
Menu highlight: Tandoor salmon tikka with bite-sized pieces of salmon marinated in special spices
East India Company
Where: 349 York Ave. and 210 Somerset St. W.
Type of food: East Indian
Menu highlight: The 40 to 50-item lunchtime buffet
Where: 100-283 Bannatyne
Type of food: Healthy, local food
Menu highlight: Persillade-crusted Mahi Mahi with Nantes carrot stew, asparagus coins and tips with parsley water
Where: 550 Academy Rd.
Type of food: Fresh, local, organic dishes — with an all-Canadian wine list
Menu highlight: Panko-crusted pickerel cheeks with local fennel bulb and orange salad, creme fraiche and Northern Pike caviar