Old Montreal 10/20 to 10/24: Our Plans
After scouring Chowhound and other references, we have reservations for Au Pied du Cochon on Saturday, and we also plan to check out Cafe Holder, L'Epicier, Schwartz's, and Fairmount. We've heard that Montreal isn't much of a breakfast place, but when checking on our hotel (Hotel XIX Siecle) on tripadvisor.com people kept raving about Eggstravaganza across the street. Anybody eaten there? Any recommendations for banh mi in Chinatown? We generally like the barbecued pork variety. Thanks, 'hounds.
I don't know who told you that Montreal is not much of a breakfast place, but they're wrong! On Sundays, all the breakfast places are packed by 1. :)
I don't know about how good Eggstravaganza is...I see that and I think that you mean Eggspectations, which is a breakfast chain here. It's good, above-standard breakfast fare. Chez Cora is also a breakfast chain that I consider a step below Eggspectiations.
I completely agree with vabou - check out Olive + Gourmando's. Also see if you can get into Le Cartet on Sunday for Brunch (I mentioned it in another post).
If you're in Laurier East (around Byblos), there's also a great breakfast place called Toast. My SO had the eggs benny and liked them, and I had the french toast, which was good. Byblos is not for the person who likes big, hearty breakfasts (like my SO).
In the Plateau on Mont Royal East of St Denis (around Mentana), there is L'Avenue du Plateau, which is one of the best breakfast places in Montreal. Great (Illy) coffee, huge portions, incredible smoothies and milkshakes. Their omellettes are 4-egg!!
Beauty's and Dusty's are both Montreal institutions near the Mont-Royal park, but neither are as good as L'Avenue.
In the East end, there is a great traditional Quebec diner called Chez Clo's which has fantastic creton (fatty pork pate), baked beans, traditional meat pie. Very cheap and very filling!
Serpa is right. Skip whatever eggstravaganza is (bad sign that Montrealers have never heard of it). In Old Montreal Olive& Gourmando and Le Cartet are solid.
I have no patience for weeekend line-ups at L'avenue and Beauty's and don't think the food justifies the wait. Near L'avenue: l'Anecdote on Rachel and St. Hubert offers good food in a diner-style setting, and Café Art Java on Mont Royal and St. Hubert has the BEST coffee in the city, and lovely breakfasts (including soufflés, if that's your thing) to boot. Around the corner from Beauty's, on St. Laurent near Marianne, Bagel etc. has great breakfasts (with bagels, to boot)!
In addition to these rec, you'll find no shortage of patiserries offering croissants & other morning pastries and decent coffee. Search the board for the great croissant debate!
I must tell you we just spent a total of 8 days in Vieux Montreal and wish to advise you to consider some other places besides Chez L"Epicier. We thought it was immensely overpriced and lacking soul and we were willing to spend the $$. Consider Garde Manger on St Francois Xavier just above Rue St Paul (no sign look for pink light). When we commented to some other Montrealers regading our experience at Chez L"Epicier they said the story is the place has gone downhill.
Another resounding vote for Olive et Gourmando. I loved Schwart's and yes, it is worth the wait. I found the bagels at Fairmount interesting but NY Bagels are the best. Since you are considering some other places outside of Vieux to dine, consider Brunoise in the Plateau for dinner.