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Aug 31, 2006 12:11 AM

Great Patisseries, Bakeries and Ice Cream in Montreal

I'm a pastry afficianado heading to Montreal this weekend. I would love to check out the best bakeries and ice cream in Montreal. Any suggeststions of what not to miss?

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  1. Premiere Moisson and Au Pain Dore are both local chains with a good selection of tasty treats. My favourite ice cream shop is Le Patio on Mont-Royal. Be warned, it's only open in ice cream weather though. If it's raining or too cold, it will be shut. On the other hand, it's open late if it's hot out. Keep in mind that all the flavours listed at the counter are available, the ones not in the tubs shown are just in the back. You should of course get some fresh St-Viateur bagels.

    1. For the best ice cream, you must try Havre-aux-Glaces at Jean-Talon market. My favorites: Masala Chaï, dark chocolate, lemon, grapefruit, blackcurrant? (cassis), vanilla, pistachio, well... you get the picture.

      1. Première Moisson and Au Pain Doré are fine large-scale bread bakery chains that also offer a selection of merely OK pastries. For truly special bread, head to Le Fromentier (1375 Laurier East). And while in the neighbourhood, check out Fous Desserts (819 Laurier E.) and Les saveurs du Plateau (1479 Laurier E.) for pastries. There's also a couple of interesting French pastry shops on Van Horne in the blocks east and west of the Outremont metro station: Le Paltoquet (1464 Van Horne) and Lescurier Tradition Gourmande (1333 Van Horne).

        In Old Montreal, there's Claude Postel in the shadow of Notre Dame Basilica and the much discussed Olive et Gourmando (though more a cafe than a traditional pastry shop).

        Splendidly überhomey cakes, cupcakes and brownies in intriguing flavours (raspberry-rose, vanilla-lavender, chocolate-chile, lemon-olive oil, etc.) can be had at Cocoa Locale (4807 Parc).

        For Italian pastries head to Alati-Caserta (277 Dante in Little Italy) or, especially if cannoli are your thing, San Marco (1581 Jean-Talon East, near the Fabre metro station).

        Montreal is also considered one of the top spots for Lebanese/Syrian baklawa. Mahrouse on de Liège near Acadie is the least inconvenient to get to by public transport. See

        For ice cream, one store stands apart: Havre aux glaces at the Jean Talon Market (in warm months, they also have a much smaller outlet behind the Atwater Market). Since the Jean Talon Market also has Au Pain Doré and Première Moisson outlets and a selection of Fromentier breads at the Qui Lait Cru cheesemonger and is only a block or two from Alati-Caserta (not to mention the other glories of Little Italy), you could kill a whole flock of birds with one stone by spending an afternoon there.

        10 Replies
        1. re: carswell

          oh carswell, your enticing reviews aren't going to be good for my waistline! Thanks for the info, the last time i checked out this board u mentioned some of these places. How convenient, now I don't have to search for that particular reply when i could just make note of this one. Bon apetit!

          1. re: carswell

            If you go to the JTM, the baklawa and Polish prune-filled doughnuts sold in the new extension (on the east side of the market) are also worth sampling.

            And if you find yourself on Parc (to visit Cocoa Locale, for example), you could always wander up to Laurier and head east one block to take a gander at Pâtisserie de Gascogne, one of the city's biggest French pastry emporia. Unfortunately, the quality of the pastries has plummeted in recent years, though they still do a land-office business.

            1. re: carswell

              "Polish prune-filled doughnuts sold in the new extension (on the east side of the market) are also worth sampling."

              Worth sampling, but impossible to "sample." Eat one, and a second inevitably follows. At least for me. I'm in rehab from those.

              1. re: Mr F

                The apricot ones are not too be neglected too. I'd eat a dozen right now.

                1. re: Campofiorin

                  They're called paczki (pronounced ponchky) and the Wawel bakery on Ontario at Frontenac has been baking them for years. In recent years, they've opened up new locations on Sherbrooke at Girouard, on St. Mark at St. Catherine, on Belanger between Pie IX and Viau (does anyone remember Syrenka, which used to make paczki nearby?). I imagine that the JTM shop is also a Wawel location.

                  There's a Boulangerie Rosemont (or is ot Patisserie?) on Rosemount & 8th that makes cheaper and slightly inferior ones. Also, Loblaw's sells paczki just before Ash Wednesday.

                  1. re: RomanW

                    Can anyone give more specifics about where I can find these paczki at JTM? I'm familiar with the shops on the east end but have completely missed these!

                    1. re: maviris

                      In the enclosed part of the new extension, near the Henri Julien Street entrance. It's on the north side, right across from the Cuiz-In kitchen supplies store.

                      1. re: maviris

                        The Wawel bakery is in the middle part of the new structure next to Les Sucreries De L'Érable.

                        1. re: SnackHappy

                          I may regret finding Wawel, but thank you carswell and SnackHappy...

                          I discovered that they have a web site where you can see pictures of their weekly specials and of each shop:

              2. re: carswell

                As usual, Carswell has pretty much exhausted the topic. Another patisserie worth trying is the Patisserie de Gasgogne. They have a locarion at 237 Laurier West (plateau), and another on Sherbrooke St. West in Westmount. In addition to the usual patisserie fare, they also make ice cream.

                Also, while Olive & Gourmando is more of a cafe now, Dyan Solomon is a fantastic patissier, and her Valhrona brownies are infamous!

              3. For ice cream, I like Cremerie Meu-Meu on St. Denis near Mt. Royal (4459, rue St. Denis). All ice cream and sherbets are made on the premises, they use high-quality, often organic ingredients. They experiment with flavors (when I went they had pear sherbet, another time orange lavender).
                They also have a good selection of soya milk-based ice'creams', they're really good, the (dark)chocolate is amazing, they also have hazelnut, mango,etc. Sherbet flavors I saw included tamarind, organic blueberry, organic lemon, pear, passionfruit.

                2 Replies
                1. re: leeds

                  I guess The Plateau is the area I'll be going with my sis. Just got a rec for a vegan resto around there. She's been asking about vegan cheese as well. she'll defly love this ice cream place coz she loves soy milk but then again we;ve been introduced to soy milk about two decades ago lol. thannks for the rec!

                  1. re: Yummy Stuff

                    No problem. Love soy milk too! Yes, if you go to veg. resto, such as Chu-Chai on St. Denis, you'll just have to walk up the street a few blocks and you'll get to Meu-Meu for dessert!
                    You & sis have fun!!

                2. Thanks everyone. Great leads. Sounds like I'll be in a sugar coma when I get home.. But what a trip it will be...