Header photo: The Roost by Ashley Klassen
For those driving across the border for a weekend away, Winnipeg's nightlife is the cherry on top of daytime activities like shopping, spas, sporting events and the Assiniboine Park Zoo. With a minimum drinking age of 18, our city comes alive at night (yes, even in the winter) at dance clubs, pubs and theatres. If your next trip to Winnipeg includes a night out on the town, consider one of these top spots in the city...
If you're like me and a good dance floor is an absolute necessity to any night out, you're in luck, Winnipeg has many dance clubs for a range of musical tastes. Upstairs in the District is bar/lounge that turns into a dance party every weekend - think 90's tunes in a very basic, no frills space. Also in Osborne Village is OV Club - a dance club that offers free cover and a complimentary drink to anyone on the Friday night guest list. And of course, any night out in Osborne Village feel right without a visit to Little Pizza Heaven once the bar lets out (the tomato feta pizza is a personal favourite)! In the downtown and Exchange District area of Winnipeg, popular dance clubs include 441 main, Citizen and the World Famous Palomino Club - which recently relocated into a historic building on Winnipeg's Main Street. LGBTQ+ bars in the city include the high energy dance club Fame and Club 200, which frequently features go go dancers and drag queen performances, as well as cash karaoke every Thursday night.
For a casual night out
If being in a dance club isn't your thing, Winnipeg has plenty of pubs and bars for those who prefer to play pool, or sit at a table with friends drinking beer. That's not to say that these places don't have dancing - most of them do - but the vibe is significantly more relaxed. The King's Head Pub is a Winnipeg staple with two floors - one with pool, dart boards and tables, the other with an awesome dance party. Also in the Exchange District is Yellow Dog Tavern (which, in addition to a chill atmosphere, has amazing food) and Forth, with a cocktail bar in the basement and a rooftop bar that opens in the summer. Corydon Village is another popular area for nightlife, especially in the summer, when patios spill out onto the sidewalks and people walk up and down the strip in search for their next spot. Bar Italia has one of the most bustling patios in the city, and frequently brings in DJs. Craft cocktails can be found at The Roost, with a sparkling rooftop patio that opens in the summer.
For live music
Winnipeg is known for its music scene, and you won't have any difficulty finding a show to check out on nearly any day of the week. In addition to hosting the occasional sing-a-long, The Park Theatre on south Osborne is a great spot for listening to up-and-coming acts from Winnipeg and beyond. In Osborne Village, the basement of the Toad in the Hole (another great pub), The Cavern, churns out awesome local acts of all styles. Located centrally on Main Street, Times Change(d) High and Lonesome Club is a Winnipeg institution with a neon sign that lights up it's cozy interior several times a week for live music. In the west end, restaurant and music venue The Handsome Daughter is open late 7 nights a week with an array of DJS, retro video game tournaments, trivia, comedy, live music and more. On Portage Avenue, The Good Will Social Club not only offers awesome nightly events like Music Trivia Mondays, Super Karaoke and performances from a variety of musical genres, it also is attached to the delicious Have a Nice Day eatery.
Have a favourite venue, pub or dance club we missed? Tell us about it in the comments!