Am I near good eats and don't know it?
I have the misfortune of staying at DoubleTree (formerly Crown Plaza) for my upcoming visit next week. This is an area I am not familiar with. I hope to make some new discovery so I won't miss the quick lunch/breakfast spots like Vasco da Gamma or MB Co. that I've grown to like during the previous visits when I stayed at the other side of downtown. I am looking for good breakfast, lunch options and perhaps a good place for a drink and a few tapas before turning in around the area, hopefully within easy walking distance. I hope there are good food options around DoubleTree to make up for the not so favorable hotel stay. Please help me save my trip! Thanks!
The hotel is located on the northeast corner of Sherbrooke and Berri, one block east of St-Denis, in a complex that includes an entrance to Sherbrooke metro station.
You're well placed for dining, especially lunch and dinner options, at classic Plateau spots like L'Express, Brunoise, Au Pied de Cochon, ChuChi/Chuch, Laloux, Pintxo, etc., all of which are within easy walking distance. The Village and the Latin Quarter are only a few blocks to the southeast or southwest respectively. If not shut down due to the possibly impending strike, the 24 bus will give you quick, direct access to downtown, the metro (the orange line) to places like Mont Royal Blvd. (Caffe ArtJava, Au Cinquième Péché, Au Petit Plateau, etc.), Laurier Street East (Byblos, Truffert, Frite Alors!, Le Fromentier, Les Héritiers, etc.) and the Jean-Talon market.
Passable breakfast options abound, outstanding ones not so much. My favourite nearby spot is L'Express, though it's a little more leisurely than VdG or MBCo. OK espresso-based drinks and pastries can be had at any number of places (St-Louis de France pastry shop in the complex, Brioche Lyonnaise in the Latin Quarter, Brûlerie St-Denis on the St-D north of Roy), though for excellence in that department, you'll want to head to ArtJava on Mont Royal or downtown.
As carswell said ... I knew people would be heading along as they toddled in on a Sunday morning - I'm working all weekend so up at 5 a.m....
Remember that Sherbrooke métro has two entrances - the eastern (Berri) one that goes directly into your hotel, and the western (St-Denis) one that is closer to the restaurants on St-Denis, Prince-Arthur, St-Laurent. You can walk through the métro to the other entrance without having to buy a ticket; they are joined underground.
The café very close to your hotel is Cafe Bistro Les Gateries. 3443 Rue Saint-denis Montreal QC, H2X 3L1 Phone: 514-843-6235 - The coffee is not as spectacularly good as Caffè Art Java, or some of the Italian places up near the Jean-Talon market, but it is a lot better than the chains, and it is an old café that has been there for 25 or 30 years at least... I need coffee right away, before the long walk or métro ride to Mont-Royal or downtown, and you won't be unhappy reading your newspaper and watching the world go by there.
It is indeed, since hotel names change every couple of weeks nowadays, or so it seems. You are very well located for food, and there are many things you can walk to. You are close to many restaurants on St-Denis (even as far up as Mt-Royal, the next station north of Sherbrooke, is not very far) to the byow places on Prince Arthur, and even Duluth (a bit farther north than Prince Arthur, which is right out your door). Restaurant Brunoise 3807, rue St-André is a very short walk from where you are staying, and Au pied du cochon is not much farther north at 536 Duluth east. Both are practically due north of your hotel, and only a few short blocks' walk.
Pinxto is also very close by at 256 rue Roy east (a wee bit west and north of your hotel).
An old favourite for a cheap lunch on Prince Arthur is the Polish restaurant Mazurka - good soup, pierogis, blintzes, that sort of thing. And cafés abound - there is a nice one (forget its name) just opposite Carré St-Louis (the lovely old Victorian square on the west side of St-Denis right by the St-Denis exit of Sherbrooke métro) with a small terrasse and lots of room inside. Mostly Francophone clientele, as for the wee bar, Au petit bar, next door.
With the address, people will supply lots more places; it is a very good spot for a foodie - a wider range of places. I haven't even got to St-Laurent - a pleasant walk west through the park (Carré St-Louis) and Prince Arthur - you might just want to eat an Eastern European sausage standing up at Slovenia, and of course Schwartz's (and "The Main" across the street) are a few blocks north, but there are lots of other places too.
There is good food shopping on St-Laurent - a bit less than there used to be, as some food shops have become clubs, but still... There is an Intermarché (4 Frères) at the corner of St-Laurent and avenue des Pins that is open 24h, and la Vieille Europe cheese shop a couple of short blocks walk north of that, various greengrocers, etc. There is a small Portuguese grocery store on Prince Arthur just west of Carré St-Louis (mentioning it due to proximity; it does have some nice Portuguese products and general groceries) and if you want wine for byows or to have with your cheese, there are SAQ (government wine and spirits shops) outlets at the corner of Prince Arthur and St-Laurent, and Duluth and St-Denis (obviously handy to respective restaurant strips). I'd think the St-Laurent and Prince Arthur one would have more half-bottles, and a bit more choice.
Have a wonderful visit, whether it is primarily for business or pleasure. This is not a misfortune, it is serendipity.