Winnipeg foodies take it to the streets despite chill in air

Nothing comes between a foodie and food. Enter Moveable Feast, a biking and eating tour of downtown Winnipeg restaurants set for Feb. 13.

Moveable Feast tours Winnipeg restaurants by bike

Downtown BIZ managing director Jason Syvixay takes a spin on Winnipeg's wintery streets in advance of Moveable Feast, a biking tour of area restaurants Feb.13. The tour coincides with the Winter Cycling Congress, a international conference of winter biking enthusiasts, urban planners and policy makers being held in Winnipeg. (courtesy Downtown BIZ)
Nothing comes between a foodie and food.

Not even sub-Arctic temperatures, icy streets and the occasional slipped chain will stop them.

Enter Moveable Feast, a biking and eating tour of downtown Winnipeg restaurants set for Feb. 13. 

The mid-winter tour—geared toward both experienced and neophyte winter riders—is about demystifying winter cycling, eating great food and embracing the season, says Jason Syvixay, managing director at Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, one of the co-organizers.

“There is a full platter of things to do (in winter) and the people taking advantage of them are having way more fun,” Syvixay said.

The tour coincides with the Winter Cycling Congress, a three-day conference that brings 100 international delegates to Winnipeg to share ideas about creating year-round, bike-friendly cities. 

Syvixay said the tour, which is also organized by the conference and consulting firm Freig & Associates, is also a way to show off the city and show how we celebrate winter to delegates and Winnipeggers themselves.

Builders brave frigid temperatures to construct RAW: almond on the river at The Forks. (Erin Bend)
Organizers are still hammering out pitstops in St. Boniface and the Exchange District but confirmed participating restaurants include RAW:almond, East India Company and Thom Bargen (coffee house). 

The inaugural Moveable Feast was held last July in Winnipeg. Starting at the Manitoba Legislature, dozens of cyclists made restaurant stops at The Forks, St. Boniface, the Exchange District and back downtown. The evening tour lasted for more than five hours. At times, riders created an impromptu parade on city streets.

Hosting a winter version was a no-brainer, Syvixay said.

“We thought, ‘What will people say if we try to do this in winter,’ and immediately it was, ‘Let’s try this again.’” 

Other Winnipeg restaurants are also stepping out into the chill. Elements will start up its popular ‘backdoor eats’ lunch service mid-February. Typically held Fridays, customers buy street-friendly lunch specials from a backdoor near the restaurant. 

RAW: almond, the outdoor pop-up restaurant on the frozen river at The Forks, opens Friday. 

Meanwhile, about 20 Moveable Feast tickets will be sold to Winnipeggers and the remaining 20 are for conference delegates. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased on site, or booked in advance through the Moveable Feast website.