Behind the Name: Winnipeg's The Tallest Poppy

How one of Winnipeg's most community-minded eateries chose its name

Located at the base of the Sherbrook Inn, Winnipeg's beloved diner The Tallest Poppy was opened back in 2007. Owned by Talia Syrie, the eatery's original location was in the city's north end, but migrated over to Sherbrook Street after several years.

Known well for its comfort food offerings like matzo ball soup and fried chicken and waffles, it has established itself as one of the top brunch destinations in the city, but is an equally popular evening spot for dinner, cocktails and good times–especially fun times once this pandemic is behind us. Syrie's restaurant has been a residence, of sorts, for many artists in Winnipeg as well as the home base of drag performers who–again, when things get back to "normal"–host lively drag brunches in the cozy, welcoming space.

The name of the restaurant is a reference to the old Australian saying: "The tallest poppy is the first one to be picked.”

“The idea that if you stick out too much or reach too high, you’ll get your head lopped off,” says Syrie. “It’s a concept that I’ve always felt [embodies] ‘Winnipeg’.”

As for an alternative name, there were several. Let’s just say that Small Potatoes would have been an interesting option, but Tallest Poppy feels just right to me.

The restaurant is available for in-person dining Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Takeout orders can also be made online.