City & Politics

Winnipeg’s 10 (and a half) best patio WiFi experiences

Ahhhh, it finally came. Summer! After one of the coldest winters on record, Mother Nature finally delivered, giving Winnipeg it’s much sought after summer. Of course, summer means a number of things: construction, mosquitos, and, most importantly, afternoons and evenings spent on one of the cities many patios. Here are a few patio ideas that you may or may not be familiar with dotted throughout the city with a good variety of beverage and food options as well as atmospheres. What they all share in common is that your patio experience at these places is enhanced with free WiFi.

1. Saffron’s, 681 Corydon (on the corner of Corydon and Hugo, 5 blocks west of Confusion Corner)


The Saffron’s patio is huge, wide open, complete with patio heaters and patio umbrellas for almost any weather condition Winnipeg can throw at it.  It’s always packed with folks out enjoying this long standing favourite in Little Italy. Plus, Saffron’s offers up karaoke, DJ’s and live music to keep you entertained.

2. Carlo’s and Murphey’s, 129 Osborne Street (in the heart of Osborne Village)


Nachos, cerveza and free WiFi! A perfect summer threesome. Right smack dab in the heart of Osborne Village, Carlo’s and Murphey’s offers up a wooden, canopied patio, perfect for escaping the summer heat. And, being there may inspire you to start looking up your next winter vacation in southern Texas or down Mexico way via your device.

3. Finn’s Pub, 26 Forks Market Road (upstairs in Johnson Terminal at the Forks)


If you are looking for a patio to take your visiting friends to, you can’t go wrong with this patio at Winnipeg’s historical tourist hotspot, the Forks. With a decent size wooden patio, Finn’s combines great food, live entertainment and an Irish pub like atmosphere.  You can see the river, the Fort Garry Hotel and the Winnipeg skyline all from the patio, and of course, people watch as Fork’s visitors pass below.

4. Kings Head Pub, 120 King Street (in the Exchange District, across from Old Market Square)


Another shot at UK tradition comes to you from the always fashionable Exchange District where, much like Finn’s, you’ll find some authenticity that will make you feel like you are in the British Isles. They bill themselves as “Your favourite post shopping, pre game, dinner date, post concert downtown destination.”  And what is a pub without a patio? It’s the right place to enjoy a pint with your friends, or some authentic English or Indian cuisine. Plus, the King’s Head always seems to have something going on, whether it be comedy, sports on the TV’s or music.

5. Smoke’s Poutinerie, 131 Albert Street (at the Old Town Square in the Exchange District)


Who doesn’t love poutine? It’s become a Canadian tradition, as authentic as the American apple pie, or British fish and chips. And here, smack dab in the Exchange district where it often finds itself in the heart of festivals all summer long is one of the best places to get this Canadian dish, offered up in a wide array of options, including vegetarian.  Enjoy your poutine of choice outfront of the restaurant on the picnic table patio, overlooking Old Town Square, especially nice if there is entertainment going on at the Cube stage.

6. Joe Black Coffee Bar, 203 Portage Avenue (across from the Assiniboine Park footbridge)


How do you like your coffee? Make it a Joe Black Free Trade coffee….to stay!  Relax with your cup of Joe, or Java or whatever you call your coffee, sit back and relax on the enclosed wooden, lattice work patio in an area of town where patios are a little scarcer than traditional places like Corydon and the Exchange.  It’s also perfectly located across from the Assiniboine Park footbridge, to make a nice stop after a stroll in the park.

7. Boon Burger, 79 Sherbrooke Street (2 blocks north of Misrecordia Hosptial)


One of Winnipeg’s best known and probably best loved vegan restaurants, and in fact, Canada’s ONLY all vegan restaurant, has a modest but cute sidewalk patio area out front facing bustling Sherbrooke, close to a few bookstores, a thrift shop, a grocery store and the ever hip Wolsley.  According to their website, “We are very proud to offer a 100% animal-free, plant based menu. With your support, it is our goal to make every ingredient sustainable. A large part of our menu is organic, local or fair-trade, with new ingredients being added regularly. Thank you for helping us be part of the solution.” So, it’s fair to say that this is a unique, must try restaurant, with a unique, must try, friendly and welcoming patio.

8. Promenade Café and Wine, 138 Provencher Boulevard (across from the Esplanade bridge)


Oooo la la, what a site to behold. Take a stroll over from the Forks, and take a spot on the patio to view The Esplanade bridge over the Red River and the developing Human Rights Museum as you sip on wine and or enjoy a coffee on their casual sidewalk patio, with large, solid round picnic tables.  They also offer monthly tasting events, and a menu with food and wine pairings to make wine selection easy. And, you may wish to look up a few words en francais on your smartphone while you are there.

9. Bar Italia, 737 Corydon Street (on the corner of Corydon and Cockburn Street)


It’s not fancy, but it’s always busy, always exciting, always Bar Italia. What it lacks in looks, it makes up for in patrons who bring a laid back party like atmosphere along the front and sides of this Corydon favourite. The hip and happenin’ kids flock to this patio like it’s the bees knees with a Euro flair, and a Winnipeg style.  But it’s not all about the nightlife (which features DJ’s most nights). They also offer up coffees, lattes and cappuccino from morning to night, and cocktails and snacks (burgers, fries, pizza, nachos) for the afternoon and evening crowd.

10. Star Grill, 2069 Portage Avenue (across from the Assiniboine Park footbridge)


This quirky, outerworldy experience was designed with your spiritual side in mind, with spacy blues and greys offering a soothing atmosphere inside. On the outside, the modest patio can accommodate 12, making a nice, cozy, quiet experience.  Also found across from the Assiniboine Park footbridge, after a day at the park, stop in for the fantastic oriental, North American and local dishes, stay for the tarot or tea leaf readings or just to give your shakras a bit of R and R. While doing so, you check out your horoscope on your wireless device.

10 AND A HALF: Modern Taco Company, 612 Acadamy Road (near the Kenaston Boulevard ramp)


Boasting fresh, healthy tacos with a modern twist, Modern Taco Company is a quickly expanding chain of cool Mexican restaurants. This petite patio at its Academy Road location (hence the ‘half’) with just a couple of chairs and tables looks like it is set along a dusty street in old Mexico. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in charm, and of course great food made from quality ingredients. And, who can pass up Taco Tuesday, where tacos are two bucks.

And there you have it, 10 and a half of Winnipeg’s best patio experiences, and 10 and a half of the 35,000 Shaw Go Wifi hotspots. All Shaw Internet customers get complimentary access to this service, with a one time setup, and automatic connection from then onward at any hotspot. Shaw also offers a locator app to find other great places with hotspots.  To find out more about Shaw Go Wifi visit