Stella’s Café and Bakery has expanded rapidly since its humble beginnings in 1999. Originally located on 166 Osborne St., the business has boomed to provide 4 more locations all across Winnipeg.
One of their newest locations, Stella’s Café at Plug In, falls perfectly in line with the restaurant’s unique and trendy atmosphere. The restaurant is adorned with contemporary art and beautiful, open windows that offer a glimpse of downtown’s busy streets.
Image from kingspanpanels.ca
Parking is limited here, which is the norm for almost every downtown eatery. You can find free parking spots in the evenings and on the weekends in front of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Otherwise, you may choose to pay for your parking behind the Buhler Centre.
Stella’s offers a walk-up menu, as well as a dine-in option. The hosts are always friendly and welcoming, and the servers are quick to check in with their patrons. The only awkward part is navigating around its tight space if they decide to sit you in the very back. The place is usually quite packed, making seating options limited.
They have a decent selection of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Their bottomless coffee ($2.45) was average, but lacked body. Their special holiday eggnog latte topped with egg white foam ($3.25) was, on the other hand, tasty and rich.
If it’s your first time at Stella’s, you must choose something from their breakfast menu. Although most of their lunch and dinner items are great choices, all-day breakfast is their specialty.
We ordered the veggie café ($7.75 - two eggs, three veggie breakfast patties, hash browns, toast & jam) and the grand café ($11.50 - three eggs, ham, bacon, sausage, hash browns, toast & jam.) They have a wide selection of breads to choose from, and almost every variety is served fresh and chewy. Their hash browns were crispy and well seasoned, although some were slightly burned. The patties were moist and had a slightly spicy aftertaste, while the meats were tender and tasty. Their serving sizes aren’t baffling, but there are so many items on your plate that it becomes hard to find room to fit it all in.
Stella’s is renowned for their homemade jam. The sweet concoction spreads like melted butter, and has huge chunks of juicy strawberries and blueberries. It’s arguably the best jam in the city, and you can buy it by the jar at the front of the restaurant.
When asked where the washrooms were, we were instructed to cross the hall into the other end of the Buhler Centre. Unlike the rest of the building, the facilities are small, bland and inconveniently located.
Stella’s at Plug In offers a pleasant location to dine-in and is a must go for breakfast foodies, although their parking and restrooms are not ideal. They offer friendly and consistent service, delectable eats and the journey downtown is worth the visit - even if it’s just to grab a jar of their mouth-watering homemade jam.