see all cities »


Spotlight on Winnipeg: Fat Boy Burgers

Photo: Brodie Aikman | Dairi Wip Drive In in St. Boniface, Winnipeg

Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada. It’s home to the beloved Winnipeg Jets, the Golden boy and a thriving French community. It’s also home to the best burgers in the world. It’s true and I’m not just saying that because I lived there. I say this because I lived there AND I ate the best burgers in the world…a lot of them…back when my metabolism allowed for such things.

Like many prairie folks, I steadily made my way to the West Coast where I now enjoy some of the best cuisine in the world. West Coast fusion, world-class sushi, etc and so on. No doubt, there’s good food here… But, the burgers? Meh. Sure, there are some good burger joints here. But more often than not, the good burgers are fancy burgers. Like, $15 fancy. And sometimes they even come with salad by default. Pffft. Please.

In Winnipeg the name of the game is the “fat boy”– a hamburger with one or more (usually more) patties, topped with chili, tomatoes, lettuce and mayonnaise. They’re messy and wonderful and I want one right now. And as I can smell the ocean air from my window, clearly I can’t have one. So, what’s the next best thing to getting what you want? Writing a top-ten list about what you want!

And so, in the spirit of meat-craving induced civic patriotism, I present to you my list of the top-ten fat boys in everyone’s favourite, centrally-located prairie city!

  1.  Red Top Drive-in Restaurant – Time stands still in this old school diner in St. Boniface.
  2. Blondie’s Restaurant – Burgers of epic proportions (there’s a 9-lber) and an infamous curmudgeonly owner … It’s more than a meal, it’ an experience.
  3. VJ’s Drive Inn –  This is where I had my first fat boy!  You always remember your first. Very, very, very, good. Very.
  4. Juniors Restaurant – Once upon a time I only ordered the hot dogs here. And then I ordered a burger. Never looked back.
  5. Salisbury House –  “Sals” is a Winnipeg institution. The Cheese Nip, while not technically a fat boy, is just plain good and tastes like childhood. Plus, Burton Cummings is one of the owners. Come. On.
  6. Super Boy’s Restaurant – Pure greasy perfection! Home-cut fries and massive burgers… Love.
  7. Mrs. Mike’s –  Every burger at this St. Boniface diner is out of this world, BUT the King Burger will change your life. Don’t eat for many hours before you go. Like, a day.
  8. George’s Burgers & Subs –  With several locations, this is classic diner food at it’s best. I recommend the original location in St. Vital. I also recommend that you try their greek salad. Do it.
  9. The Dairi Wip –  Another legendary St. Boniface burger! Take-out only, the crazy-efficient counter staff pop your fat boy and chili fries (if you’re smart) into a to-go box and bob’s-yer-uncle – you’re in fat boy heaven.
  10. The Burger Place –  Okay, so here we have a true example of saving the best for last. Located in St. James (my old stomping grounds) the burgers here make me weep with nostalgia. Best served with a vanilla milkshake and good friends.
Yeah, so that’s my 100% biased, totally Winnipeg-centric top-ten list. What about the rest of Canada? I have to say, I feel the gauntlet’s been thrown. I can’t imagine another city with the same sort of burger mojo, but I’d be happy to be proven wrong! Anyone?

Chatter from the UsedHQ. We're the number one Canadian online classifieds, passionate about keeping items out of landfills, preserving unique curiosities, crafting, upcycling, anything vintage and SAVING MONEY!

11 Responses to “Spotlight on Winnipeg: Fat Boy Burgers”


Very well stated. When living in southern Ontario I couldn’t find a Fatboy in Greektown.



Thank you for posting this! I’ve been trying to figure out what a “fatboy” is. I think the expression/concoction is so commonplace in Winnipeg that nobody realizes the rest of Canada is like, “huh?” I have a friend who just moved to Winnipeg and she’s on a burger quest (for me, the food blogger) and she has reported back to me that VJs is entirely terrible. It must have gone downhill. Do you have a second recommendation? Also, do you know, perchance, the origins of this “fatboy chilli” and why it’s on every burger in Winnipeg? Thanks again.


    Jennifer Aikman

    Hmmm… If VJ’s has really gone downhill, that makes me very sad. It’s been a few years since I’ve been back to The Peg, but VJ’s was always my go-to. Also, remember – a “good” Winnipeg burger may gross out a few people. It’s greeeeeeazy and messy and will probably give you indigestion! However, if Vj’s disappoints, try Mrs. Mike’s in St Boniface. Get the King Burger, say your prayers. And I’m sorry, but I don’t actually know the origin of the delicious chili that tops most fatboys, but I’m glad it’s a thing! Congratulations to your friend for living in a very cool city! Great music, great arts scene and even greater burgers! – Jennifer

Jenna GIbbens

Well Jennifer, I wanted to clear up why I (the recently relocated person to Winnipeg) I have terrible things to say about VJs. I had heard great things about it….And I do suspect that going closer to closing time may have an effect on the quality of the food that I was served. But if people are raving about these burgers, and voted Number #1 burger in Winnipeg….I did expect something really tasty.
What I got was a very small, burnt burger. I took a pic of the patty and it Almost looked frozen. White starchy bun, with process cheese. The chili was okay, but seemed old again…And it was messy….but not even that bad. The bun stayed in tact the whole time, and honestly I have had Very messy burgers.
The Pre-Made milkshakes threw me off a but too….
As for the flavour, even after all those things I did enjoy the taste, just not sure I would go back there again, to try a different time. I look forward to trying the other places that you have suggested and some others I have heard are great….Maye I will run into you at some random burger place in town!! 🙂



    Blondie’s has DELISH fat boys, and she makes her milkshakes fresh. My strawberry milkshake had fresh strawberries in it. Heavenly!! Just be sure to have friends willing to share the milkshake. It’s HUGE and comes in a tub.


Mrs M tike’s is an old, old, old – 35 year old favorite – King Burger + an order of chips & chili with a double cheese burger as take away – to hold you until you get to … The Red Top (3 minutes down the road)

I now live in Izmir, Turkey – a food desert, the best food here is ….. in Portugal.


    Jennifer Aikman

    I used to love going to the Red Top…Man, I miss Winnipeg. Victoria is very foodie, but it still hasn’t mastered burgers. You should totally open a hamburger stand in Izmir! – Jennifer


You missed The Nook, Sherbrook & Westminister. An excellent Fatboy, no question.

Nice of you to include Sals. Any Nip – esp a Cheese Nip with Sals sauce on the side – is heavenly. No question, Wpg has the best (greasy) burgers on the planet.



VJs is now one of the worst burgers to put into your mouth, awful all around, and a total waste of money. The new Fat Burger opened and has wonderful burgers, but at a high price! NewYorkBurgers is still the same and fantastic. Dalys is very good as well and has two locations. My quest for the best FatBoy, and best over all burger continues….


    Amber R Bosma

    Jason, may the burger force be with you. I hope you find what you’re looking for! Amber


All of these are good, but the best kept secret is Dairy Delight on Ste. Anne’s, absolute best Fat Boy in Winnipeg. Hands Down!

Same family as Mrs. Mike’s, similar recipe but even better. You’ll never find a better burger, trust me.

From one Westwood kid to another 😉


Leave a Reply