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May 28, 2020

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Best of Winnipeg 2014


What you're reading now is the end result of the second annual readers' survey conducted by Canstar Community News.

It's a continuation of the Best of Winnipeg survey that ran for years in Uptown Magazine but we have brought a community-oriented twist to the questionnaire which ran in The Headliner, The Herald, The Lance, The Metro, The Sou'wester, and The Times and here online at canstarnews.com

In addition to asking readers to name their favourite restaurants, shops and services, people and places, we also added categories such as favourite schools, favourite corner stores, and favourite local parks and playgrounds.

The results we got were lively and interesting -- evidence that readers of this city's community papers really do love the areas they live in and that they also take a broader interest in the aspects of Winnipeg life that are available to us all.

The survey itself was conducted in February, March and April. The hundreds of ballots were tabulated late last month and our editorial team of Cindy Chan, Andrea Geary, Dan Falloon, Simon Fuller, John Kendle, Darren Ridgley, Jared Story and Jordan Thompson compiled the brief writeups on the winners of each category. We then gathered pictures from our files, arranged photos at some locations and the whole package was laid out by Karen Spence and Debbie Wilson.

We hope you enjoy our Best of Winnipeg readers' survey results. If you have any feedback on the survey process or suggestions for categories we could use in next year's survey, we'd love to hear from you.

Please send your feedback to:
John Kendle
Managing Editor
Canstar Community News
1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6

Best New Local Restaurant

532 Waterloo St., 204-667- 2439

With just 21 seats, it's wise to make a reservation to dine at chew. This small treasure, opened in June 2013, is located deep in the heart of River Heights, but the outstanding food cooked by husband and wife team Kyle Lew and Kirsten Chemerika is luring foodies away from Osborne Village and the Corydon strip. These Red Seal chefs focus on using locally grown and produced ingredients including pickerel, bison, wild blueberries and asparagus.

2) Prairie 360
83 Garry St., 204-505-2681

3) The Cornerstone Bar and Restaurant
93 Osborne St., 204-505-7772

Best Local Breakfast/Brunch

Stella's Café & Bakery
Several Winnipeg locations

With five locations, and one operating as Edna's on the University of Manitoba campus, it's easy to find a Stella's close by. This family-owned restaurant chain is a great place to take an out-of-town guest for true local and homemade fare. In addition to omelettes and quiches served all day, the menu features soups, salads, sandwiches, chili, curries and entrees including jambalaya and roasted ratatouille. There are many vegetarian options. Don't forget to pick up a jar of their homemade jam.

2) Park Café at Assiniboine Park
330 Assiniboine Park Dr., 204-927-6001

3) Osborne Village Café
160 Osborne St., 204-452-9824

Best Local Burger Restaurant

472 Stradbrook Ave., 204-888-1001

Formerly known as Unburger, Nuburger is at the top of the heap of Winnipeg's favourite burger joints for year two. A far cry from what you get at fast food franchises, these beef, chicken or veggie burgers are custom made and come with spiciness warnings. The tropic thunder is a spicy chicken burger topped with double-smoked bacon, Bothwell cheddar, pineapple, lettuce and chipotle aioli. Match that with Asian slaw topped with candied almonds or a side of freshly cut potato and sweet potato fries with a choice of dips. As well as vegetarian fare, including the ever-popular Unburger with a chickpea patty, vegan options are available.

2) V.J.'s Drive Inn
170 Main St., 204-943-2655

3) Market Burger
645 Corydon Ave., 204-505-2510

Best Local Chinese Restaurant

Four Seasons
10-35 Lakewood Blvd., 204-254-2221

Ordering from Four Seasons is a family tradition for many local residents as this take-out favourite has been in business in Southdale for about 26 years. The menu features a blend of Chinese and Polynesian cuisine and you can check on your last order and favourite dishes using the restaurant's online ordering system. If you can't decide what to order, the family dishes provide a selection of the top sellers. Be warned though, it's recommended that you place a pre-order on weekends to avoid a lengthy wait before picking up your order.

2) Kum Koon Garden
257 King St., 204-943-4655

3) Sun Fortune Restaurant
2077 Pembina Hwy., 204-269-6868

Best Local Desserts

Baked Expectations
161 Osborne St., 204-452-5176

For over 30 years, Winnipeggers have come from all over the city to indulge their sweet teeth at Baked Expectations in the heart of Osborne Village. So what's the draw? Well it might be the huge selection of over 30 desserts, including cheesecakes, pies, tortes and more. Please don't worry about the calories. But there's more than just sweets on the menu with salads, omelettes, pastas, chili, burgers and sandwiches served throughout the day, along with a Sunday brunch from 11 to 3. But don't forget to leave room for dessert!

2) Dessert Sinsations
505 St. Mary Ave., 204-284-4661

3) Double D's Cheesecake
18-200 Meadowood Dr., 204-257-6502

Best Local Coffee Shop

Parlour Coffee
468 Main St., 204-555-5555

You have to make a point of heading downtown between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday to try a cup of ground-to-order coffee at Parlour which serves and sells coffee blends made by several leading North American micro-roasters. You can pair that wonderful steaming joe with a fresh pastry or yummy bun from local bakeries Tall Grass Prairie Bread Co. and Jonnies Sticky Buns.

2) Little Sister Coffee Maker
A-470 River Ave., no phone listed

3) Thom Bargen Coffee & Tea
64 Sherbrook St., 204-234-5678

Best Local Greek Restaurant

Niko's Restaurant
740 Corydon Ave., 204-478-1144

Long a favourite in Winnipeg's Little Italy, Niko's Restaurant serves up hearty and plentiful traditional Greek dishes. The menu features moussaka, souvlaki, a variety of gyros, salads. For those who are counting their calories, there are lighter versions of many of the favourite entrees. Eleven submarine sandwiches are available as well as sandwich and burger platters. With such an extensive menu, there's something for everyone and special choices for children. While the dining area isn't too large, you can place a take-out order and enjoy the delightful flavours of Greece in your home.

2) Homer's
520 Ellice Ave., 204-788-4858

3) Tuxedo Village Family Restaurant
2090 Corydon Ave., 204-897-6565

Best Local Ice Cream/Gelato

Bridge Drive-In
766 Jubilee Ave., 204-475-6850

BDI doesn't stand for Best Darned Ice cream (sic), but that could well be the case as the Bridge Drive-In again tops the list of favourite ice cream sellers in Winnipeg. Visiting the BDI is a summertime tradition for many who buy their favourite cold treats, then grab a bench by the river or take a walk across the Elm Park Bridge. Open for over 45 years, BDI offers a wide choice of frozen confections including the famous Goog Special, consisting of a blueberry shake, topped with chunks of banana, more ice cream, hot fudge sauce, peanuts, whipped cream and a cherry.

2) Nucci's Gelati
643 Corydon Ave., 204-475-8765

3) Sargent Sundae
2053 Portage Ave., 204-832-5021

Best Local Indian/South Asian Restaurant

East India Company
349 York Ave., 204- 947-3097

Tucked into a location just west of the RBC Convention Centre, the East India Company has served up delicious food for more than 30 years. Customers can enjoy the lunch and dinner buffets that feature a salad bar, chutneys, pickles, yogurt and up to 20 hot entrees and a dessert bar. If you don't fancy eating out, check the take-out and delivery options that include vegetarian and non-vegetarian entrees. You can also order chai tea mix and a few of the most-used spice mixes on the web site at www.eastindiaco.com.

2) Clay Oven
Several Winnipeg locations

3) Ivory
200 Main St., 204-944-1600

Best Local Italian Restaurant

Bellisimo Restaurant and Lounge
1-877 Waverley St., 204- 489-0495

Located in a strip mall in Winnipeg's southwest corner, you might not realize that Bellisimo is so good, but once you've eaten there, you're in on the secret. Open for over 10 years, the restaurant has grown from 25 to 140 seats – a sign of its success. But it's the fresh-made food that's what draws patrons. The dinner menu includes a selection of 12 pasta dishes, plus chicken, veal and lamb in entrees as well as gourmet pizzas. The lunch menu also contains pasta dishes and a few of the gourmet pizzas along with sandwiches and salads. If you're planning a special dinner, be sure to make a reservation.

2) Tre Visi Cucina Italiana
173 McDermot Ave., 204- 949-9032

3) Mona Lisa Ristorante Italiano
1697 Corydon Ave., 204- 488-3684

Best Local Japanese/Sushi Restaurant

Three Winnipeg locations

This sushi chain definitely has staying power – it's been voted a Winnipeg favourite for the fourth year in a row. All three restaurant locations offer a wide variety of rolls and specialty dishes to be enjoyed in their contemporary surroundings. Finish off the night with a cup of hot or cold sake but, if you want to enjoy sushi in the comfort of your home, Wasabi also offers takeout and delivery through Skip the Dishes.

2) Yujiro
1822 Grant Ave., 204-489-9254

3) Ichi Ban
189 Carlton St., 204-925-7400

Best Local Mexican/Latin American Restaurant

Burrito Del Rio
433 River Ave. #8, 204-415-5600

It's tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Osborne Village, but there's no hiding how much Winnipeggers love the burritos served at this restaurant. Burrito Del Rio is known for its massive, messy burritos filled with your meat of choice, Mexican rice, beans, cheese blend, and salsa. Trade your nice clothes for a stack of napkins because these burritos will drip down your arms, stuffed with tons of delicious flavours. Burrito Del Rio also offers quesadillas and tacos.

2) Burrito Splendido
3380 Portage Ave., 204-885-3889

3) Mercadito Latino
570 Sargent Ave., 204-415-2870

Best Local Pizza Restaurant

Santa Lucia
Six Winnipeg locations

Santa Lucia is once again the head cheese, the best pizza place – with six locations – in the city. Forget all you know about pizza from anywhere else -- just visit any Santa Lucia locations for the local, homemade stuff. The crust is thin and homemade, topped with all your faves. Santa Lucia also offers an assortment of pastas and Greek dinners. Serving both Italian and Greek cuisine, appetizers range from chicken wings to escargot to spanakopita.

2) Pizzeria Gusto
404 Academy Rd., 204-944-8786

3) Little Pizza Heaven
120 Osborne St., 204-777-5255

Best Local Steakhouse

Rae and Jerry's Steak House
1405 Portage Ave., 204-783-6155

Rae and Jerry's Steak House is a Winnipeg institution and people just live its familiar menu, featuring old-school favourites such as the Reuben sandwich for lunch and a veal cutlet for dinner. The restaurant offers a variety of platters and appetizers as part of its catering menu as well.

2) 529 Wellington Steakhouse
529 Wellington Cres., 204-487-8325

3) Hermanos Restaurant & Wine Bar
179 Bannatyne Ave., 204-947-5434
Round Table Steakhouse
800 Pembina Hwy., 204-453-3631

Best Local Thai Restaurant

191 Osborne St., 204-633-6907

Not too far from Osborne Village is Sukhothai, a Thai restaurant with a lengthy menu of traditional dishes, including many types of soups. The red and green curry soups are spicy, but the addition of coconut milk tames the spiciness a bit and adds thickness to the broth. On the other side of the spectrum are refreshing salads with papaya, apple, and mango with lime, chilies, and cashews. Fair warning – Thai food is typically spicy, so if you're not used to the heat, keep that glass of water full and close by.

2) Bangkok Thai
100 Osborne St., 204-474-0908

3) Magic Thailand
842 Logan Ave., 204-774-0839

Best Local Vietnamese Restaurant

Viva Restaurant
505 Sargent Ave., 204-772-3167

Viva Restaurant is located in the heart of the West End, a colourful community with many new immigrants and new Canadians. Of course the Vietnamese eatery offers pho, a beef rice noodle soup but Vietnamese cuisine has much more to offer beyond that classic dish. Viva is also known for its rice noodle vermicelli bowls with charbroiled pork, spring rolls, and much more. And if you're feeling adventurous, try the frog legs in curry sauce.

2) Pho Hoang
794 Sargent Ave., 204-415-6893

3) Saigon Jon's Vietnamese Kitchen
2696 Pembina Hwy., 204-275-2150

Best Local Natural/Health Food/Organic Food Store

Organza Market
230 Osborne St. #2A, 204-453-6266

Healthy eating and shopping is an enjoyable experience at Organza Market. The 7,000-square-foot store opened its doors in 2005, and offers produce, dairy, bulk foods, baked goods, frozen foods, fresh meat, pet food, and cleaning supplies. Customers can also buy health and beauty products and giftware. You can feel good about shopping there because the store sells organic and natural foods and products.

2) Organic Planet Worker Co-Op
877 Westminster Ave., 204-772-8771

3) Eat It Organic Market
603 Wall St., 204-772-2136

Best Local Fine Dining Restaurant

529 Wellington Steakhouse
529 Wellington Cres., 204-487-8325

Located at 529 Wellington Cres., this steak house is considered a high-end treat for Winnipeggers from all parts of the city. The restaurant offers a lunch menu, a dinner menu, and a group set menu meant for larger bookings and private events. Both lunch and dinner menus feature steaks made of "exclusively Canada prime beef." It also offers burgers, seafood, dessert and a sommelier who will recommend just the perfect wine.

2) In Ferno's Bistro
312 Rue des Meurons, 204-262-7400

3) Segovia Tapas Bar and Restaurant
484 Stradbrook Ave., 204-477-6500

Best Late-Night Dining

Johnny G's Restaurant
172 Main St., 204-943-1072
177 McDermot Ave., 204-942-6656

Many people with late-night cravings prefer to venture off to either one of Johnny G's two locations for comfort food. Johnny G's has burgers, poutine, pasta, pizza, the list goes on. If you're out real late – say, until about 4 a.m. – you can select items from the all night specials menu, which features chicken and mushroom fettuccini, a pizza and Caesar salad combo, and homemade hot roast beef. Johnny G's also offers milkshakes – sweet nostalgia in a cup – in vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry flavours.

2) Salisbury House
Several Winnipeg locations

3) Ken's Restaurant
333 Ellice Ave., 204-943-1062

Best Local Food Cart/Wagon

Pimp My Rice Food Truck
You can find this mobile Filipino dining experience on Broadway, Portage Avenue, Main Street, Corydon Avenue, in Osborne Village, or at The Forks during the summer months. The owners of the truck serve up favourites from their homeland on the streets of Winnipeg, such as lumpia, which are small eggrolls, and pancit, which is Filipino-style noodles. The truck also serves dessert in the form of a plantain fritter called turon, filled with jackfruit and topped with icing sugar.

2) The Red Ember Food Truck

3) Vilai's Spice Box

Best Place to Take a Date for Dinner

Segovia Tapas Bar and Restaurant
484 Stradbrook Ave., 204-477-6500

If you're sharing an evening with company you hope to share a kiss with at night's end, start out by sharing some tapas in the heart of Osborne Village. With a menu ranging from duck confit empanada to grilled lamb chops and albacore tuna tatare to a wide range of cheese and charcuterie platters, there's bound to be something suited to the apple of your eye. A selection from the extensive wine list should help proceedings further.

2) Bistro 7 1/4
725 Osborne St., 204-777-2525

3) Deseo Bistro
696 Osborne St., 204-452-2561

Best Place to Eat Alone

The Park Café
330 Assiniboine Park Dr., 204-927-6001

Perhaps a tranquil walk brought you to Assiniboine Park and a hunger pang struck. Or maybe a 'treat yourself' day was simply in order. Whatever the reason, there's no shame in ordering a table for one at The Park Café in the Qualico Family Centre. Visitors can enjoy a breakfast or lunch from former The Gates on Roblin chef Heiko Duehrsen, with the Farmer's Sausage on a Pretzel Bun sandwich, toasted coconut pancakes with banana rum sauce, and vegan breakfast of black bean cakes and salsa running the gamut of flavours offered.

2) Nuburger
472 Stradbrook Ave., 204-888-1001

3) Stella's
Several Winnipeg locations

Best Patio

Tavern United Downtown
260 Hargrave St., 204-944-0022

The downtown Canad Inns-owned mainstay isn't just a place to duck into between periods of a Jets game to escape the MTS Centre's exorbitant prices – there's a reason to pop in year-round. Climb to the Tavern's sprawling rooftop patio to soak in some rays while rising above downtown's hustle and bustle – all while quaffing a cold brew and noshing on some traditional pub fare.

2) Bar Italia
737 Corydon Ave., 204-452-1929

3) Confusion Corner Bar & Grill
500 Corydon Ave., 204-284-6666

Best Neighbourhood Pub

The Grove Pub & Restaurant
164 Stafford St., 204-415-3262

Owner Miles Gould had big shoes to fill replacing Tubby's Pizza and The Lounge of Charlie O and Friends, but since opening in 2010, The Grove has captured Crescentwood' s imagination. Certainly, offering a sweet 16 selection of beers on tap and another 30 by the bottle will ingratiate any new pub into a neighbourhood. But a laundry list of tasty cocktails concoctions and a warm, welcoming atmosphere helped The Grove overcome all challengers.

2) The King's Head Pub & Eatery
120 King St., 204-957-7710

3) Yellow Dog Tavern
386 Donald St., 204-775-6676

Best Nightclub

Union Sound Hall
110 Market Ave., info@unionsoundhall.com

This new Exchange District hotspot took the local party scene by storm when it opened last year, providing not only a new place to get groovy, but a hub to showcase a wide range of local and touring performers. With an easily-configured space, the club can host concerts for capacities of between 200 and 500 music lovers – and with the club's numerous partners all well-entrenched in the local scene, talented and well-drawing acts are brought in to grace the stage.

2) Shark Club Winnipeg
233 Hargrave St., 204-942-7400

3) Whiskey Dix
436 Main St., 204-944-7539

Best Beer Selection

Barley Brothers
655 Empress St., 204-772-2337

This new Polo Park-area watering hole was on a mission to bring a wider selection of well-crafted brews to town, and Winnipeggers obviously feel it succeeded. With nearly 70 beers on tap from as far away as Mexico, Italy, and Germany, a sudsy world tour is certainly a possibility from the comfort of west Winnipeg. Tasting flights of four different beers in smaller portions are available for those who may have difficulty narrowing down to just one.

2) Luxalune Gastropub
 Osborne St., 204-453-0222

3) The King's Head Pub & Eatery
120 King St., 204-957-7710

Best Wine Selection

Bistro 7 1/4
725 Osborne St., 204-777-2525

The perfect meal requires a perfect wine pairing – and local diners are thrilled with how they are able to complement their lunch or dinner with just the right glass of vino. Whether it be the moules et frites, a charcuterie or cheese board, or one of the steak frites options, Bistro 7 1/4's extensive wine list offers that ideal splash to round out the offerings.

2) Sensi Wine Lounge
173 McDermot Ave., 204-949-9032

3) Mona Lisa Ristorante Italiano
1697 Corydon Ave., 204-488-3684

Best Server

Alex at La Fiesta Cafecito
730 St. Anne's Rd., 204-257-7108

Best Bartender

Dave at King's Head Pub
120 King St., 204-957-7710


Best New Local Store

Normandy Shop
791 Corydon Ave., 204-284-5673

The new menswear and lifestyle store in the heart of Corydon Village made a great impression on shoppers this past year. Come in for the handmade goods ranging from clothing and footwear to accessories, bags, and vintage items, stay for unexpected finds like beard oil and a leather beer koozie – a step up from the beat-up beer-branded foam one Dad has used for the past decade.

2) Tiny Feast
217 McDermot Ave., 204-942-5899

3) Spa Botanica
1459 Corydon Ave., 204-489-8107

Best Local Vintage Clothing Store

Rhymes with Orange
223 McDermot Ave., (204) 946-5212

Whether you're after knit mittens, a bright-red belt or a fetching gentleman's hat, look no further than Rhymes with Orange, nestled in Winnipeg's Exchange District. Rhymes with Orange invites you in with its distinctively '70s vibe, with the décor featuring plenty of the familiar burnt-orange hue of the disco era. Not looking for clothes? No worries. There are also plenty of vintage housewares to browse through, too.

2) Sew Dandee
105 Osborne St., (204) 453-5110

3) Vintage Glory
380 Donald St., (204) 946-5212

Best Local Men's Clothing Store

Normandy Shop
791 Corydon Ave. (204) 284-5673

Described as a "modernized general store" on its Facebook page, Normandy Shop focuses on quality menswear, furniture and other accessories for the discerning customer. From handmade moccasins to leather iPad sleeves, Normandy's stock recalls a more rugged era, though the shop also allows a gentleman the pursuit of his softer side, offering beard oil and other grooming/shaving supplies.

2) Danali Men's & Women's Clothing
100 Kenaston Blvd. (204) 489-0577

3) EPH Apparel
291 Garry St., http://www.ephapparel.com

Best Local Women's Clothing Store

Out of the Blue
102 Osborne St. (204) 477-6489

Get ready for summer with Out of the Blue's array of sunshine-ready apparel. The Osborne Street shop boasts a multitude of fashions for all preferences, offering clothing, jewelry, accessories, footwear and giftware to outfit one's bar, bedroom and kitchen.

2) Mad About Style
538 Academy Rd. (204) 489-1151

3) Paperdoll Clothing
1-214 McDermot Ave. 204-947-9790

Best Place to Buy a Fancy Dress

Out of the Blue
102 Osborne St. (204) 477-6489

On top of its many other virtues, Out of the Blue is also our readers' choice as the best place to find a special style for a special occasion. Whether you're after lace, chiffon or pansy print, there's a dress for you at Out of the Blue.

2) Hush Clothing and Accessories
Suite 203-99 Osborne St. (204) 474-1208

3) 7th Avenue Fashions
546 Academy Rd., (204) 488-0660

Best Local Place to Buy Jeans

Sargent Blue Jeans
1136 Sargent Ave. (204) 772-8145

If you're in the market for some denim, look no further. The Sargent Avenue shop is the place to be to score deals on jeans by top brands such as Levis, Silver, Guess and many others. If the jeans you love don't happen to fit quite right, don't fret — the shop offers free alterations for products bought at the store.

2) Normandy Shop
791 Corydon Ave.  (204) 284-5673

3) Danali Men's & Women's Clothing
100 Kenaston Blvd. (204) 489-0577

Best Local Shoe Store

Canadian Footwear
Three Winnipeg locations

Plenty of stores offer a wide variety of boots, shoes, sandals and other forms of footwear, but it's the attention to detail that sets Canadian Footwear apart. Offering additional services such as complimentary consultations and shoe repair means you can get the right shoe for you and keep it in good shape for years. If you require special footwear, the business features its Foothealth Centre, which can help customers obtain orthotics which are just right for them.

2) Rooster
452 River Ave. (204) 219-7008

3) European Shoe Shop
436 Academy Rd. (204) 487-4193

Best Bicycle Shop

Woodcock Cycle Works
433 St Mary's Rd. (204) 253-5896

Billed as the country's biggest bike shop between Calgary and Toronto, Woodcock Cycle Works boasts loads of cycles and cycling accessories. It also offers repair services, bike rentals and Custom Retul Fitting. Those who want to take a look without leaving their homes can do so via a virtual tour offered on the shop's website, woodcockcycle.com.

2) Olympia Cycle & Ski
1813 Portage Ave. (204) 888-4586

3) Natural Cycleworks
91 Albert St., (204) 957-5762

Best Independent CD Store

Music Trader
97 Osborne St., (204) 477-5566

This Osborne Village mainstay continues to offer a wide selection of tunes to music purists who relish the joys of vinyl and other formats. The shop, which also helps customers in tracking down hard-to-find titles, hosts in-store performances, which has helped it become an important part of the city's musical fabric. To stay up-to-date with the store's concert schedule and other news, check them out on Facebook.

2) Into the Music
245 McDermot Ave. (204) 287-8279

3) Winnipeg Folk Festival Music Store
103 – 211 Bannatyne Ave., 204-231-1377

Best Local Used Bookstore

Red River Book Store
92 Arthur St. 204-943-9788

Sitting in the heart of the exchange district, Red River Book Store offers a mix of second-hand titles to satisfy all readers, including a selection of romance books, which can be had for a quarter apiece. The store is also a good choice to boost your collection of comics. But it's not all about books, either — you can pick up DVDs at Red River Book Store, as well as vinyl records and CDs.

2) Burton Lysecki Books
527 Osborne St. (204) 284-4546

3) Bison Books
424 Graham Ave., (204) 947-5931

Best Local Bookstore

McNally Robinson Booksellers
1120 Grant Ave.

McNally has become a beloved bookstore for readers and writers alike, and it's no wonder why. Between its vast selection of titles and dedication to showcasing local authors, it is the go-to place for literature from the Canadian Prairies and beyond. Those who like to lounge around a bookstore for the afternoon can find nourishment of the more literal sort at Prairie Ink Restaurant & Bakery. Check out the calendar of upcoming workshops and events to help you nurture your love for the written word.

2) Prairie Sky Books
Westminster Ave., (204) 774-6152

3) Whodunit Mystery Bookstore
165 Lilac St. 204-284-9100

Best Music Instrument Store

Long & McQuade Musical Instruments
651 Stafford St., 204-284-8992; 661 Wall St., 204-783-6045

Whether you're looking for a starter acoustic guitar for little Jimi or a sunburst 1959 Les Paul Standard Reissue for a more experienced player, Long & McQuade has you covered. Canada's largest music instrument chain, with two locations in Winnipeg, offers every guitar imaginable, be it acoustic, electric, bass or classical, as well as amps, effects, strings, straps and other accessories, and traditional and folk instruments too.

2) Quest Musique
1308 Portage Ave., 204-233-4151; 166 Meadowood Dr., 204-231-1677

3) Mar-Schell's Music
1143 Henderson Hwy., 204-339-2335

Best Antiques Shop

Antiques & Funk
474 Main St., 204-943-4782

Why comb the city for hip vintage finds when Antiques & Funk is a one of a kind one-stop shop? The Exchange District store (with the cool "Drink Coca-Cola" sign in its front window) contains cool collectibles, furniture, home décor, books and music. Also, the owners are always on the hunt for more memorabilia and antiques, looking for anything "old and unusual." No, they will not take your parents.

2) The Old House Revival Company
324 Young St., 204-477-4286

3) Johnston Terminal Antique Mall
25 Forks Market Rd., 204-947-3952

Best Tailor

Tam Custom Tailor Shop
802 Ellice Ave., 204-775-1160

The West End's Tam Custom Tailor Shop is where the stars go when they need a new suit. Owner Tam Nguyen, a Vietnamese immigrant, has worked with such Hollywood stars as Harvey Keitel, Kevin Pollack, Catherine Keener, Brian Dennehy, Billy Zane and the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman. How many Winnipeg tailors can say they made clothes for Truman Capote?

2) Ralph's Custom Tailors
1108 Corydon Ave., 204-453-8533

3) House of Kim
1114 Portage Ave., 204-774-8184

Best Laundromat

Sherbrook Suds
210 Sherbrook St., 204-219-1436

With 18 washers and 16 dryers, including two machines large enough for your king-size comforter, Sherbook Suds has everything you need to get your clothes and linens clean. While you're waiting on your laundry, take advantage of Suds beverage and snack vending machines and free Wi-Fi. And, if you don't have time to wait, there's a drop-off service.

2) Suds City
4-563 St. Anne's Rd., 204-257-6116

3) The Washeteria Laundry
556 Keenleyside St., 204-667-0839

Best Gym/Workout Facility

GoodLife Fitness
Multiple locations

Canada's largest fitness company, founded in 1979, has four locations in Winnipeg, including two women's and two co-ed clubs. GoodLife Fitness's coed club at 310-2305 McPhillips Avenue in Garden City offers cardio-vascular and strength training equipment, a dedicated stretching and free-weight areas, group cycling, personal training, a sauna, tanning beds, massage therapy and chairs, even child minding, everything you need to achieve your fitness goals. Visit www.goodlifefitness.com for available amenities at a GoodLife club near you.

2) Snap Fitness
Multiple locations

3) YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg
Several Winnipeg locations

Best Yoga Studio

Moksha Yoga
Multiple locations

If you like your yoga hot, Moksha Yoga is the place to stretch, strengthen and tone your body. Moksha's knowledgeable and experienced teachers lead yogis through postures and breathing exercises in heat. Moksha also offers state-of-the-art facilities, including a cork studio floor, all based on clean, green conscious construction practices. Just bring a mat, a towel and some clothes you don't mind getting really, really sweaty in.

2) Be Yoga
3-130 Marion St., 204-795-2319

3) Yoga Public
280 Fort St., 204-947-9642

Best Tattoo/Piercing Parlour

Metamorphosis Custom Tattoo & Body Piercing
101-290 McDermot Ave., 204-942-1565

Operated by the mother/daughter team of Diane Matt and Nadine Mitchell, Metamorphosis has performed bod mods in its Exchange District shop since 1998. Whether you're in the market for your first tat or a full sleeve, Metamorphosis' skilled and safety-conscious staff will realize the right tattoo for you. Also, the shop performs a thoughtful consultation process; perhaps persuading you to forgo the barbwire armband or worse, the Mike Tyson face tat.

2) Soul Survivors Body Art
118-B Osborne St., 204-284-1173

3) Rebel Waltz Tattoo
810 Notre Dame Ave., 204-832-6733

Best Spa/Esthetics Shop

Ten Spa
222 Broadway Ave., 204-946-6520

When it comes to pampering, Ten Spa scores a perfect 10. The downtown luxury spa, located on the 10th floor of the Fort Garry Hotel, specializes in rest, relaxation and refreshment, offering facials, body scrubs, massages and pedicures/manicures. Try the hamam, where one, surrounded by heated marble and steam, is led through a cleansing and rejuvenating ritual that dates back to the Turkish Empire. Or, go for a body cocoon, a revitalizing full body skin treatment that'll transform you from bug to butterfly.

2) Riverstone Spa
75 Forks Market Rd., 204-944-2444

3) Spa Botanica
1459 Corydon Ave., 204-489-8107

Best Car Wash

The Chamois
Multiple locations

Let's face it. Your car was a slush and salt-stained mess all winter. Now that summer's finally here, give your auto a little TLC and take it down to The Chamois. Locally owned and operated, The Chamois' three locations clean your car outside and in. While you're waiting for your detailing package of choice to be completed, take a load off on one of The Chamois' comfortable couches, browse some reading material or check the hot display car in the lobby.

2) Midtown Car Wash
344 Gertrude Ave., 453-5344

3) Buggy Bath Car Wash
1560 Taylor Ave., 204-489-4718; 500 Moray St., 204-837-5737

Best Manicure

Ten Spa
222 Broadway Ave., 204-946-6520

See Best Spa/Esthetics Shop.

2) Tiber River Naturals
408 Academy Rd., 204-474-2333; 3-1650 Kenaston Blvd., 204-284-4247

3) Spa Botanica
1459 Corydon Ave., 204-489-8107

Best Pedicure

Tiber River Naturals
408 Academy Rd., 204-474-2333; 3-1650 Kenaston Blvd., 204-284-4247

Tiber River is a Winnipeg company, founded in 1999 by Adriana De Luca, who started by selling her homemade soaps at parties. Spurred by her success, she and partner Michelle Lalonde decided to open a store selling their own beauty products and Tiber River's Nail and Body Bar quickly became a hit with regulars and newbies alike.

2) Riverstone Spa
75 Forks Market Rd., 877-377-4100

3) Aloha Nails
Several Winnipeg locations

Best Hair Salon

Edward Carriere Salon
162 Spence St., 204-987-6441

Located in an old character home in West Broadway, Edward Carriere Salon has long been a go-to recommendation for Winnipeggers asked for the name of a good hairdresser and salon. Sure, the location, esthetics and style of the place have something to do with the experience but the bottom line is whether or not you're pleased by the results. Edward Carriere clients obviously are.

2) Prep Hair
701 Corydon Ave., 204-421-3860

3) Hunter & Gunn Quality Hair and Barber Shop
567 Broadway

Best Barber

Hunter & Gunn Quality Hair and Barber Shop
567 Broadway

Manscaping has gone mainstream lately (of course, so have beards) and so, too, has the notion of the updated twist on the barbershop experience. Hunter & Gunn is one of those places, offering traditional and highly fashionable haircuts, straight-razor shaves and the kind of pampering the average guy doesn't get at a $12 place. Women are welcome, too. Consult the website for phone numbers, as each of the shop's five employees has his or her own number to call.

2) Siggi's Men's Hairstyling and Barbering
3045 Ness Ave., 204-832-1001

3) Hat Trix Hair Salon
584 Pembina Hwy., 204-475-2888

Best Pet Supplies Store

Best West Pet Foods
Various locations

Based in Manitoba and Northern Ontario, Best West has evolved from wholesale warehouse supplier to full-service shop for all your basic needs for your favourite household pets – from fish to ferrets to, of course, cats and dogs.

2) Aardvark Pets
1604 St. Mary's Rd., 204-256-7705

3) Hip Pooch
807 Corydon Ave., 204-284-6964


Best Free Event

Movies in the Park, Assiniboine Park

What better way to entertain the family than to watch a couple of movies outdoors, on the big screen at the Lyric Theatre in Assiniboine Park, every Friday night in August. This year's lineup looks great, too. It features The Croods, Divergent (Aug. 1); The Lego Movie, The Amazing Spider Man 2 (Aug. 8); Despicable Me 2, Skyfall (Aug. 15); Frozen, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Aug. 22).

2) Canada Day at The Forks

3) Winnipeg International Jazz Festival free stage

Best Place to People-watch

The Forks

Come to think of it, people-watching is also a free activity and there are always plenty of people to watch at Winnipeg's centuries-old meeting and trading spot at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. Whether browsing The Forks Market, Johnston Terminal, strolling by the docks along the River Walk or taking in a concert at the Scotiabank Stage, you will find no shortage of Winnipeggers to amuse and entertain and enlighten you.

2) Assiniboine Park

3) Osborne Village

Best Place to Go on a Date

The Forks

There's more than just shopping and people-watching on hand at The Forks. Because they're removed from the hustle-and-bustle of city life, the bars and restaurants in this part of town seem to just that much more relaxed and laid-back, conducive to just the kind of atmosphere you want when wooing that someone special.

2) Assiniboine Park

3) Corydon Avenue

Best Festival

Winnipeg Folk Festival

On the second weekend of July every year, Birds Hill Park flies its freak flag, playing host to five days and nights of music, food, people, laughter and joy. This year's event, the 41st, runs July 9-13. Find out more at winnipegfolkfestival.ca.

2) Festival du Voyageur

3) Folklorama

Best Building

Canadian Museum for Human Rights The Forks

There's been a lot of talk about the Canadian Museum for Human Rights – debates about funding, provenance, funding, stewardship, funding, exhibits and funding – but now that the Antoine Predock-designed building is complete and set to open in just a couple of months, there's no denying that is, without doubt, the most remarkable edifice in the city.

2) Qualico Family Centre, Assiniboine Park

3) Manitoba Hydro Place
360 Portage Ave.


Best Neighbourhood to Live In

Osborne Village

The area of the city that is roughly bounded by Donald Street to the east, the Assiniboine River to the North, Daly Street to the west and Corydon Avenue to the south is considered one of the hippest and funkiest neighbourhoods in Winnipeg. It's got everything its residents need within walking distance, and its mix of bars, clubs, restaurants, boutiques, coffee shops means it always seems to be a hive of activity. Many young Winnipeggers even consider it a rite of passage to live for a year or two in the Village.

2) Wolseley

3) River Heights

Best City High School

Glenlawn Collegiate
770 St. Mary's Rd., 204-233-3986

With a strong focus on providing students with a stimulating, supportive and positive environment, Glenlawn Collegiate houses approximately 1,225 students in Grades 9 to 12. Glenlawn's motto — "Striving for excellence" — reflects the emphasis its staff place on helping students develop academically, socially, physically and emotionally, while maintaining an atmosphere in which individuals feel safe and valued as members of the school community.

2) Kelvin High School
155 Kingsway, 204-474-1492

3) Miles Macdonell Collegiate
757 Roch St., 204-667-1103

Best City Middle School

Bruce Middle School
333 Booth Dr., 204-888-1990

Bruce Middle School prides itself on being a facility that provides its students with a positive and safe learning environment that encourages continuous growth. The last stop for students before entering high school, Bruce boasts a "tradition of excellence" throughout the school, encompassing everything from academics and athletics to citizenship or any of its many co-curricular and enrichment activities. The school's canteen also boasts a number of healthy snack and lunch options for students.

2) Ecole River Heights School
1350 Grosvenor Ave., 204-488-7090

3) John Henderson Junior High School
930 Brazier St., 204-661-2503

Best City Elementary School

Shamrock School
831 Beaverhill Blvd. 204-257-0637

Shamrock School believes effective teaching and learning occurs best in a positive school climate where students behave appropriately. At Shamrock, students are expected to demonstrate the importance of respect for themselves, others and property, behave responsibly at all times, and show concern and tolerance for others. With the goal of teaching students self-discipline before they enter middle school, Shamrock moulds its guiding principles around respect, safety and responsibility.

2) Bairdmore School
700 Bairdmore Blvd., 204-261-3350

3) Ecole Laura Secord School
960 Wolseley Ave., 204-786-4796

Best Community Centre

Jonathan Toews Community Centre
1188 Dakota St., 204-254-1010

Formerly the Dakota Community Centre, the facility was renamed to the Jonathan Toews Community Centre in 2010 after Winnipeg's most accomplished professional hockey player returned to the community with the coveted Stanley Cup. The community centre offers a wide variety of sport programs including figure skating, basketball, hockey, soccer, baseball and softball, and also has a social hall and indoor ice rink available for rental.

2) Southdale Community Centre
254 Lakewood Blvd., 204-257-6171

3) Gateway Community Centre
1717 Gateway Rd., 204-982-1234

Best Local Corner Store

Korner Stop
83 Sherbrook St., 204-975-2752

Located on Sherbrook Street, just north of the Maryland Bridge, the Korner Stop is a one-stop-shop that offers a wide variety of products and friendly service. From groceries, snack foods and candy to toiletries, tobacco products, and newspapers, the Korner Stop aims to be a quick visit that will get shoppers in and out and on their way with the product they came to find.

2) Le Depanneur Provencher
140A Provencher Blvd., 204-504-3853

3) Various (tie)

Best Local Library

Cornish Library
20 West Gate, 204-986-4679

Cornish Library offers a small yet well-rounded collection of both adult and children's fiction and non-fiction, as well as a selection of DVDs and audiobooks. According to the library's own sources, their selection of mystery and science fiction/fantasy books is particularly fine. Cornish Library also offers high-speed Internet access and free Wi-Fi to the public. Circulation at the library nears 100,000 items per year.

2) Henderson Library
1050 Henderson Hwy., 204-986-4314

3) Westwood Library - 66 Allard Ave., 204-986-4742

Best Local Rink

Riley Family Duck Pond, Assiniboine Park
55 Pavilion Cres., 204-927-6000

Winter, summer or anywhere in between, the Riley Family Duck Pond at Assiniboine Park offers family-friendly activities year-round. In the warmer months, visitors can take a stroll along the water's edge and catch a glimpse of some of the waterfowl that call the pond home. Skating becomes the favourite activity when winter rolls into town, with the duck pond providing a heated venue as well for skaters to warm up in, as well as a facility to get their skates on. Afterward, visitors can stop by the Park Café right next to the pond for a snack, lunch or beverage.

2) Jonathan Toews Community Centre
1188 Dakota St., 204-254-1010

3) Southdale Community Centre
254 Lakewood Blvd., 204-257-6171

Best Local Park

Assiniboine Park
55 Pavilion Cres., 204-927-6000

Assiniboine Park remains one of Winnipeg's most well-known attractions, and is easily the city's most frequented park. The park's huge variety of things to do include the Assiniboine Park Zoo — which has received international attention in recent years for the development of its new polar bear exhibit, 'Journey to Churchill' — the Pavilion Gallery Museum, restaurants The Park Café and Terrace in the Park, the Nature Playground and the Leo Mol statue garden.

2) St. Vital Park

3) Kildonan Park

Best Local Splashpad/Wading Pool

Dakota Park
1188 Dakota St.

On a hot summer's day — though Winnipeg might see fewer in 2014 than we might like — there are few places the kids prefer to cool down than a local splash park. The splash park at Dakota Park is free to use and offers a variety of wet and wild activities to help kids — and maybe mom and dad too — cool down. The facilities are fenced in and have bathrooms on site and trees to offer some shade. The splash park is limited to 100 people at one time.

2) Vimy Ridge Memorial Park
821 Preston Ave.

3) Kildonan Park
2015 Main St.

Best Local Swimming Pool

Pan Am Pool
25 Poseidon Bay, 877-311-4974

One of Winnipeg's largest indoor swimming pool facilities, Pan Am Pool has been a staple in the city's Grant Park area since it was built in 1967 for the Pan American Games. In addition to its main swimming pool and dive tank, the facility also offers a kiddie pool, as well as a walk/jog area, weight room, aerobic studio and multi-purpose room. Pan Am Pool offers a variety of water fitness programs, and land fitness programs as well.

2) Cindy Klassen Recreation Complex
999 Sargent Ave., 204-821-0711

3) Bonivital Pool
1215 Archibald St., 204-986-6802

Best Dog Park

Maple Grove Dog Park

Dog lovers in Winnipeg have voted with their leashes for Maple Grove Dog Park, which gets first place in the Best Dog Park category. Located on Frobisher Road just north of the intersection of St. Mary's Road and the perimeter in south St. Vital, the park is a popular place for dog owners to take their pooches, not least because it includes a large off-leash area for dogs to let loose and enjoy their quota of freedom and exercise. This area features fields and riverside areas showcasing a number of trails and is a local favourite.

2) Little Mountain Park

3) King's Park

Best Bike Trail

Assiniboine Park

When it comes to enjoying bike trails and urban green space within city limits, our readers have voted for Assiniboine Park. The park is fondly considered a gem by many Winnipeggers and part of its appeal is that it boasts a variety of options for every type of cyclist. The wide, flat, scenic roadways within the park should suit the more leisurely rider, while the dirt trails just outside the park along Wellington Crescent are perfect for the more adventurous cyclist. You'll also get great views of the river and a good workout in the process.

2) Assiniboine Forest

3) Birds Hill Park

Best Toboggan Hill

Assiniboine Park

Located near the Riley Family Duck Pond on the north side of the Assiniboine Park's Nature Playground, the park's toboggan hill has become a firm favourite for community members seeking a thrill in the wintertime. The main hill offers exciting ride for thrill-seekers who enjoy taking on the elements. It's steep and fast and the home to hours of family fun every winter. The hill is also located close to a skating pond and a headed shelter to help enhance the all-round seasonal experience.

2) Westview Park (aka Garbage Hill)

3) Civic Park (aka Kimberly Hill)

Best Place to Go For a Walk

Assiniboine Park

As if to confirm Assiniboine Park's popularity among Winnipeggers beyond any doubt, the green space is also considered the best place to go for a walk. Little wonder, really, when you consider the park has numerous trails to explore, as well as offering countless attractions for individuals to enjoy such as the Assiniboine Park Zoo, Assiniboine Park Conservatory, Pavilion Gallery Museum, Nature Playground and Leo Mol Sculpture Garden, to name but a few. During the summer months, the park also plays home to Winnipeg's cricket community and is the venue of numerous cricket matches.

2) The Forks

3) Wellington Crescent


Favourite Winnipegger

Ace Burpee

It's sometimes hard to talk about the cultural landscape of Winnipeg without mentioning the name of Ace Burpee. The Virgin Radio personality and host of The Ace Burpee Morning Show has a boyish charm and cheeky sense of humour that seems to resonate with Winnipeggers of all ages. Burpee is also one of the hardest-working celebrities in Winnipeg, as he dedicates countless hours helping out numerous Winnipeg charities and non-profit organizations as an MC or special guest. He's even been known to perform with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet once in a while.

2) Dancing Gabe

3) Mark Chipman

Favourite Winnipeg Politician

None/no one

That first place in this category went to nobody can be interpreted many ways. But the voters did give a big nod to southeast Winnipeg at the civic level by placing Coun. Dan Vandal in second place while Coun. Brian Mayes came in third. Vandal, a former professional middleweight boxer who pulls no punches in the political arena, has represented the St. Boniface ward between 1995 and 2004 and again from 2006 until the present day. Mayes has represented the St. Vital ward since 2011. A former competitive marathon runner, he now prefers a more leisurely pace when going door to door to meet the community.

2) Dan Vandal

3) Brian Mayes

Favourite Winnipeg Sports Personality

Team Jennifer Jones

While Team Jennifer Jones had long been the pride of Manitoba, its legend skyrocketed after winning curling gold for Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, earlier this year when Jones and her St. Vital-based rink defeated Sweden 6-3. The winning team consisted of skip Jones, lead Dawn McEwen, second Jill Officer, third Kaitlyn Lawes and alternate Kirsten Wall. In April, the team announced it would stay together until the 2018 Winter Olympics Pyeongchang, South Korea, in a bid to repeat its gold medal success.

2. Andrew Ladd

3. (Tie) Clara Hughes; Buck Pierce; Jonathan Toews; Jacob Trouba

Favourite Winnipeg Media Personality

Ace Burpee

See Favourite Winnipegger.

2) (Tie) Joe Aiello; Hal Anderson; Bob Irving

3) Doug Speirs

Favourite Professional Team

Winnipeg Jets

What's the greatest day of your life so far? The birth of your first child? The date of your second wedding? Or the day it was announced that the Winnipeg Jets were coming back home? The original Jets existed between 1972 and 1996 before mounting financial woes saw the franchise move to Phoenix and become the Coyotes. But in 2011, a deal to move the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg was announced, and from that day, hockey-crazed Manitobans have cheered on their beloved team and dreamt of one day watching their hockey heroes lift the Stanley Cup. Go Jets, go!

2) Winnipeg Blue Bombers

3) Winnipeg Goldeyes