Reviews and Such Restaurants

Joe and Lily – East Exchange

Joe and Lily Coffee has closed. There is a new coffee shop in the same location. I walked by the new place in January 2022, but the name escapes me right now. I hope to make a trip down there in the next few weeks.

Hopefully the Winnipeg Fringe Festival will be open to in-person shows this year. That way I will have more reason to visit the new shop.

Winnipeg’s specialty coffee shops continue to boom. Two of the most recent additions are in the Exchange district. On the west side is Bronuts, which is right next door to King + Bannatyne. On the eastside is Joe and Lily. While I like both places, I’m more excited by the arrival of Joe and Lily.

Joe & Lily croissant with plenty of sunshine.
A croissant. Enjoyed in the very sunny environs of Joe & Lily.

One of my favourite events in Winnipeg is the Fringe Festival. Over the last few years I’ve attended more plays and gotten in the habit of reviewing most of the ones I attend. While most of the Fringe takes part in and around the main Exchange District there are usually quite a few plays on the east side of Main. If you are looking for dinner there are quite a few options on that side of Main, but not as much choice in terms of coffee. Joe and Lily’s will change that.

Joe and Lily

Joe and Lily shares a link with Folio Cafe, in that  they are carrying a good deal of their food from an outside source. In the case of Joe and Lily, it’s Tall Grass Prairie that is their supplier. This discovery made me very happy as Tall Grass is one of my favourite places. The first time I went in I had the ham and cheese croissant along withe my beverage. The second time I went with what I believe is called the fig and pig sandwich.
The croissant was very enjoyable. The fig and pig(ham) was the kind of sandwich that has go-to written all over it. The fig dressing was just the right amount of sweet, and it kept the sandwich good and moist.
The shop is located on the main floor on the Sport for Life Centre building at 145 Pacific Avenue, just off Lily (hence the second part of the name). It’s shape and size is similar to many of the new coffee shops such as Parlour and Thom Bargen. The main difference is that while they look like they’ve been set up on portrait setting, Joe and Lily looks like it was done on landscape. There are a few tables, and a long counter that looks out onto the street. There are large windows along the counter allowing for plenty of natural light being let into the building.
For coffee, Joe and Lily is supplied by Other Brother Roasters out of Winkler. My first trip I had the Americano. It managed to be both smooth and strong at the same time. Second time around I went for the Cappucino. Good coffee flavour, with a pleasant sweet finish from the milk, and the right mix of milk and foam.
I found the service reasonably friendly and efficient enough. Both times I went in, there was very little traffic. As a result, I’m not sure how well they would do when it gets busy. Still, I hope lots of people give this place a try. It’s a pleasant little spot and hopefully it will catch on and build a following.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.