Hidden Gems with The Tasty Tidbits

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Hey wonderful people. My name is Alex Mandaliti, and I am obsessed with food. I am so obsessed that if I could eat out for every meal in the day… I would. I am the writer of a blog and Instagram page called The Tasty Tidbits. My page is all about sharing delicious places to eat and my favourite things about them. One of my absolute favourite things about Winnipeg is our long list of little hidden gem restaurants. Hidden gems are the kind of restaurants that may not be the prettiest or have the best service, but they definitely have the best food and prices. Winnipeg is bursting with these incredible underrated places. I’m going to share with you my top 5 hidden gems!

#5 Super Deluxe: If you’re from the Osborne Village area then you already know about this killer pizza place. The baby to the incredible Vera Pizza. This is currently my favourite pizza in Winnipeg. Very classic traditional Napolitano style pizza. Simple with fresh ingredients. This is the kind of pizza you have to pick up and fold (like the real Italians do). This style of pizza often has a thin crust, lots of sauce and minimal toppings that are bursting with flavour. Because of the loads of sauce it has that crunchy border and soggy/wet middle. The way Napolitano’s have been making it for years. With green checkered floors and old school booths you’ll feel transported right out of the village. A simple menu with under a dozen menu items, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Make sure to order the Kale Ranch Salad and the Caramelized Onion & Pancetta Pizza. Also check out their Instagram page for their ever changing specials. $5 Slushies on Saturdays which are really an Aperol Spritz in Slushie form, to their $1 Wine Corkage on Sunday’s.

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#4 BMC Market: A long time classic that surprisingly isn’t as well known as it should be.  FIVE DOLLAR TACOS. Yup FIVE DOLLAR TACOS. This traditional taqueria is as close to Mexico as we are going to get here. This is the kind of place you go when you want to have a delicious tasty meal and not break the bank. You can get 3 tacos for 5 dollars, and add a drink for $2.25. I recently had lunch here with a friend. We ordered 6 tacos to share, a drink, and chips with avocado dip and our bill was $16.00. Fill up on authentic treats, while enjoying the little Mexican escape as you step inside this mom and pop style shop.

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#3 Kum Koon Garden: Are you ready for this one? This has been my go to Sunday brunch spot for as long as I can remember. If you love Dim Sum then you need to be here. This MASSIVE restaurant often has waits on Sunday’s to get in.. but don't worry it goes by quick. This is the kind of Dim Sum where you will feast until you have to be rolled out of the restaurant.. it’s that good. They have endless carts that come around with every dish you can imagine. They have all your classics like Shrimp Dumplings, Lo Mai Gai (sticky rice in lotus leafs), Steamed Pork Buns, Shrimp Noodle Rolls, Fried Sesame Balls.. And everything else you could hope for. If you are a Dim Sum Virgin then this is the place to go. Start with some of the items I listed or just pick whatever looks good when the carts go by. If you are a Dim Sum lover then i’ll see you next Sunday!

#2 Boun’s Asian Cuisine: Okay.. Now.. This one I was hesitant to share because, well, it's one of my best kept food secrets. Boun’s is the ultimate hidden gem of Thai & Laotian food. Winnipeg is filled with incredible Thai, but there is something about Boun’s that keeps me and my family coming back for over a decade! My favourite thing about Boun’s is his story. Originally he ran Vientiane a very well known Thai & Laotian spot on Marion. I remember going here as a kid with my family. Boun always served us, and remembered my parents by name. Eventually Boun sold Vientiane… and just a while later opened up Boun’s Asian Cuisine… 5 doors down.. In the same strip mall. WHY? I have absolutely no idea.. But either way I was happy to have Boun’s cooking back in my life. Boun’s is this total hole in the wall style family restaurant. This is the type of place you go and wait forever to be served. Do not expect quality service. This is not that kind of place. But the minute that food hits the table it all makes sense. This is the kind of place you go knowing the food is worth the wait. I can promise you that. Try the Lettuce wraps, Tom Yum Soup, Green Curry soup with rice, Pad Thai and Cashew Nut Veggies. All the classic Thai dishes but there's just something different here. It’s out of this world.

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#1 Deen’s Caribbean: Alright.. Here is my favourite hidden gem of all. Deen’s is another one of those spots I’ve been going to with my family for over a decade. Deen’s is a tiny little Caribbean spot that has been around for YEARS. Deen’s is the kind of place you go for a quick lunch or hang around on the outdoor patio for live music in the summer. Deen’s is serving up the most badass Rotis and Doubles that I personally have ever had. I always start with an order of Doubles (Fritters topped with curry chickpeas) and follow it with a chicken and shrimp roti. Deen’s is the kind of family restaurant that has a fish tank, massive mural on the wall and floral chairs. It's the kind of spot that you feel like you are being hosted in their home and they are so happy to have you. They really treat you like family and get pleasure out of feeding you. Deen’s food is simple and packed with flavour. You’ll leave full for under $15.00! Does it get better than that??

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Alright, now get out there and start eating. I’d love to hear what you think about these spots. Comment or message me on Instagram @Thetastytidbits. Do you have any favourite hidden gems? Let me know.

Happy eating!

Alex Mandaliti

The Tasty Tidbits



Johanna Seier