Montreal Airport Layover Help
I have a five hour layover at the Montreal airport in two weeks - from about noon to 5 PM. I'll have to deal with customs and then be back well in time for the 5 PM international flight, and I'll have my wife and two kids. Given those restrictions, is there a nice restaurant that serves a mid-day meal anywhere in that vicinity? Ideally, we'd take a cab to the restaurant, eat, and jump in a cab back . . .
How far is the airport from downtown?
(Also: Thanks for all of the help on my outbound leg through Toronto!)
This really depends on your own personal trouble/ worth calcuation. Based on what you're saying it sounds like you have a US-Montreal-Europe flight. Which is the only reason you would have to clear customs on your way into Montreal. At that hour you should beat the big jumbo international flights and immigration should go fast. You'll collect your bags downstairs, walk through customs, and then re-check your bags at the connections area. You should have gotten your boarding passes for the next flight upon check-in in the U.S. Meaning that by this time it should be no later than 1pm, and probably closer to 12:30. You will have no bags, boarding passes in hand, and the proverbial full tank of gas, and half pack of cigarettes. I can't see why you'd need to be back before 3:30 -- at the very earliest -- for the next flight.
Again, if you care enough, my advice would be to hop in a cab and go to Snowden Deli, 5265 Decarie. It's just off the highway and you don't have to venture into town. Zip down Côte de Liesse highway, onto Décarie (rt 15), off at the Queen Mary exit, along the access road heading south, left on Queen Mary, left again on Décarie access road heading north for about 50 meters. At that hour it will take 20 minutes max and should cost somewhere on the order of $20-25.
There you can have a really great smoked meat sandwich. Get the old fashioned. Get the fries. Slaw. Pick up some stuff for dinner while you're at it -- beats the plane food.
There is probably a cab stand nearby on Queen Mary for your trip back. If not, you should be able to hail a cab there. You can ask at the deli. At the worst, they could call a cab for you.
Trip back should be fine too. Traffic starts to slow down around 3:30. Even when it moves slowly it is generally ok in the airport direction because most of it is merging onto the 40 E, so although it can seem intimidating it actually goes faster than you would expect. If you leave the deli at 3pm or a little after you will be more than fine. Trip back should only take 15 minutes, plus time to find a cab.
Is this too much expense and trouble? Your call. But it is a great smoked meat sandwich...
[quote]left on Queen Mary, left again on Décarie access road heading north [/quote]
You are not allowed to make a left on Decarie!! lol...sorry I couldn't resist. You will have to make a left on Trans Island.
Patelenberg is right though, I forgot about the Snowdon Deli, good call. I went last Friday to pick up a sandwich and they had just closed. It was almost 8:00pm, their business hours are till 7:45 on Thursdays and Fridays. Strange closing hours, maybe I'll try my luck tonight. I live just a few blocks away.
"Zip down Côte de Liesse highway, onto Décarie (rt 15), off at the Queen Mary exit"
Actually, it'd be simpler and faster to leave Décarie via the Côte Ste-Catherine exit, take the west service road to Isabella, cross Décarie on Isabella, disembark from the taxi on the corner of Isabella and the east service road and walk the 100 feet to the deli.
Much as I like Snowdon Deli, these days I usually find myself going instead to nearby Chez Benny for their amazing falafel and kefta on laffa, surely one of the city's best sandwiches. www.hour.ca/food/food.aspx?iIDArticle...
Might be cutting it tight (I believe their kitchen closes at 2 p.m. on weekdays) but I'd be tempted to cab it to Bombay Choupati for south Indian delights. You could hop on Cardinal from the airport and scoot up Boulevard des Sources, avoiding the often-clogged expressways altogether.
Hour review: http://www.hour.ca/food/food.aspx?iID...
Restaurant Le Gourmand is in the Pointe Claire Village & about a 10 minute or so cab ride. They may have the best food on the West Island (encompassing the area around the airport and points west). Address: 42 St-Anne St., Pointe Claire, QC, phone: (514) 695-9077. They are open Mon-Fri for lunch. Here's what their profile states: This restaurant is nestled inside a 150-year-old stone house in the scenic village of Pointe-Claire. The two-floored, refurbished blacksmith's home has a rustic, cozy atmosphere that makes you want to curl up by the fire, of which they have two perpetually blazing during the frigid season. In the warm season, customers can eat outside in the quaint garden terrace. Le Gourmand fits in perfectly with the community of Pointe-Claire as it has a calm ambience. The restaurant has a great reputation with tourists, the business community and, of course, the locals. Le Gourmand's customers are drawn in by the food as well as the décor. At first glance the menu offers myriad culinary delights: poached salmon this and bocconcini that. Everything looks good, especially the Noble'Est Rack of Lamb of Quebec and the Cashew Chicken, which was recently reviewed by Elle Quebec. As proof of the raving review, a laminated magazine clipping hangs on the oak wall. But there is more; grilled filet mignon, roasted corn and black bean salsa add zest to this French/Cajun-inspired menu. With its varied wine list, Le Gourmand is the toast of Montreal’s West Island. Link showing relation of restaurant to airport http://www.google.com/maps?hl=en&...
I really wouldn't recommend leaving the airport with a family in tow for what is realistically a three-hour or less window. The places that have been mentioned are not really anything special (especially Scores and St. Hubert). They are all fine for a regular lunch but nothing that is worth at least $30 in cab fare.
It just might not be worth the stress...but maybe I am just not enough of an adventurer. If you do end up going off-site to eat, I hope it works out for you.
Yes, if you want some regular grub try the places that the above listed. I actually work relatively close to the airport (right behind Ikea) so every now and then when I do actually venture out for lunch, the usualy places are Cote St Luc BBQ on Cote de Liesse (on the same side as the airport), their chicken sandwiches are decent (topped with gravy and peas), Pub St James/St Jacques (decent burgers) also on Cote de Liesse. There is also a decent pizza (plus pasta, etc..) sit down place across the airport near the mall that the other poster mentioned, called Place Tevere.
I would also not venture too far from the airport. Realistically, if you have to pass customs and be back by 3, you have at most 2-2.5 hour window including transportation. You can try the Bifteque (a steakhouse) on Cote-de-Liesse. Ikea's not too far, you can also have a quick bite in their cafeteria and then relax on their sofas while you wait, at least it's more comfortable than the airport.
There is shopping mall just outside the airport (across from the highway) and some restaurant adjacent. Nothing extraordinary, they will also charge you a minimum 15$ txi ride to get out of the airport. Circles (italian), A chinese/thai place (or is it the other way around?) as well some decent semi-junkfood (Dagwoods Deli - A local chain, but very good), Amir (Lebanese), Scores (chicken rotisserie - Chain)
Further away in Lachine, you'll find St-Hubert (famous local rotisserie chain - quite decent IMO) or along the canal there are other places.
If you would like a taste of Montreal, there is smoked meat place on St-Louis in Ville-St-Laurent, can't find the address on the web right now, but will drive there and give you the address if you choose this option
I would not venture much further for fear of missing the plane.
Another idea with free transport is to get a hotel shuttle to one of the places on Cote-De-Liesse (and back!). The Ramada's Italian restaurant is surprisingly good
All in all the airport is not in a gourmet area but getting out still beats what you'll get at the airport.
The only thing I could think of in the vicinity is Il Fornetto on 1900 St. Joseph Blvd. in Lachine right along the canal (514) 637 5253 (web site still under development), decent Italian but nothing out of the ordinary. As with most airports there really isn't much in the area, maybe someone else could recommend another restaurant in the Lachine/Dorval area as I don't frequent this part of the city too often. Then you have the West Island (closer than downtown) where most of the eatieres consist of your basic box store chains. So if you want to have something more "Montreal" you have to make your way downtown.
Your window may be long enough that you can expand your taxi ride. I'm assuming you want to be back at the airport for about 3pm, your luggage is obviously being transfered so you don't have to worry about check in, correct. Would you already have your boarding pass for your Intl flight? I'm only asking because obviously this would cut your time back seeing as how check in these days takes longer than it used to. (I missed my flight to NYC last year because of the snail pace of the security check last year).
Airport to downtown, you are looking at about 20-25 mins (there should not be any serious traffic at that time) fixed cost of ride is $35 to downtown.
Hope this helps let us know how it went.