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Mar 20, 2008 01:03 PM

Plateau Grocery Stores

I've just signed a lease for a new apartment near Carre St Louis. I'm very sad to leave my current hood, Villeray, for the cheap eats and GREAT grocery shopping. Does anyone have any recs for good grocers in the lower Plateau area, besides the major chains, which I already know about? I am willing to walk a few blocks in every direction. 4 Freres just isn't going to cut it for me - sooo expensive and a limited selection.

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  1. There's a fruiterie on Roy near St-Hubert.
    On St-Laurent there's Sagal, Sakaris, Vielle Europe, Frenco for dry/bulk stuff.
    China town is within walking distance.
    Eden, the Asian grocer in La Cite is pretty good.
    Then there's that place that sells sausage made of game meats on Roy near between Coloniale and de Bullion.
    As for bakeries, there's Bella Vista on des Pins at Coloniale, Au Pain Doré and Samos on St-Laurent, Patisserie Belge on ave du Parc.

    Those are the closest I can think of that might be worth going to, excluding provigo and metro.

    1. Welcome to the hood. Ironically, I am trying to move to Villeray to save some rent money and get better access to cheap food; but not going anywhere for a while. Real estate market this year is depressing.

      I think the key to shopping in that area is compartmentalize and shop at multiple stores for different things. Here is my experience:

      Fruitierie de Plateau: In terms of fruit quality nothing beats the fruiterie at Roy, It is not cheap, but prices are fair compared to lower quality produce. Vegetables are a little more depressing, but there is occasional interesting stuff.

      4 Freres: I like that they have some Presidents Choice products, but nothing else is as good. Worst produce in the area IMHO.

      Segal (the stinky store): Fruit is always miserable looking; but for vegetables they have a decent selection including collard greens or kale. But it is a dirty and stinky store, I wouldn't buy berries or apricots (you know things you cannot wash properly) even if they looked good. Best for scrubbable/peelable stuff like winter squash, or canned goods (some of which are organic).

      Vieille Europe is good for fancy things, imported hams and 10 dollar chocolate; but watch out for expiration dates in their prepackaged items. I was burned more than once.

      Frenco has good spices/beans/ and other bulk stuff, but rest is expensive and the selection is clearly geared towards the "health food" crowd, not chowhounds .

      At Roy, there are two butchers. Fernando sells game meat and fairly priced and good tasting chicken (eg: 5 thighs for 3 bucks). Next to it, there is Alim-Pot which is a traditional butcher. There is also a fishmonger Waldman next door, but the fish inside is very very depressing. A little bit east, just across Else's there is a big dep that has interesting root veggies such as rutabaga. It took me 7 months to realize that they sell produce.

      I think the best bread in the area comes from the Pain Dore. Fruiterie du Plateau sells Fromentier, but runs out quickly. Also, Coco Rico sells some good Portuguese style corn bread.

      Umm there is also Provigo, way up north on Mt Royal and St Urbain. I mostly go there to get frozen fish or PC items.

      Hope this helps. This is all I was able to come up with, but if you need specific ingredients holler away.

      1. Hi Keramel,

        Eons ago, in my misspent youth, I lived right there, on Laval, then on Drolet, both right next to the Carré. Despite the rise in rents and mortgages in Villeray and western Petite-Patrie, I'm surprised you find that area more affordable. It does have lovely streets and buildings; I missed it very much when I moved away.

        I only buy stuff on special at 4 Frères. Eons ago, that was a GREAT grocery store.

        Stinky store is great for frozen stuff and dry organics. A good spot for frozen organic chicken, decent bread, soya milk. You will discover what is a good buy there. Since I live near JTM, I rarely buy fresh produce there.

        Vieille Europe can be good for cheese, but I have found less there of late.

        Fernando is the great game and poultry place - it was once Zinman poultry.

        Waldman depresses the hell out of me, as in another life it was the great fishmonger's. New management a couple of decades ago fired all the experienced staff - all Portuguese gents of a certain age - and the Portuguese boycotted it.

        Don't forget PA on Parc between St-Joseph and Laurier. Not lower Plateau but a ten-minute bicycle ride away - surely you will have an old beater bicycle?

        8 Replies
        1. re: lagatta

          These are all good descriptions of food in the hood. I pick up dry goods, organic products, cereal, bread, tofu at Segals (I thought it was called "Pas Cher" not stinky store?) - lacking in ambiance and bring your own bags or else - cheese, cold cuts, rye bread and perogies at Vieille Europe, meat at Fernando - in particular their frozen chicken/turkey tourtieres are really good and one day I'll try an ostrich roast. I've been depending on Fruiterie du Plateau on Roy for produce but am happy to have my first organic basket from a CSA and I'm really happy with the stuff (as long as I can find more recipes for black radishes) so won't depend on it so much now. You can also wander up St-Denis and buy some things at Tau and Rachelle-Berri but Segal's has better prices for organic stuff. Soares, the Portugese grocer on Duluth has good chicken and meat, great olives, and very nice vegetables too, especially their green beans. Sometimes I pick up some dried goods at Pharmaprix on St-Laurent too which seems weird but can be handy when you need macaroni and kleenex. I am pretty sure there are some other stores on the other side of Berri near Sherbrooke, a Metro maybe? not far from Carre St-Louis too but haven't investigated further. Oh and if you go a bit past the Fruiterie on Roy you can shop at Marche Richelieu which isn't bad, although cramped, but they often have good specials on their meat and they have basic groceries.

          1. re: Plateaumaman

            Thanks for your list!

            I just googled Soares and got this article from the McGill Daily! Not sure it is all up to date but it has some good ideas.


            1. re: Keramel

              That's a great article. There are definitely some good places to pick up groceries up on St-Laurent south of Mont-Royal as mentioned there, especially Latin American food, great tortillas, avocados, salsa and coriander.

              I made a mistake - it isn't a Metro store east of Berri but another Marché Richelieu (probably run by Metro too?) that is above Sherbrooke, not far from the library. Not as nice a walk from Carre St-Louis to that one vs. heading to the one near the Fruiterie. But for that distance, Eden is a great choice in the other direction.

            2. re: Plateaumaman

              The southern Plateau Métro is way east of Berri - it is Métro Gauthier, on the EAST side of Parc Lafontaine: Métro Gauthier 2008 rue Gauthier Montréal, QC H2K 1A7
              Tél.: (514) 523-5882 - I have friends who used to live there.

              There is a Métro on St-Hubert north of Laurier, south of the tunnel to la Petite Patrie, and obviously, a very significant Métro (Métro Chevrefils) on Laurier East.

            3. re: lagatta

              I find Villeray much more affordable; sorry if I was not clear. Both in terms of rent and food.

              Thanks so much for this list. Really helpful stuff! And thanks for the reminder about PA, I used to shop there when I lived up in Mile End.

              Where is Stinky store/Segal?

              1. re: Keramel

                It's on St-Laurent just south of Duluth.

                1. re: Keramel

                  Just south of Duluth and St Laurent, right next to the porn cinema!

              2. I'd just like to add that there is also a Metro in La Cité.

                1. I lived at Carre St. Louis this summer, and now live just a few blocks away. Most of the stores I shop at in the neighborhood have already been mentioned, but I just wanted to add a few things.

                  The produce at Segal's is often questionable, but I've gotten delicious apples and oranges and grapefruit there, as well as perfectly fresh local vegetables in the growing season. So don't discount their fruit or vegetables entirely. They also often have very fresh bean sprouts, for unknown reasons. Their tofu and yogurt are very cheap as well, not to mention the soymilk, bulk beans, breakfast cereal, and commensal dinners.

                  Frenco can be expensive, but you can also save money there. Their flour is actually cheaper than at Segal's, and if you like to buy spices in small amounts you'll save a lot over other places (like the health food store at Jean Talon, whose spices are expensive and often tasteless).

                  The Marche Richelieu on Ontario is really depressing, and the prices aren't cheap for anything as far as I can tell. I prefer the Provigo on Parc or even the 4 Freres.

                  Also, that McGill article says Segal's has free delivery, which is not true. They have delivery, but you have to pay for it like everywhere else.