Driving for Dessert: Oda Coffee + Wine Bar in Manitou Beach
If you’re looking for a perfect place to spend the day soaking up the Saskatchewan summer sun, Manitou Beach is the destination for you. Known for its unique mineral content, Little Manitou Lake is the only lake like it in Canada, with salt water properties that have been compared to the Dead Sea in Jordan.
If that weren’t reason enough to make a trip out of it, Manitou Beach is also home to plenty of locally owned eateries and shops worth exploring – including Oda Coffee + Wine Bar, which operates seasonally and sits right on the edge of Little Manitou Lake.
Photo by Naomi Hansen
Owner Lane Manson is originally from the area and initially bought Oda in 2018 with his sister. He built upon the daily menu by adding a wine and cocktail menu, plus a private supper dining service that offers wine tastings and catered multi-course dinners to guests.
“I also own the Manitou Hotel in Watrous, so I’ve been doing food and beverage for 12 years,” Manson said. “My sister really liked this spot down here, so when it became available, we decided to [go for it]. I really enjoy it too – just being down at the beach.”
Photo by Oda Coffee + Wine Bar
In fact, the beach is mere steps away from the cafe, providing a gorgeous backdrop for a meal or dessert. With a large wraparound deck overlooking the water, at Oda you truly feel like you’re dining right on the beach, with endless views of the lake.
Dessert at Oda includes everything from cheesecakes and cake (try the carrot cake!) to more seasonal items inspired by local ingredients, like the rhubarb crumble cake. The beverages are also a dessert in themselves, from gourmet iced coffees topped with whipped cream and syrup to fruity summer sangrias – best enjoyed on the patio, of course. If you want to visit for a meal, you’ll find plenty of options like delicious crepes for breakfast and charcuterie boards for lunch.
Photo by Oda Coffee + Wine Bar
Throughout the summer, Manson also hosts events like a snack and beverage service alongside local happenings in Manitou Beach, plus live music nights that also feature a set supper service. Just be sure to book your table in advance, as these popular evenings fill up quickly!
When asked why he thinks Manitou Beach is a unique spot to visit, Manson explained that it’s the easy-going, laid-back feel of the area.
“You have room, you have space to relax, you can really unwind [here] because you’re just out in the country,” he said. “I find that people just find it cute and relaxing.”
Make it a day trip or a weekend
Turn dessert at Oda Coffee + Wine Bar into a day trip or a weekend and explore what the Manitou Beach area has to offer.
Where to stay
The Manitou Springs Resort & Mineral Spa is the place to stay in Manitou Beach, perfect for spending a weekend relaxing. It offers several accommodation options, including double rooms, suites and even kitchenette rooms. Home to a mineral pool, spa, dining options and a gift shop, you’ll have lots to do while you’re there. Plus, it's conveniently located within walking distance to shops and eateries.
Photo by Manitou Springs Resort and Mineral Spa
What to see/do
In addition to enjoying the beautiful beach, you’ll definitely want to set aside some time for browsing while in the resort village. Head to the Little Manitou Art Gallery, which is a creative community hub showcasing artwork from over 250 Saskatchewan artists all displayed – and available for purchase – in several different galleries on the property. During the summer, the gallery also hosts live music every Saturday. For a quick bite to eat, stop by Burger Buoy, which offers homemade burgers alongside sweet treats like ice cream and cotton candy. Manitou Beach is also the home of Lockwood Sourdough, which makes organic sourdough bread. Pick up one of its signature loaves to take home – like the popular parmesan, thyme and black pepper sourdough. A visit to Danceland is also a must while you’re in Manitou Beach. This iconic Saskatchewan landmark – which was built in 1928 and is still in operation today – is the perfect stop for a photo op. If you time it right, you might just be able to check out one of the Danceland Dances, which feature live music.
Photo by Naomi Hansen
Check out one of the province’s last remaining drive-in theatres, The Drive In at Manitou Beach, which has been operating since 1955. The drive-in shows both new releases and retro movies, so check the schedule ahead of time to plan a perfect evening of entertainment under a starry sky.
Oda Coffee + Wine Bar is located at 305 MacLachlan Ave in Manitou Beach, SK. For more information and hours, visit Facebook. Oda and one of its recipes are also featured in Naomi Hansen’s first book, Only in Saskatchewan: Recipes & Stories from the Province’s Best-loved Eateries. Visit www.naomihansen.ca for more information.
Author: Naomi Hansen
Naomi Hansen is a writer and editor based in Saskatoon, SK. She is the author of the book Only in Saskatchewan: Recipes & Stories from the Province’s Best-loved Eateries, which was published by TouchWood Editions in April 2022. Find her on Instagram @onlyinsaskatchewan, Twitter @naomihansen_ or at www.naomihansen.ca.