Although I hail from Portage la Prairie, which is an hour and a half east of Brandon and is by far one of the greatest cities on Earth, I have visited Brandon on a regular basis throughout my life. Throughout the many, most likely thousands, of times I've been to Brandon I've had countless opportunities to dine at some of the city's finest restaurants. Today I will share some of Brandon's best places to eat. With the City hosting a population of almost 50,000 people there are countless pizza joints, fast food places and eat-in restaurants. Therefore, I have narrowed it down to five incredible options, trying to keep it as diverse as possible.
First off it is important to understand that although Portage is an amazing and inspirational city it does not have every single restaurant imaginable. I have always said that everything I could possibly need is in Portage while everything I could possibly want is in Brandon. Therefore, there would be no need to go forth and tread in that terrible collection of riff raff known as Winnipeg. Anyway, one such delicious restaurant that Brandon possess’s while Portage does not is a Wendy's. Yes, indeed that same Wendy's that has the fresh never frozen beef and cheap, frosty ice cream. Wendy's is also home to the Baconator which by all accounts imaginable beats every single fast food menu item out there. There are, of course, other menu items included at Wendy's, though I'm not sure why that would matter with the Baconator on the menu. Nonetheless this restaurant also serves up salads, kid's meals and chicken nuggets. Wendy's is located at 905 18th street on the corner of 18th street and Park Avenue, only minutes away from campus.
Sometimes fast food is great, other times you're in the mood for something more whole and fulfilling. I recently had the opportunity to dine in at one of Brandon's newest restaurants located in the the southern reaches of the city. East Side Mario's is a modern Italian restaurant that recently set up shop in Brandon. Although certainly more expensive than Wendy’s, you will find a far wider selection of meals here than any fast food place. Being an Italian based restaurant there are many items on the menu that make it feel like you're in Italy. You could dive into a dish of chicken parmesan or chow down on some signature pasta dishes. Of course, an Italian restaurant couldn't be complete without pizza! East Side Mario's delivers on this statement. There are countless pizza selections available. To top it all off there is a lounge set up right inside the restaurant in case you have free time on your weekends. East Side Mario's is located at1570 18th street inside the Shoppers Mall parking lot. Next time you're in the area stop by for a little taste of Italy.
One major difference between the restaurants in Portage la Prairie and Brandon is that there is a large amount of ethnic dining options in Brandon. You could experience food from all over the world without ever having to leave this corner of the world. One of these ethnic restaurants that every newcomer to Brandon must try, especially if you're a fan of Eastern European cuisine, is Ukrainian Cuisine. Ukrainian Cuisine is a hidden gem within the city of Brandon and requires some background knowledge of the city in order to find. Located in the old Town Centre mall, which is at 800 Rosser Avenue, Ukrainian Cuisine offers customers delicious homemade, ethnic food. With everything from Borscht to chicken Kiev, the dishes here will make you feel like your journeying throughout the Ukrainian countryside. One of my favourite menu items is the garlic fries. These aren't your ordinary fast food fries, these are homemade, freshly seasoned french fries. Best of all they come with two dipping sauces that are literally to die for. Unlike some restaurants Ukrainian Cuisine won't break your bank account either, with prices staying fairly reasonable. Next time you want a taste of Eastern Europe but don't have hundreds of dollars to actually travel there, head down to the Town Centre and hit up Ukrainian Cuisine.
Eastern European food isn't the only ethnic food you will find in the City of Brandon. If you are a major seafood fan you have a variety of options only minutes away from the University campus. One of these options is the Japanese restaurant called Sushi Hut. Sushi Hut serves, as I'm sure you've guessed, sushi. This isn't the kind of sushi that you pick up from one of those deli coolers at the supermarket, no this is hand wrapped, quality seafood. Having first ate there only one year ago I was amazed at all the incredible options and varieties available. Best of all I went there during lunch. You see from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sushi Hut has their all you can eat sushi feature. I've seen all you can eat chicken, all you can eat ribs and even all you can eat steak, but all you can eat sushi takes the cake. If you're a major fan of sushi or have yet to try this amazing heavenly treat head down the street to Sushi Hut and enjoy every kind of sushi imaginable. Sushi Hut is located at 2728 Victoria Avenue and is a short drive, or even walk away, from Brandon University.
Up until know I have covered singular restaurants, one dining option at a time. However, there is one location in the city of Brandon that has multiple dining options and simply must be mentioned. That is the Shoppers Mall food court. I imagine that well over the majority of students know where Shoppers Mall is and what is included within its walls. After all it is one of Brandon's most popular destinations to get together and hang with friends. At the south end of the mall you will find the food court. Although almost every mall would no doubt possess a food court, the one at Shoppers Mall is a rarity in my opinion. For the size of the mall, and the size of the city for that matter, the dining options at the food court are quite impressive. Fast food options such as A and W, Subway and Dairy Queen are included in case you wanted something quick and on the go. Tim Hortons also has an outlet here providing an excellent location to get together with friends for coffee. However, there are also places like Thai Express, Sizzling Wok and Vanelli's which provide that taste of ethnic food while you continue shopping. The food court at Shoppers Mall also includes the only outlet of New York Fries in Manitoba outside of Winnipeg. Next time your heading down to Shoppers Mall don't forget to stop by the food court and see all the dining options for yourself.
Now that I have gifted you all with this knowledge get out there and experience all the dining options that Brandon has to offer. Whether you’re a newcomer to the city or, like me, have been here many times before, you too will be astounded with all the unique and diverse restaurants Brandon possesses.