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Best poutine in Manitoba?

Hey everyone, new user here.

I lived in Quebec for a few months last year, all my life I thought poutine was a heart attack waiting to happen, but after months of telling friends "no" to poutine, I finally tried one.. and fell in love with it.

However, coming back to Manitoba, I just can't seem to find a good poutine, I've asked many many people, gotten so many different responses, but nothing ever turns out good. Five people think that A&W's poutine is the best thing in the universe.. when it's not, then another recommends me a run down diner poutine (usually those are the best places).. but nope.. they use shredded cheese!

Basically what I'm looking for is a GOOD/Great poutine in Manitoba, I live in Brandon but I go to Winnipeg once in a while. Does a good poutine exist? I shouldn't settle to second best, none of us should! I'm looking for a poutine that uses squeaky cheese curds first of all, preferably fresh cut fries but that's not important for me, and for gravy I'd prefer something that doesn't taste like soup (like A&W and Burger King's poutines). Any recommendations?

Right now.. I think New York Fries has the best in this province.. and it's not even a good poutine.


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  1. I think you're out of luck. Someone on the New Winnipeg Forums posted a list of possibilities in a discussion about poutine (if nothing else, you can use that thread to eliminate some places). I don't know if you have to register in order to view the posts.


    3 Replies
    1. re: prasantrin

      I'm actually very familiar with that thread, I've tried many of the places mentioned there, and nope, nothing that I can call "good poutine".

      I guess the best poutine in Manitoba would be buying a $500 plane ticket to Montreal and having poutine there! ;)

        1. re: prasantrin

          je fais ├ža!!! errrr I already do that, and that's the BEST poutine in all of Manitoba! Some local Manitoban grown potatos.. but not red potatos (too small, too sweet, too starchy), Bothwell Cheese curds and McCormick's poutine gravy.. but I'm not keen on it. I need to find a better gravy.

    2. As crazy as it may sound, try Costco.

      1. my french buddies actually like our local kfc ,go figure

        1. Well I finally found a poutine that's edible, and it came by surprise to me. It's from a chicken fast food restaurant at Brandon University, while the fries are your standard frozen shoestring fries, the gravy is much different than what every other restaurant in Manitoba uses, chicken based and not beef based, reminds me more of a Quebec style poutine, has cheese curds on it too, although not squeeky. This is the first poutine that can fill my appetite, although it's no Chez Ashton! Nothing in the west will EVER compare to Chez Ashton!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Silvorgold

            Chez Ashton? No...there are so many better places. La Banquise, Patatti Patatta; I even prefer Lafleur to Chez Ashton.

            To answer your question...I don't know of any acceptable poutine in Winnipeg and doubt there is any to be found beyond making your own.

          2. ...I like Dairy Queen's poutine. *shifty eyes*

            3 Replies
            1. re: AriaDream

              I never ever ever thought *they* would have poutine

              1. re: AriaDream

                Ex-Montrealer now living in Central AB - the closest to the real deal has so far been New York Fries*hangs head in shame* They use processed cheese curds but at least the fries and gravy are decent.

                1. re: maplesugar

                  That's very unfortunate! But I agree, it seems to be one of the best poutines on the prairies. Whenever I had a poutine craving for the longest time, that was my only real option, but I found a chicken place that has better poutine than everyone else here (but still not as good as in Quebec)

              2. For the original cheese curds (Bothwell, I think) and good fries I always go to Degrees Diner at the U of M. The gravy is vegetarian, but that's a big selling point! But honestly, better than your average Montreal poutine (but of course no substitute for the great real thing).

                1. There is a restaurant at the narrows twenty minutes outside of St. Rose Du Lac, witch itsefl is about twenty five minutes outside of Dauphin witch serves a pretty good poutine that has bacon, real (non squeaky, sadly) cheese curds and dark gravy. As far as Manitoba poutine goes, it's top notch( if you can manage to find it).

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: PoutineConoisseur

                    If you're in Winnipeg, I like the one at "the Albert Diner" in the Exchange District on 48 Albert Street. http://www.thealbertdiner.com/ They make a fab one for $5 with crispy fries, New Bothwell cheese curds, and vegetarian gravy. I love it! Otherwise, all the other poutine places in Winnipeg use mozzarella and sometimes a cheddar mix in there (the one at Juniors is a nice greasy mess!). Cheese curds is very rare here for some reason. Also, "le Garage cafe" on 166 Provencher in St. Boniface also serves up a poutine with cheese curds. But I prefer the Albert Diner one.

                    1. re: dineoutgal

                      Oh and if you're vegan but still love poutine - check out Boon Burger Cafe at 79 Sherbrook Street 204.415.1391 for their delicious vegan poutine (vegan cheese and gravy) served on baked sesame fries. Delicious!

                      1. re: dineoutgal

                        Bump that. Boon gravy is more flavorful than meat gravy. Just good luck getting in--that place is always jam packed now.

                  2. i agree with the person who mentioned the one at costco, it's really quite good.

                    i also enjoy the one at superboys, they have excellent dark gravy.

                    and i'm ashamed to say, but i love the poutine at chicken chef. it's not made with curds, just shredded mozzarella, but there is something about it that is absolutely mouthwatering. and i know i'm not the only one who thinks this.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: sugarsin

                      Being Quebecois myself I feel your pain. I've heard that paladin on Provancher has poutine italienne which I never thought I would see outside of La Belle Province ( the restaurant and the place :) )

                      I'll try it out and let you know!

                      1. re: sterlingblue

                        Merci sterlingblue, I've in fact tried their poutine, but had bad experience with it, in my experience (maybe it was a one time thing - but happened to my friends as well), they used GOOD fries but la sauce was room temperature and the cheese was hardened shredded cheese (that at one point, melted, then reformed back into hard cheese), I will not be returning there.

                        1. re: sterlingblue

                          Hello all, new to the boards here. I am some one who kind of likes the bad poutines as well (favorite bad Manitoba style poutine is probably at George's on Salter).

                          But my Quebecois friend swears the closest thing to the real deal here is at Le Garage on Provencher. Fries are fresh cut with good gravy-like poutine sauce and good Bothwell squeaky cheese curds. But for some reason they garnish with green onions (I just ask them to leave it off).

                      2. i've recently started a journey around winnipeg in search for the best poutines available.

                        so far:

                        johnny g's on bannatyne - shoestring fries with lots of mozzarella cheese and gravy, unfortunately i received mine cold.

                        costco - probably one of the best poutines in winnipeg so far, battered crispy french fries made to order, good squeaky cheese, right amount of gravy.

                        burger king - regular fries (vary), cheese curds, and a light gravy on top

                        new york fries - pretty good fries, but they tend not to put a lot of cheese on it, gravy is always hot and fair amount.

                        degrees (at university of manitoba) - great homemade fries, good amount of cheese curds, but they always only put enough gravy so that none ever appear on the plate after you're finished eating.

                        st pauls cafeteria (university of manitoba) - super nice people there everyday, crispy fries, shredded marble cheese, and good gravy.

                        my journey continues..

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: shadowscyth

                          Thanks shadowscyth and mrmr! I've basically given up on my poutine search, whenever I crave poutine I just try to suppress it.

                          Can you go to the costco cafeteria without a costco membership?

                          I'll give a few of those places a try next time I'm in Winnipeg, as for Brandon - I'll stick to buying botwell curds and making my own (even if Bothwell curds aren't anything great)

                          1. re: Silvorgold

                            Since their cafeteria is out front of the cashiers I would think so yes. Bring cash though, all the Coscto cafeterias I've been to are cash only.

                            1. re: Silvorgold

                              i think it depends on whoever is working at front that checks for membership. they require you to present your membership at the entrance of the building. they were very strict last time i went without a membership. you can take a chance and lie saying you're going to get a membership and sneak into the cafeteria :)

                              1. re: shadowscyth

                                True, but when I'm leaving I see plenty of people go in the Out side of the entrance, which is where customer service/tire service/cafeteria are located...and iirc no one checks memberships at the out door, just receipts/carts.

                                This thread has me craving poutine and it's too hot to cook. Maybe a trip to Costco is in order.

                                1. re: maplesugar

                                  In the past, I went freely through the exit to the cafeteria without being checked, but I once went with some young-ish male co-workers, and the guy at security stopped us cold. Luckily I was a member, so I just showed him my card and went right on through.

                                  Like shadowscyth said, it depends on who's doing security. I think if you told the security people you just wanted to eat, they'd let you, but ya, it depends on the worker.

                          2. you can go in hassle free by saying you're dropping off or picking up a prescription.

                            1. I gave Lo Pub on Kennedy a try, they became an entirely vegan/veggie pub/restaurant last year. I enjoyed their poutine. Wasn't perfect of course but their home cut fries were tasty, they used fresh Bothwell curds and the vegetarian gravy was better than some other local places' gravy. The servig size was a bit too large for me but if I was really hungry it would fill me up.

                              1. Sorry for bumping this - Smokes Poutinerie is opening up in Winnipeg next week. This could shake up the poutine "industry" in Manitoba. In the nearly two years since I first posted, curds have become increasingly easier to find at supermarkets ranging from 100G bags to 1KG. I hope Smokes will push restaurants in Winnipeg to move away from shredded cheese. I have a feeling Smokes will have the "best" poutine, which isn't saying alot. I'm not holding my breath

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: Silvorgold

                                  So, Silvorgold, I am intrigued. How did the ole' Poutinerie do? Was it everything you dreamed it would be?
                                  I'd love to hear your review of the place!

                                  1. re: Allegra_K

                                    I haven't gone yet, and it's not opening until the 30th (monday) now, but I'll certainly give my picky eater take on it. I'm not expecting much, just hopefully a poutine that can fill that poutine-void.

                                    1. re: Silvorgold

                                      Did you ever try Le Garage's poutine? I can't remember. . .

                                      1. re: prasantrin

                                        I still haven't. It's on my list still. I'm avoiding Smokes until hype and lineups die down. I checked out a new pub here in Brandon, Manitoba called Joe Beeverz, all Canadian themed, I had to give their poutine a try. It was actually pretty good. Only downside was curds not squeaky and it was a bit warm instead of hot.

                                        1. re: prasantrin

                                          i have been to le garage for poutine several times, everything was great but i wished the fries were crispier.

                                          went to smokes few days ago and had the traditional poutine. it wasn't bad considering it was around 2am in the morning on a friday night with a long lineup.

                                          if you're a sucker for crispy fries like i am, i DEFINITELY have to recommend the poutine at Charlee's restaurant and lounge on Stadacona (around elmwood area) they have some of the best and consistent food every time i have been there and have never been disappointed! (oh, and another deal breaker is that it's highly affordable for the food you get!)

                                      2. re: Allegra_K

                                        My review of Smokes:
                                        Atmosphere - the restaurant is much much much much smaller than I expected. If I were to guestimate, there's only room for maybe a dozen people (or a few more) to sit down and eat. This will be bad for the lunch rushes in winter when people want to eat indoors.

                                        Food - I ordered the bacon poutine. The bacon was chopped up. Most of my friends said it was gummy when they had it. I thought the bacon was fine, not burnt to a crisp, not gummy.

                                        When I had the first bite, I thought it was pretty good, but that's where it ended. As soon as I could taste the gravy, my stomach sank. The gravy really ruined it. I wouldn't call it "gravy" at all.. to me it tasted like they made a combination of bacon grease and pizza hut grease and used that as the sauce, saltiest "poutine" sauce I've tasted in my life. The fries were a bit too sweet for my tastes, but they weren't bad. However, the fries that weren't on the top were all soggy. I ate it quite fast, and even then, almost all the fries were limp and mushy.. yuck. The curds - I really really really appreciated that it had a bit of squeak in it when biting into it, but they were a bit too mozzarella-y for my tastes, but that was probably my favourite thing about the poutine. I'd rate it a 4.5/10 as the "gravy" is really what ruined it. It was just under $10 for a regular bacon poutine and a root beer.. not cheap by far.

                                        Will I go back? Likely, but I'd rather go to Chez Ashton in Quebec City. Is it the best in Manitoba? Heck no. There's a pub/bar in Brandon called Joe Beeverz that just opened, I think their poutine is much better and you get a mountain of poutine for around the same price but they only have montreal smoked meat poutine, lobster poutine and regular poutine.

                                    2. It has been awhile, but I feel the need to update!

                                      Le Garage no longer puts green onions on its poutine! And it's still delicious! The gravy is well balanced, and there are a good amount of curds on it. I do wish the fries were thicker, but I can live with thin fries. They were pretty crispy today, so that made up for the thin-ness.

                                      I tried Costco's poutine. It would have been good had the gravy not been so salty and strongly flavoured. As it was, I felt sick after eating it.