Ethnic food in Winnipeg
Going to be working in Winnipeg for five weeks and was looking for some recs on different cuisines. Being vegetarian I tend to stray towards Indian, Thai, Ethiopian, etc. Not looking for anything fancy or upscale just good solid tasty food. Also anytime I go to a different city I find I have to search out the best bakery for bread in particular focaccia. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Indian--Taste of India on Sargent and Young is one of the best in Winnipeg. Each dish actually has it's own flavour. East India Company and Ivory are a little more upscale, but I find the food at both places not only lacks complexity, but also flavour. India Palace on Ellice used to be the best, but now that the owners don't do the cooking (they're still there, but they have others do the cooking) it's not as good as it used to be. It's still worth a try if you're in the area, though.
There are many Ethiopian places. Massawa is good, but expect to wait for your food (I guess that's the nature of Ethiopian food). There's also Yenat on Ellice if you happen to be downtown.
Thai--Siam Thai if you have a car and can get to the south end of the city (St. Anne's, just past Bishop Grandin) is the best, in my opinion. The quality can depend on who is cooking (Sam, the owner, is the best), but it's the closest to Thai food you'd find in Thailand (many other places are really Laotian). And their vegetarian food is really vegetarian (some places that serve "vegetarian" food still use fish sauce or stock cubes).
Bua Dang recently opened on Selkirk. I haven't been there, yet, but I've eaten the food of the owners (who are also Thai as opposed to Laotian) at gatherings for the Thai community, and it's quite good.
There are a couple of Chinese vegetarian restaurants in Winnipeg (Delicious on Pembina Hwy and Affinity Vegetarian downtown. I just wanted to warn you away from them. They're pretty horrible (but I do know a lot of people who like both those places--that being said, they're people whose image of Chinese food stems from food courts).
In the same little strip mall as Taste of India, there's Pyramid Falafel. I think they're actually an Ethiopian place, but I've only had falafel there. It's OK.
There's no good focaccia in Winnipeg. You can try La Grotta on Sargent, or its more upscale sister Piazza de Nardi on Taylor. Piazza has a larger selection of breads, but they're still not quite perfect. Or Deluca's on Portage. They have a smaller variety of breads, including focaccia, I think. If not, their fergasa is good.
I ditto the sunburger recommendation from Underground Cafe. They're only open during the day (I think they close around 6). It's in the Exchange District, so it's pretty easy to get there from downtown. Go early if you plan on having lunch there, because it gets quite busy.
I think the bubble tea place ihatepickyeaters is referring to is Asia City. It's right across the street from Taste of India. If you go, get the real fruit kind. The young coconut is so rich it's a dessert and beverage in one.
We really liked East India Co. It was one of those times we were with a large group (about 10) and wanted reasonably priced food. I wasn't holding out great hopes but surprise! It was very good. I've eaten in some of the best Tandoori kitchens you could find as well as at the homes of East Indian friends and this buffet style was amazing.
They made us fresh Naan bread and a plateful of chappatis to eat with our curried lentils and curried lamb. And it was a very nice place. Yeah, it was buffet but it was busy and everything was fresh.
i lived there for two years - so what i'm telling you was based on a few years ago. my favorite bakery was goodies on either ellice or sargent. it is an italian bakery and is cheap and very good. the focaccia is great. tall grass prairie is also good, but they don't have a huge selection and i can't recall if they have focaccia.
there are very good ethiopian restaurants in wpg. my favorite was Massawa, in osborne village. it is great - get the spinach/cheese appetizer and the veggie platter and you'll be stuffed. as for Thai, i disliked sawatadee thai (not sure about the spelling) but i liked suko thai in osborne village and magic thai on logan (this is a sketchy area, but the food is good). As for indian, i had good experiences at both ivory and east india company - these are two huge restaurants with buffets. i also had good food at india palace, but the samosas weren't very good. i heard that charisma is good, but i never got there. i was vegetarian the whole time i lived in wpg and found that it is an easy city to eat veggie in. i also recommend mondragon (for vegan food) and the underground cafe (for the sunburger). oh, and the spicy peanut noodle soup at spicy noodle house in osborne village. i have also heard that delicious vegetarian is good, but haven't personally been there. i had some great bubble tea on sargent at a place where they sold vietnamese food to go - have no idea what it was called but it was delicious. i was fairly broke when i lived in Wpg, and so haven't been to these places more than a couple of times - hopefully my faint memories hold up.