Whether you are a resident of Winnipeg or are here visiting, here are 6 must-try vegetarian (or veg-friendly) restaurants. You definitely don't have to be vegetarian to enjoy these restaurants. Check them out if you're curious about vegetarian food or just looking for somewhere new to eat.
____________________Boon Burger (100-141 Bannatyne Ave / 79 Sherbrook Ave)
Boon Burger hails itself as the "world's first vegan burger cafe" and was born here in Winnipeg in 2010. They have since opened a second location in Winnipeg and another in Barrie, Ontario. There are now plans for a Boon in Toronto. I can't say enough good things about Boon Burger. From the customer service, to their ever-growing menu, and environmentally friendly practices, it is all around an amazing place. Anytime I want to introduce someone to vegan fare who is skeptical about it, I bring them to Boon. Everyone I have brought here has been pleasantly surprised at how delicious and filling vegan food can be. Almost everything is made in-house and includes healthier takes on burgers, hot dogs, pizza, salad, fries and coconut-milk soft serve ice cream/shakes. There are many gluten-free options, a kids menu and delivery available. Boon has also been featured on the Food Network television show You Gotta Eat Here! Boon Burger is my top pick for vegan food in Winnipeg.
Must Try: Chili-Cheez Fries, Cowboy Burger, Prairie Fried Chick'n Burger, Boon House Salad, Buddha Burger, Shakes
Affinity Vegetarian Garden (100-208 Edmonton Street)
I have been a regular customer at this Taiwanese-Chinese restaurant since it opened in May 2001. The service is very friendly, you will likely be welcomed by more than one person upon entering. The msg-free menu offers around 65 items including appetizers, soups, noodle dishes, veggie fish, mock-meats and more. What brings me here most often is their pay-by-weight lunch buffet (Monday-Friday) that features approximately 10 different dishes each day, though the fried rice, chow mien and sushi are standard. You can try a little bit of everything and are charged by the weight of what is on your plate. Take out is also available for the lunch buffet. I love coming here and often come alone for lunch, as many diners do. It is a fast, healthy and reasonably priced vegetarian lunch option downtown.
Must Try: Eggplant with Black Bean Sauce, Kung-Pao Gluten, Spicy Szechuan Tofu, and Crispy Yams
Delicious Vegetarian Restaurant (1467 Pembina Hwy) Delicious Vegetarian is a favorite in Winnipeg for Chinese food. It is situated in a small space on one of Winnipeg's main routes but boasts an extensive and creative menu. I have been coming to Delicious since 2002 and still haven't tried everything on the menu. You can find mock-meats (including shrimp), rice/noodle dishes, soups, congee, appetizers and desserts. Many popular traditional dishes are available in vegan form here. The portions are big enough to share and there is a good chance you will have leftovers. Check out the lunch specials here during the week that include your choice of soup and a spring roll.
Must Try: Hot and Sour Soup, Sweet and Sour Gluten Balls, Deep-Fried Mushrooms with Spicy Salt, Eight Treasures, Vegetarian Beef Chow Mein____________________
Kokeb Ethopian Restaurant (266 Edmonton Street) My favourite Ethiopian restaurant in Winnipeg. It is not fully vegetarian but does have a number of options that are marked on the menu. Kokeb offers a veggie plate with an assortment of their dishes serves on top of injera. If you enjoy spicy food, try their hot sauce with your meal. The food can take a while to prepare but if you come during the week there is an all-veggie buffet at lunch time. Very filling and delicious food.
Must Try: Lunch Buffet, Veggie Plate, Samosas, Hot Sauce____________________
La Fiesta Cafecito (Unit M - 730 St. Anne's Road) This is an El Salvadorian restaurant in the South end of Winnipeg. It is not fully vegetarian but does have some options that you won't find anywhere else in the city. The staff here are very friendly and helpful with the menu. Be aware, the food does take some time to prepare, especially if it busy. There are usually only 1-2 people serving even on the busiest nights. It is worth the wait as it is one of the only places to get authenthic El Salvadorian cuisine in the city. Only open for dinner and closed Sunday, Monday and Holidays.
Must try: Corn Tamal, Bean or Quacamole Enchilada, Bean Pupusa, Vegan Combo Platters, Fresh Juices
____________________Stella's Bakery and Cafe (5 locations) Stella's is a local favourite that has grown to 5 locations across the city. Although the menu is not strictly vegetarian, they offer many dishes that are vegetarian or that can be altered to be made vegetarian or vegan. Moderately-prices with large portions (I end up with leftovers the majority of times I dine here). The service is generally very good, with the knowledgeable and friendly staff. They also offer specialty-coffee drinks that can be made with almond milk.
Must Try: Vegan Mexican Breakfast, Garden Burger, Chickpea Curry, Dragon Bowl (add grilled tofu)