HOME > Chowhound > Quebec (inc. Montreal) >

Discussion

Philly Foodie Staying in Montreal

Hello all,

I am excited to be visiting your city from August 18-20 (Saturday - Monday).

I will be staying at the Hyatt Regency.

I am looking for places to eat with my SO. We are young (25), on a budget and looking for some wonderful meals and cocktails (that's all that really matters, right?).

I've done a little research through Zagat and endless banquet, but would really appreciate local oppinions on where to go, how to get there and what to get!

We need places for breakfast, lunch and dinner - moderately priced with perhaps one meal a little more on the expensive side ($40 american dollars a person?). We are also looking for places to get drinks (interesting beers, cocktails) before or after our meals. We are both adventurous foodies but I AM A VEGETARIAN (no meat, no fish). I assume most french restaurants will be out, as they tend to lack vegetarian options.

Here are some places that looked interesting:

al-taib
au petit extra
aux lilas
l'avenue du plateau
belle province
bilboquet
bily kun
brutopia
cafe via dante
chao phraya
les chocolates du chloe
fairmount bagel factory
jean talon market
joilifou
m sur masson
monte du lait
niu kee
resevoir

Thanks in advance! I can't wait!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Desenetly go to Schwartz's for smoked meat. Avoid Ben's.

    Belle Province is good but it is a chain and can vary from location to location.

    Brutopia a personal favorite. Very good beer.

    For French try Le Paris. It is an institution. And it is near Brutopia.

    El Bustain is good if you feel like a falafel or two.

    1. I feel bad, but I don't eat meat. Would I still like these places?

      1 Reply
      1. re: saturninus

        Sorry missed the whole vegetarian aspect. But at least you still have Brutopia vegetarian or not the beer will be just as good!

        There are still plenty of options. Montreal is a very eclectic place. Many restaurants do offer decent vegetarian selections. Check menus of places that you are interested in you might have some interesting choices.

        Comesol is a chain of vegetarian buffets. It has some interesting dishes.

        Then there is the local favorite Café Santropol it is very good.

        There are many good Indian and Asian restaurants to chose from all of which have a very good selection of veg options.

        If you eat eggs Montreal loves breakfast/brunch there’s Chez Cora. And the classic Beauties...avoid Eggspectations.

        Hope this helps.
        Bon Voyage!

      2. As a vegetarian, you'll have a hard time finding a french restaurant that will suit you. There's a new place on St-Laurent that is vegan I think. The name eludes though and someone will probably come over to enlighten us.

        I would advise you to avoid La Belle Province as it's a cheap version of anything fast food has to offer. If you want to try Quebec's poutine, head for La Banquise on Rachel. If you only want a damn good burger and fries, then it's La Paryse on Ontario east near St-Denis, they have veggie burgers that are really good and home made.

        For breakfast, avoid L'Avenue as it's over priced and too crowded. Wal 10 more minutes to Laurier East and go to Café Byblos for iranian cooking that's vegetarian friendly, there's no meat on the menu in the morning.

        For drinks and good food, Réservoir is a very good option and not too far from Bily Kun to keep drinking afterwards.

        Marché Jean-Talon is a must with plenty of vegetarian options and near, on Jean-Talon, is Alep and Petit Alep 2 good restaurants with vegeterian options.

        If you go for bagel, head either for Fairmount or St-Viateur. St-Viateur has an outlet on the street of the same name and a cafe on avenue du Mont-Royal.

        I'd stray away from Bilboquet altough it'S quite good and head to Hâvre aux Glaces instead as it's at Marché Jean-Talon.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Campofiorin

          Good recs Campofiori. Maybe the vegan place on St. Laurent you're thinking of is Aux Vivres? I haven't been since they renovated, but they used to have a good BLT made with smoked coconut in place of the bacon (it's tasty, I swear) and the veggie lox sandwich is good too, despite tasting nothing like lox. The service used to be friendly but very slow, this may have changed since the reno.

          Campofiorin, I also have to disagree with your take on l'Avenue's breakfast, at least on weekdays. Saturninus, this place can definitely be very busy if you go post-11 AM on a weekend, but on a normal weekday I've never had a problem getting a seat. Try it on the Monday you're here. Fun, goofy atmosphere. As another young veggie on a budget, they have one of my favourite breakfasts. Some stuff is pretty expensive (though portions are gargantuan), but their standard two egg breakfast is, IMHO, one of the best in the city, and around 5 or 6 bucks.

          Your choice of thick sliced toast or bagel, GREAT blackberry jam, and you can sub a choice of cheeses for bacon/sausage. A bite of toasted baguette or sourdough, slathered with butter, and topped with a hunk of decent brie and that jam is very satisfying.

          I also think l'Avenue's breakfast potatoes are perhaps the city's best, and possibly least healthy as well. Drenched in butter and (I think) olive oil, lots of rosemary, and a satisfying amount of salt. I want some right now...

          Not far from Mont-Royal on St. Denis is Meu Meu, another good bet for iced cream, all natural and homemade. Try the caramel with black sea salt or Ricard flavours.

          Also, in response to other posters, I think Beauty's is, to be blunt, an overpriced tourist trap with very average food. I would avoid it.

        2. Wonderful, so my list has cut down! (a little bit)
          Here are the current places of interest:

          al-talib
          au petit extra
          aux lilas
          cafe santopol
          chez cora - breakfast
          beauties - breakfast
          cafe byblos - breakfast
          bily kun - drinks
          brutopia - drinks
          cafe via dante
          chao phraya
          les chocolates du chloe
          fairmount bagel factory
          marche jean talon - market, followed by
          alep - restaruant near jean talon
          havre aux glaces - ice cream near jean talon
          joilifou
          m sur masson
          monte du lait
          nui kee
          resevoir - drinks

          2 Replies
          1. re: saturninus

            I don't recall seeing any vegetarian options at Le Jolifou on my various visits there. And the pickings would be slim at Chao Phraya. Odd that 100% vegetarian ChuChai and adjoining Chuch aren't on your list. Ditto Les Chèvres and adjoining Le Chou.

            Brutopia is undoubtedly the best microbrew pub choice downtown but if beer's your thing you really owe it to yourself to drop by Dieu du Ciel.

            And while I don't know if it's a conscious choice on the owners' part always to provide the option, my dining companion had a gourmet vegetarian meal at Au Cinquième Péché last week.

            You could also put together a satisfying veggie meal at wine bar BU.

            www.jolifou.com
            www.leschevres.com
            www.dieuduciel.com
            www.aucinquiemepeche.com
            www.bu-mtl.com

            If you haven't already, see also www.montreal.com/tourism/veggie.html

            1. re: saturninus

              I would also advise you to steer clear from Cora's chain breakfast and rather try Olive et Gourmando (closed on sunday) our Réservoir for brunch. I hihgly second carswell's recommandation for Dieu du ciel, besides, it's an easy walk from Byblos (about 15-20 mins). If you visit Byblos, walk on Laurier to Fabre street, you'll see on the sowuth west corner Maison Kakao which carries really good chocolates.

            2. Thanks for helping me further! A few questions:

              Is Resevoir more of a place for drinks or brunch?
              Does Dieu du Ciel brew it's own beer? The website looks lovely. What makes it different from Brutopia?
              What are the prices like at Les Chevres or Au Cinquieme Peche? They seem more expensive. We are looking to have one nice meal out that isn't crazy expensive. Which would be good?

              The refined list:

              Breakfast spots:
              Beauties
              Cafe Byblos
              Olive et Gourmando
              Resevoir

              Places to visit:
              Maison Kakao
              Les Chocolates du Chloe
              Fairmount Bagel Factory
              Marche Jean Talon
              Havre aux Glaces

              Dinner/Lunch:
              Les Chevres/Le Chou
              Chu Chai/Chuch
              Au Cinquieme Peche
              Cafe Santopol
              Alep
              M sur Masson
              Al-Talib
              Au Petit Extra
              Aux Lilas

              Drinks:
              Dieu du Ciel
              Brutopia
              Bily Kun
              BU

              2 Replies
              1. re: saturninus

                In response to your questions:

                1. Reservoir is a spot for either brunch or drinks, or maybe to combine the two! It's open for brunch, and then normal bar hours (i.e. until 3 AM). Very nice atmosphere, good house-brewed beers. I've never tried the brunch but the menu looks very interesting and I've heard good reports. Not dirt cheap, though. If it's any indication of the bruch's quality, the snacks they offer at night are very well prepared.

                2. Yes, Dieu du Ciel brews it's own beer (~ 5 kinds available at a time) and has interesting guest beers on tap. I like Brutopia as the only saving grace in the Cresecent bar scene, and their house brews are quite good. IMO, the main difference is that the atmosphere at Dieu du Ciel is nicer, and it is much closer to most of the other places you might be going. If you're near Brutopia anyway though, it's worth a stop. Standard friendly pub feel to the place.

                3. I very much doubt that you could get out of Les Chevres for $40 US, though Le Chou is definitely doable at that price. the menu is at http://www.leschevres.com/menus/lecho...

                Another option for a cheap veg french/bistro is Leméac's $22 after 10PM deal. You get an app and a main from a shortened menu, plus coffee or tea. There are are normally a couple of veg appetizer options and one veg main option. It's on Laurier.

                1. re: saturninus

                  Comments from a fellow veg and a Montrealer (despite the tag) on some spots on your current list:

                  Breakfast spots:
                  Beauties - yes, it is an institution, but I get annoyed waiting in line for food that is mediocre at best. Instead, go around the corner to Bagel etc. (St. Laurent just south of Marianne). Great breakfasts, amusing decor, and you can savour your meal without worrying the staff are trying to feed you quickly to seat another cover.
                  Cafe Byblos
                  Olive et Gourmando - yes, yes, yes, and for lunch too. Try the brownies. Seriously, it would be criminal to stop here without eating brownies. If you are full, buy some for later, you won't regret it.
                  Resevoir
                  Also try:
                  La Petite Marche - St. Laurent. Large breakfasts, many veg selections, lots of fruit.
                  L'Anecdote - Rachel and ??. Greasy-spoonish, but with great homemade ingredients. The fruit salad has good stuff in it (not just the usual cheap melons).

                  Places to visit:
                  Maison Kakao
                  Les Chocolates du Chloe
                  Fairmount Bagel Factory
                  Marche Jean Talon
                  Havre aux Glaces

                  Yes to all above. If you really want to do the bagel thing, visit both the Fairmount Bagel and St. Viateur (you can walk between the two) for at taste-test. You can then join in the great Montreal bagel debate.

                  Dinner/Lunch:
                  Les Chevres/Le Chou - not as veg-based as it used to be, but there is usually one option on the menu. Pricy though. See some alternatives below.
                  Chu Chai/Chuch - good bet.
                  Au Cinquieme Peche
                  Cafe Santopol - sandwich / soup type place. If you go, try to sit in the lovely garden. I haven't eaten here in years, but the garden is a nice refuge. If you have rainy weather during your stay, this is a good spot to settle in for the afternoon with a book or newspaper and a pot of tea by the window.
                  Alep - yes, delicious. You can choose between the full resto and the smaller, cheaper Le Petit Alep.
                  M sur Masson
                  Al-Taib - not a high-end distination by any count, but I've sworn for years they have the best tabouleh (I've been known to make detours for it)
                  Au Petit Extra
                  Aux Lilas

                  For lunch:
                  If you are in the downtown shopping core (St. Catherine street area) and are stuck for lunch, skip the depressing mall food courts and try Le Commensal (upstairs at St. Catherine and McGill College)- veggie buffet style. Some love it, others don't go for the pay-by-weight syste, but it is better than anything else you'll find in the area.

                  Also try for dinner:
                  Brunoise - great food, flawless service. Always a veggie option on the menu, and in my opinion the best neighbourhood resto in the city.
                  Chez L'Épicier - if you find yourself in Old Montreal at dinner time, DO NOT assume that any old place will do... many serve less than stellar food, and rely on passing tourist trade. Chez l'Épicier is a notable exception, serving innovative market-based cuisine. If there isn't a vegetarian option on the menu that night don't worry. As long as you aren't particularly fussy, the chef will put together a vegetarian meal for you - I've been several times and have never been disappointed.

                  Drinks:
                  Dieu du Ciel
                  Brutopia - ok for beer, but I would skip the food.
                  Bily Kun
                  BU - the best wine-bar in the city. Always have interesting flights on offer. A good place to go for the evening, with nibbles.