Montreal - near Côte-des-Neiges
I'll be visiting Montreal for the first time in many years and staying one street off of Côte-des-Neiges . (Is this a good neighborhood?)
I'm looking for good cafes, pubs, restaurants close by. Really looking forward to some terrific pastry, coffee, brunch, and comfy places with terrific food and good people watching.
Côte-des-Neiges is a fine district: convenient to the rest of the city and, destination restaurants aside, full of good food, including a wide array of ethnic stores and restos. Most of the district is comfortably middle-class though there are a few less savoury neighbourhoods, especially at the northern edges. What street will you be staying on?
You can also search the forum for keywords like CDN, neiges and specific street names (Victoria, Lacombe, Gatineau, etc.).
After you've digested all that, feel free to ask any supplemental questions.
Thanks so much! The referenced threads are very helpful.
I'll be staying on Summerhill Ave. I'll be in town for the Grand Prix. My SO and I would like to make this a memorable romantic trip. Eating well while we're there is as important as the cars. If there are any "can't miss" places please let me know. I expect that I should think about making reservations very far in advance given the event.
Actually, Summerhill is not in Côte-des-Neiges but downtown, just west of Côte-des-Neiges Avenue and one block north of Sherbrooke Street (CDN Ave. becomes Guy Street south of Sherbrooke). The closest fine resto near you will be Brontë, though all of downtown's finer eateries are within walking distance. Tony Westmount is a few blocks to the west. The Plateau, Outremont and Mile End are a short taxi or bus ride to the east and north. Old Montreal is on the other side of downtown. For "can't miss" places, read through the last page or two of threads and/or provide specific criteria like price range, age range, atmosphere/energy level, type of cuisine, products you're especially interested in (e.g. foie gras) or want to avoid (e.g. foie gras), etc. And, yes, you'll need reservations at all the high-profile places that weekend, though you probably don't need to make them weeks in advance.
Thank you AGAIN! I truly appreciate the help. I want this trip to be really memorable. We're in our mid-30s and both appreciate simple eats and upscale dining. For us it's really about ambiance. As much as I love enjoy upscale dining I occasionally find the atmosphere too up tight. My BF is a big eater as well, so lovely plates with teeny $40 entrees tend to leave him hungry.
I've got to get a better handle on precisely where I'll be staying. I'm from Boston, a tiny city, and often imagine that other cities are just as walk-able. I hope this is a good location. Hotel prices are outrageous during the Grand Prix so we've opted to rent an apartment. Biggest problem doing that is having a very good idea where we'll be since neither of us have been to Montreal is so long. When I'm continuing to research what neighborhood name should I be using?
We're there for 5 nights and have the following dining ideas:
- One night for a terrific romantic splurge (no more than $100pp). Something cozy, unpretentious, bistro-style.
- We love great sandwiches and will probably grab some on the go on race days.
- We love brunch. The kind of brunch spot where you can sink into a comfy booth, enjoy some music and food and just relax with a cocktail.
- One night it would be nice to get out and go some place with a "scene." I doubt we'll be looking to hit the dance floor but a place with a sexy vibe and good lounge style atmosphere. Thievery Corporation, Portishead, Air, is the kind of music that comes to mind.
- Good pubs. LOVE good pubs! We both are beer nuts so places with large and/or unusual selections would be great to try.
- What kind of regional favorites should we look for? I was introduced to poutine recently, but I think it was a very upscale version of it. I'd like to try it again.
- We are both very adventurous. I just read someone's Montreal food blog and they mentioned that the horse meat was terrific. I'm not anxious to have horse meat any time soon so it's fine to avoid on this trip.
- We'll want to find a good shop for cheese, bread, meat, wine, to pack for our days at the races.
- Outdoor markets - are there any nearby we should check out?
Thanks again. I can't wait to get there!
For your splurge dinner, it sounds like Brunoise to me $200 will get you food and wine for the both of you. You could just as well head for Joe Beef which is a short cab ride from where you're staying. Brunoise also operates a new Brasserie (kind of like a bistro) near Bell Center on de la Montagne, prices are good and food is really nice.
As for pubs, there are many good brew pubs in Montreal, Brutopia comes to mind as it's not very far from your pad, on Bishop or something like that, someone will correct me. There's also Dieu du Ciel on Laurier juste west of St-Laurent, a not so far cab ride and some interesting restos around, including La Chronique (on laurier), le Margaux (Parc near Laurier), Leméac (on Laurier) or even l'Atelier (on St-Laurent north of Laurier) and À L'Os which is one of the BYOW in Montreal also located on st-Laurent north of Laurier. If you're into wine, there's also Bu a wine bar that's close to all these places on St-Laurent.
Also not very far from your apt, there's this mexican joint called La Nacion on Ste-Catherine near Guy which I really like. Laid back, friendly atmosphereand pretty good food along with Corona.
Hope this helps. As for brunch, my local spot is kind of far from you guys but still, I like Byblo le Petit Café on Laurier East near Papineau. Iranian cafe that serves typical breakfast made of eggs and feta to name just this specialty. Home made preserves to die for and really good cardamom flavored hot chocolate in a really cool spot to gaze through the window. Also, horse meat is actually really good. Leaner than beef and a little mildier I'd say.
if you walk down St. Mathieu to St. Catherine St. and turn right, there's a decent grocery store there called Mourelatos. They have good, and fair priced, meats and cheeses. Bread as well. There's also a Premiere Moisson Bakery at the foot of Simpson St. for pastries and bread.
You'll be closer to Atwater market, but I'd recommend hopping the metro to Jean-Talon market which is pretty awesome in the summer.
On lower Crescent St. is Brewtopia and Hurley's Irish pub for beer. Maybe an 8 minute walk from your apt. The St. Elizabeth is really nice too, but further from where you are.
I think you're in a perfect area for walking and exploring. Just don't go too far west on St. Catherine St. The area between St. Marc and Atwater is a sad wasteland. FYI, the city is very safe. It is a great walking city.