Best Little Pierogies on the Prairies

Written by Karen Burshtein

Alycia’s, the late, lamented pierogi restaurant celebrated by John Candy, was once a fixture in Winnipeg’s North End. The late actor-comedian would make a point of stopping by to take out an order of Alycia’s famous pierogies whenever he was in Winnipeg. He even sometimes had them shipped to California.

When the restaurant closed down, Winnipeg’s pierogi landscape certainly looked dimmer, but it was hardly out of the count.

After all, pierogies are something like the unofficial food of the prairies. These deep-fried, pan-fried or boiled dumplings are filled with meat, cheese or potato and typically served with a side of sour cream. Sometimes the filling can be sweetened cottage cheese or fruit.

Pierogies were brought to the prairies by Ukrainian immigrants. (Fact: Canada has the largest Ukrainian diaspora in the world). They were traditionally regarded as “peasant food” but the iconic Ukrainian dish has crossed social, cultural and culinary boundaries on the prairie and is enjoyed by everyone. Winnipeggers are proud of the fact, for example, that their city puts pierogies on pizza.

While they may have started off as “peasant food,” they can also be found done up with white truffles at one fancy Winnipeg restaurant.

Bragging rights still remain a tradition: everyone claims their Baba makes the best. But, as you can’t always get your hands on grandma’s hand-pinched versions, there are spots throughout the prairies from which to pick up pierogies.

Come to think of it, these spots were often started by someone’s Baba, often in their kitchens at home before going retail.

Sevalas in the Transcona neighbourhood is one example.

You can find traditional, home-style perogies made by a long-time Garson, Manitoba-based company, Perfect Pierogies, in almost every grocer’s freezer in Manitoba. But if only fresh will do, great takeout options include Pierogi Village (204-256-2389), Loaded Pierogi, Mom’s Perogy Factory, Karen’s Home Cooking Ltd and Perogy Planet.


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In the western Manitoba city of Dauphin, home to a large number of descendants of Ukrainian immigrants and new Ukrainian immigrants, it’s not hard to find perogies, and not just during Dauphin’s summertime Ukrainian Festival.

At Corinna’s, you can eat in or take out a half dozen locally sourced homemade perogies or splurge on a Perogy Palooza, a batch of perogies, served boiled or crispy, topped with fried onions and served with kielbasa, sauerkraut and a side of sour cream.

Further west, the pierogi landscape continues to thrive. Drive-throughs are popular in Saskatoon; thank the freezing winters for that. But no one had thought of a drive-through pierogi joint until Rob Engel bought the iconic Baba’s Homestyle Perogies house from original owner Baba Alice and installed a takeout window. Today, he owns the only perogy drive-through in North America and his spot regularly wins awards for its perogies. 10,000 of them are made each day by a dozen Ukrainian women. (They also make cabbage rolls, and borscht!)

A-R Perogies in Saskatoon also sells excellent hand-pinched pierogies stuffed with cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, sauerkraut, and even fruit.

Nothing except maybe the Roughriders unites Saskatchewanians more than pierogies. In Regina, there is a bit of a consensus that Peg’s Kitchen, has among the city’s best. This restaurant, caterer and takeout place has a full breakfast menu but it’s the pierogies most people come for. They offer an array of stuffings including cheddar cheese and potato, potato, bacon and Romano cheese, cottage cheese and potato, potato & onion and cottage cheese, sauerkraut & potato, or sweet versions filled with Saskatoon plum. As in Winnipeg, you’ll also find pierogies on pizza at chains like Boston Pizza or independent pizza places.

In Calgary, a Ukrainian immigrant raised on a farm in Manitoba continues his family’s long tradition of hand-pinching pierogies. The Perogy Guy makes and sells pierogies based on his mother and grandmother’s recipe.


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And while you’re on a pierogi hunt in Alberta, don’t forget to stop in the town of Glendon, two hours north of Edmonton to see the giant pierogi statue. At 27 feet high, it’s a sure sign of what pierogies mean to the prairies.