As you may be able to tell from my posts I really like books. I also really like restaurants. So, quite naturally, if I can find the two connected I am quite happy. While the number of bookstores/cafe is not great there are some good ones in Winnipeg. One in particular is the Neighbourhood Cafe and Book Store, found on Westminster Avenue in the Wolseley neighbourhood of Winnipeg.
One of the interesting things about the Neighbourhood Cafe is that the menu that is available is not the same all the time, and comes from a variety of sources. For example, the soups they serve are homemade for them by Café Ce Soir. Some of their baked goods come from the Mondragon Café. They don’t have a lot of what I would call a set lunch or dinner menu, but there is enough variety that you can put a nice little meal together.
Over the span of my visits there, I have had the opportunity to try the Cream of Broccoli soup. The soup was thick and rich, good for a real cold winter day in Winnipeg. The sandwiches which I tried, one half ham and the other half a vegan option, were also of the very filling variety, although I found the bread was a little on the dry side.
Among the lunch offerings at the Neighbourhood Café, are their Onigri rice sandwiches. This is a traditional Japanese lunch dish that is one of the signature dishes of the café. The seaweed wrap gives it a nice salty crunch on the outside, with a moist, chewy rice filling. I had the one with the kelp filling which brought added moisture and a little natural sweetness to the sandwich.
Now, when I go into a coffee shop, I’m often looking for a little something sweet to eat with my coffee, and on this score the Neighbourhood Café delivers the goods. I’ve enjoyed both the Apple Jacks and the Apple Pie. They also offer biscotti, and a selection of various cookies including an iced spiced cookie I had the other day.
In addition to the good food, the service is friendly and fairly efficient. If books are your interest, you will find that the staff will allow you to browse at leisure, but is well-informed if you have questions. Of note, the bookstore has limited seating and that which is there is often very crowded.
I think in the overall the city would be a whole better place to live in if every neighbourhood had a Neighbourhood Café. If you are ever in the Wolseley neighbourhood, take the time to drop in, drink some coffee, enjoy some treats, and maybe even browse for some books to read.