HOME > Chowhound > Quebec (inc. Montreal) >


foodies on a budget in montreal

We're staying in Montreal for 3 nights and love food but unfortunately we are semi-recent grads and have to eat on a budget. We would love to eat french one night and basically just great food the rest of the time. Any suggestions? We have a car so if they're a little off the beaten path that's fine as well.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Do a search with keywords like budget, cheap and inexpensive. You'll find tons of ideas.

    You should also specify a per-person price range, especially for your French meal.

    3 Replies
    1. re: carswell

      Thanks, yeah we are looking for I would say around a 15 dollar meal or so. Less is always great, but I'm sure we can splurge for one meal if it's really worth it.

      1. re: AmandaRG

        Offhand I can't think of any French place where you can have a delicious dinner for C$15. It's hard to get out of even the low-end "faux" bistros like L'Académie and Au 917 without paying C$5 or C$10 more, and a meal worth remembering is probably going to run you C$25 to C$30 per. Will mull this over. But until someone comes along with a better suggestion, you might be best off thinking about having lunch in a French resto, which is often doable for around C$15.

        1. re: carswell

          I think Le Margaux would be doable for this price for lunch.

    2. There's a little restaurant on Marie-Anne called La Selva. I think it is at the corner of St-André, but I am not sure. It is a bring your own wine. It is peruvian, but basically they serve fish. The table d'hôte is 13,50$ + tax. That means a soup or salad, fish (tilapia or trout) or grilled chicken, dessert (chocolate mousse) and coffee. It is always fresh and very good. I had the avocado with shrimp (4,50$ more) and my cousin had the ceviche which was excellent also (4,50$) more. It is a husband and wife team, he cooks and she serves, and they are nice. I recommend it highly if you don't want to pay too much and have a really good meal.

      1. I thought of another one. It is an Afghan restaurant called Khyber pass. It is on Duluth between St-Denis and St-Hubert. It is a BYOW. It is really good and they have a great terrace in the back.

        1. Just a heads up on Khyber Pass - I could be mistaken, but last time I walked by I thought that Khyber Pass had been replaced by a place serving 'Iraqi and Syrian' food. I had a quick look at the menu, and it looked very interesting, lots of walnuts, pomegranates and such, seemingly similar to Persian. You should maybe have someone else confirm this though. There's a chance this place might be next to Khyber Pass instead of replacing it.

          1. I'm planning a similar regimen for next month (with one semi-splurge) and stumbled across a little book called "Cheap Thrills Montreal -- Great Montreal Meals for Under $15.00." I asked for feedback (see the Media board) on its reliablility, and the two replies I've had so for were very favorably inclined toward the book.


            1. For a few bucks more you have a late night dinner for 22$ after 10 pm at Leméac on Laurier, great bistro food with a nice crowded ambiance

              1. Well, I *had* posted 3 nice suggestions for meals under 15$, but it's gone now.

                I think it may be because I preceded my post with an expression of dislike for the term "foodie". Ah well, I guess the mods lack a sense of humour/sarcasm (i'm pretty sure I used a smilie like this :p, but I suppose to no avail...)

                I'll repeat the suggestions, but without the descriptions lest this post be deleted too...

                Vietnamese in chinatown (like Cali): Good meals for under 8$
                Olive & Gourmando for lunch (excellent sandwiches): under 10$
                Amelio's (decent pizza/pasta): under 12$

                Otherwise I think the late menu at Lemeac is a winner.

                1. A great place for a nice dinner out, coming to about $60 for 2 is Bistro Gourmet on Saint-Mathieu (not the St Denis one). I also recommend going to Schwartz or The Main on St.Laurent for a cheap but iconic Montreal lunch. You should also do a Montreal brunch - I like the boring ones like Eggspectations and Chez Cora. I've also had a few nice brunches at Shed Cafe on St.Laurent. Others here have mentioned Beauty's and La Grande-Mere Poule, though I've yet to check them out.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: nader

                    I've tried Bistro Gourmet a few months ago as part of an office dinner and was not overly impressed with the food. The place was too hot, the decor is lacking, the sauces are heavy and dessert was nothing worth remembering. Montreal has so much more to offer at this price point like Margaux for instance.

                    As for breakfast, Eggspectations and Cora are local chains that will serve you the same thing whereever you go. It's up to you to decide if you really want that.